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My first out of phase experience

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by msiner, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    I was doing a bit of an overhaul on my Squier P-bass special. I was adding a DiMarzio Ultra Jazz at the bridge. This is the first time I have installed a pickup. I had heard about pickups being out of phase before, but had no real idea what that was.

    I installed the DiMarzio. Before putting the pickguard back on and restringing, I plugged in and gave the pole piece a tap with my screwdriver. The DiMarzio gave a small pop and the original P pickup gave a loud pop. I thought this was strange, but I decided things were working and to close it up.

    After restringing I gave it a go. Boy was I disappointed. Each pickup by itself worked great, but together they were weak and nasaly. So I looked up the generic 4-conductor directions from DiMarzio (it would be nice if these were included along with the model specific directions). They said if the pickups are out of phase, swap hot for ground on the DiMarzio pickup. So I did and it worked beautifully.

    Attached are two recordings of the same passage. The first using both pickups out of phase and the second using both pickups in phase (forgive the poor playing). I hope this helps someone else identify this problem or at least gives some fellow TBers a good laugh.

    Attached Files:

  2. hahaha oh wow.
    Sounds soooo horrible when it's out of phase. Sort of sounds like my own P/J, except I already had it wired in reverse to compensate for this.... :meh::meh:

    But the 2nd clip... damn...
    Did you change the EQ, or is this flat? What's your P pup?
    I didn't know PJ's could get this close to a Jazz, especially on a Squier! I have soundclips of even Sad P/J's that sound nasally...
  3. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    I recorded to my laptop from the effects-send on my amp which is post-volume, but pre-eq. So yes, the EQ was flat and the tone was all the way up. The P pickup is stock Squier Standard Series P-bass Special from 1999. The four wires from the DiMarzio Ultra Jazz are wired in the standard series config, but the pickups are wired together using the stock parallel config with crappy stock 500k pots (they really seem to only work like on-off switches). I am going to replace the crackling pots with 250k in the next week or so. The 500k might be giving it that extra jazz brightness compared to a lot of basses that use 250k. Also, the stock Squier P pickup is ceramic as opposed to the traditional alnico in most higher end basses. Either way, I'm glad you like it.
  4. Cernael


    Jun 28, 2008
    Strangely, perhaps, I didn't find it horrible. If I had to choose, I'd take the other one, of course, but still - this confirms to me that oop is a viable sound, in some circumstances.

    I recently rewired my crappy Strat, to test an b+n oop wiring (hum-cancelling to boot!), but I think I did it wrong - that setting sounds about as oomphy as the regular n+m and m+b settings. It's only when I have all three pickups on that there's a thinner sound...'tis pretty wierd.)
  5. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Yeah, there are uses for all kinds of sounds. It might be interesting to have the option on a switch, but I am pretty meat-and-potatoes when it comes to my bass sound.
  6. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    My 1st experience w/ out of phasing was on purpose via Dimarzio wiring diagram included with the model J's I bought used. I custom made a control plate for a SX short scale jazz and squeezed 3 pots,3 dpdt slider switches and the jack. The control plate on those is smaller than a standard size plate on 34" scale basses. Small 'tone' knobs were required.
    Anywho, I got similar results so never used those settings but I didn't keep that setup very long anyway. But it was nice that Dimarzio offered several optional uses of their product.
    I ended up putting the stock SX pups back in permanently wired in series.

  7. Amazing. :eek:
    Not a single modification other than the bridge pickup, and such an amazing tone. And I have the exact same bass!
    Never have I heard such a PJ. I'm almost having a hard time believing you. :p Your 9 years of playing experience really shows itself.
    Well you've inspired my next modification to my squier. A Dimarzio Model J on the bridge! And to top it off, they'll be wired in Series, the pup by itself and also between the P pup.

    EDIT: or maybe I'll go with the Ultrajazz. Damnit, now I can't decide... :(
  8. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    If you PM me with an email address I can send you all of the before-and-after sound clips I made. That way you can judge the change for yourself. It is not amazing, but it was an all around good upgrade to increase my tonal options, better my tone, and get rid of the single-coil hum. The Model J will probably give you boosted output will strong mids, while the Ultra Jazz will also boost output, but has better dynamics with a slight mid scoop. If I understand correctly, the Sadowsky J Humbucker is essentially a DiMarzio Ultra Jazz with raised poles in the middle to reduce the mid scoop. I like the Ultra Jazz because if I want to reduce the boominess I can solo it and get a good clean tone (with some decent low end for a pickup in the bridge position). The stock J was a little to harsh on its own and could really only be used to tame the P sound a bit and smooth out the tone.

    Fellow TBer, David Wilson, provided some good sound clips of many J pickups in his 'basstasters' thread:

    If you really do have the same bass, I have one word of warning. Measure your J pickup. It is probably the typical size of a J neck pickup, NOT a J bridge pickup. The catch is the "shoulder" cavities are spaced like a J bridge pickup. So I had to sand the corners of the cavities to slightly widen them. I don't know how consistent Squier has been with this, but you should definitely measure twice and buy once. Pay close attention to the string spacing. I could have easily widened the pickup cavity to fit a J bridge pickup, but the pole pieces would not have aligned with the strings.
  9. PM sent!
    I actually couldn't stand my PJ tone with both pickups on (way too weak and nasally, almost like your out-of-phase clip). I already have a mid-scooped and zingy Quarter-Pounder for my P pickup, so I thought a warm bridge pickup with less high-end would suit me better...

    And thanks for that link. Remember ignoring that thread a long time ago b/c I couldn't access his site. It's too bad his Model J clips are either in double-parallel or out of phase (which was denied by David, though). Sounds pretty horrible... :(

    Thanks for the warning, too! Seems like the Squiers and MIM J's use only the shorter neck-type pickup. Can't wait to order my stuff. :bassist:

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