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Gibson-style humbucker... on a j-bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by unbrokenchain, Feb 4, 2016.


  1. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    So I'm building an electric bass from a cheap kit. Definitely not my first bass, but my first from-scratch (er, kit..) build. For what it's worth, I think it's also my first post in the BG section. Like a different country over here :) Have been playing only upright for a while now and admittedly haven't owned an electric in a few years. I went with a J-style because that's the body I find most comfortable of the mainstays, but not because I necessarily prefer its tone. I'm expecting to replace several pieces of the kit at minimum, and first priority is pickups. I've ordered a no-rout pickguard from Warmoth and am hoping to sink the pickup pictured into the body just north of the typical J neck pickup location. Does anyone see any reason why this wouldn't work? I've never used this particular pickup, it's a vintage one that was sitting in a local shop, but I'm hoping it will sound at least somewhat similar to the EB4Ls that I've had. Anyone able to instruct me on how to test the pickup with a voltmeter?

    I intend on using the bridge J pickup to a lesser extent, is there any reason why these pickups won't blend together? Thanks IMG_0041[1].JPG
     
  2. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Whoops meant to put this in the pickups forum... mod help?
     
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    The pickup will work just fine, it doesn't care what bass its in. The only issue you may run in to is that you may not be able to position the pickup far forward enough on the body to where the string taper lines up with the poles. It will be mostly an aesthetic issue, but it could also cause some string imbalance.
     
  4. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Ah, that makes sense, maybe a reason to get the neck, bridge, and strings on before I place the pickup. I guess I was more asking though if it'd work with the wiring, since the Gibsons usually have a selector switch with multiple pickups vs. the jazz bass independent volumes/single tone.
     
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    No, just different wiring schematics any pickup will work like any other as far as wiring goes. You can wire humbuckers VVT or you could wire Jazz pickups with a switch, it will all work.
     
  6. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1. Gibsons generally have much tighter string-spacing than Fenders, coupled with the fact that the EBs generally had the pickups right up near the neck where there is the least string spacing. It may still work alright if the magnet on the bottom has a wide enough sensing spread, but wouldn't be ideal. I have a Jazz bass with Gibson Thunderbird humbuckers in it that sounds massive- they work because they use blade magnets instead of polepieces...
     
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Ive used a mudbucker in the extreme neck position of a Fender before. It didn't line up perfectly but the string spacing wasn't an issue as far as the pickup sensing the strings.
     
    sunbeast likes this.
  8. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah- Billy Sheehan style! "just north of Jazz neck position" might prove to be a little less forgiving though...
     
  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Well, actually it was right up against the neck, in the typical mudbucker location
     
  10. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Right- Billy Sheehan style: upload_2016-2-4_21-56-0. But the OG poster was asking about putting one farther back (north of the neck J position, which would put it closer to the P pickup). The difference might be negligible though!
     
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I have serious doubts that the difference would be negligible, moving a pickup that much will be a pretty drastic change.
     
  12. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Not really from a string-spacing perspective, which is what I was referring to. On my P-bass in front of me, the difference in string spacing between the end of the neck and the P position is only about 3cm (and "north of J position" would be even less than that).
     
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Ahh, I kinda missed your point. I was speaking from a tonal aspect.
     
  14. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ah yeah- huge difference there! I'm a big Rickenbacker dude, and the difference between the neck pickup on my 4004 and 4003 (one right at the butt of the neck and one just 1" farther back) is pretty huge from a tonal perspective.
     
  15. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC

    This is really what I want to do, but I was afraid that adding a body cavity just below a bolt-on neck might cause some structural issues. Maybe not though?
     
  16. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I doubt it would unless you are using a really low-quality piece of wood for the body. I would leave some wood at the end of the neck heel as Sheehan did just to keep a snug fit. There were actually quite a few players in the 70s that added extreme neck position pickups like that to Fender basses. Also, Fender has made a few basses over the years with them installed stock, like the newish Modern Player Tele bass: upload_2016-2-6_16-5-17.
     
  17. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    It won't cause any structural issues at all. You will be fine.
     
  18. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Awesome. Will post some photos as the project gets underway. Kit should arrive tomorrow in the mail, I'm hoping it's not too terrible.
     
  19. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    IMG_0043.JPG IMG_0044.JPG IMG_0056.JPG


    Hmm should have wiped off the fingerprints...

    Well it ain't perfect by any stretch, but it's a bass and I'm calling it alright for my first build. The kit must have been straight from china, no paperwork in the "box" (just styrofoam wrapped in plastic) at all, but all the pieces were there. Even a set of "strings" and an instrument cable for freaking 58 dollars... My main complaint is that there was no wire rout for a bridge ground. I managed to drill one through to the bridge pickup cavity but it was a pita. I actually primed and painted the body (over a shellac basecoat), but the lacquer I used reacted with the paint and I ended up stripping it all back off, just varnished it and called it done. Mounted the bridge a little too far back but the screws reached intonation with just a little room to spare. My pickup is a little crooked and off-center but it's hot and sounds like I was hoping. G string is a little less volume but I can compensate with the amp EQ or bridge pickup. Got the action decent with just a couple buzzes, need to do a bit more fretwork. Fun project though, the bass is really fun to play
     
  20. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Looks cool! Try raising the G string pole pieces.
     

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