My Next Bass Pickup


Junior Member
I am planning to create a '54-style P-bass with Warmoth parts. I'm really at a loss to decide which pickup I want to put in it, and accordingly what pickup rout I should request. Here are the top candidates in my mind. Please let me know your opinion!

Seymour Duncan Hot Split-P Pickup
This would make my bass look like the Mike Dirnt model from Fender, which is fine although not ideal. I do like the potential for less noise that with the classic single-coil version, but I really think the single-coil pickup would be aesthetically better for me. As for choosing the Hot pickup, I guess since I'm looking for a smooth, rich, warm sound with lots of low frequencies (who isn't?), this seems like a good choice. I'm a little anxious about losing some of the treble, though. Also, I plan to cut the nut on this bass to accommodate my preference for a B-E-A-D tuning and I wonder if the Hot pickup in that scenario would make things too muddy. So maybe I should go with....

Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Split-P Pickup
With all due respect to my metalhead four-string brethren, I'm turned off by the fact that heavy-metal and punk players seem to be so fond of this pickup. Punch is a good thing, the flat response may not be what I need. On the other hand, the Quarter Pound may be SD's most versatile pickup, so it can do warm tones, too.

EMG Split-P Pickup (P4)
I love the fact that this pickup comes in white, which will look great against my white pickguard. As for the tone, I'm mixed. EMGs have a great slap tone; however, I don't slap very much at all. I have played basses with a pair of J-style EMGs in them and I really liked the clarity and attack of those pups, especially when backed by a preamp. Unfortunately, I worry about losing warmth, detail, and nuances with EMGs. My style tends to run folk-rock-blues, in that order, so I don't think I really want an ultramodern sound.

Dimarzio P-style Blade Pickup
Also comes in white. Other than that, I have no idea how it would sound.

Seymour Duncan Hot Pickup for Single-Coil P-Bass
I would love the shape of this pickup on this particular bass because it would be historically accurate. My first bass was a Fender Musicmaster (I never should have sold it), which had a very similar pickup that was surprisingly good-sounding. I worry about finding a white pickup cover that will fit, and I also worry that the Hot version will be too boomy/muddy.

Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Pickup for Single-Coil P-Bass
This might be my best choice, as it probably gives the best tonal range of the single-coil pickups and I've heard really good things about this model. No way I'll be able to find a white cover for it, though.

Seymour Duncan Vintage Pickup for Single-Coil P-Bass
This one might be good, too.
I'd also recommend looking into a Nordstrand NP-4 is you decide on the more traditional P-bass configuration. If looking for the original single-coil style, Nordstrand makes a pretty mean version of this as well (although I don't know about a white cover) ... and I just may know where a split-coil version of one of these might be. drop me a PM and I can connect you with the guy who's selling this (a customer of his back out of a custom order)

all the best,

SkuttleFunk said:
I'd also recommend looking into a Nordstrand
Yes, thank you, I will consider that and maybe Lindy Fralins, too. I'll probably contact you after I have the body and neck. ;) Alder body painted Sonic Blue with a white pickguard and maple/maple neck, anyone?