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impedance chart for common bass pickups. Does it exist?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DanAdams, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I've been looking and I can't find one. I found plenty for guitars but not for bass.

    I think it would be a great resource. a very simple spreadsheet with different eras of p, j, mm, and other common (or uncommon) pickups. their resistive values, pole types, coil info, color codes, dimensions and even typical factory installed distance from bridge.

    It's would sure give me better idea of what replacements would interest me, and how they may differ from what I currently have, and how to best re-use the random pickups some of us collect.

    a crowd source google doc would be nice
  2. No such chart exists. It is a difficult process to either measure or calculate the impedance of a pickup. Remember that impedance is frequency-dependant, so you have to pick a particular reference frequency. If you want to compare the impedances of pickups, you have to first decide what reference frequency to base your comparison upon, and then figure out what do about the uncertainty of rest of the frequency spectrum.

    When people speak of the impedances of pickups, it is generally in relative terms, like higher, lower, or similar. It's not often that anyone knows, or even cares, about the exact value.
    gebass6 and maurilio like this.
  3. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    sure, but even a DC resistance value would be helpful to know if a certain pickup would be hotter, softer, or even help to understand if it was designed for a neck or bridge position. the dimension thing would be very helpful for people like me who also need to find a replacement for rare outdated pickups (old Ibanez Musician for me)
    I'm not looking for perfection, but something to help hone in on a search rather than trying to hopelessly navigate every pickup manufacturers website.
  4. DCR is basically useless unless you are either winding your own pickups, or trying to authenticate a purchase. People like to toss around numbers with DCR measurements, because they are easy to obtain with any multimeter, but there are too many factors weighing in to the measurement for it to be of any appreciable value. Two pickups can be of equal output, for example, with either equal or inequal DCR, because the pickups may be wound differently, have different magnets, have different wire, have different gauges of wire, or even be at different temperatures when measured.

    When comparing pickups, it is best to avoid attempts to spec everything down to a hard science. It works better if you look for reviews, listen to soundclips, talk to other players about their experiences, and do other things like that.
    LoveThatBass and maurilio like this.
  5. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I know people say this a lot. I actually bought an impedance bridge at one point after being told the same thing regarding measuring speakers in installations.
    I've been involved in residential and commercial hi-fi for many years. After futzing around with an impedance bridge for a long time, I found it always gave me VERY similar readings to what I got through my multimeter on DC resistance settings, so I stopped using it and relied on my multimeter. I've never had any problems using DC resistance as an indicator of impedance even under extremely odd situations.
    I'm not saying it's perfect or that all transducers are the same, but I do believe it's an indicator and worth looking at.
  6. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    DCR it is only a small part of a pickup. Comparing DCR will not give you any indication of how it sounds or how hot it is. Magnet type, size, wire size, winding tension and pattern, etc are way more significant…
    massimomb likes this.
  7. An indicator of what, exactly? What useful thing are you doing with DCR and impedance readings?

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