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How important is pick up placement to you , when buying a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Apr 5, 2006.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Hi Guys

    How importent is pick up placement to you when choosing a new bass?
  2. It's very important to me.

    I generally prefer one pickup in roughly the usual P-bass to Stingray positions. I have nothing against two pickup basses, but I feel that with only one pickup you concentrate on your playing and getting your sound with your hands rather than control tweaking.

    My Ibanez EDA905 has one magnetic pup and piezos; that combination sounds nice. I use just enough of the piezos to accent the mag pup.

  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    For me, I can say that that's one of the reasons why I don't like P-basses. When I'm playing regular fingerstyle on a fretted bass, my fingers (index and middle) are always two and a half inches far from the bridge. In a P-bass, there's no pickup at that point and I need to feel a pickup under my fingertips since it works like a ramp for me (well, maybe installing an actual ramp in a P-bass would be a solution). Anyway, as far as I have a pickup at that spot, it's OK for me.
  4. Pickup placements pretty important, as I play near the bridge and like to anchor my thumb to a pickup.

  5. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    Next to neck feel, it's very important.
    I prefer the sound of one pickup, placed in desired spot.
    Think P-bass, Musicman, AJ Fodera bass.
    Also G & L L1000.
    I want to get sound from my hands not multi-pickups.
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I installed a thumbrest on mine!


    Regarding the original question, to me pickup placement and type is probably _the_ most important aspect, to me.
  7. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    While I love my two pickup basses (Fender Jazz and DiPinto Belvedere), I largely agree with this, and I've gravitated toward P-basses over time partly for this reason. Moreover, pickup placement has a huge impact on tone, so otherwise similar instruments can sound very different by changing this variable.

    Case in point: G&L L-2000 vs. L-1500. They have similar bodies (L-1500 slightly smaller) and the same MFD humbuckers, but the L-1500's sinlgle MFD is in the "sweet spot" between the bridge and neck pickup positions on the L-2000. As a result, it has wicked growl and punch, and sounds quite different from the L-2000 to my ears. It can't duplicate the deep old-school P-bass vibe of the L-2000 with neck pickup soloed, but the L-2000 can't possibly sound like the L-1500 either. They're different beasts. (Apparently their preamps are slightly different, but I think most of the tone difference is from pickup placement, because it's equally apparent in passive mode.)

    So, even though I respect the L-2000's flexibility and love some of its tones, I've ordered an L-1500 to get that aggressive punch, and keep some of the minimalist P-bass vibe.
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Not important at all.

    Unless I'm contemplating some weird design, which is never the case.
  9. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Super important. I've learned the hard way that movement (especially in the case of a bridge J pup) of even 1/2" can make a big difference. Others may disagree and that's fine, but for me it's a major factor in why I like the "60's" J placement over the "70's".
  10. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I use the floating thumb technique when playing so I never look to see if the pickup is convenient for anchoring. If I can get a great tone out of the bass then that is most important to me. Most of my basses have two pickups and all have the neck pickup pretty much where the precision pickup exists on a Fender so I would guess that subconsciously that is one of my preferences.
  11. steve21

    steve21 Inactive

    Placement is honestly not very important to me... sound > placement.
  12. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    +1000. More important than wood, more important than preamps, more important than nearly anything I can think of on a bass.
  13. Toooootally. The bridge pickup is where I make my home.
  14. Tone and playability are the only things that I worry about.

  15. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    it's kinda important to me. i generally like jazz pickup placing, or any dual pickup (one neck, one bridge). it gives me the option of playing aggresively at the bridge or going to the neck for a less aggresive sound.
  16. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Kinda important to me - usually anchored at the neck pup.

    I mean, no real problem as my thumb drifts between strings, but when playingon the E its essential.
  17. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Very important to me, but for a different reason: I need the space between them to be wide enough to get a decent-sized ramp in there. I've actually considered selling my Bongo because the ramp is a bit narrower than I prefer it to be.

    I also usually don't like the tone of a pickup placed right at the end of a fingerboard.
  18. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Very, all my current basses have MM style pups. Except my first bass, my jazz.
  19. i like the pickups to be farther back by the bridge, but i have have nothing really against any other position as long as it sounds good and is playable. like my ric, the bridge pickup i think could be a little farther back, but at least it has the big metal plate to rest my thumb on so i can play farther back by the bridge. playablity is probably more important to me, but usually the pickup placement and playablity go hand and hand.
  20. Not important.

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