Jazz: Neck Pup in Bridge Position - Good or Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Groover, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I was looking through the specs for the J Quarter Pound, and I noticed that the specs for the Neck and Bridge pickups have different values. I think this is typical for J sets, but I'm not sure.

    If I were to put the Neck pup in the Bridge position (assuming it would fit), what would happen to the sound?? Fatter or thinner? Has anyone tried this?

    These are the specs I mentioned. (SD Quarter Pound Jazz)


    Neck-13.9K Ohms
    Bridge-14.61K Ohms

    Res. Peak

    Neck-4.3K Hz
    Bridge-3.9K Hz

  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Interesting idea. I can't help you, but I would like to know also.
  3. MIA Fender Jazz's and 2002 and later MIM Jazz's have different size bridge and neck pups. Prior to 2002 the MIM's had both pups the same size as the bridge.
  4. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    In many cases a set of jazz pickups will have the bridge one slightly overwound because there is less string movement at the bridge. If the resistance specs are different, the one with less resistance probably has fewer turns and less output. I suspect a neck pup would sound thinner than a bridge pup if they were both installed in the same location.

  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    It MAY sound very slightly different if you could do an AB with two "identical" basses, or record it in the studio first with one and then the other to directly compare. In real life I doubt whether you'd hear any difference with a 5% underwind. And on stage with a band - no way.
  6. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    One issue that may come up is string spacing. If the poles are spaced to work in the neck position they'll be a bit narrow in the bridge position slightly reducing the volume of the outer strings. Of course since in the standard J pickup the poles are usually aligned flat and fingerboards radiused a normal pickup is a bit hot on the outer strings so this might balance out nicely and mimic the effect of a radiused pickup.
  7. ldervish


    May 22, 2005
    Johnson City, TN
    I once tried both a neck J and a bridge J from a Dimarzio set in the (bridge) J position on my Franken PJ. Couldn't tell any difference. I think I read somewhere that Nordstrand bridge Js are wound hotter (and it seems to me it was more than 5%), for the reasons given above. Easy to find out exactly.
  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    for the literal expectation the SD site has their little cross arrow deal that tells what the DCR/center frequency mixes produce.

    From experience of sticking necks in bridge and bridge in necks, it's made no difference of consequence I could tell even just playing at low volume to music where you can definitely tell any variation let alone playing with a band.

    1K doesn't make much difference and in fact although there's typically a direct correlation between DCR and output that's only etched in stone when pups are identical otherwise.

    I've got 2 sets of Fender noiseless pups right now. They both have the same DCR, one set has ceramic mags on the base and the other doesn't. The pair without the ceramic mags are probably at least 30% hotter output. I've got a metal ruler and the higher output pups will exert a lot more pull on that ruler than the ceramics.

    As long as the strings are within the perimeter of the magnetic fields, they will read the pup fine regardless of where the poles line up with the strings - at least with any magnetic pup I've ever had.