Fender V-mod pup's/shielding the pg

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by andrew crane, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. andrew crane

    andrew crane

    Feb 20, 2020
    Hello peeps! I just bought a Fender American Professional P bass, 2019. The V-mod pup's have an Alnico 2 magnet for the lower strings, and an Alnico 5 magnet for the higher strings. I tend to place my plucking hand on top of the pup's or very close to them. When my fingers either touch or get very close to the pup's as I'm playing, I hear a high pitched clicking. My pup's are not that close to the strings. It sounds like a grounding issue? My question is: If I shield the entire underside of the pickguard, will this diminish the clicking?
    I understand the easy solution is to adjust my technique and placement of my plucking fingers, but I really like the tone from that placement. When I play my Fender 51' reissue, 62' reissue, and MIM 50's P, I don't have the same issue. There is no clicking noise even when my fingers touch the pup's as I play.
    So, is there anything I can do cosmetically, shielding, grounding, etc...to stop the clicking? Any other tips, suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!
  2. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Forgive the rant, but why does Fender have to be ass-backwards about everything? the Alnico V slugs should be in the E-A section for better articulation, and the Alnico II slugs should be in the D-G section for better tone.

    OK, that out of the way, it is possible the windings aren't tight, causing microphonics? And it is possible that in spite of everything, yes, the strings may be hitting the pole pieces as they vibrate. Check the pickup setup very carefully with a ruler with fine increments compared to one of your basses that does not click, and see if there is any difference. If there is, adjust the pickup to match the string heights of the bass that doesn't click and compare the tone.

    Another item it may be is static electricity. Make sure the pickup is properly grounded to the bridge and the output jack. Check to see if the bottoms of the slugs are also grounded, if appropriate on your bass.

    The final item regarding the pickup is that V-Mod pickups are only wound with about half the wire of a vintage-spec pickup, so they sound thin by definition. This may also contribute to the perception of the click, which may be on other basses, just not as noticeable with better quality wiring.

    And it is always a good idea to keep working on technique. I still work on technique after forty-five + years of playing. Pablo Casals, the famous cellist, in his 80's, still practiced every day to improve, and is quoted as saying, "I think I’m making progress. I think I see some improvement."
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
    imabuddha likes this.
  3. andrew crane

    andrew crane

    Feb 20, 2020

    Thank you so much for your response. After considering everything you wrote, I think I may be having a static electricity problem. I'll open her up and make sure all the grounding is secured.
    It's very interesting what you wrote about the wiring being about half compared to vintage wiring. I hear the thinness you're talking about. I'm wondering if I shouldn't drop some Fender pure vintage 63's or 58's in there and call it a day...haha. I don't think I'm a fan of the modern twist on the traditional P bass sound, and I didn't hear the deviation when I first played and bought the bass. Thank you for your time!
  4. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Thanks. Before you go spending $$$, try flipping the sections of the pickup around.
    imabuddha likes this.
  5. andrew crane

    andrew crane

    Feb 20, 2020
    Crazy!! I flipped them and I like the sound way better! The D and G string have way more tone and punch, and the E and A string are thicker and not as hollow sounding. Thank you!
    So, I'm still having a grounding/static electricity issue. When I had the bass opened up, I checked the bridge grounding wire, the grounding wire from the pu to the pot, and the pu's are also grounded to a metal plate under them. All I have to do is barely touch the poles and it buzzes like crazy. Any suggestions??
    I think through this process, I've learned that I really enjoy having more mids at my disposal. These v-mods have so little mid capability. So, I'm on the hunt for some 50's pup's or if I'm lucky, some pure vintage '58's. There's 2 shops in the UK that used to sell the '58's but they're out of stock. Fender doesn't carry them anymore. I found one guy on Ebay that sells the 50's pup's, but the pickguard, wiring harness, etc. is all included for $200. Do you know anywhere I might be able to find those pup's?
    I really appreciate your time and sharing your experience with me! It is sincerely appreciated.
    imabuddha likes this.
  6. Sorry I can’t help with finding those pickups from Fender, but I would suggest considering Seymour Duncan SBD-1, Antiquity 1, or maybe a Fralin.
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  7. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    I am so glad I happened upon this thread. I too have a 2017 American Pro with the V-Mod pickups. I love the bass, but the E and A string always felt a bit neutered. It never even dawned on me to flip the pickups around. I just did it and like the result very much. It feels like E and A now have some nads. Plus, I like the idea of smoothing out the D and G with Alnico IIs. Now I just need to adjust my EQ settings.

    Kudos to iiipopes for his Fender rant :)
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