Distance from nut to jazz pickup....35" scale

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sheepdog, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    35" scale 5 string bass

    how far is from the nut to the neck and bridge pickup (centerline) for a standard jazz pickup placement?
  2. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I swiped this from Bartolini I think;

    The tone of an instrument is heavily influenced by the position of the sensing bars or polepieces of the pickup along length of the string. The closer the pickup gets to the bridge, the brighter the tone, and vice versa.

    The best reference and example is the positions of the Jazz Bass* pickups. These positions were chosen by Leo Fender when he developed the instrument and they are something to keep in mind if attempting a new instrument with different types of pickups or pickup positioning.

    The centerline of the bridge or treble pickup of the Jazz Bass* is placed at 1/16th of the open scale length away from the intonation point of the ideal string. So, 34 divided by 16 gives 2-1/8" or 2.13 inches or 54 mm. Because there are no perfect strings and the string saddles must be "pulled back" (away from the nut) to compensate for their stiffness, the length from the G-string saddle to the center of the bridge pickup will be a little more than this.

    The centerline of the neck or treble pickup of the Jazz Bass* is not so accurately placed and is approximately 6 inches or 152 mm from the G-string saddle. This yields the deeper tone of the J-Bass neck pickup.

    By comparison to these two "standard" tonalities, one can understand the intermediate tone of the Music Man. Or the more aggressive tone of 2 pickups with closer spacing but the same bridge pickup position. Or many, many other variations and combinations of pickup position, pickup coil arrangement and pickup windings.

    The "growl" of the J-Bass* bridge pickup is a very well known and loved. It comes from a very specific combination of these parameters. Over the years we have played many variations around this tune. It is a great tune.

    - if you multiply the measurements by 1.0294 (the ratio of 35" to 34") you will have what Leo messed with as a standard.
    kaoskater08 likes this.
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    1. Go to bgavin's homepage, http://www.ofgb.org and download the Musician's reference.
    2. Check which instrument you'd like to copy the placement of.
    3. If it's a 34" scale bass that you're copying, and yours is 35" scale, multiply the measurements by 35/34.
    4. Thank Bruce for the info!
  4. I have an EB-0 that's a complete basket case (several headstock breaks) but I don't get rid of it because it's my first bass. I find the stock pickup useless for a "modern" bass sound so I attempted to put in a succession of pickups between the neck pickup and the bridge. One day I got the brilliant idea to actually measure where a "good" sounding pickup is located and figure where it lies in RELATION TO FRETS. For instance if you measure the distance from the neck pickup on a Jazz Bass from the 12th fret, take that distance the other way from the 12th fret, which comes out roughly to the 3rd fret. If you look at pictures of other Fender basses (Precision, Mustang, etc) that distance each correlates roughly to the 3rd fret. It's important because of scale length differences (an EB-0 is 30") the distance is in terms of frets (or harmonic "hot spots") rather than a specific distance in inches. It worked to get a crappy sounding bass usable, as it's still the most comfortable bass for me to play.

    To recap: Measure distance, on a bass or in pictures, from pickup to 12th fret, then find the correlating fret on the other side of the 12th fret, then measure that distance out both ways on YOUR bass.

    Best of Luck!
  5. BTW, the pickup that I put in the EB-0 was a Seymour Duncan Single Coil Precision Bass pickup. It rocks.
  6. Say Sheepdog,

    Did you find what you were looking for about the whole pickup placement distance thing?
  7. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    yeah, lots of good info. The links helped.