One of the most revered musical instruments amongst guitarist is the P Bass or precision bass. Leo Fender was the inventor of the first electrical P-Bass that revolutionized the perception of most musicians about the instrument. The initial P-Bass release by Fender featured a single coil pickup, but this later changed to a split style humbucker coil in 1957. The humbucker coil was devised to eliminate distracting background noise that emanated from previous versions. However, it is worth noting that most P bass pickups feature the one split single coil.
The P Bass is so legendary that quite a good number of past and present-day musicians such as Mike Dirnt of Green Day, Nate Mendel of The Foo Fighters, Tony Franklin and James Jamerson are considered to be the precision bass enthusiasts. The versatility of the P Bass is what makes it so high so much so that you can achieve anything literally from higher, smooth or even edgier tones, to tones that are more bass heavy.
1. Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound P-Bass Pickup
Heavy rock and metal are the sounds that are heavily associated with the Seymour Duncan quarter pound p-bass pickup as they do not get distorted when the gain and volume are increased. However, this pickup is extremely adaptable thanks to the Alnico 5 magnets that expand the magnetic field thus extending the frequency range and the high-output coil wind which give a booming bass thud and facilitate the existence of large mid-range tones.
- Feedback is a thing you can forget about with this pickup. The poles of Seymour Duncan are potted with vacuum wax, which ensure that you microphonics and feedbacks do not occur regardless of the dynamic level.
- It is one of the most comfortable P-Bass pickups to install.
- The precision bassist will appreciate the extended frequency range offered by the Seymour Duncan
- The mid-range tones are slightly raised.
2. Fender Custom ’62
Designed to replicate the original 1962 Fender, the custom 62 is one of the top tier pickups that utilizes flush-mounted Alnico V magnets and enamel-coated magnet wire to achieve similar tones as its originator. This pickup surpasses most p bass pickups and offers a bright tone as well as the capability to elevate your sound from topsy-turvy to articulate and precise. The Fender custom 62 is impressive regardless of the genre of music you play as the tones retain their balance with the lows remaining tight and sturdy in the low range bass tones, forceful in the mid-range and pleasantly snappy in the highs.
- Can be used for most genres of music as it is exceptionally versatile with exceptional detail and meticulousness
- You can immediately notice the change of tone in the music when playing with the custom 62
- For an “old school” pickup, the custom 62 delivers excellent sound and very much improved tone.
- The output gets relatively hot when you put the Fender custom 62 to use.
3. Bartolini 8S
With some of the most balanced, smoothest, warm yet organic tones we have heard, we had to include the Bartolini 8S in the list. It is hard to miss that Bartolini emphasized on the low to mid-range tones and avoided the high pitched trebly sounds that tend to show up as you increase the volume of your music. The Bartolini 8S features a ceramic single coil bar magnet with epoxy poles that facilitate the elimination of unwanted microphonics and feedback. You can use and EQ mix with this p bass pickup for that precise and natural signal reproduction. Sting, Dusty Hill, and Roger Waters are some of the musicians who have been known to use the Bartolini 8S.
- It reduces the noise and hum which makes up for the fact that it is costly.
- It delivers quality and beautiful deep, smooth and well-balanced tones
- When compared to other P Bass pickups the Bartolini 8S is expensive.
4. DiMarzio Model P DP122K
The sheer power and attitude are what this blacked out P-Bass pick up offer you as a precision bassist. Constructed from a ceramic magnet this P-Bass pickup is ideal for the metal and hard rock genres of music as not only are they the most modern pickups we could find, but they also have an edgy cool factor to them. The DiMarzio DP122K is a hum canceling P Bass pickup that offers a vast and clear output with high gains and unmatched bass sounds with warm, balanced and fat tones. However, should you feel like this pickup is doing the most you can always bring it down a notch with an EQ for a more classical sound.
- It has a great build and high quality
- It is easy to use and improves the sound immensely.
- The midrange growls are quite voracious, and we really enjoyed pushing the DP122 to its limits to experience said growls.
- It is aesthetically pleasing.
- We tried but could not find any physical fault with this pickup except that it is not one of the top offerings in the market.
5. EMG Geezer Butler Signature P Bass Pickups
Created by Butler, Black Sabbath’s primary lyricist and bassist, the EMG Geezer is characterized as traditional, low and twangy that transport you back in time to the 70s funk phase. Despite this vintage feel the EMG Geezer meets the criteria of most bassists even the pickiest ones. This is because it is responsive and ideal for quicker plays as well as low end dropped tones.
If you are a beginner, then the EMG is ideal as it includes EMG connector technology that makes it easy to install. Even more experienced technicians will appreciate the non-existent hassle of installing these.
- It has a vintage yet classic precision bass sound reminiscent of the past.
- It is constructed with excellent materials and innovative technology that make it versatile.
- Can be effortlessly installed
- The treble sound on the EMG Geezer Butler could sound far much better than it currently does.
6. Lotmusic P Bass Pickup Replacement
Not the best pickups in the market but we included them for all the beginners trying their hands at becoming guitarists or even guitarist technicians. The functionality on them is okay if you can come around to installing them.
- Retailing at ten dollars, this is one of the cheapest pickups in the market. It is like Kmise the manufacturer were giving them away so if you are on a budget; then this could be your starting point
- They are functional. While there are other better pickups in the market, this lotmusic one does get the job done for less.
- The installation of the lotmusic P-bass is not effortless. There have been consistent complains from multiple users regarding the fit of this pickup which is something you should consider should you decide to purchase it.
- There are far much better performing p-bass pickups in the market.
7. Aguilar AG 4P/J-HC Bass Guitar Pickup
Designed and wound in New York, the Aguilar AG 4P/J-HC pickup was initially created as a replacement for the four string P Bass and J Bass pickups by fender. It is one of the versatile P-Bass offerings both I functionality and in tonal range delivery. The Aguilar Ag can double as both a P or J pickup while still delivering roaring lows tones with most of the neck pickups and raised tones with the bridge pickup. Regardless of where you are playing the pickup, your experience remains hum-free.
- Regardless of the type of bass amplifier that you are using, the Aguilar AG pickups will work effortlessly and produce great sounding bass.
- The foam of the original Aguilar AG pickups sticks to them due to the original pickup depth.
If you didn’t already know, a pickup is a device that you place close to the guitar strings so it can produce an electrical field. P bass pickups tend to be unique and characteristic in composition when compared to modern-day pickups. This is because they are humbuckers that are single coil pickups.
They are also located in the middle/bridge position which is lower than the neck pickup and higher than the bridge pickup on J-Bass pickups. When purchasing P-Bass pickups, it is essential that you remember that the kind of sound you seek to achieve greatly determines the pickup that you buy. A great place to begin when choosing a pick up would be identifying your favorite musicians’ pickup and then go from there.
However, you should be aware that you’ll not necessarily achieve the same sound as there are other factors such as the guitar model, pedals, technique and amp that contribute to the artist unique sound.
When choosing a pick up opt for passive pickups as opposed to active pickups as they are far much easier to use. This is because unlike the active pickups that rely on amps and pedal boards, the passive pickups function without a battery. Ultimately a good pick should be hum canceling with the ability to keep background noise at a bare minimum. Hopefully, you found this article to be insightful for when you decide to buy your P-Bass pickup.