To me, my first real bass was my MIJ Squire® P-Bass. Sure I had two basses before her, but they were really just cheap knock off basses that were only good for learning how to play. Once I got my Squire®, I knew I was a bass player. Over the years I have done everything to this bass; Sanded the laquer off the back of the neck for smoother playability, replaced the bridge with an original Badass™ bridge, changed the pickups and electronics multiple times, including putting in an active set of Alembic’s™ and routing space out of the body for the battery. At some point I settled on a set of Seymour Duncan® Basslines and called it a day. I bought this bass brand new in 1985, and after 26 years of abuse decided it was time to give her pickups and electronics a refresh.
I found what I was looking for in one complete package, the DiMarzio® Model P Bass Pickups with Pre-Wired Pickguard. While this certainly is not the cheapest route to go, it is by far the easiest. Everything you need is included in one package, pickups, volume & tone pots, wiring, pickguard, knobs, and even a screwdriver to help you connect the wires to the included wiring terminal, no soldering necessary. To be honest this was a big selling point for me, I’ve rewired this bass before and really didn’t feel like doing it again. The fact that they were DiMarzio® pickups didn’t hurt either. I hadn’t tried the DiMarzio’s® before but recognize them as a quality brand. My MIA P-Bass has Fender Original ’62 pickups in it, this bass had the Basslines, so I was looking to try something new.
To get started I removed the strings and then the screws from the pickguard. Once the pickguard was free, I carefully pulled it from the bass and clipped the wires to the ground and pickups to free it from the bass. Next I unscrewed to pickups and pulled them out. I then put the new DiMarzio® pickups in, feeding the wires through to the control cavity. Finally I attached the pickup wires and ground to the wiring terminal and tightened down the screws in the terminal block. Once this was done, I put the pickguard on, being careful to tuck in all the wiring, plugged it in and tapped the pickups with the screw driver to ensure they were working. There is a small label affixed to the new pickguard with instructions on how to do all this, as well as this great video from the DiMarzio® website. After putting all the screws back into the pickguard and restringing it, I was good to go. As you can see, this is a very straight forward, easy process.
For the real test I plugged it into my GK MB200 head and cab and put it through the paces. These are nice full sounding pickups, with that classic P-Bass tone. Clean, clear lows, with a nice mid bite, yet not too bright or trebly. A decent range of tones can be found using the tone knob, something that was definitely lacking from my previous set up. Running through the GK these pickups are hot, I found myself using the -10dB pad I normally use for my active basses. Personally I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this little project. The DiMarzio® Model P’s have revitalized my old Squire’s sound and the electronics are crisp, clean and quiet. Installation was a breeze, taking no more than 30 minutes from start to finish. If you are in the market for a new set of pickups for your P-Bass these might be the ones for you, and if you need to replace the electronics while your at it you certainly can’t go wrong with this package.
DiMarzio.com Pre-Wired Model P