Bass Pickup question


Senior member
I recently got my late 90's Ibanez GSR200 (except its a passive P/J - v/v/t setup) back from a one month loan.  The P pickup is almost dead and the output jack is trashed.  I was thinking of just gutting the electronics.  But...since I'm envisioning a Warmoth bass in the next few years, I don't want to drop a ton of money into the pickups.  It'll get used for Classic rock and blues mostly.  I don't have a bass amp currently, but am supposedly getting a fairly new Fender Rumble 15 in compensation.

Anyone have any recommendations?  I looked at SD, Dimarzio and GFS, but my price range is something in the 100-150USD area for the set.
I looked at the Best Bass Gear prices and $240 is what I'd be plunking down for a P/J set.  I have to admit, after trying good pickups, it is hard to go back.  Depending on what Warmoth you were going to build, you could always get a nicer set and swap them out later to spread the cost/pain over a longer period of time.  Dunno what to suggest to you on this one.  Good luck finding something fun.

I was thinking of a SD QP set or the Dimarzio DP126 set.  But, that's not a bad idea actually.  I was looking at the Nordstrands or Barts for the Warmoth build.  :evil4:
Just to be sure, I didn't mean to imply that there were not good pick ups from the previously listed sources, but the price was a little restricting.  I like those Nordstrand passive split coil humbucking in a normal size pickup things.  Just a great idea, and really well made.  But for ~100 bucks over your price range not including Tax, License, and Registration, it is hard to suggest them with any push.

I should have been more clear.  Maybe the prices have changed a bit, but I found this same belief across multiple forums after a lack of responses.  It wasn't possible to get pickups for that price.  If you didn't spend $250ish they were crap.

The Dimarzio DP126 set was $120 shipped, SD QP set was $130-140 shipped, GFS P/J was $70 shipped, Rio Grandes $150ish shipped.  I wasn't being cheap, I was indirectly quoting the prices I found.  :dontknow:
No biggie, I just went for the pick up brand that is currently my fancy.  I am sure with a decent set of pick ups the bass would sound fine and serve you well for years.  What ever you get, let us know, I am curious to hear what it sounds like.

Personally I wouldn't go too hogwild over the electronics for that bass...not to denigrate it at all, but it looks like a basic, no-frills kind of bass that gets the job done without being fancy, so I'd save my extra money for great pickups for the warmoth build.  I tend to like hum-cancelling pickups, so maybe a Bill Lawrence P-46 and J-45 set?  His are very reasonable in price compared to other small winder outfits.

Your playing style (pick, fingers, slap, combination), string preference (flats, round, etc), desired tones, musical style, etc. all have a huge amount of influence on pickup selection.  But in this case I would honestly lean towards just selecting a less expensive though tried and true set.  While Dimarzios aren't usually my first choice I remember playing on a kid's starter bass that the previous owner had stuck a Model P and Model J set into, and it was a pretty cool bass for the money.  I would just get a good working P-J set, and my preference would be a humcancelling J. 

If money was a concern I would consider actually giving the GFS ones a run for their money.  Next in line would probably be a Bill Lawrence set.  High end stuff like Fralins, Rio Grande, Nordstrand, et cetera, just seem like they'd probably be wasted on what is likely a good solid bass, but probably not a vintage relic designed to absolutely nail that classic 1962 tone or whatnot.

If you want an extremely simple but effective bass....replace the neck P-bass pickup, and just unwire the bridge pickup and leave it there as a dummy pickup.  You save money, less controls to fiddle with, and the list of classic bass riffs recorded with just a P-bass pickup is near endless.  Anyway, just another idea.  If you want that nasal J-bridge sound, you'll want the J pickup still a part of the circuit.
I just got on this thread - excuse my lateness.

I've got an old Japanese P-Bass pickup that you can have for nothing - but you'll need to pay for the shipping and whatever US customs tacks onto it when it crosses the border.

If you vote for Kashmir, I'll throw in the original pots as well  :evil4:  Assuming that I have not thrown them away..  :icon_scratch:
No offense taken neuftone.  How can I argue with the truth.  :icon_biggrin:  I actually spent a few days reading the talkbass forum archives to get some direction.  I got a bit more than I bargained for in an education on basses.  I also completely agree with you in that cheap but functional is the way to go in my case here.  I tend to play with my fingers as a pick just feels wrong to me on a bass, but I can't say I've put the time in to make an educated guess.

I extracted the pickups to measure them and the cavities, only to discover that they were a Dimarzio Model P and Model J.  I bought it off the post holidays clearance rack from GC as brand new, but it apparently wasn't.  Oh well, it makes the choice much easier.  They sounded decent enough before hand.

The P measured open, but the J was 7.2k.  I went ahead and ordered a replacement Model P and new pots/caps for it off of  My nephew started learning guitar a few months ago, so I'll probably just hand it down to him once I build a Warmoth.

Thanks Mayfly for the generous offer.  I think this should square this bass away for the time being........and Kashmir is a force to be reckoned with already.  :laughing7: