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Help - Strange pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Apekooi, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Apekooi


    Mar 1, 2009
    Hello there

    Half a year ago, I bought a mexican Fender Jazz Bass. I played a few and then chose this one because I liked the colour, but I didn't play it first. Once I got home, one of the first things I saw was that on both pickups, the middle 4 iron bits (I don't know what they are called) were higher than the outer 4:


    The image from paint is just there in an attempt to make it more clear.
    i went to my local music store (which is not where I bought the bass) and they assured me this was normal, but the store has a very bad reputation, and nowhere on the internet could I find any clue about this being normal. It is really annoying, as the strings keep hitting the pickups which rpduces ticks and sometimes causes an amplifier (very annoying during live performances) to stop working. Can someone tell me if this is hard to fix? Or if it's normal?
  2. the bobbins are high to follow the radius of fretboard...

    if the strings are hitting the bobbins lower the PUs... you can correct them by pressing the strings on the last fret and check how much space is between bobbins and bottom of the string it should be 3mm
  3. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    Those are the poles. They're staggered to follow the arc of the fretboard. I don't believe you can adjust them as they're probably bonded into the bobbin. It's simple enough to set up just measure the gap string to pole, adjust height and check your volume across the strings,readjust as needed till you get as even a sound as possible.
  4. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    They might be some of the newer Am Std JB pickups with one-piece plactic bobbins. They've been making Am Std Strat bobbins like that for 20 years or more. If so, the magnets can be moved up and down without damaging the coil. You'll have to remove the pickup and take a look at the bottom to see if that's how they are.

    You can also just lower the whole pickup until it dosen't interfere with your technique.
  5. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    The part I'd worry about there is that the middle poles are so high already, that lowering them enough to get them out of the way of the strings would cause the output of the E & G strings to drop drastically in volume. You'd just have to try it & see how the string-to-string volume balance responds. Best case scenario is that those are adjustable as GlennW suggests. If those are not adjustable, I have heard of guys filing down those tall poles by hand or machine, but it is recommend ONLY as a last resort, short of discarding them all together for a different set of pickups. Especially filing on a grinder - this heats up those metal poles really quickly to the point where any parafin, etc., potting could melt out of the pickup casing (if the pickup is potted inside that is).

    I'd like to add, if you do decide that hand filing is the only feasible cure - be sure to tape off the poles your not working on so that the metal filings don't jump & cling to the other poles while doing the work.
  6. Apekooi


    Mar 1, 2009
    Thanks a lot for your responses!
    I tried lowering them altogether, but the results were as stingray predicted; The E and G lose a lot of their volume. I'll try taking of the pickups and lowering the poles and report back ASAP.
  7. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    MAKE SURE that they have one-piece bobbins before you do or you'll probably break the wire and kill the pickup.

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