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Jazz Bass - Moving neck pickup closer to bridge?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by -=DanAtkinson=-, May 3, 2010.


  1. I'm brainstorming a fretless J build for myself, and I'm wondering what sonic characterstics could be achieved by putting the bridge pickup in the 70's position, and shifting the neck pickup 1.5" or 2" closer to the bridge as well. I notice the Warwick Thumb has the pickups quite close together, and I really dig that tone. Anyone done this?
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Combining the neck and bridge J pups would not be too different overall from the "sweet spot" placement of the Ric or EBMM humbucking bridge pup; also Sadowsky "Modern" basses have a pup placement similar to what you describe.

    None of those are "the same as" your idea, but can give a frame of reference for tone.
     
  3. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Yes. In fact, I was so intrigued by the differences in p'up placement that I bought a Carvin kit, routed out the entire pickup area (from neck to bridge), took two p'ups and started moving them around - mounting them, playing, mounting them, playing...

    What I sorted out was that where old Leo put them was pretty darned good.

    Now, having the two J p'ups close together, down at the bridge, ala some Warwicks & Zon's is also cool - but tends to lead to a very one-dimensional sound - kinda burpy, no matter what you do. 3 P'ups might well be idea - Two p'ups put in the older J locations (ala a Geddy J) and then one maybe 1/2" away from the bridge p'up - then use a three way switch like a strat...

    Man, thinking on this makes me wanna build another bass...
     
  4. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    Zon comes to mind:

    Sonusspecial4.

    Basslab comes to mind:

    std5fl_blue_395x161.
     
  5. metron

    metron

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    I think ultimately it would mean less lows, more mids.
     
  6. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The Sonus Special and Thumb 5 are extreme version of this, the Hamer Cruise is a more subtle one. The Hamer spacing sounds killer, almost a tiny bit more like a PJ with a growlier/tighter sound than a normal J. When you go to the extreme versions, you end up needing to pan off-center one way or the other to avoid "blur". I usually end up panning toward the neck on basses like that, and it sounds great. A fretless guy would probably pan toward the bridge until the blur goes away.

    Or you can just go with a MM pickup like bongo suggested, those don't have the blur issue obviously since they're specifically designed to be a single pickup (vs. a tweak of the J design).
     
  7. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Yeah - Leo really knew what he was doing with the P, in many areas.

    The closer to the bridge you get, the less low end, so the sound stresses the mids.

    I have an old Yamaha BB400 with a reverse P in the center. I added a second reverse P near the bridge to add some growl to the smooth sound and it is very nice. The P pups don't have extreme highs, so the sound is mellow rather than bright.
     
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    On my fretless I moved the neck 1/2" towards the bridge which in effect moves the pickups 1/2" away from the bridge. Then I get a better tone from the bridge pickup this way.

    5f%20011.
     

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