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Loud E and G strings on some Jazz Basses...Why

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fat-bottom, May 31, 2003.

  1. Why do some jazz basses have E and G strings which are substantially louder than the D and A? Can it be corrected with pickups or bridge replacement? If so, what's the root cause of the problem?
  2. It could just be how close to the pickups the strings are... If you find one again, ask if you can change the set up a little on the p'u's and bridge.

  3. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Yup - and, given the fact that the fingerboard is curved and the strings usually match, but the pickups are flat, those strings are likely closer to the pickups. This isn't a specifc Jazz bass thing though so much.
  4. The problem is that the curvature of the strings matches the curvature of the fingerboard, while the Jazz pickups remain straight bars. This means that on a standard Jazz with a 7.25" radius fingerboard the A and D strings are noticablely higher than the E and G strings. The pickups on a standard Jazz have flush polepieces so no compensation is possible without replacement. This is one of the only serious design flaws of the Jazz. On a Precision this is not a problem as the split-pickup is set so that the inner ends of each half are higher than the outer ends, thus balancing the distance from string to magnet. More modern basses usually have a substantially flatter fingerboard radius (9" to 16") than the classic Fender designs (7.25"), which is another way to minimise the problem, which afflicts all basses with straight pickups, not just Jazz style instuments. The only other solution is raised polepieces in the middle, much like the compensated Strat pickups with staggered polepieces. Alternately a pickup using one or more curved blades in lieu of seperate polepieces can also alleviate the problem.
  5. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Peavey attacked and solved this problem by matching the pups to the curve of the neck with their VFL pickups. I have these in my Koa RSB bass, and it solved that problem real fast it seems. The height of the strings is flat across board, and pretty low as well. I love Peavey :D