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jazz bass pickup poles that stick out past cover

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by whatever4, Mar 14, 2013.


  1. whatever4

    whatever4

    Dec 12, 2012
    I have a 1998 American Standard Jazz Bass. The poles on the pickups stick up past the cover and sort of follow the contour of the strings. This may be good for the sound, but sometimes I snag my finger on them when I'm playing over a pickup. I bought the bass used. Is this a normal setup for that bass? Are the poles adjustable?
     
  2. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    It is normal for jazz bass pickups to do this, but they are not adjustable. Since jazz pickups are not typically epoxy potted, you can replace the covers on your pickups with some no-hole covers - they are usually pretty cheap and *should* fit.

    Alternatively, you can cut up a business card or find thin pieces of foam to stick in between the plastic bobbin and the cover. This will push the cover up and hopefully make the poles less noticeable.
     
  3. qervo

    qervo

    May 18, 2011
    They are made that way for a reason. If you notice the poles are in line with the radius of your neck . If your strings action is in line with your neck radius then the poles each have the same distance from your strings allowing for a more even tone response. If the poles were all flat then your E and G string would sound loud but not the A and D.
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    with old american standard pickups you can change this!

    the magnets are set in a plastic bobbin insulated from the coil wire; you can push them down (hell, you can push them right through and out of the pickup) without hurting anything.

    this is not true of most pickups, especially vintage-style single coils!

    i'd try to keep the magnet radius that matches the strings and just tap them all down, maybe so that the E and G were flush and the A and D stuck up a little.
     
  5. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    +1 I suspect that these are not the original pickups as I've never seen an American Standard J where the stock pickups had staggered pole pieces. That said, I personally favor this arrangement and have bought Lindy Fralin J pickups with raised A and D pieces in order to achieve improved string to string balance. If you like the sound of the pickups, I would say just keep them in that bass and just lower the pickups far enough to keep your fingers from hitting the pole pieces.
     
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    me too, which is why as a routine setup step on these i nudge the magnets into the correct stagger pattern: E and G flush with the cover, D and A up maybe a 1/16". someone might have done that to the OP's bass at some point.
     
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    If I'm not mistaken, that was the year they stopped using the pickup with the bigger pole pieces (one big one fore each string rather than two smaller ones for each string). I had a '97 5 string with the big ones. They took the ends of my fingers off because they stuck out so much (not literally).

    OP, are yours the big single pole pieces or the paired smaller ones?
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    you're thinking of the active "deluxe" basses that had the big individual poles, a totally different thing.
     
  9. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Replacement pups like dimarzios have individually adjustable pole peices. There is a small but useful tone shift when pole peices are above housing top compared to flat/flush with top. This remains constant even when whole pups height is adjusted to compensate so pole peices tops remain same distance from strings. Lower your pups a tiny bit if your snagging fingers on pole peices. They are either to high or your fingers are digging down to far.
     
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Ah. You are correct. That's exactly what mine was.
     

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