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P-Tone

  Sunday, 27 February 2011
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Did someone compare the new P-Tone Neck Pickup with the standard Neck Pickup in AB I or AB II ? I'd like to know the difference in sound; neck pickup solo as well as neck an bridge combined.
10 years ago
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#19691
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Me too.
10 years ago
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#19701
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I'm also very curious about it, although the bass already sounds so good I am not sure I want to mess with it.
10 years ago
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#19705
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I'm on my third complete set of FD3 pickups now with my Afterburner II. There was nothing wrong with the earlier pick-ups, I was just curious about every new version that came along. In the neck position, I have had the original FD3, the FD3-4L and now the FD3 P-Tone. It's hard to describe. The 4L is perhaps more refined than the P-Tone. I like the 4L and I think it sounds very P-like already but the P-Tone pickup is it exactly. The P-Tone has a fuller, rounder, deeper sound with some "wool" if that is the right term. But since it is attached to the longer scale of the Dingwall neck, it's bottom end is still well defined. It is a sheer joy to play the P-Tone in solo passive, series mode, like a standard Precision Bass is wired. Although parallel wiring is not recommended, I find it very useful for blending with the bridge pickup, when I want the bridge to dominate. (I have series/parallel switches for both pickups) Sheldon mentioned to me in an e-mail that some people found the P-Tone to be a bit too thumpy. I didn't notice this at all. He recommends adjusting the P-Tone's height a little lower than other FD3s. If you have an older bass with the parallel FD3, you will notice that the P-Tone has a more aggressive midrange and higher output, like the Mach II pickup. This naturally comes with a little more RF noise but it is no more than an actual Fender Precision Bass pickup. I have a Fralin and a Fender Vintage Classic pickup in my two P-Basses. In most situations P-pickups are quiet but at my house I have bad RF interference at certain times of the day, especially near my WiFi. If you wire the P-Tone in parallel, it's dead quiet, but then that defeats the purpose of getting the P-Tone in the first place. That's why I added a series/parallel switch. My AB2 was made in 2005. I don't know what the standard pickup configuration is now. Is it a 4L wired in series? If it is, you won't notice a difference in noise or output level. The P-Tone is also physically different inside. The magnets are still arranged as a reverse P pickup, like all FD3s, but the split point is different. The B and E strings share one coil while the A, D & G share the other coil. I think I read somewhere that the type of wire and the windings are different, too.
10 years ago
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#19711
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Much thanks for this review Dingbat! 8)
10 years ago
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#20783
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I installed a new P tone pickup in the AB-1 yesterday. It took maybe half an hour. Super simple switch out. It's just what this bass had been needing. Wired in series and totally passive, this is the real deal! Fat, growly P bass warmth. Actually, it's even better than the "real deal" Fender. Earlier this week I played an all original 75 P bass that belongs to our new drummer. He's an accomplished bassist, and that makes him one very cool drummer to work with. I wish I could return the favor and pull my weight on drums, but that's not happening. Anyway, the original Fender P bass.....well, it had the tone, at least on the E and A strings, the other two strings kind of disappeared...the neck was kind of a half round chunky thing, ....pretty flat fingerboard, hard edges... I guess I just don't get the retro thing. I played it for a couple tunes and went back to the Super P/J. The things we take for granted :D . Like even tone across the strings, and lots of power in the D and G strings. A comfortable neck profile. Five strings. The fit and finish and fretwork. My band mate noticed all that and more right after I handed him the SuperJ to try and he said, "I don't know about this slanted fret thing..." then proceeded to forget all about the fanned frets and was blown away by the Super J. We may have another Dingwall convert soon. I'll give a go with the fEarful rig this afternoon and report back.
10 years ago
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#20784
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It is better than the real deal, isn't it. The P-Tone pickup was probably the last modification I will make on my ABII. This with my own series/parallel switching gives me every thing I want. (Until I can afford a Z3 :wink: ) Now I want one for my ABI six-string. Any news on that Sheldon? The Super PJ has a massive P-bass sound, too, even more aggressive than my ABII. How does your ABI-P compare to your Super PJ?
10 years ago
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#20790
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I won't attempt to compare and contrast the FD3-P in the neck position to a regular FD3. The immortal words "Talking about tone is like tap-dancing about architecture" are too true IMO. I will say that if you like the Precision tone, you will love this pickup. I put one in the neck position on my AB-1 and will third the opinion that it's "better than the real thing". By far.
10 years ago
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#20791
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Sheldon have you tried the P-Tone pu in the bridge position too? Man with the extra punch it might go well there with maybe 2%-5% overwind to even the volumes on the neck and bridge positions.
10 years ago
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#20792
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The AB-1 is now much more aggressive sounding, is my first impression. The big change is the new P tone pickup is hotter and has more low end. Bigger sounding. Spanky bright slap tone that cuts right through. The AB-1 has new Payson nickels on it, and they sound and play great. The Super J's are running DR Hellborgs, that have lots of hours on them. Either way, they all end up in the P pickup solo, passive mode. With some tone rolled off. The AB-1 weighs almost two lb less than the SJ-5 which is very nice. The string spacing and scale length make these very different basses. At this point, between the new cabs, and the pick up changes and the new strings, it's time to let things settle in and get used to how everything is working. But if there were to be some P tone pups wound for 6 string AB-1's I'd sure want to know! :D
10 years ago
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#20794
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Thanks for the input guys. Glad to know we hit the mark. There won't be a P-tone 6 any time soon. Maybe in the future. We haven't tried a P-tone in the bridge position but will at some point and post the results.
10 years ago
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#20801
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OK. Then I will be ordering a 4L soon to replace the original parallel FD-3 neck pickup in my ABI-6
10 years ago
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#20899
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall"]Thanks for the input guys. Glad to know we hit the mark. There won't be a P-tone 6 any time soon. Maybe in the future. [u:2qfjo5jg][i:2qfjo5jg][b:2qfjo5jg]We haven't tried a P-tone in the bridge position but will at some point and post the results.[/[/b:2qfjo5jg][/i:2qfjo5jg][/u:2qfjo5jg]quote] Looking forward to hearing this review. Are you talking about trialing "dual" P-tone pickups, neck and bridge?
10 years ago
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#21020
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Hi Sheldon, anything to report on the P-Tone pu's?
10 years ago
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#21030
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The boys are going to install one in a shop bass while I'm away.
10 years ago
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#21036
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Did I miss something? I thought 5-string P-Tone FD-3s were already available for order.
10 years ago
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#21040
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[quote="Smallmouth_Bass":3hnsdepy]Did I miss something? I thought 5-string P-Tone FD-3s were already available for order.[/quote:3hnsdepy] They are.
10 years ago
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#21155
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":2zw0nt2l]The boys are going to install one in a shop bass while I'm away.[/quote:2zw0nt2l] Did it go well?
10 years ago
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#21157
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Two P-Tones? :shock:
10 years ago
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#21192
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[quote="Smallmouth_Bass":3lglu44b]Two P-Tones? :shock:[/quote:3lglu44b] Yes. Just waiting to hear back.
10 years ago
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#21287
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Just want to bump this. Thinking long and hard about two P-tone pickups in a Z2 configuration, would that be overkill? Or maybe overkill in a fantastic way?
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