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Thread: A Noob Question about PJ Bass Pickups

  1. #11
    Overlord of Music WeirdBits's Avatar
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    Standard PJ's will always be a compromise. As has already been said, J's are single coil and hum while P's are a hum-cancelling split pair. Adding a switch to reverse one coil on the P can 'un-hum-cancel' it to so it can then sort of hum-cancel with a J, but you then have out of phase issues with the reversed P coil etc. Half of the P would be in phase with the J while the other half is OOP, so two strings would sound thin and nasally... which is probably worse than the hum. There are some other things you could do, but you still lose all the good things about a P.

    I'd say go with with a standard PJ wiring or, at most, add a series/parallel switch on the P. It won't make it hum-cancel with the J, or put it out of phase etc, but it does give it a different sound while still keeping it a hum-cancelling P. Then, keep your eye out for a cheap DiMarzio Ultra Jazz hum-cancelling bridge pup and stick that in if you get the chance.
    Scott.

  2. #12
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobastard View Post
    I have taken this into consideration and it is my hope to insert a phase reverse switch into the PB Pickup so, when used in conjunction with the Bridge Pickup it can be switched to parallel, and will be out of phase. (and quietly)
    Unfortunately it won't be a good hum-cancelling arrangement. The PB pickup is already hum cancelling - one of the split coils is reverse wound & reverse polarity to the other split coil. So the output is (in theory) already hum free. If you change the polarity of one of the split coils, then you get the hum back, plus a small amount of phase cancellation on the A and D strings. But unless the JB pickup has a similar coil configuration (which it doesn't), the levels of hum are likely to be different and so partial hum cancellation is the best you can hope for. The JB pickup would also have to be out of phase with one of the PB split coils, so you'll end up with a thin nasal sound on two strings, a normal parallel sound on the other two strings, plus some hum.

    I think it would be better to concentrate on shielding the cavities to reduce the level of hum, and go with something like the Entwhistle Neo, and then look round on eBay for a used noiseless JB pickup if hum is an issue. A few years ago I managed to pick up a used set of Bartolini noiseless JB pickups to replace a very noisy single coil set in a Yamaha BB604 for about A$60.
    Last edited by Simon Barden; 08-01-2017 at 08:12 PM.
    Build #1 ES-3 under construction http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6489
    Build #2 EX-1 (with alder body) Yet to start. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...093#post123093

  3. #13
    Member Hobastard's Avatar
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    Awesome, thanks guys, this is exactly the information I need. I reckon I might have to leave the router on the shelf for now, bite the bullet and save my pennies for a SD Ultra Jazz. May as well do it properly. Pity this wasn't a J Bass to start with..... Actually it is the first P Bass I've owned and I'm enjoying it considerably.....

  4. #14
    Member Hobastard's Avatar
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    Well, I've taken Wazkelly's advice and ordered a Tonerider Bridge Pickup. Wish me luck. My mate's Dad is pretty handy on the tools and has agreed to do the routing at the local Men's Shed which he runs..... Also got a Cast Bridge and Black Pearl Pickguard on the way together with some Copper Tape and some bits and pieces.... This is getting exciting.....

  5. #15
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    All the best with it!
    Build #1 ES-3 under construction http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6489
    Build #2 EX-1 (with alder body) Yet to start. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...093#post123093

  6. #16
    Overlord of Music wazkelly's Avatar
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    Wouldn't get too hung up about hum cancelling until you try it out with the Tonerider J Bridge PUP. Tend to think it will be all good so long as you follow the YB4 wiring diagram on the main PBG site.

    Was jamming with a bloke before xmas who was playing a 'Reverend' guitar that was fitted with 3 x P90's and when he was touching the strings no buzz or hum but the moment he took his hands away it was hissing like a snake. Doubt the setup you have planned will be as bad as that and he was quite happy with the axe saying it was all part of the character of the thing.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR - nearing completion https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 under construction https://goo.gl/gvrPkp

  7. #17
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    The wide coils in P-90s do pick up large amounts of radiated noise, more than narrower Strat pickups do. And of course they can only pick up noise that's there in the first place. I do wonder why they don't come as standard with metal cases rather than plastic. Only some of the dog-ear P-90s had them and they are noticeably quieter.
    Build #1 ES-3 under construction http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6489
    Build #2 EX-1 (with alder body) Yet to start. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...093#post123093

  8. #18
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    A mate of mine had a Reverend with P-90s that he sold on eBay. He had no end of grief from the buyer because the P-90s that Reverend fitted were from a cheap US supplier rather than their own-made units they now fit. But I'm sure he'd bought it new, so maybe they didn't always make their own pickups, or not all of them.
    Build #1 ES-3 under construction http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6489
    Build #2 EX-1 (with alder body) Yet to start. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...093#post123093

  9. #19
    Overlord of Music wazkelly's Avatar
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    In full flight the thing sounded awesome. Some of the tunes we played were Immigrant Song & Bring It On Home by Led Zep, La Grange by ZZ Top, Walking By Myself by Gary Moore, Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd plus many others. The soloing on Comfortably Numb was spine tingling. He was hooked up through Mesa Boogie into a 1 x 12 Marshall enclosed speaker cabinet as we were in a small venue and at moderate levels there was tons of sustain with just an edge of overdriven feedback available. Haven't had so much fun in past 30 years.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR - nearing completion https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 under construction https://goo.gl/gvrPkp

  10. Liked by: Hobastard

  11. #20
    Member Hobastard's Avatar
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    Bits and pieces are arriving thick and fast for this project now, and for a Squier I reckon it will look pretty slick, with a Gloss Black Body and lots of other Black Bits. Hopefully it will sound pretty smooth too. It's actually not too bad already, My Amp makes almost anything sound good. I also have to sort out a couple of Frets that are not quite set properly and smooth a few edges.

    Now I need some Black Machine Heads. Anyone out there upgraded a Kit and have a set of Traditional style Black ones laying around their cave????

    Okay, so this isn't really a Build, more of a fine tune, But I think of it as a Practice Run before I misappropriate funds from consolidated revenue for my first Kit.

    (having said that, I'm loving the look of that Natural Finish PB ready Made 5 String J Bass)......
    Last edited by Hobastard; 17-01-2017 at 11:55 PM.

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