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Mixing pickups with different outputs

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by TDSLaBassiste, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. TDSLaBassiste

    TDSLaBassiste Bass drops and breakdowns since 2009

    Jul 8, 2011
    Southwest Florida
    In my jazz bass, I have a Seymour Duncan Apollo in the neck position and an EMG HZ in the bridge position. The EMG has a lower output when playing it solo than the Apollo and when both are at full volume, the total output cuts to the volume of the EMG and when I dial it back just a little, it's louder and the Apollo takes over.

    Is it possible to mix different outputs like this and not have the volume issues? Would using a 500k pot for the volume of the EMG alleviate this at all? Or should I just abandon ship and use a full set of Apollos?
  2. Can't you just adjust the pickups' heights?

    Pot values make no difference for this issue, although it is possible for you to attenuate one pickup using a fixed resistor, or trimmer pot in the control cavity.
  3. TDSLaBassiste

    TDSLaBassiste Bass drops and breakdowns since 2009

    Jul 8, 2011
    Southwest Florida
    Adjusting the height definitely helps but even with the Apollo nearly flush to the pickguard and the EMG as high as I can go before hitting the strings, the output lowers when I have them both at full volume
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Two thoughts:

    1. Because different manufacturers use different wire color codes, it's possible that your pickups are out of phase. If the tone is thin and twangy, with almost no low end, that's likely the culprit. The fix is easy - just swap the hot and ground leads for one of the pickups. Doesn't matter which one.

    2. If you're sure that your pickups are in phase, you might benefit from a buffered blend. The EMG ABC control is one option. I installed one recently and it works fine. EMG ABC Active Balance Control - Best Bass Gear The Noll Mixpot is another option; it features a trim pot for each pickup. Noll Mixpot - Best Bass Gear
  5. TDSLaBassiste

    TDSLaBassiste Bass drops and breakdowns since 2009

    Jul 8, 2011
    Southwest Florida
    I never even thought of them potentially being out of phase. The fact that it cuts only when both pickups are on full would make sense
  6. Tewest86

    Tewest86 Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Houston, Tx
    When I had this issue I bought Audere new jazz plate preamp (No Z-Modes). They start at $99. Easy install. Each pickup has a separate gain control and they are buffered.

    My thread about it is here somewhere.

    Jazz 2B T Chrome
  7. Your issue sounds like it is related to impedance differences, rather than output differences.
  8. PawleeP


    Oct 8, 2012
    try backing off on one of your volumes, or just put in a switch (on-on-on) to run either-or pup at a time. p

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