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Replace a Musicman pickup with a Precision... Possible?


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#1 sirmuppet

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:34 AM

Pretty much what the title suggests. I have a bas which currently has a Kent Armstrong Musicman pickup in it. It runs passive with only a volume and tone pot. I prefer the sound of a P-bass pickup and would like to replace it with one. Question is, can you fit the inners inside the shell of a musicman pickup? Is there any alternative to routing the bass to get a P-bass pickup on there?

I have Googled it but all I could come up with was adding a Musicman pickup to a P-bass or the reverse, not replacing. Any help would be great. Thanks.

Edited by sirmuppet, 17 July 2017 - 08:35 AM.

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#2 Muzz

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:41 AM

The P-bass sound is as much about positioning as it is pickup construction. If the Musicman pickup you have is in the same place, then it might be worth looking around, but if it isn't then you're compromised to start.

There are soapbar pickups which are P-type pickups underneath and sound very very like P-pickups (the EMG P-35/40s I have in one bass, for example), and I've a Nordy Bigman which is a MM shell with two Big Singles in it, and one of them can get close, but it'd only be close if it's under the right bit of the string... Other then that, I don't know of any offhand, I'm afraid.
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#3 sirmuppet

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:10 AM

View PostMuzz, on 17 July 2017 - 08:41 AM, said:

The P-bass sound is as much about positioning as it is pickup construction. If the Musicman pickup you have is in the same place, then it might be worth looking around, but if it isn't then you're compromised to start.

There are soapbar pickups which are P-type pickups underneath and sound very very like P-pickups (the EMG P-35/40s I have in one bass, for example), and I've a Nordy Bigman which is a MM shell with two Big Singles in it, and one of them can get close, but it'd only be close if it's under the right bit of the string... Other then that, I don't know of any offhand, I'm afraid.


Cheers man. I'm not sure exactly how close but here's the bass.

Posted Image

I think it's a little closer to the bridge though than a normal P-bass would be.

I did hear before of a pickup that had four coils and you could select which were on/off. The front and back coils were split into bass and treble. So that would allow for the split P sound (ish). For the life of me I can't remember who made them but wasn't one of the ones you suggested.

Edited by sirmuppet, 17 July 2017 - 09:11 AM.

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#4 LukeFRC

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:16 AM

search "pingray" on here for an alternative solution.... :)

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#5 ikay

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:36 AM

View Postsirmuppet, on 17 July 2017 - 09:10 AM, said:

I did hear before of a pickup that had four coils and you could select which were on/off. The front and back coils were split into bass and treble. So that would allow for the split P sound (ish). For the life of me I can't remember who made them but wasn't one of the ones you suggested.
One of these maybe? - https://www.bartolin...oil-splittable/
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#6 No. 8 Wire

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:52 AM

This is what they have in Enfield basses. I love the idea but it's a little pricey if all you wanted was the P sound.

https://www.sims.gui...perquad-pickups

PS. Great looking bass, what did the body start life as, or is it custom?

Edited by No. 8 Wire, 17 July 2017 - 09:54 AM.


#7 Sibob

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:36 AM

I'm sure there's any number of pickup companies that would build you a split-coil into a MM casing. That would probably be the 'cheap' option, the Enfield pickup is a good shout for lots of options (I'd probably go that route if that was my bass).
Any particular reason you want a split coil sound in that position rather than a humbucker? It would sound like a Precision due to positioning, so might be a bit of a pointless exercise?

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#8 sirmuppet

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:24 PM

Cheers for the replies

View Postikay, on 17 July 2017 - 09:36 AM, said:


That was the one! Thanks.

View PostSibob, on 17 July 2017 - 10:36 AM, said:

I'm sure there's any number of pickup companies that would build you a split-coil into a MM casing. That would probably be the 'cheap' option, the Enfield pickup is a good shout for lots of options (I'd probably go that route if that was my bass).
Any particular reason you want a split coil sound in that position rather than a humbucker? It would sound like a Precision due to positioning, so might be a bit of a pointless exercise?

Si

I just prefer a P-bass tone. That said if the location will be an issue to tone then it brings up the question of what will get me in the ballpark while still staying passive?
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#9 Muzz

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:53 PM

Hokay: firstly, that's a great looking bass - Fenderbirds FTW :D - but I can't see if the pickup has the MM 'ears' or not - I'm guessing you don't want to start routing. Secondly, if it's already a Kent Armstrong, I'd go with the advice above and contact them to see if they'll rebuild it as a Split-P type: I'm sure they would. Having said that, I can see the Bart pickup allows for split-type both forward and reversed, plus all four coils, with a three-way micro switch. I'd be tempted by that... :)

Position-wise, there's plenty of resources a Google away that'll give you the exact position of a P-pickup. I'd say anywhere within 20mm would be pretty close. It looks quite close judging by the pic.
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#10 Paul S

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:18 PM

Andy measured it for when he added a P pickup to my Sterling - the 'sweet spot' is 11.5" from 12th fret to the poles of the E/A string. You can do standard or reverse mounting for the treble side, according to your whim.

#11 sirmuppet

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:41 PM

View PostMuzz, on 17 July 2017 - 12:53 PM, said:

Hokay: firstly, that's a great looking bass - Fenderbirds FTW :D - but I can't see if the pickup has the MM 'ears' or not - I'm guessing you don't want to start routing. Secondly, if it's already a Kent Armstrong, I'd go with the advice above and contact them to see if they'll rebuild it as a Split-P type: I'm sure they would. Having said that, I can see the Bart pickup allows for split-type both forward and reversed, plus all four coils, with a three-way micro switch. I'd be tempted by that... :)

Position-wise, there's plenty of resources a Google away that'll give you the exact position of a P-pickup. I'd say anywhere within 20mm would be pretty close. It looks quite close judging by the pic.

Thanks Muzz. I'm getting the body back in the next week or so from being re-finished. Well actually finished as I poorly put a coat of gloss on to protect it. Anyway, I'm hesitant to route it having had it just painted, so a replacement is the only option. The Bart does look a good option and I think my MM is slightly further forward than on a Stingray but don't quote me on that.

View PostPaul S, on 17 July 2017 - 01:18 PM, said:

Andy measured it for when he added a P pickup to my Sterling - the 'sweet spot' is 11.5" from 12th fret to the poles of the E/A string. You can do standard or reverse mounting for the treble side, according to your whim.

Cool. I'll measure where mine is in relation when I get it back. I'd really like to try the reverse D/G. Am thinking the Bartolini is maybe the way to go judging by the switching options. Just wondering if I could have the coils wired to push/push pots on the volume and tone pots. This way I could select standard, reverse P-bass configs along with full front and full rear.
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#12 Norris

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:25 PM

Those quad coil pickups don't come cheap
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#13 sirmuppet

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:59 AM

View PostNorris, on 17 July 2017 - 07:25 PM, said:

Those quad coil pickups don't come cheap

True.


Does anyone know if this pickup would do the same as the Bartolini? https://reverb.com/i...uad-coil-pickup EDIT: Delano link not working for some reason.

Edited by sirmuppet, 18 July 2017 - 11:01 AM.

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#14 Muzz

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:39 AM

Well, it says 'double splitcoil', so I'd think so. Contact Delano - I've done it before, and they were very helpful.
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#15 GreeneKing

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:56 AM

Am I the only one thinking 'why not beg/borrow or steal' or even buy a P bass? If you want the tone you haven't got to pay a whole lot. Pickup position is pretty crucial.
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#16 sirmuppet

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:43 PM

View PostMuzz, on 18 July 2017 - 11:39 AM, said:

Well, it says 'double splitcoil', so I'd think so. Contact Delano - I've done it before, and they were very helpful.

Cool, was just checking before I give them a shout. :)

View PostGreeneKing, on 18 July 2017 - 11:56 AM, said:

Am I the only one thinking 'why not beg/borrow or steal' or even buy a P bass? If you want the tone you haven't got to pay a whole lot. Pickup position is pretty crucial.

I have two P-basses already, just wanted a similar tone in this bass since it's being rebuilt.
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#17 Meddle

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:49 AM

Do it yourself. I bought an empty MM pickup shell from EBay. I trimmed down the flatwork of a P pickup and epoxied it into the cover. It worked perfectly!

#18 sirmuppet

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:52 PM

View PostMeddle, on 19 July 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

Do it yourself. I bought an empty MM pickup shell from EBay. I trimmed down the flatwork of a P pickup and epoxied it into the cover. It worked perfectly!

Ha ha, that was my original question. Good to know it can be done.

What did you use to trim it down and did you cover the windings in tape to protect from dust?
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#19 Meddle

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:31 PM

I sank the whole thing in epoxy. I used nippers to chew down the flatwork. Cool was totally submerged in epoxy, so no need for tape.

#20 sirmuppet

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 08:43 AM

View PostMeddle, on 19 July 2017 - 08:31 PM, said:

I sank the whole thing in epoxy. I used nippers to chew down the flatwork. Cool was totally submerged in epoxy, so no need for tape.

One other question. Did you drill holes in the cover for the pole pieces to poke through or did you leave it covered?

I have a spare Squier P-bass pickup I'll maybe try it with first.
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#21 Meddle

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 09:32 PM

I left it covered! Didn't impede the tone in any way.





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