Bass strings occasionally hitting pickups, new covers?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by GeneralElectric, Feb 25, 2014.


  1. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    NY, NY
    Howdy everyone

    I'm looking for a quick bit of advice. I own several P-basses and my main one has pickups that, while sound great, are not very strong and sound very quiet.

    The pickups are about normal height but the action is super low. This results in the occasional *click* as the E and A strings will graze an exposed pickup pole when I play quickly or dig in. This is not really a problem on my other P-basses as I cannot dial in the action as low.

    I've finally decided to stop living with it and to finally do something about it. I have found a sweet spot tone and consistency wise and I don't feel much like changing it. Instead, I'd like to do something about those exposed pole pieces. Recommendations?

    I was thinking of using electrical tape as temporary measure unless I can get a link to pickup covers that don't have the pole piece holes. Does that little sliver of plastic really affect the tone in a meaningful way?
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    Is there a reason that you don't want to lower the pickups ?
  3. M0ses

    M0ses

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Eastern Wisconsin
    I believe the reason for that was low output pickups.
  4. Major Softie

    Major Softie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    And the fact that he's found the "sweet spot" tone.

    No, a little electrical tape will not impede the magnetic pickup.
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  6. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    NY, NY
    Pretty much. The bass has an active preamp in there, but the bass just isn't particularly loud and when I lower the pickups my tone just doesn't sound as good to me.

    I just stuck some electrical tape on there temporarily, but can someone link me to pickup covers without holes? If its standard P-bass size, it should fit, right?
  7. line6man

    line6man

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    If you get covers without holes, you will have to raise the pickups to get the coils and magnets in the same location as they were. Depending on how far the pole pieces stick up from the coil, this may or may not impact the playability of the instrument.
  8. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    I'd also lay some shims on the tops of the bobbins either side of the pole pieces to come up to the height of the pole pieces. Without these, the magnets may distort the tops of the (hole-free) covers.
  9. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Media:
    2
    Location:
    Verde Valley, AZ
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Dark Horse strings
    I've got electrical tape permanently on my Jag's pickups. No need for covers. I also did this when I was playing Jazz 5s.

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