Give a P-style bass new life with an old-school sound by swapping in a set of vintage-flavored pickups.

The iconic Precision bass has served as the blueprint for countless manufacturers since it was first introduced by Fender in 1951, and for good reason. But no matter who built your P-style axe, dropping in a new pickup like the 10 we’ve rounded up is a pain-free and effective mod for brewing vintage tones.

SEYMOUR DUNCAN

SPB-1 Vintage
These pickups feature handground alnico 5 rod magnets and a vintage coil wind to aid in producing the smooth tone of a late-’50s Precision.
$75 street

seymourduncan.com

NORDSTRAND AUDIO

NP4V Vintage
Available with alnico 3 or 5 magnets, these vintage-correct versions of the company’s P4 design have a lower magnet load for a softer, smoother, and warmer output.
$123 street
nordstrandaudio.com

BARE KNUCKLE

’58 Split Coil P
Scatter wound by hand with 42AWG plain enamel wire, these alnico 5 pickups offer a tone reminiscent of later-’50s Ps, with strong bass, controlled highs, and slightly scooped mids.
$115 street
bareknucklepickups.co.uk

ARCANE-INC.

P-Bass 57’ Experience
These period-correct pickup clones are handwound using select materials, including tuned, non-staggered alnico magnets and era-correct wire of the right gauge and type.
$130 street
arcaneinc.com

RIO GRANDE

Vintage P Bass
Using alnico 5 magnets, 42-gauge copper wire, and the company’s “tonal enhancement,” these pickups were designed to maintain the output, presence, and deep sound of the originals.
$138 street
riograndepickups.com

LINDY FRALIN

P-Bass Replacements
These alnico 5 pickups are handwound to vintage specifications for fat, round, and punchy classic sound, yet are designed to offer modern power.
$140 street

fralinpickups.com

AGUILAR

AG 4P-60
Using the company president’s personal ’63 and ’64 Precisions as a study guide, these pickups employ all-period-correct parts to deliver the ideal amount of midrange and deep support.
$109 street

aguilaramp.com

WILDE PICKUPS

P-46
Developed by Bill Lawrence, these pickups come standard with four conductor wires and feature his multi-pole-piece system, which will accommodate 4-,5-, and 6-string basses.
$60 street
wildepickups.com

BARTOLINI

8SU
Cast in epoxy to remove unwanted feedback and microphonics, these P-style replacement pickups are voiced to deliver deep tones with plenty of lows and low-mids.
$124 street

bartolini.net

EMG

GZR-P
Developed with Geezer Butler to deliver the bassist’s early Black Sabbath tone, these solderless pickups employ alnico 5 pole pieces and custom-wound coils for punch and grit.
$109 street

emgpickups.com

Equipped with noise reduction and noise gate modes, the Integrated Gate has a signal monitoring function that constantly monitors the input signal.

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Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

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A modern take on Fullerton shapes and a blend of Fender and Gibson attributes strikes a sweet middle ground.

A stylish alternative to classic Fender profiles that delivers sonic versatility. Great playability.

Split-coil sounds are a little on the thin side. Be sure to place it on the stand carefully!

$1,149

Fender Player Plus Meteora HH
fender.com

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After many decades of sticking with flagship body shapes, Fender spent the last several years getting more playful via their Parallel Universe collection. The Meteora, however, is one of the more significant departures from those vintage profiles. The offset, more-angular profile was created by Fender designer Josh Hurst and first saw light of day as part of the Parallel Universe Collection in 2018. Since then, it has headed in both upscale and affordable directions within the Fender lineup—reaching the heights of master-built Custom Shop quality in the hands of Ron Thorn, and now in this much more egalitarian guise as the Player Plus Meteora HH.

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