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Diff between orig MM 76/77 and 78/79 pups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by #include <MK>, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Can anyone in the know, comment on the difference between the original MM String Ray bass '76/'77 (longer magnets extending beyond the bottom part of the pickup cover) and the '78/'79 (magnets flush with the bottom part of the cover) pickup?

    I'm only interested in the original pre Ernie Ball pickups, not any other brand.
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I personally haven't, mostly due to a reliable source who knows MM's. Not only could he not tell any known difference between the early MM's but between the early and late MM's.

    In my comparisons with the later Ray, Sterling, Nord, and Carvin alnico 5 MM's, they too had no variation of any consequence. They are in fact the most similar sounding pups of the same type by different manufacturers I've run across in some 70 plus sets of pups.

    I had to route to allow mounting of that Sterling becuase of that drop-down 3rd coil, which was a pain in mounting other pups till I filled it in. Not that I would have been tempted anyway but after this guy told me about the early MM's, I wasn't about to put up with that freak routing again.

    On the other hand, the only way to know personally is to do, not from second hand knowledge. But I wouldn't mind having a second opionion on the early MM comp either :D
  3. That's interesting info, so thanks for doing the research and passing it on.

    Regarding the differences between the longer and shorter magnets, I've heard that the longer magnets:

    - tend to cut out when strings are played hard. This claim doesn't sound right, though there may be a fluctuation
    - could cause a kind of wobble effect where the string would sound out of tune, due to the strong magnetic pull

    Yeah, I agree. The extra route is a pain. Considering that the original pickup is no longer made, it's no real issue. But the reason why the pickup design was discontinued would be interesting to know from a pickup making perspective.
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I'm not that into pup design but I'd be more interested in how the design came about in the first place. From a makers standpoint something more uniform would be easier to work with and tool for installation. But even their current pups are longer for the center poles (presumably because of the neck radius). But anything ever made is available on the used market and occassionally the old ones do show.

    What I've heard most in terms of complaints about the Ray pups is uneven string volume - no problems with any I've had but I've had the pups, not the basses.

    String "warble" is probably what I call distortion. If you set a pup too close to the strings it will distort and the stouter the pup the more likely that is to occurr and Rays exert some pull. I've actually had them suck a string down so that it stuck to the poles on rare occassion - also another indication they're too close.

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