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J bass pickup height

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by markoc, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. markoc

    markoc

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    Hey Guys, can some one tell me the recomended spacing of between the strings and pickups on a j bass. I do use the ashtrays on this guitar most of the time. Thanks.
  2. BeerSuds

    BeerSuds

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    This may help from Fender's Bass Guitar Srtup Guide:

    http://www.fender.com/support/articles/bass-guitar-setup-guide/

    PICKUPS
    Setting pickups too high can cause a number of unusual occurrences. Depress strings at last fret. Using a 6" (150 mm) ruler, measure the distance from the bottom of the first and fourth strings to top of the pole piece. A good rule of thumb is that the distance should be greatest at the fourth-string neck pickup position and closest at the first-string bridge pickup position. Follow the measurement guidelines from the chart below as starting points. The distance will vary according to the amount of magnetic pull from the pickup.

    Note: Larger string gauges need wider vibrational allowances. If you have a five-string bass or are using heavier-gauge strings, your measurements must be increased accordingly.

    Bass Side Treble Side
    Vintage style 8/64" (3.6 mm) 6/64" (2.4 mm)
    Noiseless™ Series 8/64" (3.6 mm) 6/64" (2.4 mm)
    Standard "J" or "P" 7/64" (2.8 mm) 5/64" (2 mm)
    Special Design Humbuckers 7/64" (2.8 mm) 5/64" (2 mm)
  3. soulman969

    soulman969

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    These recommendations will give you a good starting point but your ears are the only true gauge you can use to find the "sweet spot" because it will vary from one pickup set to another.

    What BeerSuds posted is what Fender recommends for the various pickup models they use but those may not be ideal for others. Some will also provide setup guides for their specific models but in then end it's still your ears that work best.
  4. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

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    Yeppers, the Fender setup guide pup height works fine with my stock MIM pups, but I've got to crank down my Model J pups quite a bit to get the clean sound I want.
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

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    Plus it is pretty safe to say that you likely wouldn't want them any closer (unless they're EMG) than those tolerances. A good idea to start there and get the bridge output even across the strings, then get the neck output even to the bridge pickup. Then you can "tune your tone" by turning every screw the same amount so the overall output balance remains somewhat unchanged. Then a full comparison to fine tune if needed.

    WARNING - CUIDADO: You can easily get carried away with OCD here.
  6. markoc

    markoc

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    Great,
    Thanks for the help.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

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    get your bridge pickup as close as you can with a good sound, balanced across all 4 strings (which may end up being pretty far away depending on what you like to hear), then adjust the neck pickup to be equal in volume to the bridge pickup on both high and low strings (which will pretty much guarantee that it's further away from the strings than the bridge pickup.)
  8. GLEN18INCHSPICA

    GLEN18INCHSPICA

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  9. ahc

    ahc

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    Does your bass have a "high E string"? Probably not. Those instructions are for a guitar, I believe. A nickel's thickness would be pretty thin for a bass's G string-to-bridge pickup spacing.
  10. Timpala

    Timpala Supporting Member

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    I just started a thread on how I was really liking the sound of my pickups on my jazz bass as far from the strings as possible. I play with a pick and it gets a nice full sound to it. I just turn up the volume to compensate for the spacing. I have also found that the treble and mids don't sound so clanky.

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