How do I find the right hardware for my bass build?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Torskekongen, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Torskekongen


    Jun 18, 2018
    I’m building a bass for a (pretty big) school project and I’m feeling pretty lost.. My plan is to buy all parts exept for the body, which I want to build from scratch. I would also like to avoid using building kits.
    I am currently trying to find all the parts I’ll need, and I am having a hard time with the bridge and pickup to neck ratio. How do I find what size bridge and pickups I should use with this particular neck? The neck I’m currently looking to get has a scale length of 34 inches, and is 1.5 inches wide at the nut and 2.475 inches wide at the heel (fender jazz neck).. Is there any way for me to calculate which size pickup and bridge i should buy, and where on the body they should be placed?
    sissy kathy likes this.
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Standard Fender string spacing is 19mm. Lots of aftermarket costly bridges made and inexpensive real Fender bridges available. Whats your budget?

    Single pickup? Can’t go wring with a P bass pickup. These get rave reviews on the cheap. GFS Pro Series P Bass Pickup Pickup OUR BEST!

    Place the bridge so the G saddle sits 34” away from the nut when assembled and the intonation screw is just even with the saddle hole.

    Heres some pickup placement dimensions.
    Roscoe Beck meets Music Man Stu Hamm JJ/MM/JJ
    Torskekongen likes this.
  3. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Welcome to TalkBass.
    You're starting at the deep end I see, here's a like to get you started.
    The horizontal center line of the pickup (Fender sweet spot) is 28.75 inches from the nut (@34" scale length,) or ~84.5% of the scale length. The bridge should have the saddles extended about 5/6 of their length (toward the neck.) The bridge gets secured using those saddle settings as the scale length. So with the saddles extended like that, once the bridge is secured to the body you measurement from nut to extended saddle should be 34 inches. As far as calculating physical pickup size goes, that has already been done for you and you can't change that. You're building a 4 string bass, get the four string pickup(s) of your choice. Your limitation isn't what pickup(s) to use, you limitation is how you can wire it (them.)
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
    Torskekongen likes this.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Shouldn't your instructor be helping you with these questions?

    Is your grade going to be based on just the body and how well you bolted things to it?

    To find the right pickup spacing, first select the string spacing at the bridge you want, and since you already know the nut width it's a simple geometry problem to find how wide apart the strings will be spaced at any point along their length.

    To find where to put the pickups, start by measuring an instrument similar to the one you want to build, and adjust them as needed to suit your tone goals. For example, 60's and 70's Jazz basses have the bridge pickup located in slightly different places, which results in a different sound.

    If you really want to do it right, build a test bed instrument and try different pickup locations to see which gets you the sound you want. Like this:

    Torskekongen likes this.
  5. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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