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Does adding additional pickups change the way strings vibrate?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DanAdams, May 30, 2016.

  1. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I'm no scientist, but it seems like the more magnets there are close to the strings, the more the strings will be "pulled" back to their default non vibrating state.
    Is that true?
    -Would the same bass with two pickups have less sustain than the bass with one pickup?
    -Does it ever become a problem?

    We've all seen pictures of the basses with four double coil pickups wedged in there.

    This had probably been discussed before but I couldn't find it.
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  2. String pull does change the way that the strings vibrate. Whether or not it is something to concern yourself with depends largely on how anal you are about judging fine differences in terms of arbitrary ideas of "good" and "bad."
    4StringTheorist likes this.
  3. It seems there was a good discussion about this a couple of years ago. Hopefully someone who was part of that can chime in with a link. For me, I rarely have the need to hold a note for more than 4 count.
  4. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I'm not anal about this kind of thing at all. I usually favor a neck pickup, and I have a project with a single P configuration.
    I have a EMG hz soapbar in my junk drawer and I was thinking of popping it in there, but not if it will compromise things.
    Mostly I'm just curious. I thought of it after I saw this extreme ATK bass

    Attached Files:

  5. Then adding a pickup is nothing to worry about.
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    In theory yes. In practice few people can tell the difference.

    It's more noticeable on guitar where the strings are much smaller in proportion to the magnets.
  7. I remember that ATK build thread. If IRC, he didn't have any string pull problems.
  8. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    great. I guess I'll add another pickup like I did on this frankenRoadstar.
    I use it more as a thumb rest than as a pickup. this shape pickup makes a great thumb rest.
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