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does pickup cover have any impact on tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wooheehaa, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. wooheehaa


    Jul 14, 2013
    anyone had ever add these fender style chrome pickup cover on non fender bass? does it have any impact on tone?

    im thinking of adding a pickup cover over the j pickup on my sr400 :hyper:
  2. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
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  4. I've analyzed tone with and without. No difference. They only serve the purpose of looking nice and getting in the way.
  5. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    Endorsments listed in profile
    I was talking to Nino Valenti and he thinks that the clank that can happen say on a B string can be relieved a bit if you have a cover that did not have exposed pole pieces.

    I now its not a tone thing (and slightly off topic) however giving my $.02 on covers.
  6. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    IMHO, the only possible effect on tone would be that the cover changes the plucking area in some cases. You can't pluck right over the pickup, so you are either closer to the bridge or closer to the neck. Tone might be slightly different for that reason. YMMV.
  7. pickbass


    Mar 2, 2006
    In the world of basses pickup covers have little effect on tone. Most bass pickup covers are made of plastic or some other non magnetic material. Conversely for guitar pickups they are normally made of metal and spread the magnetic field over a larger area of the string. This will usually result in a warmer tone. The only result I've seen to pickup covers on a bass is maybe slightly lower output.
  8. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    At this point, you realize we're talking about two DIFFERENT things, right?

    Plastic pickup covers and Fender(ish) "Ashtrays".

    No, and probably not.
  9. Yeah, as Ogle said, he's talking about ashtrays, and no, they have no inherent effect on tone whatsoever.
  10. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    originally, back in the '50s on the single-coil p-bass the pickup was grounded to the cover to reduce hum. beyond that, no tonal effect whatsoever.

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