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Jazz Pickup Height

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cosmo_Smallpiece, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. Just bought a new MIA Jazz and the bridge pickup is set a lot higher than the neck pu.

    Can anyone tell me if this is correct and if not what is the correct gap between the top of the pickup and the bottom of the strings.
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    It is pretty much common practice to have the bridge pickup set higher than the neck pickup. So, yes, it is "normal".

    And the actual height is a subjective issue. As long as the strings aren't hitting the pickup as you play, it's a non-issue. Adjusting the height WILL affect volume- lowering it will reduce the output from that pickup. If you find some strings are consistantly boomy and louder than the others, lowering or raising one side at a time can help compensate.

    As long as you are happy with your string to string response and the overall output of the bass, you can leave the pickup where it is. Feel free to tinker, however, you can always put the pickup back to where it was. ;) Minor adjustments can make noticeable tone differences.
  3. Flamin 'eck. That was quick. I only posted five minutes ago. That's the power of Talkbass.

    The reason that I asked is that I rest my thumb on the bridge pu and it was so high that I found it quite uncomfortable. I've lowered it now and as you say, it has reduced the volume but it's a lot more comfortable. I can live with the reduced o/p so I'll probably leave it where it is.

    Thanks for your reply.
  4. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    We aim's to please.
  5. marcusmiller


    Oct 26, 2003
    I got a Marcus Miller Jazz bass 4 string.
    I can NOT adjust my neck pick up.
    I try to move the screws but the pick up doesnt move.It is to low so i try to make it a little higher. Has the Marcus Miller bass a special way for adjusting the pickup height ???
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Fender basses have a piece of foam under their pickups to allow some degree of adjustability and to bring them up out of their cavities. Some other companies use springs. (I think they all should. ;))

    If you can't raise it any more, that just means the foam is as uncompressed as it's going to get. Unscrew all of the screws and lift up the pickup and you'll see the foam, which is probably glued to the wood. You can put another piece of foam or some other non-metal material in there to raise the pickup height. If you can't find anything foamy or springy, put it under the foam, so you still have some play in terms of up and down.
  7. i considered switching to springs in my MIM jazz, but when i was switching pickups, i noticed that the screws don't go in straight, so they don't slide along the screws like they should. i'm thinking of drilling new holes myself......
  8. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    On the issue of pickup height, here is what I have found with my Jazz Bass, and other basses.

    Raising the pickups closer to strings = more bass
    Lowering pickups away from strings = more treble

    My jazz was sounding unpleasantly thin. I raised the pickups substantially (actually to the max I Could go without hitting the strings while playing. This gave me the fattest freaking bass ever. Random people would comment on the crazy lowness of that bass. But that was to much. Lowering the pickups a little bit at a time, I found a point where there was more grouwl and definition. Also, lowering the pickups just a little bit yeilded a substantial increase in sustain. But it really is just setting it by ear.

    When I set my pickup height, I set my amp at some moderate tones. Tones that are not heavy in any section of frequencies, but tones that are still good tones. While moving the pickups, I sample different positions on the guitar's tone pot as well (Most frequently between the 100% on and the 65% on positions.) Then I look for what is needed from the pickups. After adjusting the pickups, then I adjust my amp.

    That explanation is awfully vauge, but it's trial and error mixed with some good understanding of what changes your making and understanding of why your bass sounds the way it does, and how you'd like it sound.