Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center
  • 0

P-J Pickup Recommendations?


Question

I have a '93 Chap Bass that currently has EMG pickups with a preamp. I rarely play the bass because 1) the battery always seems to be dead and b) the tone is not what I'm looking for. What P-J pickup set would the HFC collective mind recommend? I don't want active, but I do want noise cancelling for the J pickup. I'm looking for a warm vintage bass sound- nothing real heavy. My playing is mostly fingerstyle with some pick plucking and zero snapping and/or popping. The bass is 34" scale, bolt-on maple neck with rosewood board and reverse headstock and a solid quilt maple body.

9-19-09 016.jpeg

9-19-09 022.jpeg

9-19-09 019.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

16 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Bartolini.

You're welcome.

Actually, Fender or SD pickups will work too. I know what you mean about EMGs, they're kind of 'techie' sounding.
I have Bartolinis (PJ) in my Kinal 5 string. It's heavy and the scale is 35" and it sounds like YOU DON'T FUCK WITH THE BASS PLAYER.

Look for YouTube videos before you buy. Barts may be a little dark for your taste. Or not.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Update:

Well, Barts are not cheap! A PJ set will run you $245 these days.
Since you don't play a lot, Plan B would be Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder PJ set ($140).
Fender doesn't have a PJ 'set' (at least not at the Big Box Store) but I would guess $160ish.

These are all new pricing. Mayhap you can find a used set.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

If you can do without the noise- cancelling on the J pickup , I’ll give you two choices:

1. Rumpelstiltskin Pickups- - dude simply knows Fender pickups and is a wizard with them. Tell him the tone you want and prepare to be wowed..

2. Gravelin Pickups— also an expert. Winds the best buckers in the biz...,I haven’t tried his Fender types but I have read enough And corresponded with Josh enough to know he is an expert winder on the Fender side too....

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I like the old DiMarzio Model P and Model J in the original Cruisebass sounded great to me.  They were like the old Fender pickups, just more.  Cheap(er), too (still manufactured).  Reverb, $98.50 for the Model P and $87.58 for the Model J.

One caveat: I would like to try then newer DiMarzio Ultra Jazz - it's hum cancelling and much more powerful than the Model J.  The only fault I found in the old Model J is it was a bit anemic compared to the Model P.  The Ultra Jazz would likely be a better match.  $69.99 for the Ultra Jazz (Reverb).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I have some variety of Bartolini's in my Lakland USA Hollowbody Deluxe and they are pretty dark when in humbucking mode and rather weak in single coil mode. I've never heard of Rumpelstiltskin pickups before, I'll have to check them out. I'm not opposed to spending a little more to get the sound I want. Is it wrong to spend as much on new pickups as the cost of the entire bass?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)

On the cheap I think the DiMarzio Model P and Ultra Jazz bridge combo is pretty great. Having a hum-canceling J bridge position is really nice for P/Js- the best way to go IMHO.

Since my name came up: All pickup builders cut their teeth on Fender coils and I'm no exception there an have an incredibly deep well of experience and knowledge with all of those. I've been at it for 20 years now. As for bass pickups, I'm a career bass player/musician myself so when it comes to bass pickups, my ears are especially fine-tuned and focused and since there's no shortage of basses across all makers at my house and over the years.. my bass pickups are killer.

I used Bartolini pickups for a long time and in fact, I think I'm still listed as an Artist on their website. Nordstrand also makes nice pickups. Aguilars are good too! Duncan too! Lindy Fralins set is badass. If you want something custom wound to your requirements tho, give me a shout.

PS: That's a lovely burst and a killer bass! Do you prefer roundwounds or flats with it?

Edited by JGravelin
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I've always used roundwounds in the past, but my fingers are telling me to try flats. I don't play enough to maintain decent callouses anymore.

Can any flats, ground roundwounds or pressure wound strings come close to true roundwound sound? And are those semi-flat strings actually any easier on the fingers? So many questions...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
4 hours ago, stobro said:

And are those semi-flat strings actually any easier on the fingers?

To a degree they are. I'd suggest pressure wound. I had a set of grounds maaaany years ago and they included metal shavings that embedded into my fingers...

Something that may sound silly, but switching from stainless steel (Rotosounds) to nickel coated or pure nickel helped with the string feel.
Stainless used to feel rough on my fretting (left) hand. And, pickups respond better to nickel than stainless steel (better fundamental).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'll second KTBs suggestion of a pressurewound string and the GHS option there is really good at giving a brighter roundwound sound with a smooth feel. Straight out of the pack they have a nice sparkle and will warm up a bit over a month of daily playing. The DAddario Chromes are very bright for a flatwound string and will hold the "zing!" for quite a while. Super smooth feel as well. To split the difference tho, give those GHS Pressurewounds a try. IMHO, as always.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I like the Ernie Ball Cobalt flats on my CruiseBass. ....also, did you guys catch the humility and professionalism of Josh Gravelin in this thread? I’d buy bass (and other ) pickups from him in a NY minute.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jakeboy said:

 ....also, did you guys catch the humility and professionalism of Josh Gravelin in this thread?

 

12 hours ago, JGravelin said:

my bass pickups are killer.

Yup. Saw that.

But yes, he's praising everyone else's pickups. That's a good man there.

Edited by killerteddybear
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)
On 6/30/2020 at 6:25 PM, killerteddybear said:

Update:

Well, Barts are not cheap! A PJ set will run you $245 these days.
Since you don't play a lot, Plan B would be Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder PJ set ($140).
Fender doesn't have a PJ 'set' (at least not at the Big Box Store) but I would guess $160ish.

These are all new pricing. Mayhap you can find a used set.

Based on my experience, if you put in USA Bartolinis, you'll probably be playing a lot more.

Notice how a lot of the cost-no-object boutique basses use USA Bartolinis? It's no accident.

spacer.pngspacer.png

spacer.pngspacer.png

spacer.png

As for the cost, I picked up a Squier fretless Jazz bass for $199 in 2010. The ferrite pickups were meh. I knew it flew in the face of common sense and resale value, but I went ahead and got a pair of USA Bartolini J-bass pickups for about $200--what the bass cost me in the first place. The Barts absolutely transformed the Squier. It's one of my best-sounding basses, in a field of Guild Pilots and G&Ls. It also made the bass much easier to play because the pickups redefined the bass's sensitivity and dynamic range. My plucking fingers didn't have to work so hard to play the sounds and volume I heard in my head.

P.S. Caveat: I have no experience with Gravelin pickups, but if I did, I might change my mind.

 

 

Edited by JohnnyB
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 7/1/2020 at 3:59 PM, JGravelin said:

I'll second KTBs suggestion of a pressurewound string and the GHS option there is really good at giving a brighter roundwound sound with a smooth feel. Straight out of the pack they have a nice sparkle and will warm up a bit over a month of daily playing. The DAddario Chromes are very bright for a flatwound string and will hold the "zing!" for quite a while. Super smooth feel as well. To split the difference tho, give those GHS Pressurewounds a try. IMHO, as always.

Another advantage of pressurewound strings is that--if you're playing a fretless bass and you need something with a more assertive, roundwound style attack than you get from flatwounds--I've found that pressurewound strings split the difference between the attack and tone of flatwounds and roundwounds. And they're easier on the fingerboard than a full roundwound would be.

And if you use a flat pick on pressurewounds, you'll get all the attack and leading edge you could want from a fretless.

Edited by JohnnyB
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...