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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Fender's Pure Vintage Pickups

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Feb 26th, 2017 07:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Using them? What's your take?

As for me:

I just ordered the Pure Vintage 63 P-bass pickups and am now anxiously awaiting their arrival, where they will be installed in a 1997 MIM Precision bass.

I've been using the Pure Vintage 58s in another bass for about two years. The performance has been outstanding. I like vintage tone and these pickups deliver.

They translate sound with a smoothness I can't get from other PUs. I use TI flats and run the 58s through an 86 GK atop a Fender Pro Series 15 cab.

George

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Feb 27th, 2017 07:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have listened to many pickups (albeit on YouTube with headphones) and what I have heard about the 63's sound nice. I do know not hearing in person can be deceiving but many report they are great. Waiting on a report when you get ready.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Feb 27th, 2017 01:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Should get them today. Installed by tomorrow. Stay tuned for a report.

George

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Feb 28th, 2017 07:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, my Fender Pure Vintage 63s arrived in yesterday's mail and were quickly installed.

Here's my report.

To repeat from an earlier post, these pickups are manufactured by Fender in its Pure Vintage Series, of which they make two versions, the Pure Vintage 58s and the Pure Vintage 63s. Both models are the pickups FMIC puts in its Pure Vintage series of Precision basses, for which I am assuming you can still buy retail.

With the exception of the pickups Fender installs in its Custom Shop basses, the PV series pickups (it is my understanding) are the best the company makes that can be bought "sold separately;" in other words, pickups looking for a bass.

For example, I have a 57 Custom Shop bass and have never seen for sale anywhere just the pickups installed in this bass.

The harness used in the installation was also new and prewired and sold by VintageRelic.com. The cost was $39 bucks and the harness includes what for some is the highly desirable "Orange Drop" cap. It is rated at .047.

I don't mind spending the extra bucks for a harness professionally prewired. If you were to witness my soldering skills in action you would know why.

On both the harness and the pickups, the wiring is vintage cloth.

The bass in question is a 97 MIM. Very upgrade friendly.

My new pickups are fantastic. I have owned and worked with over 30 vintage Fender basses over the years and these new PV pickups stack up very nicely with most of what I remember from these basses.

The PV tone is vintage to the letter, warm, smooth, punchy. Classic old school Leo Fender. The string response is even and impressive. They do what my fingers ask them to do.

The amp I used was a Fender Rumble 100 with a 12. I have a gig this Thursday night and may have more to say about the pickups once I have had a chance to experience them at band volume and through my main rig.

Disclaimer: Pickups are very subjective (as we all know) and so your response to Fender's PVs will be your response and no one elses.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 09:42 AM, Feb 28th, 2017)

JackL
Contributing Member
**********
*

Chico CA

If you rest, you rust.
Feb 28th, 2017 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for the report George. I put Fender Originals in my two MIM P's and I've been very happy with how they sound. Honestly, I might have gone with vintage if I wasn't such a cheap sob, given that they're almost twice the price!

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Feb 28th, 2017 12:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thank you George. You have verified what I heard and read these are very good pickups. If I were to get a P bass they would definitely be my choice of pickups.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Feb 28th, 2017 12:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks everyone.

I have had the experience, like a lot of you, of "upgrading" to a better pickup, only to find that the upgrade didn't sound as good as the originals.

Not this time. These new pickups are clearly better than the ones they replaced.

George

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Mar 1st, 2017 09:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They are full, rich sounding with no muddiness right George?


BonkersBass

Tejas

Do'in the 5 string thing!
Mar 1st, 2017 11:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm always a little hesitant to change or upgrade pickups in a bass. I've done it a few times, with limited success.

Since then, I've adopted the philosophy, right or wrong, that the instrument is a sum of it's parts, and all parts interact together to give it a signature tone and feel. If I don't like the tone and feel of a bass when I audition it, then I don't purchase it. I know some of you like to tinker and swap or upgrade parts. That's just not been my thing, but for those of you that enjoy it - more power to you!

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Mar 2nd, 2017 03:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I, too, have had the experience of "upgrading" only to find the originals I didn't like sounded better than the replacements I thought I would like better. Money wasted!!!

This is not the case with these Pure Vintage pickups I just put in my MIM. They are so superior to the originals I would never go back.

Part of it may also be the new, better harness I installed.

I'm constantly noodling with necks and bodies and pickups, bridges, tuners and so on. Sometimes guitars leave the factory and the pieces are drowning in a bad marriage.

George

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Mar 3rd, 2017 05:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

George, I am one of the few that feel a particular make of capacitor such as orange drop or the green Chiclet polyester caps (at radioshack) to make a difference in Not so much how they sound turned down but how they effect the the sound when turned to 1/2 etc. I am not here to argue with the many that do not subscribe to this. Having said that I think the biggest difference IS the pickup itself.
The only stock pickups I found I loved were the vintage originals in the Fender American Special Jazz Bass I bought in 2011.

(This message was last edited by Bubbalou at 07:41 AM, Mar 3rd, 2017)

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Mar 4th, 2017 07:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Played the new pickups at the gig Friday night. Band volume.

Band volume, for me, is the true test for new gear. My experience has been I get one opinion in the music store/my living room, and something often completely different when I get to the job and crank things up.

If it doesn't cut it there, it's probably not going to stay around me very long.

My rig was a Fender Bassman 500 through two Fender 15s. Four ohms all night long.

My goodness, the pickups passed every test.

What was interesting is that I had my No.1 bass, an April 58 P, with me and had played it for two sets prior to switching out to the bass with the 63 PVs.

The 63s came pretty close to the 58s in every way I like and confirmed I made the right decision going with what I bought. Punch, cut-through, tone, it was Leo Fender to the core.

I appreciate the effort and time Fender engineering took to design the 63s to get that classic old school thing that so many of us like.

I was especially impressed with the smoothness the 63s delivered, very much the same as with the best of the pre-CBS Fender pickups.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 09:34 AM, Mar 4th, 2017)

iammr2
Contributing Member
**

Lower Slobovia

Pass me the onions..Yeah, the green ones
Mar 4th, 2017 02:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

George,

Can you describe the differences between the sounds of the 58 and 63 PV pickups?

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Mar 5th, 2017 07:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm not very good at describing differences in sound between pickups A and B and it's probably a combination of not being skilled enough with language and not being able to hear some of the subtle differences that keeps me from being more competent. I admire those who can.

This said, both pickups sound very similar...very old school...with the 58s having slightly more presence in the mix, a touch better cut-through, and a smoothness or mellow quality that comes with "aged" magnets and wire.

The 58s have a "character" other pickups do not have.

The 63s, compared to my 58, are slightly thinner sounding. Emphasis on "slightly."

Both pickups, fundamentally, do a great job of capturing the pre-CBS tonal qualities so many of us crave. Like I said, Fender engineering did what it needed to do to make this happen in the PV63s.

I used the same strings on both basses.

There may be all kinds of other things involved in producing the differences...the harness always plays a part, along with the two necks (one is Brazilian rosewood and the 58 is a maple board), and the body woods (the 63s are with a popular body, the 58 is old alder) have to be factored in, and so it's not generally possible IMO to isolate everything just the pickups.

I often refer to this as "voodoo physics." It's there, you know it, but it's hard to pin down exactly what's going on.

Why do two guitars exactly the same sound so different? Voodoo physics.

Wish I could do a better job with this.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 09:15 AM, Mar 5th, 2017)

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Mar 5th, 2017 07:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here's my final take on pickups:

These opinions are strictly my own. Some of you may not agree with me and that's ok.

My filtering system is based on having played bass for 51 years and having worked with approximately 38 pre-CBS Precision and Jazz basses. Wish I still had some of them.

My opinions were also formed by listening to pickups performing on stage, at band volume, through tens of thousands of hours of making music. Many of you reading this will have similar backgrounds.

The best pickups Fender makes right now for vintage tone are the pickups the company installs in its Custom Shop top-of-the-line basses. The spendy ones.

I have never seen these for sale anywhere. To get them, you have to pony up the dough for a bass.

If I'm wrong about this, let me know where I can buy a set.

Next to these are the pickups in the Pure Vintage Series but selection is limited to two years...1958 and 1963. The 58s have the raised A poles and the 63s are flush across.

The Fender family of pickups include a wide selection of other items below these and all are good to very good depending on player taste and application. I have never met a Fender pickup I didn't like.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 09:35 AM, Mar 5th, 2017)

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Mar 6th, 2017 08:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

George, I have loved the sound of 58 Pickups since I heard some a few years ago. You have been blessed to play and own some of the best basses Fender made. We thank you for your valuable contributions here

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Mar 6th, 2017 10:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thank you.

George

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Fender's Pure Vintage Pickups




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