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On pickup placement

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ezmar, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    So, very quick question. I'm planning a custom build, and I was thinking about pickup placement. I'm planning to go with Nordstrand Big Singles, but in terms of placement, don't really know what to go for. So short of trying out a lot of basses to figure out what I want, which I'm not sure will be an option, would the best course of action be to figure out to the best of my knowledge what sound I want and let the Builder make the call?
  2. Very tricky in this case.

    It's interesting what Warwick have donw with their pickups. They have moved them and slanted them near the bridge. Fender moved the neck pickup of the Jazz at some point. Gibson tended to major on the neck position for their pickups.

    It depends what sound you like. If you play a Jazz, whick PU sound do you prefer? This might give you a lead into where your preference is.

    I have a strong love of the bridge PU and I would be favouring the Warwick school of pickup placement. I know others barely use their bridge PU so play some random basses and get choosing!

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  4. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    What kind of basses do you like? Listen to a few clips on youtube, you'll be able to get the general vibe of what different positions sound like. There's two bridge position for Jazzes, 70s is a little closer to the bridge, which I much prefer. Rickenbackers also have two positions for their neck pickups, older ones are about an inch closer to the neck, I believe.
  5. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    I could look up demo videos of both positions of Fender Jazz, but the problem with that is that unless it's a deliberate attempt at a comparison, which I can't seem to find, the variance is likely to be too wide to pin down exactly what the difference between the pickup spacing is. They'd be different basses with different strings in different rooms with different players with different recording equipment. by that point, I feel like the pickups could be the same and there would still be about the same amount of difference in sound. Is there anywhere where I can find a more direct sonic comparison between the two spacings, or any others, for that matter?

    There are also other repercussions to the 70's spacing besides sound, and that's the movement of the pickup as an anchor point, which I do quite often. Although that's a fairly minor issue.
  6. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    60s spacing sounds a lot more "honky" to me, 70s has a bit more "sizzle/slice". Most music stores have a variety of Jazz basses, you should be able to find an example of each and A/B them yourself.