Top 5 Best Precision Bass Pickups 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Changing to a new guitar every time you want to upgrade your music and sounds is impractical. For most, a new set of pickups is the maneuver that adds a significant change to their sound output. Also, let’s be practical, most guitars sound similar, so the pertinent requirement for the sound you set to deliver is a precision bass pickup.

You are looking to upgrade your guitar and add bass pickups but are unsure which are the best precision bass pickups available? While bass pickups from different brands at the start perform the same job, their make and performance are distinguishable and lead to the final sound of the guitar. It can all get confusing. Let us help you with the research.

Here are a few models that we picked up after endless hours of research and reading online reviews:

Best Precision Bass Pickups

Best Precision Bass Pickups Summary:

Best Buy #1
Fender Custom Shop '62 P Bass Pickups
Best Buy #2
Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Flat SSL-4 Pickup for Strat
Best Buy #3
Fender Precision Bass Pickups - Original Vintage Design
Fender Custom Shop 62
Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound
Fender Precision Bass Pickup
  • Authentically recreates the sound
  • Affordably priced
  • Fantastic old school pickup
  • Fantastic low and mid-range growl
  • Superb tones
  • Clear sounds
  • Affordable
  • Affordable
  • Detailed construction
  • Period correct specification
$129.99
$59.00
$99.99
Best Buy #1
Fender Custom Shop '62 P Bass Pickups
Fender Custom Shop 62
  • Authentically recreates the sound
  • Affordably priced
  • Fantastic old school pickup
$129.99
Best Buy #2
Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Flat SSL-4 Pickup for Strat
Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound
  • Fantastic low and mid-range growl
  • Superb tones
  • Clear sounds
  • Affordable
$59.00
Best Buy #3
Fender Precision Bass Pickups - Original Vintage Design
Fender Precision Bass Pickup
  • Affordable
  • Detailed construction
  • Period correct specification
$99.99

Top 5 Best Precision Bass Pickups 2021 – Reviews

1. Fender Custom Shop 62 – Best Overall

Most of us try to recreate the vintage sounds and keep searching for the best precision bass pickups that recreate the authentic sounds. Fender Custom Shop 62 P Bass Pickups has a near authentic representation of the iconic and classic 1962 Precision Bass split-coil pickup. The pickup comes from the classic P-bass fashion, which acts as a split-coil humbucking pickup.

Precision bass sound unique

The split-coil pickup is responsible for providing sounds and options. Early blues to Motown to rockers all have sounds perfected on precision bass pickups. This pickup features flush-mounted Alnico 5 magnets along with an enamel-coated wire that is used for the coils. The vintage pickup is a result of coated bobbin wire degrading the electrical signal. It also has cloth-sleeved conductors to give the tones a natural grit.

The pickup is so good

Balanced, with a tight fat and low-end sound, this precision bass pickup is genuinely excellent. The sounds have strong accents and a punchy mid, coupled with distortion-free and clear highs. With balanced frequencies, this cuts through most music. It is a powerful precision bass pickup because of its dynamic range and responsiveness. This also has a silken Motown-Esque thumping sound.

If you are looking for an affordable pickup with the most accurate vintage sounds, this is the right one for you.

Pros
  • Authentically recreates the sound
  • Affordably priced
  • Fantastic old school pickup
Cons
  • No new tonal options

2. Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound – Cheapest Option

What happens when there is a collaboration between two stalwarts in music – Seymour and bass legend Steve Harris? It results in a precision bass pickup which is fantastic for low-end and mid-range growls. This pickup has undergone some significant changes in the design. It has a hard drive, yet is clear sounding and is highly suitable for heavy rock sounds.

A bouquet of sounds

This model offers a variety of sounds that attract guitarists who are looking for change and innovation. The Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound is a medium output precision bass pickup. It is made up of Alnico 5 rod-magnets that have an exposed pole piece.

Along with an exclusive vintage hot-coil wind, it will consistently deliver some boisterous sound that has a fast attack. This pickup consists of an extremely tight low-end, with an excellent low-mid boost, along with a nuanced high-end.

Wanted the warmer bottom and detailed top

It has a four-conductor hookup cable along with a logo cover. The softer side is well controlled because of its responsive and dynamic range that drives the preamp hard. This handcrafter precision bass pickup is designed inside a black enclosure that has the Steve Harris logo. It is designed to push the boundaries and is extremely competitively priced.

Pros
  • Fantastic low and mid-range growl
  • Superb tones
  • Clear sounds
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Slightly bulky

3. Fender Precision Bass Pickup – Budget-friendly Option

If you were to rate the greatest inventions in the field of music, P-Bass guitars and their allied pickups would rank nearly on the top. Fender Precision Bass Pickup is a recent addition in their professional series and has top-notch construction with durable materials. This is an affordable version for those who are not ready to spend a bomb on vintage pickups. It has a period-correct spec that gives the vintage tone.

The attention to details

Is a massive payoff in this precision bass pickup. This precision bass pickup is known for its intricate construction, whereby it uses flush-mounted Alnico 5 magnets. These magnets are made such that they have exposed pole pieces. Along with a testament to enamel-coated magnet wire, the sounds are unique. This coated wire is responsible for the rich and warm tones that the pickup gives out.

With a fiber-bobbin which is the magnet-wire resting phase, the cloth-covered output wires can be period-corrected. Inspired by the legendary pickup of Fenders’ 1962, the Fender Precision Bass Pickup has a passive split-coil P-style pickup.

The performance is wow

This has a performance that is incomparable with a zestful midrange, powerful low-end, and crystal clear and edgy, though somewhat subdued high-end. The tone has a punch that cuts easily through some of the crowded mixes of frequencies. This is the best for those looking for vintage vibes on a budget.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Detailed construction
  • Period correct specification
Cons
  • The high-end is slightly subdued

4. Bartolini 8S – Value For Money

A brand known to construct quality pickups consistently, their Bartolini 8S is a chartbuster from them. This series was conceived to be a substitute for P-style basses. This model has a twist, though. It is the modern version of how P-style bass work. It also has a hum-canceling and versatile tone set. Overall, 8S has modern, clear-bass, punchy pickups.

The twist is –

In the construction and location of the two pickups. These are set in a faithful humbucker, alongside two coils, individually housed in each enclosure. Bartolini 8S has a dual ceramic blade design instead of the traditional single-pole pieces. It creates a well-balanced magnetic field that will minimize the effects of suboptimal string spacing. The well-behaved and crystal clear pickup is due to a dual humbucking design.

Hi-Fi sounding pickup

The sound quality of this pickup is unrivaled. It is a very tight low-end with a well-defined and clear midrange; it is the sharper version compared to a standard p-bass pickup. It has clear, bright and zesty high-end.

This pickup sounds very advanced and posh. It is similar to the DP 127 from DiMarzio, with the difference being a boomier low-midrange. It has a 5-string bass. The focus here is on providing a discerning with a full-range bass tone, having the ability to cut through the mix,  with a fantastic and diverse range of music, from jazz to metal.

If you are looking for a modern bass pickup, then this is the best for you.

Pros
  • Hi-Fi sounds
  • Dual Ceramic Blade design
  • 5 String Bass
Cons
  • Little expensive

5. EMG Geezer Butler Signature – Best With Loud Sound Tones

A brainchild of EMG and celebrated bass guitarist Geezer Butler, this precision bass pickup has a highly individualistic sound. This doesn’t piggyback on the Fender vintage sound but explores an entirely different era. It is a passive pickup that explores the Geezer Butler genre of vintage sounds.

The sound mirrors favorite’s from ’70s

The pickup has an Alnico 5 magnet pole-pieces along with two custom-wound split-coils. The single-coil removes the hum in the background, leaving a thundering and booming sound. The tone is warm and zesty. The sound it creates is a hot and clear sound that has low-end defined and compact. It makes sounds that have a throwback from the bygone eras of blues and rock.

Battery-free passive pickup

It is the bottom end that takes the cake. It is the driver of the sound yet has a sharp edge. The hum-canceling capabilities make this a ubiquitous mix of modern and vintage. It has a modern, solderless installation.

This is a truly passive pickup that recreates a vintage that is beyond the Fender vintage. It is remarkable.

Pros
  • Heavy on the rock
  • Loud
  • Highly charged sounds
Cons
  • This is a modern mix. Could be a pro or a con.

Best Precision Bass Pickup – Buying Guide

best bass pickups buying guide

The pickup forms the main soundbox for your guitar. A few factors to consider before buying a precision bass pickup:

Choosing between Snaps or Claps

It is understood that the precision bass guitars are for heavy music like rock, funk amongst others. Each musical style requires a slightly different style of pickup. You need to know your style before you select one. So remember precision bass are clappy. They do not have the snap that a jazz bass will have.

Things you should also consider

  • Low-Mids – Pickups are constructed with a purpose. The purpose being full chords that create a fine balance between the treble and bass.
  • Mid-High – If you require a higher pitch than usual, then you need mids. They are the ones that regulate the higher frequencies.
  • High-fives – They are the ones that influence the F to F# degree while playing bass.
  • Placement – To reduce distortion, choose pickups that are close. When high notes like E and F are played, pickup placement becomes essential.

The Preferred Features in a Bass Pickup

  • Intonation – Strings to prick are decided by Intonations. Different tuning of strings requires different pickups.
  • Pickguard Material – Pickguards are constructed by varied materials, e.g., plastic which is highly versatile but not very durable, or ceramic, which is common, sturdy and durable.
  • Connector Type – There are two types of connectors- traditional string bypass and split-coil.

Conclusion

All the precision bass pickups that we have reviewed offer something different and unique. Please decide on one of the above based on your requirements and budget. While Fender 62 has vintage and authentic sounds, the EMG Geezer Butler has a uniquely different vintage sound married with modern pickups.

What you want your precision to do is what should make you decide. Bass guitarists swear by their precision, but it always helps to experiment with your sounds. Go ahead and choose one and make your music stand out.

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