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How do you properly set/measure pickup height on a Jazz Bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ryan Mohr, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I have a couple of questions:

    1) Do you measure from the top of the pole piece (if poles are raised like on Fender Custom '60s pickups or SX pickups) or the top of the pickup covers?

    2) Do you measure from the left (neck) or right (bridge) side of the pickup, or should the pickup be parallel with the string instead of the body?

    3) How much shorter should the pickup height be on the G string in comparison to the E string?

    4) How much shorter should the pickup height be on the bridge pickup in comparison to the neck pickup?

    5) What should these measurements be for a 7.25" radius Jazz Bass?

    Thanks, I appreciate any input.
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I'd start with the pickup cover, if the PUPs have been completely removed. Otherwise I don't measure them. Start with the PUPs level and play the bass. Listen and adjust according to what YOU need to get from YOUR bass.

  3. It's not real critical. I run my bridge pup close to the strings, with a little more than 1/8" clearance to the E and G strings. The neck pup however needs more clearance to avoid strings hitting it, maybe 3/16" or so.
  4. There is a good set of measurements and details on the Fender web site, under the support tab. Thet give you a recomendation for each pickup and the differential from the E sting side to the G sring side. I believe you have to fret the E string at the 12th fret and make your adjustments from there for the bass side, the repeat that on the G string for the treble side on a Jazz bass.

    Oh here's the link, http://www.fender.com/support/basses.php
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    I turn the screws until I get the height where I like it ... too high the strings hit the pickups ... too low and it sounds weak ...
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i think the "magic" setting is one where all 4 strings have equal volume, and each string has equal volume through the neck or the bridge pickup.

    angling towards this goal will usually leave you with a bridge pickup real close to the strings but with the bass side a little further away than the treble side, and a neck pickup dropped off a bit from that, again with the bass side pushed down a little extra.
  7. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I'm bumping this thread with a specific question. The poles on the Fender CS '60s pickups are all raised, not staggered, just all evenly raised. Should I measure from the pole pieces or the pickup cover? I tried measuring from the pole pieces, but the output was way too low.
  8. i'd measure from the pole pieces, 1/8th from the bottom of the string, all the way across, with the strings pressed down at the last fret.
  9. oh yeah, you might want to raise the pickups slightly higher for the d and g strings..
  10. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks, I know how to set up a bass just fine I was just surprised how that the output was so low.
  11. hmm, those custom shop pickups are supposed to be relatively hot from what i've read.

  12. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Compared to my Squier and SX, they are anything but hot or loud.

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