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Does MusicMan use the same bridge and neck pup?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jmattis, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. jmattis

    jmattis Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Washington DC
    ...Not similar, but the exact same, dimensions and all.

    Music Man basses have great necks, and look and play great, but until they can start lining up the poles with the strings, I'll never consider another. I owned one that had the classic weak G string, and after looking at dozens of pics, at least 90% of them have poles that don't line up with the G string. To make matters worse, HH style basses' neck pups are even further off. The poles are so far off-centered that it makes me wonder if they're using the same exact pups in both positions, even with the tapered neck. For $1600+ I'd like to see some more precision.

    Pictured below is a 25th anniversary bass from their website with the problem, and pics I've seen often show the poles even further off than this. I don't understand why Music Man hasn't addressed this problem?

  2. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    As far as I remember, peoples complaint of any weak G was on the single pickup bass, not the dual pickup version...so I don't know what the fuss is really all about. Especially after owning two dozen Musicman basses and never experienced a weak G in my life.

    And quite frankly, the only reason people are complaining about the poles is because they can actually see the poles on this style pickup. The are plenty other brands of basses where they don't line up perfectly, my Wal included....should I complain about that? Ontop of that, there are pickups that don't have exposed poles and you can bet there's plenty that don't have magnets that line up perfectly.
  3. My first thought was...

    I can't imagine that bass would balance well on a strap.
  4. jmattis

    jmattis Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Washington DC
    Has anyone here tried solo'ing the neck pup on an HH in a band situation? I can't imagine that G is nearly on par with the rest of the strings. I don't need perfect alignment, but many of them are barely in the vicinity. And many of those pickups that don't have exposed poles are blade pickups, a whole different type altogether. If I did pick up another SR5, I'd most likely replace the stock pup with a Bart MM style to take care of the problem.
  5. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics
    Actually the solo'd neck humbucker is my least used setting. It has been described as a Precision without the punch... and I think that is a pretty good description. However, I am not a stickler for the weak G string (I think mine has it too, but I actually prefer it for my playing). Having said that, positions other than the solo'd bridge pickup seems to have less of the weak G string than the "classic" bridge pickup sound. In fact, with both pickups on, my SR5HH gets a scooped mid sort of sound and the G is actually higher output for some of the notes.

    So in the end I suggest you try before you buy. Personally I love Ernie Ball Musicman gear. If only it wasn't so heavy ...
  6. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes, I've owned a few dual pickup Musicmans now...and with the neck pickup soloed I still did not experience any volume issues. With the SR4's I've gone back to preferring the single pickup version. But when it comes to SR5's I much prefer the HH.
  7. mynan


    Nov 7, 2007
    Grand Haven, MI

    It's got nothing to do with the strings lining up with the pole pieces.

    Also, the magnetic field of the pickups is exactly that...a field. There is magnetic field even directly between the pole pieces because the fields from the two pole pieces overlap. It's not as strong there, but it is there, so even though the string is not exactly centered on the pole piece it's certainly close enough for a strong signal.
  8. jmattis

    jmattis Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Washington DC
    So you're saying a pickup could be made where the G string poles are a foot away from the G string and there'd be no loss of volume with that string?

    If the magnetic field isn't as strong in between, then a signal received isn't going to be as strong either.

    I'm not saying the string needs to be "exactly" centered, but they sure should be closer. On a bunch of them I've seen, the string barely crosses over the edge of the pole.
  9. it always seems like the A string is perfectly centered and the others are off. weird. i still want a 25th anniversary.

    but this is a dead horse. see "sterling by musicman"
  10. jmattis

    jmattis Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Washington DC
    Probably true. And on the "sterling by musicman" site, it looks like they nailed it. That's cool.
  11. svp


    Mar 12, 2007
    I just looked at my Human and it has dual humbuckers. It's a 5'er and each string is dead center over each pole on both pup's:D
  12. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Another good argument for rail design pickups...
  13. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I just got an HH Sterling about a month ago,and have done 2 gigs with it.Soloed the neck pickup a few times,and no problems at all.In fact,none of my 5 Music Man basses have any the issues you mentioned.
  14. mynan


    Nov 7, 2007
    Grand Haven, MI
    No, not a foot away, but the pole pieces are close enough together for the magnetic fields to overlap. The magnetic field isn't as strong directly between the pole pieces, but the strings on the bass pictured aren't directly between the pole pieces either. Even the G on the neck pickup is over the pole piece so it's well within the magnetic field of that pole piece, and even more so considering that the ellipse of the strings vibration is greater over the neck pickup.
  15. +1

    How does a Jazz Bass even produce sound if the string would have to be in dead center? A Jazz normally have the string between the polepieces, and the MM have poles that is maybe twice or three times as big (diameter) as the jazz.
  16. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Rail pickups are an entirely different thing... It's true, rail pickups have a very wide sensing field (in terms of string coverage), but what's missing is the transient effect of the string's vibration "off-and-on-pole" - the magnetic field of a blade magnet is more even because it's concentrated above theentire length of the blade, so to speak. It's like comparing a regular-pole J-pickup with a jumbo-pole (MM-type) J-pickup - two completely different beasts.

    Well, it worked for the Tele basses... And those things had regular-size poles.
  17. Whether or not it effects much at all I do not think it's out of line to expect a bass in the $1500 plus price range to use two specific pickups which MM basses do not (to answer the original question). MIM fender Jazzes even switched to using two different pickups so to me it's simply a nicety that should be found on a bass of that price.
  18. On top of that soapbar style pickups have no visible poles, or no poles at all, unless you have some idea about the construction obviously your not gonna know. Either way, poles or not, it's not got any direct link to the magnet coming through the pickup cover, yet alot of the most high output passive pickups seem to been in a soapbar style design.
  19. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    What you don't know can't hurt you? :smug:
  20. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006


    You would think that Mr. Ball would have enough pride in his product to not be shown up by a MIM Fender or even an $89 SX J basses with properly centered and sized pickups.

    I don't care if there's a sonic difference or not. It just plain looks sloppy and careless.

    The old MM Sabers never had this problem.

    No excuse for that at the EBMM price point. (required IMO)

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