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How does the placement of a pickup affect the sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Hamlet7768, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Pretty much the title. I was thinking about this, and was curious. I've noticed some guitars and basses with pickups close to the bridge (like the classic Stingray bass and Chuck Schuldiner's BC Rich Stealth guitar).
  2. You get an emphasis on harmonics, and less output, toward the bridge. Conversely, neck pickups emphasize fundamentals.

    Stingrays actually have pickups in the "sweetspot," which is closer to the neck than a typical bridge pickup placement, yet not as far up as a typical neck pickup placement.
  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The closer to the neck, the deeper and rounder the tone. Closer to the bridge and the tone is tighter and brighter. This is why most instruments have two pickups.

    You can hear this by plucking the string on your bass while listening to the tone. First start at the end of the fingerboard. Now move up to the bridge.

    So for something like a Stingray with only one pickup, they placed it in a spot that wound be in between the common bridge (Jazz) and middle (P bass, Ric) positions.

    You can place a pickup anywhere you like, there is no rigt or wrong location. Gibson had the Grabber bass where the pickup could slide back and forth for different ones.
  4. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Very interesting. Thanks!

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