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moving neck pickup 1 1/2 inches

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cheapimitation, Mar 6, 2014.


  1. cheapimitation

    cheapimitation

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    I have a Warmoth Deluxe 5 with soapbar humbuckers, and was wondering whether moving the neck pickup about an inch and a a half closer to the neck would have a noticeable effect on sound. The ideal is a mellow archtop guitar-like tone, but re-routing would not be worth it if the sonic change were very slight. Any opinions appreciated.
     
  2. Duckwater

    Duckwater

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    USA, Washington
    Honestly I don't think the difference would be big enough to make me want to re-rout my instrument, but the difference may be enough for someone else. I would consider different strings, EQs, effects, or techniques first. You should hit up an instrument shop and try out some basses that have neck pickups in that area, of course your bass will sound different but it may give you an idea.
     
  3. hamfistUK

    hamfistUK

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    An inch and a half nearer the neck will have a significant impact on your sound, and sounds like the sort of this you are looking for. I have no magic ear but I can easily hear even a half inch move in a pickup and I have done a lot of re-routing and positional comparisons.
     
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Given the unknown outcome, I would be hard-pressed to spend that kind of dough on this type of project. I would, however, do some research into pickup options if unable to EQ for the desired character.

    Riis
     
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  6. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Spokane, Washington
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Are you thinking of actually moving the neck pickup 1 1/2" closer to the neck? Or are you thinking about putting an additional pickup there?

    I added a third pickup on my Warmoth body (though it was routed that way from the beginning, not after two pickups were already in place), and it sounds great. Never had any regret, or anything even remotely close to regret. Just my 2 cents.
     
  7. chungweishan

    chungweishan

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I agree with this doing these things first.
    Technique -> Amp EQ -> Strings (flatwounds perhaps) -> Effects -> new Electronics -> new Pickups.

    After all that is exhausted, then attempt the re-routing. Personally, I wouldn't want to do anything drastic to my bass that I'd regret. Especially cutting into my bass.
     
  8. cheapimitation

    cheapimitation

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Thanks for the replies. Actually, was thinking of getting a new body made with a custom rout position, and then either putting together a new bass or swapping bodies for a time. Was only thinking of 2 pickups, although having 3 equidistant has occurred to me; am a bit leery of the extra magnetic pull on strings, however.
     
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I think you're placing too much emphasis on the number and placement of the pickups...that's only part of the equation. Did you have a particular brand / model (including preamp) that you had in mind? Is there a particular bass that you wish to mimic? Nothing wrong with that!

    Riis
     
  10. cheapimitation

    cheapimitation

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    No mimic idea... I like the least nasally tone possible (at least as an option). Jim Hall (guitar), Steve Swallow (bass) are inspirations. No preamp, am using Lace Bass Bars.
     
  11. GlennW

    GlennW

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    You can experiment without routing.

    Remove the pickup from the body and hold it on the other side of the strings. Rig up some spacers to give the correct string height, and move it around (or have someone else move it) while you play it.

    You'll know how it will sound, and you'll know exactly where you'll want to put it.

    It's a PITA, but beats Russian Roulette.
     
  12. cheapimitation

    cheapimitation

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Thanks, that is a good solution.
     
  13. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

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    Again, I have never had any reason to regret my decision. There is no discernable effect from the magnetic pull of a third pickup on my bass. Unless your pickups have huge magnets, I wouldn't worry about it. (I'm sure there is some effect, it's physically impossible for there to be no effect at all. But if the only measurable effect would be, for example, to shorten a 90 second decay to 89 or 88 seconds, then IMO it really doesn't count as a disadvantage.)

    Since you're plan is to have a new body made complete with routes, I heartily endorse going with three equidistant pickups. I think being like everyone else is highly overrated. Three pickups will not only give you that novelty/cool/wow factor, it also will give you much greater tonal flexibility.
     
  14. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

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    Mar 31, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California Coast
    For what it seems you are trying to achieve, myself I would try an external, very flexible, dedicated multi-band EQ.

    That approach will be capable of giving you dramatic changes in tone. Its reversible and you can always resell it if necessary.
     
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Nice! As others have mentioned, what are you using EQ-wise in your signal chain? From my experience, even a single channel sweepable para mid EQ can work wonders. One reason I dig my SansAmp RPM (even comes in a pedal form). A 7-12 band GEQ works nicely, as well. This is a cost-effective alternative to a major bass re-build and, if not effective, you can always get your money back out of it.

    Riis
     
  16. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

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    I think you guys might be missing the point a little. He's not fixing a tone problem, he's contemplating getting a new bass body for a project.
     
  17. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Still, he can rig a movable pickup on what he currently has to possibly determine if he wants a different/ add'l route or not.
    Or, when he gets a new body, maybe determine if he wants a different/ add'l route or not before the finishing steps.
    And, if EQing differently gets what is wanted, then add'l routing is not required.
    (IMO).
     
  18. cheapimitation

    cheapimitation

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    It's an interesting question, whether eq could accomplish most if not all of pickup selection variables... seems like having a neck pickup only and trying to filter out harmonics to achieve a bridge position sound would be a worthwhile experiment.
     
  19. GlennW

    GlennW

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Two questions:

    1) How cheap was Leo?

    2) Why do Strats have three pickups?
     
  20. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

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    Fair points. And the first time I was introduced to the concept of a temporary movable pickup mount, I thought it was brilliant.

    However, he was talking about getting the body (presumably from Warmoth) with the custom pickup locations already routed -- which means he has to make his decision about what he wants before he ever gets the body.
     
  21. cheapimitation

    cheapimitation

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Thanks, that's a very interesting thread.
     

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