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guitar pickup in bass.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bass4nds, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. bass4nds


    Sep 23, 2005
    Hey guys-
    Have you ever heard of putting a guitar pickup into a bass body? would it work as a bass pickup, say, if the poles weren't exposed? Humbucker? Just curious... got a crappy old Fender P-bass and a broken guitar body with Humbuckers... and too much time on my hands! thanks in advance.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Nope, won't work. Or really, it'll work but it won't work well at all. The polepieces won't line up and some strings won't have any volume, regardless of whether the polepieces are covered. Might work if you had a blade humbucker because there's no polepieces, but definitely not a 6 polepiece pickup. Plus you'll totally kill whatever resale value you might have if you replace it with the guitar pickup.

    If you're going to replace the pickup, do it right and not just because you have too much time on your hands.
  3. mcbrat

    mcbrat Electra Outlaw

    Dec 22, 2004
    they'll work fine. it's a good way to play around with stuff.

    I've got 2 of em like that. the 70 MusicMaster came with a strat SC stock. once you remove the extra cap Fender installed to help it sound like a student bass, it sounds pretty good.

    my "pocket bass" just kept the original guitar pickup in place.

    all the strings ended up close enough to the pole pieces to have good sound/volume.

    you could also experiment with angling the pickup to get closer string to pole piece coverage.....

    going the other way would be worse (bass pickup on a guitar) IMHO....
  4. +1

    The Gretsch BroadKaster bass comes with Gretsch guitar humbuckers installed (the pole pieces are covered), and it sounds great.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    It depends on the pickup, and the bass. If you are not worried about resale value, this could be a very cool experiment.
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Kind of doubtful but if you don't have to route to fit them then give it a go. Something permanent is different and you may want to give it some thought in terms of backup plan, whatever.

    The pickup will likely reproduce the frequencies as it doesn't know what it's in. You're only talking 40Hz difference. However, bass pickups usually are designed to read with a more narrow aperture to yield a tighter/punchier tone. Also two HB's that close together at that location is probably not the ideal setup - but you won't know that till you do it. Depends on the HB's, some are fairly bright.

    I've never had a problem with the pups reading the strings on bass pups whether poles were aligned or not as long as the perimeter strings were not bent out of the magnetic field.
  7. the old musicmaster basses have one strat pickups with diffirent cover.. if you remove the cover you'll just see a six pole strat pickup..
  8. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    I saw a Rickenbacker 4001 on eBay with a DiMarzio X2N pickup.

    They said it worked, and that's the extent of my knowledge on such things.
  9. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    I've used a few of the rail polepiece type pickups with varying degrees of success in my shortscale experimental bass. They were all good, just some closer to the tone I was looking for. I tried;
    Dimarzio: X2N, Fasttrack1, Chopper, ProTrack
    SD: Cool and Hot rails

    Got a nice new ash body for it, and will get a new neck made in the new year, once I clear some other bills.
  10. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Along these lines, Rickenbacker vintage-styled "toaster" pickups for guitar and bass are actually the same pickup, and it's apparently by intentional design that they can be used on both.

    And on another side note, I once plopped a Seymour Duncan bass pickup in a guitar and it sounded pretty good!
  11. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Danelectro uses the same pickups in basses and guitars.