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Can I Temporarily Remove a Pickup From My Bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Derian, Aug 1, 2020.


  1. Derian

    Derian

    Jul 31, 2020
    I have recently acquired a very cool 1970s Japanese lawsuit era Electra 2261 EB3 bass copy and everything about is great, but after taking it to the shop for a much needed setup, I learned that the neck pickup, which is a cheap single coil disguised as a mudbucker, is too close to the strings, and is not at all adjustable in any way. From all the wear and tear of years of usage on that bass, surprisingly the pole pieces from the neck pickup stick up too high and causes an awful buzz from the strings which is very noticeable and ruins the tone. I considered having the pickup lowered by carving out the wood underneath it, but I've decided I should probably save up for a Curtis Novak mudbucker and replace the neck pickup for a real gibson style pickup. For now though, I was wondering if I could just cut the neck pickup out of the bass and just use the bridge pickup and cover the wire end with some electrical tape until I feel comfortable with buying a 300 dollar pickup. I just wanna make sure that is not a bonehead move before I do it. I dont feel like burning my house down or electrocuting myself so I just wanna make sure its safe, its a bit of a silly situation and a silly question but appreciate any input. I dont really know much about electronics. Thank you.
     
  2. EmaTheMirror

    EmaTheMirror

    Oct 9, 2009
    London, UK
    Those millivolts really sting! ;)

    Don't worry, it's safe. Have someone do it if you're not comfortable.

    I think the main question will probably become: is it worth to invest 300 for a pickup to go there? I'm not a mudbucker user/buyer, but I'm sure there are options in between a Novak and the broken one. At least at first.
     
    Derian and robert43 like this.
  3. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

  4. Check Sentell pickups. Jerry makes a mudbucker replacement that's more economical then the Novak. I haven’t tried that specific model but the couple of other pickups of his that I’ve seen or used were very good.

    Sentell Pickups bass guitar pickups
     
  5. Derian

    Derian

    Jul 31, 2020
    I think to me its worth it. I kinda knew I was buying a fixer upper. Its a great feeling bass, not too cringe thinking about taking apart and working on it. If I had a real gibson I would probably leave it as is but I think cause of the rarity and value. The japanese copy is nice because its better than an epiphone but still worth putting money into. I also have thoughts of switching out the 3 way varitone with a 6 way, and eventually upgrading the bridge pickup. Their arent very many inbetween options, its either buy a cheap one, a used 200+ dollar pickup that is probably worn out and was torn out of a gibson for some reason, or just go all out on a brand new one. There are also a lot of people trying to sell ones from their epiphones and calling them "gibson" pickups even though they clearly aren't. I appreciate you answering my question though
     
  6. HG1180

    HG1180

    Aug 11, 2019
    Millsboro,DE
    Its perfectly fine to remove a pickup from your bass for a while.
    Just make sure when you go to put a new one in you get the wiring right.

    :thumbsup:
     
    Derian likes this.
  7. Derian

    Derian

    Jul 31, 2020
    Thank you I was not aware of this manufacturer before. The main source of my issue however, lies in the pole pieces of the pickup itself. The pole pieces stick up too high and make the bass buzz to the point to where its useless in any live or recording setting. The Curtis Novak has adjustable pole pieces which would likely fix my issue. Thank you though I have more to think about now
     
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  8. I’m sure if you contact Jerry and explain the issue he could make something custom. It would be more then the standard one though.
     
    Derian likes this.
  9. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Is the "buzz" a string issue, or a set-up issue? Or, are the strings hitting the PU pole pieces?



     
  10. bolophonic

    bolophonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Pics, or you bought a Beanie Baby collection.
     
    Derian likes this.
  11. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    Sounds like you just need a proper set up..
     
  12. Derian

    Derian

    Jul 31, 2020
    It was a proper set up. I actually just removed the pickup and the buzzing is gone and it sounds great with just the bridge PU. Thanks
     
    Kukulkan61 likes this.
  13. Derian

    Derian

    Jul 31, 2020
    20200801_151725.jpg
    Ive went ahead and done it. Looks jank but it is actually useable now
     
  14. Derian

    Derian

    Jul 31, 2020
    I knew for sure it was the pole pieces, I could literally see the strings hitting them. I just cut the pickup out and covered the hole and it sounds great now
     
    wraub likes this.
  15. bolophonic

    bolophonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I have an old no-name bass that has a pickup that is so high that the strings hit the pole pieces. It’s like it was designed and built to never function properly.
     
    Derian likes this.
  16. Is it a bolt on neck or set neck? The fact that the neck pickup pole pieces couldn't be adjusted any lower and were hitting the strings make me think the neck angle is off requiring the bridge saddles to go extra low to get low action. If you'd angled the neck back slightly that would have lowered your action without lowering the bridge saddles and the strings wouldn't have hit your pickup
     
    wraub likes this.
  17. bradd

    bradd Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    It's a bolt on, so you could change the neck angle to accommodate the pickup. The bridges look to have a lot of height adjustment.
     
    wraub, Derian and AndyPanda like this.
  18. bradd

    bradd Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    Great minds think alike
     
    Derian and AndyPanda like this.
  19. I thought later to suggest a neck shim to try to raise the strings over the poles. I got repeatedly beaten to it but something to try. It looks like that bridge should be able to go higher. If it works and you do it yourself, it’s free...
     
    Derian likes this.
  20. Derian

    Derian

    Jul 31, 2020
    Well once I get a new pickup ill consider shimming it or something. Already took the neck pickup out lmao. It wasnt a good sounding pickup anyway on only really used the bridge
     
    Matt Liebenau likes this.

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