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P bass pickup.


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#1 tom1946

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:07 AM

Hi all,
I'm still trying to find nirvana with pickups, my main P bass has an SPB-1 in it and as usual the bottom E string is still sounding err numb. I can't get any power from it, the other 3 strings are fine and I find myself avoiding playing an A or a G on the E string.

I have tried an spb 2, changed for new strings EB slinkys 45-105, adjusted the pickups but that just makes the A too loud.

Am I the only person that finds this a problem?

cheers for any input..
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#2 markdavid

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:15 AM

Not a big fan of Seymour duncans myself, have tried the Spb1, 2 and 3 , the Spb1 is all bass and no mids, great way to get lost in the mix, the Spb2 is the complete opposite and just sounds like the mids dial is turned all the way up and whatever settings I used I could not dial that out, I was expecting more mids but the Spb2 is just complete overkill, the Spb3 is not a bad pickup but a little too modern for me

#3 EliasMooseblaster

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:27 AM

View Posttom1946, on 04 August 2017 - 11:07 AM, said:

I'm still trying to find nirvana with pickups, my main P bass has an SPB-1 in it and as usual the bottom E string is still sounding err numb. I can't get any power from it, the other 3 strings are fine and I find myself avoiding playing an A or a G on the E string.

Your use of "as usual" has piqued my interest with this one - is this problem common to all your Precisions, or just your main one?
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#4 uk_lefty

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 12:18 PM

Steve Harris signature pickups. Im not a maiden fan and don't play that kind of music with my band but this pickup, especially with flatwounds (and the signature flatwounds) gives a huge full sound with loads of clarity and presence. It's not old school thump but it is punchy, it's not bright and zingy but it gets your treble out, it's an all-rounder but the main characteristics for me are the sheer power, presence and clarity through this pickup.

Edited by uk_lefty, 04 August 2017 - 12:18 PM.

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#5 Marc S

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 12:56 PM

I've found this problem a few times - not just on Precisions, and not just on my own basses (sometimes a pals bass, or at an open mic, or one in a shop)
Others have also said they had this issue, and found it was solved with a good pro-setup, with new strings....

Getting the pickup height right can be an important factor too. If the top of the pickup is fully adjusted to be too far away from the E string, the signal may be weaker. But beware, as if it is too close this can have an adverse effect too. Especially with heavier gauge E string - if it's too close, a powerful magnet may stop the string from vibrating freely. I've heard people refer to this as "choking"

I've fitted Entwistle PBXN's and JBXN's to both my P/J Precisions. Try the PBXN and don't let the low price tag fool you. You will need to rout a deep channel in the middle of your pup cavity - but the deep, huge magnets on PBXN's give them a BIG output. Best passive pups I've ever come across..... Start with the simplest of options though - a set up

Edited by Marc S, 04 August 2017 - 12:57 PM.


#6 lownote12

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 01:31 PM

Toneriders for me - awesome sound and less than 40 squid. And - I may be gullible - the Kiogon loom sold by the eponymous master on here is a must too.

Edited by lownote12, 04 August 2017 - 01:32 PM.

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#7 tom1946

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 02:48 PM

Seems common for most P basses Elias, I don't seem to be able to hit on the right combination.
Isn't the Steve Harris pickup an SPB-3?

Marc, I'm well capable of setting up my basses but I haven't hit on the way of getting the best from the E string as yet and I have no means of routing the cavity to try the Entwhistles. Good thoughts though.

I've heard of toneriders so might take a punt on them, do you have a link please? I also always use John's looms, they are excellent.
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#8 lownote12

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 03:02 PM

http://www.tonerider.../precision-plus. Ive tried all sorts of PB pup and the Tonerider blurb is spot on - the sound is classic P bass but just a whisker of - not hot exactly, but lively? Warmer? Like the difference between crunchy and smooth peanut butter... er..

Edited by lownote12, 04 August 2017 - 03:09 PM.

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#9 therealting

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 03:40 PM

I like the Bareknuckle 58 in my 61P, and am hoping for good things from the Nordstrand NP4v going into my 64P (replacing the Quarter Pounder that's in there now)... but I've also found the Entwhistles in my Revelation fretless to be surprisingly good.
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#10 tom1946

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 06:29 PM

Okay, just ordered a Tonerider and it'll be here in the morning so I'll give it a go and report back.

cheers all.
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#11 jezzaboy

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 10:28 AM

I put a Tonerider pickup in my Nate Mendel P to replace the SD that was in there. To my ears, it sounded a lot better and it wasn`t expensive if I remember right.

Oh and I fitted a Kiogon loom at the same time so I don`t know if it was the pickup or John`s voodoo working that made it sound better :rolleyes:

Edited by jezzaboy, 05 August 2017 - 10:30 AM.


#12 bartelby

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 01:44 PM

View Posttom1946, on 04 August 2017 - 02:48 PM, said:


Isn't the Steve Harris pickup an SPB-3?


Nope, it's the SPB-4.
http://www.seymourdu...e-harris-p-bass

#13 bassmachine2112

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:06 PM

Hiho ,my tupence worth-Wizard Thumper doea the biz

#14 ead

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 05:43 PM

I have swapped the Delano item for the Nordy NP4 pickup in my Sandberg VS, but the Jess Loureiro was a very close second http://jlguitars.eu/...oduct&id_lang=4
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#15 LITTLEWING

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:35 PM

You say 'as usual', I had this phenomenon a while back and after messing with different pickups and heights etc went the route of adjusting my amp settings. I found for me using volume as your first step with everything else at twelve o'clock EXCEPT the lower bass dials (take these right down), get the top end nice to the ear then gradually adjust low to mid until it sounds pleasing, THEN bring the bass up until too much then back it off a notch or two. Try it in a full band scenario and record it on your phone or whatever. It's an eye (ear?) opener.
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#16 GregBass

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:38 PM

I took a Japanese P as part of a deal. It had an active EMG fitted. It sounded terrible - all bass and no clarity. I decided to gain adjustability by fitting active electronics. It now sounded terrible louder.

So - I dumped the EMG and fitted a US Custom Shop 1963. Wow - the bass came alive. It's now my go-to instrument.

Edited by GregBass, 07 August 2017 - 07:39 PM.

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#17 Deedee

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:06 PM

For my vote, Fender Custom Shop '62.

To my ears just sounds like a P bass should and really growls when you want it to.

EDIT: By 'sounds like a P bass should', I don't mean thuddy and dark (although it can do that). I mean it really cuts through and sounds wonderful 😁.

Edited by Deedee, 07 August 2017 - 09:28 PM.

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#18 JohnDaBass

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 06:53 AM

Hi Tom,
My preference is the DiMarzio Split P with KiOgon loom and Sprague 192p 0.1uF capacitor.
Warm & lush with plenty of power and old school tones.

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:30 AM

I thought the toneriders were a bit crap the j ones were OK though legend has it that toneriders are factory fitted in squier basses I think you would like the steve harris spb4 pickup tom lovely punchy tone and even across the strings imo

#20 EdLib-3

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 06:38 PM

View PostJohnDaBass, on 08 August 2017 - 06:53 AM, said:

Hi Tom,
My preference is the DiMarzio Split P with KiOgon loom and Sprague 192p 0.1uF capacitor.
Warm & lush with plenty of power and old school tones.

I used to own an Aerodyne Jazz Bass which I replaced the stock pickups with a pair of DiMarzio Model P pickups as well as a Model J, and man they sounded lovely!!!! So well balanced, powerful, clear and smooth. No worries with a weak E string either. I used to turn the volume all the way down on the jazz pickup just to get the pure tone of those Model Ps.

Never thought I could get so emotional about pickups! ;)

Edited by EdLib-3, 12 August 2017 - 06:39 PM.


#21 Opticaleye

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:32 PM

I've tried numerous P pickups from Seymour Duncan, Fender Original 62, Vintage Fender, Wizard and even the excellent G&L MFD's but easily my favourite is the Geezer signature P from EMG (based on Bobby Vega's 63 P pickup). It just has "that" sound.
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#22 gthyni

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:34 PM

Love DiMarzio model Ps (and model Js) too.
A bit hotter, a bit more punch without get out of balance.
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#23 JohnDaBass

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 06:35 AM

 tom1946, on 04 August 2017 - 06:29 PM, said:

Okay, just ordered a Tonerider and it'll be here in the morning so I'll give it a go and report back.

cheers all.

Hi Tom how do the Toneriders sound? Could you do a short review?

#24 AREA

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 09:44 AM

View PostJohnDaBass, on 15 August 2017 - 06:35 AM, said:

Hi Tom how do the Toneriders sound? Could you do a short review?

I would also be interested in a review. I have just ordered a set of TRP-1 PrecisionPlus @A .... n for my franken-P I am currently building because of their positive reviews there. They are described there as "vintage with some little extra Oomph" sounding. But as far as I read, they also get some love here too. I am excited to read some more experiences

Edited by AREA, 18 August 2017 - 09:46 AM.

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#25 KiOgon

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:11 AM

Hi Tom, another reccomendation for the DiMarzio P's - my favourite is the DP127, does exactly what it says on the can, very hot output with crystal clear definition of every note - the full range. Worth every penny, (you get what you pay for), quality of manufature too, and so much better than the Symour Duncans IMHO.
http://www.dimarzio.com/node/2127

Cheerz, John
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#26 tom1946

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 02:38 PM

Thanks all for your comments, much appreciated. It seems to depend on the individual ear, I'm going a bit deaf these days :lol: maybe that's the problem.

Ok fitted the tonerider with a spare KiOgon (what does that name mean John?) loom that I had, I found it to be low on output, I had to up my amp gain and volume to get even a moderate sound from it.
The tone is fine, it has clear lows and highs but some of that may be down to John's tone pot. I'm no expert but I know what I like and POWWWEEERRR is one of them. Not that I use massive power but in my experience the more output there is, the better the sound.

Not a waste of money but I will be changing it, maybe a DP127 as recommended above.
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#27 DarkHeart

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 02:58 PM

Try an Entwistle PBXN cheap and awesome!

#28 tom1946

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 03:05 PM

Well it looks like a choice between an SPB-4 or the Dimarzio DP-127

hmmmm........ both about the same price.

Head's swimmin' now... :huh:

Edited by tom1946, 19 August 2017 - 03:06 PM.

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#29 KiOgon

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 04:27 PM

Cut the messing about and get the DP127 - you will not regret it I'm sure. They p155 rings around the SDs IMHO. If you've found them both about the same price it's no contest :happy:

Edit: Ki pronounced key is Japanese for Yellow and Ogon is a single coloured Koi, so simply 'Yellow Koi'.
I have kept Koi since about 1975, when they were very few and far between in this country and the Yamabuki name taken from the Flower in Japan 'Kerria japonica' (abbreviated to Ki), has always been my personal favourite Koi, almost impossible to find a perfect example.

It's been my nickname for years and the reg. no. on my car; KI0GON :)

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Edited by KiOgon, 19 August 2017 - 04:44 PM.

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#30 gthyni

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 06:09 PM

a point in the last minute,
the DP127 has a weak midrange than the DP122 (model P)
If you want punch the midrange is the key IMHO
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