Neck pickup location

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brisonic, May 6, 2021.


  1. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Not always. I have a Sentell right at the neck on one bass, and a Wilde right at the neck on another. Both are as articulate as anything. It’s magical - deep and full, with plenty of definition.
     
  2. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    Are they articulate and clear in the mix? True question, not trying to argue.

    I find with my 3 basses that their level of clarity and articulation drops significantly once the band kicks in and those mid & upper frequencies begin to get masked.
     
  3. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    (Warning - these are the ramblings of an Acoustical Physicist) The sound of any one pickup has a comb filter response - it's a wavelength filter; each string has it's own response if you look at it as a frequency response. Where you put a pickup matters a great deal to how it sounds.

    All that being said, if you put a neck pickup at the 24th fret location (1/4th of the way from the bridge to the nut - Rics have their neck pickups in that area), the comb filter has it's first null for a wavelength of 1/2 of the scale length. An open string actually resonates with a wavelength of twice the scale length - that first null is 2 octaves up from the fundamental.

    Anyway, if you play at the 12th fret, the octaves (first overtones) of those notes will simply not show up in the output of your bass. While that sounds "big", most folks prefer the sound of a bit more overtones before the first null shows up. Hence most basses put their neck pickup closer to the bridge. The first P bass put the pickup 15th of the way from the bridge to the nut - if you play that harmonic on an open string, it doesn't show up in the output of the pickup, but the second octave still does.

    Leo had a test mule that had a neck, a very simplified body, and he had little "pods" with pickups on them that he could place on the body and move around. He knew that pickup location mattered, and he chose pickup locations essentially by ear. The sound of a P bass? A lot of that was baked in by an Engineer in 1949 or 1950.
     
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  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
    A completely valid question. And I don’t have an answer, as those two basses haven’t been in a band mix yet. :bag:
     
  5. The old PRS CE bass ( 5 string in this case ) Screenshot_20210507-181721_Gallery.jpg
     
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  6. Screenshot_20210507-182031_Samsung Internet.jpg Guild Starfire II
     
  7. PennyroyalWe

    PennyroyalWe

    Sep 2, 2018
    Oregon
    Fender/Squier telecaster bass. Not in production now, but they’re out there.
    BB972835-6F86-44C9-A4FE-376E1FB54046.jpeg
     
  8. PennyroyalWe

    PennyroyalWe

    Sep 2, 2018
    Oregon
    Which Sentell pickup? I only ask because I have a Sentell wide range HB in my telebass and absolutely love it. I haven’t noticed any lack of harmonics or clarity either.
     
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  9. Exactly
     
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  10. Jack Casady had a Jazz has that he put a P pick up at the base of the neck but he did it, not Fender...
    JackCasadyFender_470.jpg
     
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  11. Yeah, they moved the pickup because it stuck out pass the bridge cover, not because it sounded different.

    Who would have thunk that, that move would have made another iconic bass sound :)

    maxguitar_art-16900_fender_cs_jazz_bass_ashwg-1.jpg
    rudzx1zun2ftbkhwuod9_1024x1024.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  12. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    His UnMudbucker, in a customized Epi EB0. The amount of high-frequency detail that leapt out of it when I first plugged it in was literally shocking.

    upload_2021-5-7_19-27-22.jpeg

    EB_0332.jpg
     
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  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
  14. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    What strings?
     
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
    538823_1435563474_spl1022809_001_5cc4498fb701264da7f10b54c9f7f3b2.jpg
     
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  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
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  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
    kaw0lllasmlj3c3ggjfj.jpg
     
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  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
    68e53556a3b049b536aa31847233c497.jpg
     
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  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
    h5uutxr7zoptfw9u7ri0.jpg
     
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  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
    HAGSTROM49VIKBWHT.jpg
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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