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Extra pickup on a 'Pure P' bass - your thoughts?


Ander87
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Hey Gang,

 

Through my time playing bass I've gone from simple active basses to pedals and more complicated basses, but at heart I've always liked a 'plug and play' directly to a good amp.

 

For my 2 bands I have 3 Limelight Precision basses with Jazz necks - each with different pickups, NP4V, NP4A, P-Blades to cover the spectrum of Motown, Soul/Neosoul/Pop, Punk/Punk rock of my two bands, plugged directly to a Darkglass Microtubes v2 with inbuilt compressor.

 

Whilst I love the tones I'm thinking of adding a pickup to one of them just for variety's sake - this would be for the bass with the P-Blade (the other two have a jaguar mute or vintage covers with foam so not entertaining cavities there).

 

I've let my mind run wild and think a Big Blademan could be a juicy addition - respecting the control cavities more or less:

 

1. Toneswitch with kill switch / bypass / 22pf / 47pf and

2. Toneswitch for bridge pickup / neck and bridge parallel / neck and bridge series / neck pickup

3. Mini switch to split the MM to a J pickup

 

If my maths are right this gives me a ridiculous 18 tone combinations - I like that there's plenty there but not complicated and still passive; more punch? put more MM; more definition? put more J; more grind? more P...

 

Is there any other circuit I should consider? like I said at the beginning I want it simple and have enough with my amp EQ, so no need for active circuits... and no more than 2 knobs and a mini switch or similar, I'd like to not end up with a load of knobs...

 

PS: I guess my only concern is whether I'm violating the purity of a P bass, but having two 'Pure P' basses already....

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Hey @PaulThePlug! Cheers buddy, but I'm not looking to add more basses, three is all I need and have space/budget for...!

 

Aaaand @Reggaebass, thanks! I was only considering the purple P since it's more outlandish and less traditional... the white one stays with the covers and the charcoal will 'only' have the jaguar mute ala Sean Hurley so that still respects the trad vibe with a tweak...

 

... the purple one was my custom build from Mark, I was thinking if one can have an extra flair it'd be that one - not worried much about value as that'd be a bass I wouldn't get rid of ever as my custom!

 

... Having said that, whilst the white one is great and the lightest the charcoal is just something else, the best all rounder with that NP4A.

 

Just thought the Power Blade would get along great with a Big Blademan and the circuit I suggested would defo get me MM and J tones added too....!

 

Ander.

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oh nice! this was some £40 from the US on eBay - I did look out for the bass mutes but heard they were difficult to get these days etc. The ability to choose the level of muting is great though.... and well, I'm hoping to get a proper muted effect with the jaguar mute (a stronger on/off mute), whilst the white one has a fainter, more in-between mute with sponge under the bridge cover...

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.... And also considering 'just' a J pickup to keep the more traditional looks and hence 'just' a PJ bass.

 

I do get where Reggaebass comes from, an MM would be a very unorthodox thing there....! I would 'only' have 12 tones in that case (more than plenty lol I'll probs stick to less than 5/6)

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13 minutes ago, Ander87 said:

lol I gotta admit I've never felt comfortable with a P/P option...! me being picky aesthetically but also J's are for that zing and clarity at the bridge...

Oh yes, it's a carbuncle visually (although I think the P/MM isn't much better) but it sounds sooo good.

 

P6140003.thumb.jpeg.e1e2ba8250a314becd2e7e63349820a1.jpeg

 

Had the World's most awful neck dive and made my shoulder ache, which is why it was moved along.

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23 minutes ago, chris_b said:

've done this. I put a Jazz pickup on my Precision bass. The "improvement" I got was significantly less than I was anticipating!! A fraction of the boost to my sound that upgrading the P pickup gave me. IMO it's not worth the cost.

 

Hmmm my first limelight (faded fiesta red, I miss you sometimes) was a PJ, BUT I couldn't stand the hum noise and weight was at my limit, 4kg.

 

I do miss it sometimes and now know that some shielding and hum-cancelling pickups (it had vintage ones) would have sorted it.... Whilst for most tones I was using 'just P', the J was a nice addition to have for some variety... And since I've upgraded all the pickups and etc etc...

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2 hours ago, Ander87 said:


sounds snobby but this is saving me from it lol

Nope, a really nasty skin eruption: "A carbuncle is a cluster of boils caused by bacterial infection..."

 

I had one on my knee as a kid, it was revolting and I still carry the scar today.

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Not that this is particularly relevant to what you want but I just thought I'd mention the production king of options - the G&L L-2000/2500/ASAT.  18 different options (27 if modded)

 

Passive, 2 band EQ

pickup selector (back, front, both)

series/parallel (can replace this with a 4PDT on/on/on switch for single coil/series/parallel)

passive/active (line boost)/active with treble boost

 

Three knobs, three switches.  Much more than you wanted, but I thought I'd mention it in case it offered any ideas.

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If its a "working" bass then do what you need to do to it. If you add a big double J or MM style pup then make sure you have good coil switching for single coil on either, then you're away. It's your instrument for you to use how you need to. Make it greater still, but make it for you 

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Hmmm....! Thanks everyone for the answers!!

 

So, I have the right amount of basses, 3 is where it's at for my budget and space - and they're all the quality that I want (all limelights).

 

On one end, I want to keep them as it is and not mess around with what @ezbass coined as a P Carbuncle :D , but, on the other end, all three are working basses, two of them not modded and fairly true vintage style with covers and all even... So for a working bass, from @uk_lefty perspective I wouldn't mind adding a MM or a J, if there is a gain to it.

 

Now the thing is a J is more classic... Think Rob Grange, bassist for Ted Nugent had a J added in the 70's before production came on PJ's from Japan...

 

The MM would defo have a J switch and will give me yet more options, but yeah aesthetically it is a bit of a challenge... @TheGreek that SIMS looks very juicy but at £200 I'm only adding the P in the bridge compared to the Big Blademan (MM+J) for near half the price...

 

In summary, if I go for the mod it'll be on my purple P, and with a Nordy J-Blade or Big Blademan - the question is whether I go for it or wether I could regret it.

 

The potential patient...

 

Best,

 

Ander.

 

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The sweet spot for a p and a MM overlap - you won’t get a “stingray sound” unless you alter the P sound. And vice versa. 
I also built a crazy bass with Two MM pickups, kinda stingray crossed with L1000 - i had 33 different sound options - and active bass and treble and if anything it was too much!

if I were In your situation I would be asking exactly what sound I was looking for - and possibly borrowing or buying then selling a few basses to work out what the answer is before getting the router out. (Or funkles body with the rest of your bass) otherwise it will be very easy to do something irreversible that isn’t what you actually wanted!

 

and, just cos that sounds like I’m on a downer here’s some things I would love the basses to mod on…

 

Swap the P for a dark star.

swap for p for a G&L pickup and wire it up like a L1000

Recreate the pickup switching Garry Beers is putting on his basses

Dimarzio relentless neck and middle

A pair of split ‘51 style pickups like Alpher have been doing

A super fat PJ similar to a musicman caprice

Leave thr pickups as it is - it needs a Sadowsky preamp!

Double P setup but reverse middle pickup

Pair of Seymour Duncan New York dual coils

Lace Alumatone PJ setup, just cos Ild like to hear these pickups

Piezo bridge and maybe a ACG-EQ1 

 

 

 

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On 27/11/2021 at 22:25, LukeFRC said:

The sweet spot for a p and a MM overlap - you won’t get a “stingray sound” unless you alter the P sound. And vice versa. 

 

Agree here - the closer to the bridge the less vibration and more treble it would be.... I am tempted to have all those tones but I know the MM split into a J won't be the same as a 'real J tone'.

 

On 27/11/2021 at 22:25, LukeFRC said:

i had 33 different sound options - and active bass and treble and if anything it was too much!

 

On 27/11/2021 at 22:25, LukeFRC said:

if I were In your situation I would be asking exactly what sound I was looking for - and possibly borrowing or buying then selling a few basses to work out what the answer is before getting the router out. (Or funkles body with the rest of your bass) otherwise it will be very easy to do something irreversible that isn’t what you actually wanted!

 

Jesus that's a monster.... I'm trying to simplify my options and now I have 3 pure P's with KiOgon electronics for Cap selection, does the job fine, but I do feel I miss a bit of the zing I had with my stingray or with a previous PJ - cutting out a bit of the 'boominess' of the P, especially for cleans and adding a bit more definition - PJ in series sounds like could be the answer...

 

.... and aware that routing is irreversible, a PJ conversion seems sensible and still in line with the general aesthetics of a P body bass - a P+MM may be overkill, sonically and visually.... after all it's a purple metallic bass, what I'm saying here is that it doesnt need to be a classic classic 'keep the vintage looks' bass.... but neither needs to be an aberration!

 

I'm very tempted to go for the J blade, warm and woolly - respects the tone match with the P blade but adds more zing and mids/definition.

On 27/11/2021 at 22:25, LukeFRC said:

Swap the P for a dark star.

Dimarzio relentless neck

A pair of split ‘51 style pickups like Alpher have been doing

Lace Alumatone PJ setup, just cos Ild like to hear these pickups

 

These do stand out to me but I feel safest in matching the Nordy P blade I do still love...!

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27 minutes ago, Ander87 said:

 

 

.... and aware that routing is irreversible, a PJ conversion seems sensible and still in line with the general aesthetics of a P body bass - a P+MM may be overkill, sonically and visually.... after all it's a purple metallic bass, what I'm saying here is that it doesnt need to be a classic classic 'keep the vintage looks' bass.... but neither needs to be an aberration!

 

How about a double J instead of an MM? 
 

D1E6AFE7-C0ED-429E-9D3A-850034CC0C52.jpeg

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