1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Exposed poles vs. covered poles

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by eukatheude, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Hi folks. I like the sound of my Spector's EMGs, but i can't say i'm satisfied of the string to string volume balance. So i was thinking of swapping them for some pups with adjustable pole pieces, and maybe some more fun options like coil selection etc.
    What's your opinion on the matter? What are the objective pros and cons of the two? What are the generic tonal differences? Thank you
  2. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Between EMG's and what other type of pickup?
  3. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I like the look of exposed poles.
    I personally am no fan of bells and whistles and would simply find a pickup that does the job well as is.
  4. It's not between EMGs and pickup X, it's between the two designs.

    But you can't have perfect balance with fixed poles, if you don't keep your action strictly matched to your radius (and if the pups aren't designed with your radius in mind). And if you want to, say, the bass strings to be louder to compensate for slapping, you can't. Having more possibilities to fine tune your sound is not bells and whistles, it's essential functionality for me. :cool:
  5. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I see what you mean, but since I do keep my action exact I have no issues, I thought most people included single string action and pickup angle in a set up.

    But , yes, I do see what you mean. Perhaps my need are just not the same as yours.:)
  6. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Except that you can raise and lower one end of the pickup itself in order to favor the bass or treble side. I can see the argument that this is not as precise as being able to literally raise and lower each pole, although I doubt the difference is significant enough for most folks to notice.
  7. Yeah. I try the keep my action as low as possible and that is sometimes a problem. Well, whatever works for ya.

    IME that's not precise enough.
  8. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    If you run exposed pole pickups high enough, the strings can hit the pole, making a loud, annoying thunk.
  9. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always puts some stank on it Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Yeah...if your right hand technique consists of sledgehammers.
  10. lol!
    I have to say it's happened to me a couple of times, though mostly with passive pups. I do dig in a lot and sometimes deliberately play like a caveman would do.
  11. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Can't stand raised pole pieces. I play some aggressive music, and don't feel like playing like a jazzer in a metal band so I don't make a bunch of loud clacking sounds. On the bridge pup it's not as bad (say, as in a MM/J setup) but the neck pup is crucial. There are plenty of really great covered designs that have excellent string balance provided your setup isn't too wacky. Even pickups that have exposed pole pieces that are flush with the housing are fine for me, as long as they're not raised.
  12. mellowgerman


    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I'm a big fan of the adjustability and tone of Dimarzio model J's and model P's. Fantastic pickups that are affordable, have a unique sound, and are compatible with any genre IMO. Sound great with both roundwound and flatwound strings too.
  13. Do the only sell single coil pups? Had a look at their site but didn't see any humbuckers.
  14. mellowgerman


    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I think the model J's only come in single coil, however, they are split coil and reverse wound so no hum! And they sound very full compared to other jazz pickups I've heard.
    You can usually find a used set online most of the time. Definitely worth giving a try I'd say!
  15. They'd look horrible on my bass. Thanks for the advice anyway, might use them on another bass.
  16. With an exposed poles pup you get more microphonic noises and if the pup have adjustable pole pieces that mean the pickup is not casted in epoxy so you get even more noise and less durability... I prefer non exposed poles...
  17. But being an humbucker with active electronics it shouldn't be a problem, right?
    And that means i can swap the covers.
  18. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    That is provided the pickups aren't epoxied into the covers, in which case you're sadly SOL.
  19. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    What shape are the EMGs? Soapbars? No one makes soapbars with adjustable poles, as far as I know.

    The fact that the EMGs have blades leads me to believe it's something other than the pickups. What kind of strings are you using? Are the strings all the same height over the fingerboard?

    If you can find pickups with adjustable poles, they won't sound different just because they have adjustable poles. But they will sound different because they are different pickups. :D
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Q-Tuner made some. They're a bit hard to come by these days.