Adjusting String Volume

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mrjay, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. mrjay


    Feb 1, 2005
    I have a US 2002 Fender Jazz Deluxe bass. I noticed, and I'm not sure if this a change or just me now noticing, that the G and D strings are distinctly louder (when on the neck pickup only and somewhat louder when using both pickups) than the A and E strings. All the strings are identical and this does not happen on the Bridge pickup. I know you can adjust the height of the pickups, which I have not done figuring I'd do some research first. I have searched and not found much discussion of this. Just curious if anyone else has run into this and what they've done.
  2. Wings


    Feb 6, 2005
    Bellport, NY
    Hi MRJAY...

    I have the FMT version of your bass. I have found that by adjusting the pickup height from the 1st to the 4th strings and between the bridge and neck pickups I can have the same volume from string to string and from pickup to pickup so I can change the tone by fading between the two pickups without the volume changing.

    My starting point is a brass (non-magnetic) 1/8" spacer that I use between the E string and the neck pickup. From there, the D is a little closer, maybe 1/64", than the E at the neck pickup. The E is closer yet at the bridge pickup, 1/32" closer, and closer still at the D near the bridge. How much closer in each case is based on the volume that I hear.

    The string is vibrating with more energy (bigger distance) near the neck pickup so the pickup doesn't need to be as close for the same volume.

    What I can't figure out is the deal with the "noiseless" pickups. The poles for the A and D strings are raised above the surface of the pickup so that they are closer to the strings by quite a bit. I don't think this is adjustable and the volume seems consistant across the strings so they don't seem to need adjusting, but how come they can be so much closer without the volume level being out of whack??? I guess there are some things we weren't meant to know! :D

  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    The fretboard has an arch to it, which naturally puts the middle strings (A and D) farther away from the pickups. The raised polepieces are an attempt to compensate for that.

  4. Wings


    Feb 6, 2005
    Bellport, NY
    Thanks Mike... I never thought of that. They must have it right because the volume across the strings is consistant once you get the pickup height adjusted.