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Radiused Pickups - Pros / Cons?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MostlyBass, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I've got a Carvin Icon 5 string with the stock soapbars.

    Talk to me about replacing them with Carvin radiused humbuckers...

    I don't have an issue with the current pickups but am I missing out?


    Jun 20, 2011
    i had an ibanez bass with the radiused soapbar humbuckers and i found them to be nothing but trouble. maybe they were just cheap, but when i had the strings set exactly as i liked them, the curve of the pickup didn't follow the same curve and therefore my A and D were really hot, and my low B and high G were lacking. LACKING.

    just my thoughts
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered Panther Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I would imagine it depends. I like relatively flat fingerboards (20" radius), so I like flat-top pickups. If you like more radius, it might make a difference. Then again, it may not - I remember reading in the SGD Pickup thread that, even though his are flat-top, the magnetic field is a bit stronger in the center of the pickup, which compensates for the string radius. Other manufacturers may exhibit a similar phenomenon; I don't know.
  4. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 EBMM Nut

    Jul 5, 2010
    Santa Barbara, CA
    The only experience I have with radiused pickups is with an Ibanez sr305. I found that no matter what I did, it had the weakest B string I've ever played. I practically had the pickup touching the B string and it was still weak as hell.

    Tried a newer one with the new preamp a few months back at a shop...same thing.

    Also I had difficulty anchoring my thumb on those pickups.
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  6. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Lollar Jazz Bass pickups are radiused at 9.5".

    They work fine and align well with string heights.

  7. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Thanks for the info - I appreciate it.
  8. devilman666


    Apr 23, 2011
    manchester nh
    My ATK805 has them and I found it takes someone who knows how to set up a bass perfectly to get them to shine. If you do that I found they work just as good but not sure it's better.
  9. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    Contact Bill and Becky Lawrence about their Wilde Bass Pickups;


    The J45 sets are radiused but I would think for more traditional 9.5" necks although that may be able to be altered for a flatter radius like yours. Like all of their pickups the bass pickups have a great punch and transparency to them. I have the P46 in my Precision and I'll be putting a set of the J45s in my Jazz Bass soon as well. Great clarity without losing the basic characteristics of these pickups.

    It's just an another option for you to investigate.
  10. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    I have a Fender jazz with 7.25 radius ...really considering Dimarzio model J as they have adjustable pole pieces
  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I've played a few Carvin Bromberg basses with radiused pickups. It took a minute to get used to the evenness of the volume. I like getting a more even volume from my bass instead of the usual louder G and B strings. Works reall well as a ramp kind of thing too.
  12. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    My SR206 has the same problem and it's got flat pickups. This makes me think the real problem is pickups that are too narrow rather than needing a radius. I don't think I can recall ANY bass where I played it and said, "These middle strings seem too weak, this pickup needs to be closer in the center".

    And another indicator is my basses with adjustable poles (like G&L) are ALL set flat and I've never seen any need to raise the center poles.
  13. Lemon Of Troy

    Lemon Of Troy Banned

    Nov 6, 2012
    Palmetto State
    Most Bartolini pickups are radiused inside, but the outer case is not. I don't think most people realize that :)

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