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MM series wiring

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bardolph, Nov 5, 2006.


  1. Bardolph

    Bardolph

    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Sorry, I would do a search on this but MM is under 4 letters, and "MM" seems to be more commonly used than the more searchable "musicman". Anyway, I'm just wanting to know a couple things about MM pickups.
    First, how do they sound in series? I know series wiring fattens things up a bit, but anything more specific than that as far as MM pickups? Anybody have this on their bass or maybe have a sound clip or two? I'm thinking about putting a MM at the bridge location of the next bass I'm building and want to be able to get a J type growl, except with a more meaty tone than a single J. The guy in this youtube video seems to get tons of growl out of a Kingston (even says so himself :smug: ).
    Second, which brands of MM pickup allow for series wiring, and, while we're at it, is there one or maybe a few in particular that have a reputation for having a lot of balls, kind of like the sound of that guy in the video?
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Any dual coil MM with 4 leads can be wired in series. I had a Kingston pup and it only had two leads and to my knowledge was wired in paralell. I have a bud with Kingston pup that he broke into and wired in series and it's one of his preferred pups.

    To many variables, for the most part you'll know what a pup sounds like once you install it. The standard Ray pup with Alnico 5's is the benchmark pup - and all Alnico 5 MM's I've had sounded so much alike it was splitting hairs. I think the Kingstons are ceramics and ceramics do sound different.
     
  3. Bardolph

    Bardolph

    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Well the thing is, I do like the classic stingray sound, but it's not quite what I'm going for. But I wouldn't rule out using a MM pickup cause I think the kingston in that clip sounds great, and not very much like a stingray.
     
  4. Atomicant

    Atomicant

    Feb 3, 2006
    Australia
    Having the pickup closer to the bridge and in series give it a sound like a fat J.

    I find it has a lot less of that MM 'rattle' (the high mids thing) when further back, but its still quite trebly and defined in parallel
     
  5. pharaohamps

    pharaohamps Commercial User

    May 30, 2006
    Garner, NC
    Owner, Disaster Area Designs / Alexander Pedals
    The 3-coil MM pickups (such as the Sterling or SR5) are designed with all three coils (neck, bridge, bottom) separate. You can then combine them in any way you like. AFAIK Nordstrand makes a really nice 3-coil MM pickup. The nice thing about the 3 coil setup is that you can get the single coil tone with the bottom coil engaged for hum-cancelling.

    Matt Farrow
     
  6. Not to hijack this thread but....

    I'm most likely getting a Nordstrand MM for my custom bass project and I was also thinking about using a switch and a 3-coil for more tonal options. The thing is, I thought I read somewhere on here that a 3-coil MM pickup loses the sound of the 2-coil and doesn't sound nearly as good or something of that sort. Can anyone confirm or deny that? (I realize it's subjective, but....eh)
     
  7. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    seems the Nord triple is built like a Sterling with the 3rd coil on the bottom which is a freak configuration to stay away from - you have to route anything it's stuck in to accept it. The Nord Quad would be a better choice in my book - unless you're sticking it in a Sterling bass or one already routed for it.

    The Bart triple (MMC I think it is) is flat, has a million wiring varations, and requires no such routing. Different than the Alnico sound but depends on what you're looking for.
     
  8. Bardolph

    Bardolph

    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    For double coil MM pickups that allow tapping, which coil gets soloed, or can you solo either one? Also, does the non-used coil cancel the hum of the soloed one?
     
  9. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Dual coils are basically two singles. In as much, if you use one you have a single coil pickup - which means it'll probably hum. You could isolate either if it has 4 leads and neither if it has two leads (without modifying it).

    With a quad MM you basically have a pair of model J's functionally (split HB), so you get the same string read as a single but it's humbucking.
     

  10. I'm building a Warmoth from scratch, so I really don't mind a bit of extra routing. I guess my question is, can I get the 2-coil alnico tone from a 3- or 4- coil? How different do all the coil combinations actually sound from each other, if at all (besides hum of course)?

    And I'm pretty sure I'm looking for the alnico sound--Sort of like a G&L type humbucker, fat, punchy, and warm, sort of "old school"--as opposed to hi fi and bright, right?
     
  11. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Yeh, I thought the same thing and I routed for it. Won't happen again.

    Carey would be the one to ask about variation in their tone, and I'm sure he will if contacted. My guess is none of significance. The Sterling sounded like a Ray to me. The differences would be more in what occurs from wiring options. Don't know if the Nord 4's a 4 or 8 lead but if they were eight you could even wire as P's and reverse P's (if polarity allowed anyway).

    The only Nord MM I've had was the standard dual coil and it sounded so much like the original Ray it's splitting hairs. Old school. Nice top end but not hi-fi for sure.

    Have no idea what your setup is but one thing you could do is use a blend instead of a switch on a dual coil if all you want is HC single operation. I've done it before. That way you can blend the two coils to taste and as long as you keep a little of one mixed in, it's HC. There would be no tonal variation of significance betweem a bit of a mix and pure single - coils are so close together. And you could use both coils as single. Throwing in a phase switch with it gets even more interesting.
     

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