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Pickup Impedance

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by EricssonB, Jan 2, 2013.

Pickup Impedance

  1. Most important thing ever; will ruin bass

    5 vote(s)
  2. Not a huge deal; will work fine

    11 vote(s)
  3. You're too hungry to think correctly; go make lunch.

    14 vote(s)
  4. tl;dr

    1 vote(s)
  5. dm;hs

    3 vote(s)
  6. ¯( ツ )/¯; all of the above.

    14 vote(s)
  1. EricssonB

    EricssonB Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    (search didn't yield what I was looking for)

    I hate to ask what feels like a "yeah, stupid" question, but I'm curious as how to be certain from reading tech specs of a pickup whether or not a P pickup (say, 10.4k) will match an MM-style pickup (8.4k).

    Folks say that the impedance itself isn't a huge factor once you consider placement, current produced, magnets, etc.

    Shoot me down, reply with a link or something. Thanks.

    This is why: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f57/jag-build-ss-ss-942628/
  2. The impedance of a pickup means absolutely nothing on its own. For most pickups, the exact impedance is not even known. You simply know if it is higher or lower than that of another pickup, by using the DCR as a guide.

    On the other hand, impedance has a significant effect on the interaction between pickups when multiple pickups are blended, unbuffered. P and MM pickups tend not to blend well, because the MM loads the P.
  3. seang15

    seang15 Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Sorry, what is DCR? Thanks.
  4. DCR is DC resistance, which can be obtained with a multimeter. Impedance, on the other hand, includes both a resistance and a reactance. In the case of inductive or capacitive circuits, resistance is the real part which is not frequency dependent, and reactance is the complex part, which is frequency dependent.
  5. seang15

    seang15 Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Many thx!!
  6. EricssonB

    EricssonB Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    This is what I was getting at. Looking to have P and MM blended, so having similar impedance is probably for the best?

    Is there a tolerance for that +/-xx%?
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Or to make it easier to understand, impedance can be thought of as AC resistance. As the frequency rises, so does the resistance.

    @EricssonB, so like L6M said, you aren't really talking impedance, but DC resistance. The higher resistance P pickup will tend to over power the lower MM, but they will work together, just not on equal footing. Kind of like with a P/J bass.

    If you want to have them blend with no interaction, you need to do so using a preamp with active blending.

    You should also reverse the P so they aren't so close to each other. It will sound more balanced that way.

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