Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

MM Bridge with J neck (lots of questions)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by King David, Dec 7, 2002.


  1. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
    I am envisioning building a bass with a MM pickup in the MM position and a J pickup at the neck position. I will have a coil splitter swithc that will switch the mm from single coil/dual coil series/dual coil parallel in order to get a variety of tones. I am trying to decide on the best combination of the available pickups. I am guessing that the pickups should complement eachother or at least not clash.

    1. Do you have any suggestions on proven combinations?

    2. Should the J neck pickup be a single coil or a stacked humbucker?

    3. I notice that the Seymore Duncan pickup comes both in ceramic and the alnico. What is the difference in sound?
    please rate them
    Highs 1-5
    High-Mid 1-5
    Mid 1-5
    Low-Mid 1-5
    Low 1-5

    Any help I can get I would appreciate!
     
  2. I am not certain about the different tones from different magnets but i would check round the pickup manufacturers websites for info. As to the pickup combo it is quite a common one, you will see it on various warwicks and carvins. The best idea i have heard for it is to have the jazz pu as a single coil, then you can set up the wiring so you have the front coil of the mm pu with the single coil to create another humbucker (make sure you get a reverse wound jazz pu to do this) this means you can get 3 single coil sounds (each of the mm coils and the jazz) and 2 humbucker (musicman with phantom or musicman and jazz) plus several other combinations. I spoke to the guys at Kent Armstrong about this and they reckon it was one of the most versatile combinations you could go for.
    Hope this is some help. :)
     
  3. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
    Wow, if I understand you correctly you could do this:
    1.Single coil on MM
    2.Series humbucker on MM
    3. Parallel humbucker on MM
    4. Series or parallel (single coil on MM + Single coil on J) {this would be similar to the J bass mod that is out there}
    5. Single coil on J

    Of course you could blend any combination of the MM and J.
     
  4. That seems basically to be the lot, it offers huge tonal options, especially once combined with a preamp. As to the specifics of the wiring i would suggest you talk to your local bass technician but you have enough there to probably figure a lot of it out. If you want to get more of an idea of the possibilites have a look at the Ibanez ATK 400 bass, it has a triple coil pu and a jazz pu with a selector switch, lots of options! Good Luck.
     
  5. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Note that anything involving wiring the MM and J in series together will make things fairly complicated. Just making a series/parallel switch normally wouldn't be so hard, but since you have a blend pot thrown in the mix it gets real tough.

    But just taking that one option out leaves a *lot* left.
     
  6. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    If you are using a preamp, wiring is actually very simple. With J-Retro/U-Retro preamp, you just need to add an ON-ON-ON Toggle switch for the MM pup, then take output of that to the bridge pup pins on the preamp.

    J pup connects directly to the neck pup pins on the preamp, and that's it - you have all the options.
     
  7. What if you use two volume pots? The series setting could bypass one of them.
     
  8. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I think that would work OK.
     
  9. joetiii

    joetiii

    Oct 27, 2002
    So now to the next question..... why would one need the phantom coil in the MM?

    My thinking is you would only need when you run one coil of the MM with no Neck p/u, correct?

    Seems to me that would be a pretty thin sound.
     
  10. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Correct. Only as thin as a J-bass bridge pickup sound. People use it.
     
  11. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Right...that is one of my favorite sounds on my DP Custom.
     
  12. joetiii

    joetiii

    Oct 27, 2002
    I imagine that if you wire the MM so that in single coil mode, the coil furthest from the bridge would give you the fattest sound. Having said that, the soloed single coil in the MM would have a pretty unique sound.

    Does the phantom coil rob any output?
     
  13. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Not anymore than another pickup would. Pickups mixed in parallel actually load each other down a little bit. I think it probably has a slight effect on the output, but not much. (if Alembic uses it in the Series II. . . :) ).