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Odd effect with new Lindy Fralins

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ryan Rosenberg, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Ryan Rosenberg

    Ryan Rosenberg

    May 31, 2008
    So I swapped out the standard pickups from my Mexican Jazz bass and stuck in Lindy Fralin noisless pickup. I can crank up either pickup all the way and it sounds good with no hum.

    But...I don't seem to be getting much in the way of pickup blending anymore. When one pickup is all the way up the other pickup has no effect until the volume is up just near max. Then the sound becomes really muddy, and much of the treble goes away. This is true no matter which pickup I start turned up.

    Very odd. Any ideas what is going on here?

  2. thirtypoint87


    Feb 9, 2004
    Manager/Repairman: Music-Go-Round
    That's phase cancellation, a result of having the pickups wired in parallel. It happened with the original pickups but you may have not noticed due to their being less "hi-fi".

    Try this: put both pickups on all the way. There's your "old school thud tone". Roll back the neck pickup a little and you get a "bright, burpy, lots of cut" tone. Bring the neck pickup back to full and roll the bridge pickup back a little and it's "deep with clarity" tone.

    This is the nature of the Jazz Bass; gotta learn to embrace it!
  3. Ryan Rosenberg

    Ryan Rosenberg

    May 31, 2008
    Thanks Thirtypoint87, for a really helpful post. I was not aware of phase cancellation. But you've nailed it -- the way you describe is exactly how my Jazz bass performs.

    I'll start hugging it tightly!
  4. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    This is very helpful. I had this issue last night w/ my new Jazz w/ Fralins. First band practice w/ them with the whole band, I just couldn't get a good tone, but when I jam by myself, it sounds magical.

    Where is the tone knob during all of this?
  5. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I have those pickups, and love them. I find essentially five tones: both pickups full; neck soloed; bridge soloed; neck on full with bridge about 70%; bridge on full with neck about 70%. Those last two settings are the "growly" zones, where you have some effect from the non-dominant pickup. And my Jazz V with stock single coils works similarly. By turning both controls down a little, more tones are probably in there, but I haven't worked with that very much.

    And I think the lack of completely progressive pickup blending comes from impedance interactions, not phase cancellation. The Audere preamp has an impedence buffer that allows progressive blending, which would be really cool IMO.
  6. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Yes - Nedmundo is correct - it is the loading of the pickups vs. the volume pots that creates this effect. When the Vol pot is up, the resistance is minimum and each pickup is loading and affecting the other. The new pickups have more "hi-fi" sound so you hear it more. Using a preamp eliminates this pickup loading.

    FYI - ALL basses and guitars with 2 or more pickups have some phase cancellation whenever both pickups are on. This is caused by the pickups being in different positions. This is one reason that Ps sound different than 2 pickup basses.

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