Leo Fender’s first electric bass design, the Precision Bass (also known as the P Bass), was debuted in 1951. Although it wasn’t the first electric bass, the P Bass influenced artists’ perceptions of the instrument and has since become one of the most popular bass models of all time (together with Fender’s subsequent Jazz Bass). Sting, Roger Waters, James Jamerson, and Tony Franklin are all famous P Bass players, and the instrument is also popular in modern rock – Robert Trujillo, Matt Freeman (Rancid), Mike Dirnt (Green Day), Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters), and Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris are all P Bass fans.
P Basses have only one split single-coil pickup, unlike Jazz Basses, which have two. However, despite its simple appearance, the P Bass is one of the most versatile instruments ever produced! In our guide below, we go through the pickup arrangement in in detail. Whatever your reason for purchasing a new Precision Bass pickup, our chart displaying some of the greatest P Bass pickups on the market today will provide some inspiration, followed by our guide below that will explain what constitutes a great P Bass pickup.
Fender Custom Shop ’62 P Bass Pickups
- Flush-mount alnico 5 magnets
- Enamel-coated magnet wire and cloth-covered output wires
- Deliver the full, booming lows, punchy midrange and clear high end of the bass that started it all
Look no further than the Custom Shop ’62 Precision Bass Pickups if you want the most accurate vintage Fender Precision Bass sound possible without stock pickups. It’s a split-coil humbucking pickup with a vintage flavor, as is typical of P-bass pickups. This is a more expensive pickup with flush-mounted Alnico 5 magnets and enamel-coated wire coils. When you turn up the volume knob and really press into the strings, this coated bobbin wire weakens the electrical signal to simulate the sound of a vintage pickup, resulting in a natural grit to the tone that almost sounds overdriven.
With fat and tight low-end, strongly accentuated, punchy mids, and clear, brilliant highs, the pickups provide a balanced tone. The frequencies are well matched, allowing you to blend in with any style of music while cutting right through the mix. Its dynamic range and responsiveness are two of its strongest characteristics, capable producing silky Motown-style thumping sounds as well as harsh rock or metal-driven bass lines without ever losing its footing.
Fender’s Custom Shop ’62 Precision Bass pickup uses current technology to recreate the sound of a vintage pickup. The Alnico 5 magnets with flush-mounted, exposed pole pieces, the enamel-coated wire, and the cloth sleeved conductors all add to a tone that faithfully mimics a vintage pickup. One of the best P-bass pickups on the market is the Custom Shop ’62. The bass guitars are not cheap by any means, but it is well worth the money. This is the Best Precision Bass Pickup in 2023.
Aguilar AG 4P-60 Bass Guitar Pickup
- Heavy formvar, 42 gauge wire
- Alnico V magnets
- Single conductor, cloth-covered cable
The 4P-60 Precision-style bass pickups are the product of an attempt to replicate the pickups found on Aguilar president Dave Boonshoft’s 1960s Precision basses. And they were successful in their mission. These pickups feature period-correct materials and wiring (or as close to it as is possible today), such as Alnico 5 magnets with exposed pole-pieces and Heavy Formvar wire, to give you that classic 60s Precision Bass wallop, no matter what amp you plug them into. The 4P-60 pickups are wound specifically to provide a warm, full-range tone with a fat and full bass end, punchy mid-range, and harmonically rich high end. Nothing compares to a pair of Aguilar’s 4P-60s when it comes to sound from this quality pickup.
The Alnico 5 magnets utilized in their core, as well as the type of wire used for the bobbin and cloth-sleeved conductors, are all 60s era specs on the 4p-60 Precision-style pickups. Only black pickup covers are available. The 4P-60 is also available in a “hot” variant with larger magnets and overwound coils for a more aggressive tone without sacrificing dynamic range.
The 4P-60 P-style pickup is designed for players that appreciate the old Precision Bass atmosphere and feel. These pickups will turn your bass into a funk-machine from the 1960s. This is the Best Precision Bass Pickups in 2023.
EMG Geezer Butler Signature PJ Bass Pickup Set
- Geezer Butler signature bass pickup set
- Passive pickup with a vintage tone
- Features Alnico 5 poles and features two custom wound split-coils
The EMG Geezer Butler Signature PJ Bass Guitar Pickup Set is a vintage-sounding passive pickup. If you wish to get rid of noise, this pickup eliminates the hum and noise that are frequently associated with early 1970s bass pickups. It also includes a solderless installation technique.
EMG built the GZR-P p-bass pickup in collaboration with famed Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler. They’re attempting to recreate his bass tone from his early days in the band. The pickups have a vintage look to them, but they also have some modern features including an all-solderless construction. For a forceful overwound tone, they use Alnico 5 magnets with exposed pole pieces and custom wound coils. By adding GZR-P to your trusted bass, you may transform it into a classic hard-rock machine. This split coil design produces deep, round lows, a slightly scooped midrange, and dazzling highs, resulting in a very appealing growl.
The Geezer Butler Signature P is a high-output P-bass pickup that may be used as a drop-in replacement. It has Alnico 5 rod magnets with exposed pole pieces and a hand-wound coil. The pickup features a superb all-solderless construction that includes tone and volume controls, making installation a joy.
DiMarzio Model P DP122 Replacement Pickup for Fender P Bass Black
Since 1977, the DiMarzio DP122 Model P has been a standard replacement pickup for Precision-style basses, and it’s not going away anytime soon, thanks to its massive tone and attitude at a low price. The powerful ceramic magnet at the heart of this high output pickup is at home in any style of music, but will lean towards the heavier end, particularly rock metal or punk.
The Model P’s hum-canceling design strives to make your tone clean and powerful without sacrificing any of your valuable low-end, while also giving ample mid-range growl to cut through any mix. This pickup produces a high-gain bass sound with a focus on the low-end and midrange rather than the treble, and it retains its clarity even when you’re pressing into your strings hard.
The strong ceramic magnets in the DiMarzio Model P produce a high-gain tone with plenty of low-end detail and mid-range growl. You can choose between black or cream-colored pickup covers, as well as black, gold, or nickel pole-pieces. The Model P does not have a 5-string option.
Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound P-Bass Pickup
- Hum Canceling: Yes^D.C. Resistance: 12.5k^Magnet: .25mm diameter Alnico 5^Resonant Peak: 10.2k^Warranty : 1 Year (if not altered)
The SPB-3 Quarter Pound is a high-quality modern drop-in replacement for the Fender Precision Bass guitar. It offers a big, punchy tone with a lot of low-end, a well-defined mid-range, and a far better treble response than original Fender P-style pickups. Cutting through the mix will be a piece of cake with this pickup, whether on stage or in the studio. It has a more modern take on the classic Precision bass sound and, thanks to its wide frequency range, will fit perfectly with any kind of music.
The enormous quarter-inch Alnico 5 magnets responsible for the SPB-3’s strong output and wide frequency range are one of the first things you’ll notice when looking at it. Only black pickup covers are included. There are no pickup height foam inlays in the box, so you’ll have to use the ones from the old pickups or remember to get some new ones. In Santa Barbara, California, the SPB-3 Quarter Pound pickups are handcrafted.
This pickup is designed for the current Precision Bassist looking for a fresh spin on the classic precision sound. Vintage precision fans will find this pickup to be too “full range” sounding, and will prefer a more “traditional,” lower output pickup. This is a pickup for people looking for a high-quality, high-output pickup that won’t break the bank for a current Precision Bass tone. Overall, they are the best P bass pickups for the money.
Bartolini 8S Precision P-Bass 4-String Replacement Pickup
- Single Coil 4-String P-Bass Pickup Set
- Includes Both Left and Right Pickups
- Ceramic Magnets, Epoxy Sealed
Bartolini is recognized for producing high-quality pickups, and their P Bass pickup – the 8S – is deserving of a spot on our list. For a powerful output, this sleek passive single-coil is constructed with a ceramic bar magnet – very hot with a huge growl.
There’s a strong emphasis on the low-end and mid-range frequencies, with less emphasis on the higher registers, resulting in a less harsh trebly sound as the volume rises. With a warm organic sound, the tone is very smooth and balanced.
Thankfully, it’s potted in epoxy to decrease feedback, so it’s ready to use right away on stage. It’s a touch more expensive than we thought, but for the tone on offer, it’s well worth the money. Overall, the S8 can bring any P Bass to life.
Seymour Duncan SPB-1 Vintage Precision Bass Pickup Set
- Precision Bass Split-coil Pickup - Black
The SPB-1 is a drop-in replacement for any American Standard Precision Bass, and it’s designed to sound like P-basses from the late 1950s. It has hand-ground Alnico 5 rod magnets, a vintage coil-wind for a smooth vintage sound, and cloth-covered output wires that are time correct. With a slightly scooped midrange, the SPB-1 sounds restrained and perfectly balanced. The low end is tight and precise, while the upper end is smooth and not overpowering.
The SPB-1 is a reimagining of late-’50s Precision Bass pickups that rely on period-correct specs and parts to work their magic: hand-ground Alnico 5 rod magnets with exposed pole pieces, a vintage coil wind, and cloth-covered output wires, all housed in a black pickup enclosure that fits any American Standard Precision Bass without modification.
Take a look at the SPB-1 if you’re looking for that vintage tone but are on a budget. They’re articulate and have a well-balanced tone that would work in any mix. These are without a doubt the best precision bass pickups available. If you want to dive into classic bass tones, the SPB-1 P-bass combo is an excellent deal. The build quality is superb, the sound is fantastic, and the pricing is ideal.