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Fender Suhr era Pickup Wiring Question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by P Cheen, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me.

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    I’m in the pickup experimentation phase right now and I just bought a Fender Suhr-era Jazz Bass pickup, the one with single large pole pieces. While looking up forum posts to confirm that it is indeed hum-cancelling, I came upon several posts saying the Suhr pickup coils are out of polarity with each other and a couple measures have to be taken to make sure it does not go out of phase when combined with other pickups.

    My question is this: I’m going to combine the Suhr Jazz bridge pickup with a typical Seymour Duncan P set on my PJ bass. How should I go about installing the bridge J pickup? Any special considerations?

    The pickup itself is not in my possession yet. I just want to be able to install it in the quickest way possible, without having to do much trial-and-error.

  2. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    First off, congrats on the pickup acquisition. These are some of the finest sounding pickups ever made, if you ask me and I even built a bass around a set of them. Couldn't be happier!

    I have definitely found over the years that when they are installed "correctly"... when both pickups are on, the volume dips like mad. The fix couldn't be easier: swap the leads on one of the pickups and it's fine.

    If you were to install this in a bass with another pickup, install it the way you think it should go. Test both pickups alone and together and see if they sound even for volume levels.
    - If when you have the pickups both even, the sound drops, just reverse the leads on the Suhr.
    - If they sound fine, you're good.
    - If they are quiet, you reverse them and it still drops... well, I don't know what to do about that exactly. Maybe try reversing leads on the other pickup?

    I guess my point is, it's pretty easy to experiment if you have a hot soldering iron and the cavity opened.
    _jaxon5 likes this.
  3. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me.

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    Thank you for your advice. On another note, I may actually be ditching this PJ project and instead putting a set of Fender Suhr Jazz pickups on a Jazz Bass. I’m wondering why one of the pickups for that set has different colored leads than the other one- one pickup has black and yellow leads and the other one has black and white leads. Is this how yours is too?

    And just to be sure, I can install these with passive electronics, yes? Meaning the usual V-V-T setup and not the Fender Suhr preamp that it originally came with.
  4. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Well, arent all jazz bass sets out of polarity with eachother? The neck is always reverse wound to create a hum canceling effect when both are on full.

    Anyway, you aren't going to know how the two different pickups are going to interact until you try it. No matter what pickups you're using, they are going to phase eachother out. That's just what happens when you use two pickups. Now, how that happens, and if you like it, determine whether the set works together or not. Usually, the pickup with lower resistance take the front seat. So, if it's your Split, it will retain more mid frequencies when you run both. If it's your single, you'll have a tighter, less bassy tone from the scoop. But, pickup height also affects this phenomenon of sound. You're going to have to just try it out, make adjustments, and go from there.