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EMG PJ active bass pickups - two low strings sound thin on P pickup

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  • EMG PJ active bass pickups - two low strings sound thin on P pickup

    I'm trying to sort out a problem with my bass, and hoping to find some guidance here. It is an 80's Hamer Cruisebass with active EMG PJ pickups wired in 18 volts. It has always sounded very bright, but I assumed that was the bone nut, schaller bridge and glued in neck at work.

    Recently the bass took a fall and the headstock cracked, so I repaired the crack and did a refinish (looks great - tung oil on mahogany neck and body).

    When I rewired the electronics, to a typical volume-volume-tone configuration, using the standard emg schematics and original old emg parts, I discovered a problem.

    The P pickup seems to sound weak and thin, especially the E and A strings. The D and G strings seem much beefier in comparison. The J pickup sounds fine alone, and doesn't seem to change when I roll up the volume of the P pickup.

    Does this seem like a problem with the pickup itself? Could it be a phase issue? An Impedance issue? Something else? This isn't my main axe, and I haven't really anylized the sound in this way before, but I imagine it's always had this kind of issue, and all along I just assumed it was how the bass was supposed to sound (usually with both pickups up and the tone midway). I have a bass which I built years ago using the same electronics (just a newer emg pj setup, but still not yet solderless), and this bass sounds like it has a heartier output in comparison, with the P pickup sounding how you would expect it to.

    Would love to hear any thoughts on this!

  • #2
    Well, after some troubleshooting and with the advice of the good people at EMG, it seems that I have a bad pickup. Because they are encased in epoxy I'm told it will be nearly impossible to try and repair it without destroying the components. Now the question is whether to replace it with the same type or to go another route altogether.

    The J pickup sounds fine to my ear, so I wonder what I might pair with it?

    I do have a passive PJ set from an old Kramer Bass - does anyone have any experience with those pickups and would it be a worth while to try them out?

    Another idea is to mix a passive P with the active J if that's possible...

    Better yet, can anyone recommend a nice PJ set (active or passive) that won't break the bank?
    Thanks for any tips!