1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Convex pickups ... how are you setting your string height to even out volume?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Phlipper, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    Just bought an Ibby SR370M and it's my first bass with convex pickups. When I did the initial setup I set my strings similar to how I set them on old Strats with 7 1/4" or 9" radious fretboards, with the E string somewhat high and then each subsequent string lowered a bit down to the G forming a soft curve. But this made my E string noticeably weak. And raising the pickups on that side to even the volume of course causes the A and D string to sound even stronger - too strong.

    It's just something I never considered when I ordered it. For those with rounded, convex pickups, are you just setting the string height based on the radius of the pickup and just dealing with it? Because the fretboard radius is nowhere near the p'up curvature it feels a little wierd.

    How did you deal with it? Change p'ups? Who makes a drop-in replacement for the SR series? A quick look at the major pickup mfrs wasn't encouraging.
  2. When I had an SR305m I found that the middle strings would ALWAYS be louder than the B and G, it was something that always bothered me about that bass.

    I've moved on since that bass and that was one of the reasons. There are a few pickups that will fit though. Bartolini does and SGD has a size that will fit. I believe the Bartolini P2 is the correct size.
  3. Why would you set your string heights this way?

    I've done setups since the '70s, and pay attention to how others do it, and in most cases string is height set to follow the fretboard curvature, with only a small amount of extra "air' under the lower strings because they flop around a bit more.
    Try that first.

    Pretty sure the pickups are flat under those arched covers--can't imagine how they could make a high-speed winder work on a pickup that isn't flat without a multi-coil design like the Precision.
    They probably have arched covers because that looks better on the flowing SR lines (including fretboard radius) and they certainly feel better arched under your fingers or pick.
    So put the arched pickup thing out of your mind.

    An SR isn't a Strat, so try setting it up like an SR, then adjust the pickup height to taste.
  4. Eh, it wouldn't be THAT hard to do, but I suspect you are right.
  5. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    I set it up that way because that's how all the old guys setup hard radiused boards. Done it for years. It was just a starting point.

    Maybe I wasn't clear in the original post ... The problem with setting it up to fretboard curvature is that the pickups don't match the fretboard, and the E and G strings suck hind tit.

    I'm gonna have to disagree. Setting the strings anywhere close to level in relation to the pickup curvature leaves the center strings FAR stronger in volume. If the actual bobbin and wind was flat this would not be the case. I've found posts on the Ibanez forumsand MF reviews for SR models from guys whose experience mirrors mine and TIAT's.

    Thanks anyway guys. Gotta solution in mind.

    TIAT ... thanks, I'm looking at the SGDs. I didn't hit them when I looked at replacements initially. But we're talking $200. I have an SRX700 coming tomorrow, and as much as I like the SR370 I think I'm going the same route you did. It's going to be traded on a second SRX (700, 690, or 500) I think.

  6. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    Lo and beholdeth ... went to GC in GSO today and saw that the new lower and mid range SRs (now with five pots instead of the four with one stacked) have a new pickup design. The radius is much more gentle. Now it almost matches the neck. I guess Ibanez got enough feedback that it's been changed. They had five or six new SR 3XX including the same as mine, and all had the new pickup design. Gonna email Ibanez to see if I can get a pair. Gotta be cheaper than Barts. :(
  7. The pickups are curved to try to follow the curve of the fretboard. It's the same reason that most strats, and some jazz basses, have staggered pole heights. It's also the same reason that a P pickup is generally slanted in both directions. It's to give you even spacing.

    Generally, set your string height and then try to balance the volume by raising & lowering both sides.
  8. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    Negative. The radius of the fretboard is not even close the tight curve of the pickups.

    Mmmm ... no. Take a look at an old Strat. They are not a uniform curvature, and they are staggered that way for a specific reason. They were to compensate for characteristics of certain string sets, especially sets with a wound G string.

    I think you missed a post. That's already been tried.
  9. Just using different height poles


    or convex iron blades as poles...

  10. Exactly, the coils are still flat.
    Would like to see what's under those Ibanez pickup covers--might explain a lot.
  11. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I have a GSR206 that also has weak high and low strings. I love the tone so I just boost bass and treble a tad to compensate. I also have a SR506 with flat pickups that does not have the problem.

    Unfortunately, the dummies at Ibanez have done EXACTLY the wrong thing! when the pickup coils are too short and don't properly cover the strings the volume falls off on the outside strings. So what did they do? Widen the pickup? Nope. They curved it up in the center to make the center strings even LOUDER! Feh!

    I had to change the pickups in my Squire P/J bass for the same reason. I mean, doesn't anybody at the factory ever PLAY a bass before they start selling them?
  12. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    I've sent off a couple of inquiries to Ibanez USA about buying the new style pickups for my 370MBBT. Playing the new 300 and 370 yesterday there was no noticeable volume loss on the two outer strings. Playing an older (used) 305 the drop was obvious, and the difference in radius of the pickups was pretty significant. I guess they got enough complaints that they redesigned/re-spec'd the pickups from the vendor.

    BTW ... the new style pickups sound exactly the same as the older hard radius'd pickups. There's just a softer radius and screenprinted lettering rather than molded. No difference in the sound (which I like). I like the flexibility of the stock pickups . There isn't much I can't get out of that bass just using onboard EQ and Sweep.
  13. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Exactly... that's what I was thinkin' about

    I never had an entry Ibanez so wasn't pretty sure of the difference in pickups shapes

    But I could remember vividly enough the difference in C.A.P. letterin' on them

    Infact I briefly owned Atk800e Premium and Atk1200e Prestige,
    while still ownin' a limited edition soda blue Atk200, and their interpretation of the C.A.P. system (with double humbuckers this time) is arched and carved, yet smooth enough to favor a curvacious and tight saddles action a the very same time:)

  14. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    Got a reply from Ibanez ... good deal:

    We use our CAP EXF N2 pickups in this bass currently. You can order these from us directly, or any authorized Ibanez dealer. The part number for these are 3PU2SC0009. These are $58 per pickup if you order them through us.

    You can call us at 1800 669 4226 to order!

    Nice! :)

Share This Page