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Audible difference between Jazz neck and bridge pickup.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tspallone, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. tspallone


    Oct 13, 2011
    Nanuet, NY
    What's the audible difference between a Fender Jazz Neck pickup and Bridge pickup?

    I'm not talking about what the difference is while installed. I'm talking about what the difference in sound would be if the "labelled" neck pickup were to be installed in the bridge position and then swapped with the "labelled" bridge pickup.

    Is it just a "volume" thing? Or do they actually sound different?
  2. 20YearNoob


    Mar 29, 2012
    As far as I know, they are exactly the same and the difference in sound is due to the difference in the vibrations of the strings at the different locations.

    If you swapped a bridge pickup and a neck pickup, the sound would be exactly the same.
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    They don't sound different, they're labeled neck and bridge because they're different sizes.
  4. The different sizes then lead to the bridge pickup having more wire wound on it than the neck. It is overwound in comparison.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    They could also be underwound to compensate.

    But I must say that's a darn good question I never saw anyone ask before. Never even thought about it before, but it's a good question. Anyway, it's all in how they're designed and wound and there's really not one single answer.
  6. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    usually a neck pup is 'underwound' compare to a bridge one (in a balanced set), to compensate for the different output generated by the string's motion/vibration (which is higher/bigger on the neck than the bridge).
    Virtually/generally speaking, a neck pup installed at the bridge (from a "balanced" set) will sound a little brighter/wider and a little lower in output. The difference will be little, though.

  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    You know, that's a "duh" moment for me. Sometimes you forget about the obvious. Mea culpa.
  8. tspallone


    Oct 13, 2011
    Nanuet, NY
    Thanks guys.
  9. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    .. just found this thread, and this is something that I played with a bit in the past ... on the Squier Standards, and the pre 2000 MIM Standards, the neck and bridge pup are the same length ... as I mentioned on here before, I used several of the Squier standards as string test beds, and in my playing with them realized that the bridge pup usually reads a bit higher output than the neck pup, even though they are the same size ...

    I switched a pair once, and did notice a discernable difference in tone, when doing a side by side with another identical bass, with stock pup placement ...

    I found I prefered the stock set-up sound, but the potential benefit I did see is if someone prefers to slightly roll off the bridge pup in favor of the neck, this will do it while decreasing the hum associated with doing so with the conventional placement ...

    ... just a FWIW ...

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