Another Pup placement ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by full_bleed, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    Is there a "wrong place" to put a pickup(s) or is there just ideal places that we've come to except due to traditional building methods. What, if any, problems can you come to expect if you have an out of the norm placement. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help answer this for me
  2. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    IMO there are only traditional places and no wrong places. You can take any pickup, wire it to a cord plugged into an amp and hold it over the strings while you play to find the spot that sounds the best to you. A second person holding the pickup makes this more feasible.

    You'll find there are no magic sweet spots just different degrees of compromise as you slide between neck & bridge positions.

    I've found in my experience that position has more effect on tone than pickup type.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I've had over 75 different types of pups and can mount them where I want - and have moved pups around enough to draw conclusions. For example an active EMG LJ-5 mounted mid position ran staright to the jack actually sounds more passive than many passive pups.

    Stocks settings used by a given manufacturer are as good as any (ie. Fender for J or P). In terms of doing something wrong in placement, I'd say that is common sense and would have to do with which pup, the intended use, and the player it's for. You probably wouldn't want to take an EBO and mount it at the bridge for a guy who favors bridge and wants a hi-fi J bass tone. Also getting too wierd in placement will turn more players off than on when it comes to resale.

    I'd agree with Moo that placement from bridge to neck has a dramatic affect on tone but I've had pups that sound at the bridge the way others do at the neck. That's extreme and not typical but the pup selection for a given purpose/player is significant. Probably nobody in the audience would notice but the guy playing usually wants to enjoy his tone.