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Electronics Question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bassman203, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Bassman203


    Mar 29, 2008
    I was opening up my old bass, and a few questions came to mind. I hope that someone here can answer them.

    First, the pickup has six poles, does this mean it is actually a guitar pickup? Is this normal on cheaper basses? The picture below shows the pickup.


    Second, what is the function of the black wire that goes into the wood of the body. My guess was it had something to do with grounding the electronics, but I don't really know much about electronics yet, and I wish to so I figured I should ask.

    Third, is the green thing (which I assume is a type of capacitor) in the picture below what makes the potentiometer a tone pot?

    Any other information regarding pick-ups, wiring, etc. I'd like to hear too if it comes to mind.
  2. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    No comment about the six poles, is that a tele bass?

    The black wire going into the body is a ground wire that goes under the bridge.

    The green thing is a capacitor; this is what makes a poentiometer into a tone pot.

    Read the stickies at the top of the pickups forum, there's lots of info. Shoot me a PM if you have any more simple electronics questions.
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    It could be a guitar pickup. Musicmasters, for example, used guitar pickups even though the poles where misaligned with the strings. They had surprisingly hot outputs!
  4. Bassman203


    Mar 29, 2008
    It's just a squire bronco, my first bass.

    Thanks for all the info
  5. That is a single coil Stratocaster pickup if i ever saw one...
    I had one exactly like that in my MIM Fender Strat.

    The black wire is the bridge ground.
    It connects to the underside of the bridge to keep your strings grounded, and thus cut back on noise.

    The "green thing" is a small monolithic capacitor. A tone pot is essentially a variable resistor in series with a capacitor. The more signal feeds the capacitor, the more highs are cut.

    Is there any reason you are asking these questions, or just out of curiosity?
  6. Bassman203


    Mar 29, 2008

    I've recently decided to learn more about what makes all my musical equipment work
  7. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    A. The Music Master Bass and the Music Master Guitar, at least by the mid '80s, used the same six-pole pick up. The Bronco was the same PUP.

    B. That black wire goes through the body to the bridge. Under the bridge, that wire is stripped and so when you touch the strings your body is part of the ground. It has the advantage of kiling some hum, and the disadvantage of possibly killing you if you touch an improperly grounded circuit while touching the strings (or any grounded metal on the bass).

    C. Yep, the green thing is a capacitor. It sends ("shunts" is the correct verb) highs to ground. How much depends on the resistance from the tone pot. So your tone control is the circuit of the cap and the pot.


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