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Flush Mount Bridge PU for Jazz or P/J?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by HeavyRockBasser, Oct 27, 2013.


  1. I was wondering if anyone has had any success in using a bridge pickup mounted flush or close to flush with the body, and still have decent tome and volume. I've read that you can wind em hotter and/or add magnets, and some manufacturers will do that, but the manufacturers I've spoken with recommend against it, and say they won't guarantee anything. Most recommend a distance from strings of 3/32 or 5/32 at most.

    I've currently got a Jazz bass, and the bridge pickup is right in my picker's sweet spot. I can play around it, but would love to be able to play and just forget it's there. Thinking about getting a P/J, too, but will probably go with a standard P, if I can't find an answer to the pickup placement issue.

    Any suggestions or success stories before I start routing and spending money on pickups that may or may not work? It doesn't necessarily have to be a jazz pickup. I'd consider soapbars, too . I really like Nordstrand and Tesla's stuff, but these would be even more in the way, if I end up having to raise em.

    Please give me some ideas. Thanks!
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    that close to the bridge there isn't much string movement; a flush pickup will be really weak.

    maybe you're a P-bass guy after all!
     
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    A Line6 Variax would work well for this scenario:

    VariaxBass700.
     
  4. Thanks for the input, guys, but Variax is definitely not for me. I want to stay away from the modern and active stuff. I hate anything with batteries, except my tuner, and want to stay with a vintage sound, as much as possible.

    Also, I should have mentioned that I'll be picking directly above the pickup. This should help a little in the signal that the pickup receives. At least, that's what I'm hoping.

    A standard P bass would work just fine, but I'd still like the extra tonal dimension of the second pickup, if possible. That's one of the things I like best about the Jazz. It's great for finger picking, but I have to make adjustments to my picking position. Not uncomfortably so. I just have to play in a position that's not intuitive/instinctive, if that makes sense?

    I've read a bunch of stuff on "stealthing" or placing the pickup under the pickguard, but most of it has to do with guitar pickups and none of it is specific to the bridge position. I'm pretty sure this is doable, and I can't be the first pick player to consider this.

    Please keep the ideas coming. Thanks!
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    playing over the pickup will make a marginal difference.

    "stealthing" a pickup under pickguard sort of works up by the neck, because that's where the string output is loudest.

    it still doesn't sound as good as a pickup at the correct height.

    now if you want the J pickup to just sort of "flavor" the P pickup, it'll still do that when it's pretty far from the strings.
     
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Have you considered a reverse P in the bridge position?

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTPn4xKmVPsxmn34-xVG-SxXJUOuY9IihQg0ZprYt1t9Wk1bQkkIA.
     
  7. I wouldn't think that P pickups would be the way to go. If I could flush mount em, maybe. But, P pickups are usually more in line with the output of a J neck pickup. Gonna need a massively strong pickup for this. Also, if I have to raise em up, they are two inches wide as opposed to 3/4 for a J-type or 1 to 1.5 inches for soapbars. Would be an even bigger problem trying to miss em with a pick.

    For the Precision, I might consider a second set of P-pickups between the neck pickup and the neck. Gibson and Rickenbacker put their pickups in that position. But, then again, they are entirely different pickups. Has anyone tried this, and how did it work out?
     
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    they also have their other pickups well further back than where a P pickup lives, so they have a remote chance of sounding good together.

    also, the ric has a little single coil that's a bit back away from the neck (and thus sounds good) while the gibby has a huge humbucker up as far as it will go (and thus sounds, well...:meh:)

    it might be a neat novelty sound, but i genuinely don't think you'll get anything super-useful by jamming another P pickup up there.
     

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