Pickup Placement, measurements of specific basses

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tdvt, Feb 28, 2010.


  1. tdvt

    tdvt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont
    I throw the odd parts bass together every once in a while & decided to search the forums for info regarding P/U placement of a few certain intruments. While there are many threads regarding placement & it's huge effect on sound, I didn't find any hard & fast numbers (maybe they're out there?) for various basses. I myself would find this interesting just for comparison & also useful for building. So I thought I would start up a list that others can add to if they feel inclined.


    I chose not to measure from the bridge because of the compensating saddles but measured from the nut since it is a constant point relative to the scale of the instrument. On both basses I measured, I measured from the nut to the center of the pickup (same as the center of the pole on single coils) & also added the pole centers for the humbucker. Numbers in parentheses are the remainder when subtracted from the given scale length.


    The two that I can throw out there are:

    1976 Music Man Stingray
    34" scale length

    Nut to PU centerline 30 9/16" (3 7/16")

    Nut to Pole centerlines 30 1/8" & 31 1/16" (3 7/8" & 2 15/16")


    1998 MIM Fender Jazz
    34" scale length

    Nut to bridge PU centerline 31 7/16" (2 9/16")

    Nut to Neck PU centerline 27 7/8" (6 1/8")
  2. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    This is a very good idea as having such standardized tables may finally give some people an answer why particular pickups at particular positions create particular sounds.

    Would love to help - I'll check my P/J bass clone once I get to that bass and write back. If you plan on adding to the table, here's an extra idea you might want to consider: it would also be good to write down the metric equivalent, for us Imperially impaired. :D

    I was going to comment on the instrument scale because it has a major impact and the sizes have to be refactored for <34" or >34" scales, but I see you got that covered. :smug: By the way, is the 1998 MIM Jazz the one with 60s or 70s pickup spacing?
  3. tdvt

    tdvt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont
    That would be great, I think it will be interesting to see how things compare.

    I can add metric to my dimensions, I think that's a good idea. I had started going inch/decimal with my own measurements then realized many people here (including myself) would use a inch+fractions tape measure, so I stayed completely fractional.

    I'm not sure which layout my Jazz is, hopefully we'll find out!



    I am particularly interested in measurements from a 60's/70's Humbucker Telecaster bass if anybody's got one.
  4. lindseyp

    lindseyp

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Home-STL; location-Hesse.
    My EBMM HH, 34-inch scale, measured from the nut:
    Neck pickup centerline, 26 5/8;
    Rear pickup centerline, 30 5/16.

    My MTD 535, 35-inch scale, measured from the nut (ignored the '0' fret):
    Neck pickup centerline, 29 1/2;
    Rear pickup centerline, 32 15/16.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Okay, P/J clone, 34" scale, measured from nut:

    P-pickup center:
    734mm, 85% of total scale length
    P-pickup EA-half, pole centers:
    720mm, 83.333% = 5/6 of total scale length
    P-pickup DG-half, pole centers:
    750mm, 86.80555555% of total scale length
  7. Kev2007

    Kev2007

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    Great White North
    Great thread, useful data.

    Warwick Thumb NT 4 string, 34" scale
    measured from nut to centrline of pup
    Neck: 29 3/4"
    Bridge (angled, measurement from centre of neck): 32 3/8"

    Warwick Thumb NT 5 string fretless, 34 1/2" scale
    both pups angled and parallel to one onother, measurement from centre of neck (A string)
    Neck: 31 1/8"
    Bridge: 32 3/4"
  8. gack

    gack

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Russia, Chelyabinsk
    Hey, guys.

    Can anyone give measurements of PU placement for Ibanez GWB1 or 1005? Thanks
  9. slyjoe

    slyjoe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Location:
    Valley of the Sun (AZ)
    SR1005 - 34" scale
    Nut to centerline of pickups:
    Neck: 28 15/16"
    Bridge: 31 15/16"
  10. Spino

    Spino

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    Anyone got the measurement for a '76 Fretless MMSRay to compare positions to a fretted, or were they the same.
    From front of nut to center of pup. Thanks
  11. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Tijuana Mex.
    Is that bass custom???
    All regular 5 string Thumb NT basses are 34" scale.
  12. DustandBarley

    DustandBarley

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    1977 Fender Telecaster
    34" scale length

    Nut to PU centre line 25"

    Nut to Pole centre lines 24 9/16" & 25 7/16"
  13. DrumsAndBass

    DrumsAndBass

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I'm glad to see you paying close attention to the distances. You know, I've delved into that a bit. I chopped up one cheap plywood body bass in the 90's just to add one EBO style pickup. So this bass had a regular "P pickup" - just to simplify terms for now - and then I added the neck pickup 1/16" back from the neck. Each pickup yielded a good tone when mixed. Then I chopped up a 1975 Precision Bass (gasp, yeah I know) for the same mod that I practiced on the first cheap bass. This time it sounded much better than the first time - I still use the same P-Bass. Then I bought a brand spanking new G&L L-1505 and had a highly skilled tech do the routing to add a second identical pickup from G&L. You see, in the case of G&L all of their L series basses with 2 pickups are spaced less than 1 inch apart from each other. I know Leo Fender had his reasons - maximum respect to Mr. Fender. With two pickups placed so closely there is not enough difference in tone. So, I made my own mod. The third time is charm. And you know man, when the tech and I had the uncut, beautiful L-1505 (still with the tags on the tuner) on the counter at his shop he asked me where I wanted him to put the second G&L pickup and I said, "right here". He measured and we agreed that the distance between the pickups would be 2 1/8". 20 years after I modded the plywood bass and looking at many pictures and measuring basses in stores and writing down the numbers I developed an idea of where the second pickup should be on a G&L bass. And then of course there are the topics of string nodes and harmonics. Enough, I felt that I was ready. After a while you just know when you're ready. I took a $1200.00 risk and I won.

    Was I lucky ? No, I learned what I needed to know after a very long time. I owned many stock, run of the mill, ordinary basses before I did the mod for the third time. I'm a slow learner. Right before, I mean 1 month before, I bought the G&L L-1505 I bought a G&L L-2000 brand new because I wanted to give it a fair shot through my rig. I did not appreciate the sound of the pickups at 50/50 blend because they are too close to each other - again I say < 1". I returned the L-2000 and put ordered the L-1505. I promise you that this mod was the best mod I could have made to an already great bass. Now, in my case I always blend my pickups at 50/50. I adjust most of my tone on the amp.

    I wish you well in your pickup placement projects.
  14. fnordlyone

    fnordlyone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Location:
    south Louisiana
    Here's Leo's designs:
    you can see some overlapping sweet spots, yet each is a bit different. Interesting that the MM and P which have a similar classic tone share no "sweet spot."

    fnord!

    Attached Files:

  15. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - DR strings - Sadowsky - Genz Benz

    The zero fret is what matters. It is where the scale starts (intonation point). The nut is there just to hold the strings in place....

Share This Page