Thinking to upgrade pickups

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by veecharlie, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. veecharlie

    veecharlie Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Hey guys,

    I'm looking to buy a Squier CV 60's P bass, but was thinking to maybe upgrade the pickups. Looking for a 70's kind of sound, Roger Waters kind of thing.
    I was thinking into the Fender Custom Shop 62' set.
    I'm not officially a bassist, but I play guitar for more than a decade, I want a decent bass I can record with and I think this bass would suit my basic needs (for now).

    What suggestions do you have?
    Thank you :)
  2. rummy

    rummy Member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Fender 62 is a great staple pickup. I also enjoyed Fralin's pickup as well.
    fretless likes this.
  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

    Jan 13, 2016

    At least keep a P-bass around.

    I also play guitar and have a bass for messing around with.

    I bought a Washburn XB-100 P-style bass used for $40. Setup was all wonky from the guy I got it from. Like a bow and arrow. But fixing the setup it has good action now and plays easy.

    I did mod it.... since I play guitar and have a Strat and some other guitars ... I got hold of a pair of J-pickups and routed the body for a JPJ layout like a Strat and cut in space for a Strat switch. So I have the usual Strat combinations, like quack on a bass, lol!

    It goes really low with the pickup placement on that neck J. It is a much more fun bass now. And the Internet didn't explode having a pickup near the end of the fretboard! Imagine that. I picked up another XB-100 that I set up and gave to a friend. These are made by Samick which makes 80% of the import guitars at all price points for all the major brands.

  4. GibbyMartin

    GibbyMartin Member

    Nov 15, 2018
    You haven't even bought the bass yet, but you're already talking about replacing the pickups?!

    My suggestions would be play the bass for a month or so after you actually buy it. Experiment with different amp and EQ settings, pickup heights, and then decide if you need to replace the pickup.
    bigtone23 likes this.
  5. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

    Feb 18, 2013
    Denver CO
    This. You really should live with it for at least a short while first.
    The stock pickup is Alnico and is fully a usable pickup. I didn't change out any factory Alnicos on my Squiers.
    You will go farther with string choice, amp settings and height adjustments than blindly switching out the pickup hoping for a specific goal. I underline string choice as a set of Rotosound RS66 round wounds will sound bright and clanky, a set of broken in La Bella Flats or Chromes will sound like Jamerson, all on the same bass.

    In all my years as a bassist, I find that the P bass is kind of stubborn when it comes to tonal variety. P basses sound like P basses-they are the king of lower midrange punch and it takes pretty radical pickup changes to get noticeable tonal differences. A ceramic EMG P doesn't sound like a CS 62 which doesn't sound like a Quarter Pounder. If the pickup is alnico and sits around 10-11K, it will sound "classic" and can be dialed in for late 50s cut, 60s smooth or 70s bright with just a tweak of the amp or string change. This classic recipe is where Fender winds 95% of their P pickups and most likely the wheelhouse a CV pickup resides. A custom shop 62, EMG Geezer, Duncan SPB1 or Fralin standard wind will all sound pretty much the same-in the mix.
    Also, to be honest, P basses also are not my favorite sounding bass when I play by myself. However, once in a mix, they are undisputed in the ability to sit just right. Judge the tone of the bass while in the mix, you may just find that factory pickup does just fine.
  6. Grenville

    Grenville Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    A friend of mine bought a Fender Pure Vintage '63 P Bass pickup for her Mexican Precision, and the improvement was instant and noticeable. THAT's the SOUND!
  7. Mincer

    Mincer Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Tampa Bay area, FL USA
    I also say wait to see if there are any tonal issues that a pickup swap might cure. You are more likely to end up with something you will like in the long run as you haven't had time to hear how the bass sounds yet.

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