Home » Music » 10 BEST P Basses with Humbucker Pickups (For Clean & Punchy Sound!)

10 BEST P Basses with Humbucker Pickups (For Clean & Punchy Sound!)

Performer Life is supported by its readers. If you buy something with our links, we may earn a commission.

Humbuckers will always have their place in the world of bass guitar pickups. With the power of two electromagnets, you get more than an aggressive punch and a very accentuated mid-range on your bass. 

Also, you get a cleaner and stronger sound with little or no interference from ambient noise. This is very unlike its single-coil counterpart. 

This only makes sense, because, going back to the history of precision bass guitars by Leo Fender, one of the major aims was a bass that can cut through a busy and loud mix with a punchy, clean, and powerful bass tone. 

The humbucker pickup only helps the precision bass achieve its initial and foundational essence. That being said, it makes sense why many precision bass players are always on the lookout for the best P Bass with humbucker pickups. 

That being said, we are not in any way ranking the tonal qualities of the humbucker pickup above its single-coil counterpart. It is important to understand that these two pickups are unique in their rights and both have different characteristic tonal qualities. 

However, some players lean more towards the big, warm, round, “clean,” and punchy sound of the humbucker pickup. In this article, we will bring to you 10 amazing P-Bass guitars with humbucker pickups. 

It matters not your level of play, be you a beginner or a seasoned pro, if you are in search of the best precision basses with humbuckers, then, this is the article for you. All you have to do is read on! 

10 Best P Bass With Humbucker Pickups

  1. Music Man StingRay Special HH
  2. Yamaha BB735A
  3. Sadowsky MetroLine Vintage PJ
  4. Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay
  5. Fender Blacktop Precision
  6. Peavey T-45
  7. G&L Tribute L-2000
  8. Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special
  9. PRS SE Kingfisher
  10. Lakland Skyline Deluxe 55-02 Bass Guitar

Review of 10 Best P Bass with Humbucker

Music Man StingRay Special HH

Music Man StingRay Special HH

The humbucking effect is present in the Music Man StingRay Special HH. The “HH” in the name alludes to this bass’s pickup arrangement, “humbucker-humbucker.” 

It means the StingRay Special HH has two humbucking pickups, one in the neck position and one in the bridge position.

Humbucking pickups are designed to eliminate noise and hum by utilizing two linked coils so that undesirable interference is cancelled out. Compared to single-coil pickups, this results in a cleaner and quieter signal.

The StingRay Special HH’s humbucking pickups produce a deeper, fuller, and more powerful tone, making it appropriate for various musical styles like rock, metal, and funk.

The Music Man StingRay Special HH is noted for its flexible sound and playability, and the inclusion of humbucking pickups expands its tonal capabilities.

The StingRay Special HH is handcrafted with care and accuracy. Its body is solid ash or lightweight African mahogany, contributing to its resonant and well-balanced sonic qualities. 

The neck is crafted of roasted maple or mahogany, which provides stability and a smooth playing experience.

As previously stated, the StingRay Special HH features two humbucking pickups, one in the neck position and one in the bridge position. These pickups produce a strong, thick, punchy tone with increased sustain. 

They can produce sounds ranging from warm and smooth to forceful and snarling, making the StingRay Special HH appropriate for various musical genres.

The active electronics on the StingRay Special HH give you more control over your tone. It has a 3-band EQ with bass, mid, and treble controls, allowing you to create your sound precisely. 

The integrated preamp boosts your signal, increasing the clarity and sharpness of your performance. The StingRay Special HH is outfitted with high-quality accessories, such as Music Man tuners and a strong bridge. 

The bridge is a modern classic bridge created by Music Man that delivers exceptional stability, intonation, and sustain.

Comes with versatile notesHeavy
Beautiful body and neck hence easy playabilityExpensive compared to other bass guitars
Ergonomically designed

Yamaha BB735A

Yamaha BB735A

The newest addition to the legendary BB series of bass guitars from Yamaha offers the series’ renowned sound and build quality in a compact body with enhanced playability. 

The latest BB basses are designed to deliver exceptional musical performance. The basses are constructed using Alder and Maple materials, ensuring the sound travels faster from the strings to the body and neck. 

The 6-bolt mitre neck joint is firm and stable, while the custom-wound pickups provide increased output gain without compromising the classic BB sound. 

The BB735A is comprised of a 5-ply maple and mahogany neck and an interesting sandwich-style body that features a thick section of alder on the front and back of the bass, with a very narrow core of maple – bucking the trend of thicker core construction with thinner laminates on the outsides or just the top.

According to Yamaha, the neck rests on the maple mid-section in its compartment, which contributes to increased rigidity and string-to-body vibration transmission.

This model features Yamaha’s YGD Custom V7 pickups, consisting of humbucking P-style pickups and a non-hum-cancelling J-style single coil pickup with AlNiCo magnets. The BB735A’s Yamaha Custom V7 humbucking pickups are designed to produce amazing tones. 

They feature a robust low-frequency response, a robust midrange, and seamless highs. These pickups enable a range of musical genres, from vintage-inspired tones to more modern, aggressive sounds.

Perfect fingerboardIt comes with no case

Sadowsky MetroLine Vintage PJ

Sadowsky MetroLine Vintage PJ

Sadowsky Guitars is a well-known guitar and bass manufacturer in New York City, New York. The company’s creator, Roger Sadowsky, has produced high-quality instruments since the 1970s. 

The MetroLine series was created to be a more economical line of instruments while keeping the superb craftsmanship and tone characteristics associated with Sadowsky instruments.

The Sadowsky MetroLine Vintage PJ is a flexible bass guitar that combines Precision (P) and Jazz (J) bass design characteristics. 

It has a strong alder body with a well-balanced and resonant tone. The neck comprises maple, and the fretboard is either maple or rosewood, depending on the model.

The MetroLine Vintage PJ’s vintage-style pickups are designed to emulate the classic sounds of the 1960s and 1970s basses. 

A split-coil Precision-style pickup in the middle position (P) and a single-coil Jazz-style pickup in the bridge position (J) make up the pickup setup. 

This setup enables musicians to produce various tones, from fat and powerful Precision bass sounds to pure and articulate Jazz bass tones.

The bass also has a passive electronics system, which means it does not need a battery to function. 

It usually contains a volume control for each pickup as well as a master tone control, which allows players to dial in their ideal tonal balance.

It’s worth mentioning that the Sadowsky MetroLine Vintage PJ does not come standard with a humbucker pickup. 

As previously stated, the bass employs the classic P-J pickup arrangement, which consists of a split-coil Precision-style pickup and a single-coil Jazz-style pickup.

Numerous professional performers from diverse genres have favoured Sadowsky basses, especially the MetroLine series.

The split-coil Precision-style pickup is positioned in the bass’s middle position. It is intended to sound like a vintage Fender Precision Bass. 

This pickup is essentially a humbucker divided into two parts. This results in a more balanced and powerful tone with improved low-end responsiveness.

Cheaper compared to other precision bassesLimited pickup configuration
LightweightOnly feature passive electronics
High build quality

Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay

Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay

The Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay bass guitar model is highly regarded for its distinctive sound, quality craftsmanship, and innovative design elements. 

The StingRay bass has a solid body of high-quality woods like ash or alder, a sleek and ergonomic body shape, and a comfortable neck joint for easy access to upper frets.

StingRay’s robust and adaptable electronics are one of its distinguishing characteristics. It typically features a large hum-cancelling single-coil pickup in the bridge position, which produces a forceful and articulate tone with exceptional clarity. 

Volume, treble, and bass controls comprise a straightforward and intuitive control layout for the instrument. 

Numerous StingRay models also include an active preamp system, which allows players to further shape their tone by adjusting the bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. 

Some models may also include a passive mode that bypasses the active circuitry in favour of a more conventional passive tone.

The StingRay bass has a high-quality Music Man bridge that provides exceptional sustain, stability, and intonation adjustment precision. 

The necks of StingRay basses are typically made of high-quality maple or toasted maple, making them comfortable and quick to play. Typically constructed of maple or rosewood, the fingerboard provides a smooth playing surface.

The StingRay bass, renowned for its iconic sound, delivers a powerful low-end punch, a rich midrange, and clarity. Its ability to cut through the mix has made it popular in genres such as rock, funk, and pop due to its distinctive tone.

A huge hum-cancelling single-coil pickup in the bridge position gives the basic StingRay a powerful, expressive tone while reducing noise and hum.

Ernie Ball Music Man offers numerous StingRay models, including signature models created in collaboration with renowned bassists such as Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson). 

These models are equipped with specialized features and modifications to accommodate the preferences of these artists.

Comfortable designPricey
Active preamp system
Humbucker pickup

Fender Blacktop Precision

Fender Blacktop Precision

The Fender Blacktop Precision is a beautiful P Bass with a classic and aesthetic Fender look. It has the best of both worlds, with a modern sound quality and a classic finish. 

The blacktop has high-quality materials and combines a solid and double cutaway body made of alder and a bolted maple neck. 

The bridge is fitted with four adjustable saddles, and it has a C contour back, a Rosewood fingerboard, and 20 standard-sized frets.

The Fender Blacktop is lightweight and comes with two fat juicy humbuckers to give that full round noiseless sound humbuckers are known for.

Classic designDoes not sustain notes
2 Humbucker pickups

Peavey T-45

Peavey T-45

During the 1980s, the Peavey T-45 bass guitar was the top model in the company’s T Series. 

It features a Maple neck that was dually laminated and a 34″ scale length body without a pickguard. The bridge has independent saddles and is triple chrome plated. 

The T 45 has a dual-blade humbucker that can be used as a single coil or a complete humbucker, providing a powerful sound with clean, undistorted tones. The Peavey T-45 although affordable still holds its own among the more expensive P Bass counterparts.

The overall build of the Peavey T-45 is very good considering its price point, and the humbucker pickups take it a step further in terms of sound quality.

AffordableHeavy body
Customizable single pickup

G&L Tribute L-2000

G&L Tribute L-2000

Despite being Leo Fender’s child company, G&L may not be one of the most popular guitar brands, but the L2000 bass has made a name for itself in the market.

The Tribute L 2000 is a more affordable version of the original L 2000 and costs about a third of the original’s price. 

It is modelled similarly to the original L 2000 with an outstanding build and a thick slab of premium basswood. The neck is a hard rock maple piece with a maple or rosewood fretboard and a medium C profile. 

The L 2000 has some decent hardware, such as the dual pole humbucker pickups and the massive Saddle-Lock bridge that transfers the vibrations solidly for loads of sustain.

The great design, quality of sound, and equipment of the L2000 are some of Leo Fender’s best works, and you should try it out if you’re looking to move away from conventional models.

AffordableLimited customization 
Premium build
Attractive design
Plenty of sustain

Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special

Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special

When it comes to big names in the guitar industry, there’s no other name like Fender which is why it makes our list for the 3rd time.

The Fender Deluxe Active Precision is a versatile bass that fits various playing styles. It is designed with all the best features of Fender Classic basses, which is why it’s considered a Fender hybrid.

It comes with the classic Fender shape but with a C-shaped neck. It also has 20 medium jumbo frets and a synthetic bone nut.

It maintains the classic Fender shape for familiarity, but when it comes to gear, it is nothing like the conventional Fender basses. To add to its versatility, it also comes with active and passive tone controls. 

The bass also combines a single split-coil middle pickup with a ceramic humbucker pickup, perfectly harmonizing to deliver a bright, unique sound.

2 types of pickupsPricey
Premium build
Unique bright sound

PRS SE Kingfisher

PRS SE Kingfisher

Though not a popular brand, the PRS has some notable guitars, including the Kingfisher bass guitar. The Kingfisher has a more modern design with a Swamp Ash body that looks stunning.

PRS is known for its easy playability, and the Kingfisher doesn’t fall behind with its comfortable neck radius. The neck is made of ply maple with walnut stips and a rosewood fretboard and comes with 24 frets.

It features dual humbuckers with full tones with more definition in the mid-ranges for more bite in the sound. Whether you like to finger-pick, slap, or pick, the Kingfisher is sure to feel good in your hands. You can expect the build quality that comes with its price point.

Dual humbuckersNo 5-string or left-handed options
Stunning modern look
Great playability

Lakland Skyline Deluxe 55-02

Lakland Skyline Deluxe 55-02

The Lakland Skyline bass is another aesthetically pleasing bass, but it’s not all pretty looks. It features a deep Lakland cutaway on the maple neck’s high register side, allowing easy access to the highest frets. 

The fretboard is made of laurelwood and has 22 frets. It also has an ash body with a quilt veneer top and a deluxe transparent finish.

It comes with dual pickups, a custom alnico-magnet humbucker at the bridge, and a single coil at the neck that gives a vintage sound without the muddiness. The 2 pickups make it more versatile in terms of sound by giving the bass the perfect balance of tones.

Quality Vintage soundExpensive
Solid build
Dual pickups

About the P-Bass (Precision Bass) – Some History

The Precision bass, sometimes known as the P-bass, was first created by Leo Fender in 1951 after Fender’s similarly revolutionary Telecaster guitar, which had only been introduced a year or two earlier.

The P-bass was the first-ever commercially successful electric bass guitar and started a revolution in popular music. It was named for the exact intonation made possible by its fretted neck; a one-piece 20-fret maple neck. 

It also featured a single pickup and a 34-inch scale length, one of the most important features of the precision bass. 

Through eight decades, Fender has continued to make the Precision in several configurations, and today, you may get brand-new or vintage used P-Basses in a wide range of designs, sizes, and costs.

They cover a wide price range, with numerous possibilities and experimentation, from entry-level basses like the Standard and Player models to higher-end models like the American Deluxe or Ultra instruments. 

A decade later, in 1960, Fender introduced The Fender Jazz Bass (often shortened to J-Bass) as their second electric bass guitar. So what was the difference between these two models?  

  1. As the name suggests, The Jazz Bass was designed specifically for jazz bassists. On the other hand, The Precision Bass was given that name because it had a fretted neck, allowing bassists used to fretless upright basses to play notes with “precise” intonation.
  1. Compared to the P-bass, the single-coil pickup on the J-bass offers a richer midrange and treble tone. 
  1. The P-bass typically has a single pickup (either a single-coil or a humbucker), but the Jazz bass often has two single-coil pickups.
  1. Despite having bolt-on necks on both basses, the necks have quite a distinct feel. The Jazz bass tapers as you approach the nut, but the Precision Bass feels meatier at the nut and is thicker across the neck.

However, they have some similarities, such as solid bodies with dual cutaways, 20 frets, maple necks, and either Alder or Ash bodies (but Basswood and Poplar are occasionally used).

P-bass is regarded as a unique bass amongst bassists; why? 

P Basses are renowned for their powerful tones and capacity to be heard in band mixes; it, therefore, sits well with just about all genres of music, thus making it a great workhorse bass.

It’s also renowned for its straightforward design and simple operation. The P Bass is a fantastic option for bassists searching for a bass that can be utilised in several genres.

Humbucker on a P Bass – Why?

Split-coil pickups are used in precision basses, indicating that although the two coils are connected in a P bass, they function as a single pickup. 

As a result, the coils are humbucking, eliminating buzzing and humming in your output signal, resulting in a cleaner tone. 

The humbucker is one of the most used pickups because of its excellent tone clarity. The sound of humbuckers is renowned for being rich with distinct lows, highs, and uniformity throughout. 

Due to the reverse-wound coil’s ability to provide a cleaner sound by bucking the hum (the propensity to pick up noise), it is also often used by guitarists from various musical genres.

When deciding between a single coil and a humbucker on a P-bass guitar, there are several things to consider. Humbuckers normally have a darker, heavier sound, whereas single coils are typically brighter and have more of a “twang” to them.

Humbuckers also enhance the sustain that the guitar’s tonewoods provide.

Here’s a video demo of a single coil pickup and a humbucker on a J-bass and P-bass played side by side. This way, you’ll get to understand their difference in tonality better. 

Famous Players Using Humbuckers on Their P-Bass

The P Bass was famous for being versatile with various rock genres, including funk rock, jazz rock, pop rock, soft rock, heavy metal, and more. 

This is why you’ll find plenty of rock-hard bassists who used P bass with Humbuckers to perform. Some of the famous players include:

Cliff Wiliams

Cliff Williams is the popular bass player of the famous rock band AC/DC, and his favourite bass for 40 years was the 1979 Music Man Sting Ray.

His StingRay used a vintage-style Alnico humbucking pickup to produce the iconic sound that AC/DC was known for in the rock world.

Music Man made a limited handcrafted replica of Cliff Williams’ Sting Ray with only 26 available worldwide.

Here’s a video of Cliff playing a P-bass live at Donington.  


Another famous bassist who used humbucker pickups was Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

Flea collaborated with Fender to make a custom Fender bass with a Tim Shaw-designed humbucking pickup. However, he’s more popularly known for using the humbucker pickup in his Fender J Bass.

John Myung

Like Cliff Williams, John Myung from DreamTheatre used a Music Man Stingray P Bass with dual humbucking pickups. 

His bass is a custom-made 6-string, and Music Man makes a couple of replicas.

Other famous bassists include Joe Ayoub, Shakira’s bassist, who plays a Yamaha BB735A with a humbucker pickup.


The proof is in the pudding, and the humbucker pickup in the P Bass has proved a favourite among many rock and jazz players. Humbucker pickups have more tonal girth, deliver higher output, and eliminate noise than other pickups.

If you’re a player whose tone leans toward the big, warm, round, and punchy sound, then a P Bass with a humbucker pickup is perfect.