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moving neck humbucker to bridge - help

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by placedesjardins, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    I have a Yamaha BB714. It has a Billy Sheehan-ish humbucker pickup in the neck position and a split P-bass pickup in the middle. The neck pick-up sounds beefy but it gets in the way of slap bass popping. I'd like to remove it, but maybe relocate it to the bridge position. I don't know how that will sound though. I know neck and bridge pickups on a normal electric aren't quite the same, but I don't know what the difference is. Same thing with bass pick-ups, I don't know the difference between a neck and bridge bass humbucker pickup.
    I don't want to rout out the body for the bridge pick-up just to end up ruining it. :rollno:

    1. Is routing possible with a rotary tool? I don't want to buy a router. I'm not into carpentry.

    2. Removal would be the simplest. It has three knobs. One is volume for the neck pickup. One is for the middle pickup, one is a push-pull pot for tone. Do I just unwire the connections to the front pickup and it will be fine? Or do the loose-ended wires have to be tied together to close the loop or must they be kept separated to prevent hum? I don't know.
  2. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012

    Aidez moi, s'il vous plaît.
  3. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    I'd say sell it and get a BB with a bridge pickup.
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that's pretty much exactly what would happen.
  5. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Northeast Ohio
    There is a couple things to note here. If I assume that the bass under consideration is the one in your avatar with the bladed poles then the string spacing should not be a problem unless the pickup is just too narrow to effectively work for the E & G strings.

    A simple description of the difference between bridge and neck pickups is that the bridge pickups are usually wound a little hotter because there is less string vibration close to the bridge.

    The wiring should just be moved with the pickup, no need to worry about what to do with it, just hook it back up at the new spot.

    A rotary tool can cut a pickup cavity but it is a poor choice... especially for a self proclaimed non-carpenter type.

    So will it work and can you do it? Probably.

    You'd probably have less regrets if you just sell the bass and find one that jives with your playing style.
  6. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    The bass in the avatar is the bass in question.
    Well, yes I have a rotary tool AND it came with a router attachment. I would figure any minor boo-boos would be covered by the pickup cover plate. I don't want to sell it for a regular split plus single bridge pickup. I like the black nickel hardware.
    I guess I might just remove the neck humbucker and leave the opening bare.
    Thanks for the replies.
  7. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    In general bridge pickups are wound hotter the neck pickups. The need to be because the sting produces less vibration so close to the bridge.

    If you move it it may not be loud enough to matter.
  8. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Just to follow up, I was going to remove the neck pickup because it was getting in the way of my popping. I rarely use the neck pickup.
    I removed the back cover. I saw the wires going to the neck pickup.
    Then, I start to unscrew the middle screws on the humbucker (you can see them in my avatar). I thought this will loosen the humbucker for removal. The pickup started sinking. It turns out the middle screws are height adjustment screws for the pickup. So, I just adjusted both sides so the pickup is down deep so it doesn't interfere with my popping. This was good as no electrical surgery was necessary and I wouldn't have an exposed pickup hole.