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P/J pickup spacing, only Sadowsky measures up.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zac2944, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I just sold my Smith bass and I'm now looking for a nice P/J. I've noticed something about pickup placement during my search. Why is it that only Sadowsky has the P and J pickups in their normal (MIA Fender) locations? The graphic below shows what I'm talking about.


    FWIW. Notice how Sadowsky has to use a modified pickguard to fit the P pickup.
  2. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Are all these pictures in the same scale? The might look the same size, but chances are you are not comparing equally sized pics, hence the misaligments.

    But regarless, I know that not every manufacturer/model strictly sticks to exact "normal" P/J locations, giving a slight different sound.

    I think there are no "standard" or "normal" P/J location measurements, as you can see by Fender's own models.
  3. the nuts and the 12th frets are all colinear. The scales of the pictures should all be the same (assuming all the basses are 34").
  4. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I figured these questions would come up.

    All the basses are 34" scale 4 stringers. I adjusted the size of the graphics so that the leading edge of the nut and 12th fret lined up. This should allow for pretty good accuracy. I didn't just use the native graphic size. C'mon now, I'm not that stupid.

    I know there is no "normal" location. That's why I put "MIA Fender" in parenthesis. My point is not to discuss what is normal, but rather point out that the Sadowsky's P and J locations line up with where the P is on a Fender P and the J(bridge) is on a Fender J. I can't seem to find another PJ like this and thought that it was interesting.
  5. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    For some reason, most manufacturers seem to prefer the 70s placement for the J pickup for P/J configurations which is closer to the bridge than the original (60s) and current pickup placement. Sadowsky seems to be one of the few manufacturers that don't.

    My guess is that it's done to add even more "bite" to the P/J pickup configuration as the 70s placement sounds slightly more trebly.
  6. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Thank you Jesus.
  7. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Good point.

    Notice how on the Fender RH which has a jazz body the P pup is closer to the neck and the j pup seems to be in the correct 60's location, and on the Lull, Fender Special, and Fender Dlx the P pup is in the correct location and the J pup is closer to the bridge like a 70's J. I know that the DLX doesn't have a true J, but it is still centered closer to the bridge.
  8. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I read somewhere here on TB that there was a bit of a potential problem in putting the P pickup too close to the J pickup, causing some kind of interference. Not sure if I'm buying it, but that's what I heard, FWIW.
  9. brandonwong


    Dec 16, 2003
    You also need to consider the angle at which the photo was taken.
    A very slight angle where the camera lense is not parallel to the bass can cause quite a difference. (parallax error???)
  10. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Point taken about the picture's scale. . . And I see you tried to make them as accurate as possible.

    About the subject, I recently had a Fodera Monarch, and I'm pretty sure it had "normal" P/J locations, with the bridge pickup in Jazz '60's position - which coincidentally, is one of the reason I passed it on. I don't really care for the sound of P/J pickups balanced at 50/50 (or both pickups full on). I love the sound of pickup each one separately, but together, I kept missing the more familiar Jazz bass sound with both pickups full on.
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    In Bass Player's review of the Mike Lull P4, which is available on Lull's site (www.mikelull.com), Roger Gee explains why the J pickup is closer to the bridge:

  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I own an NYC pj4. It sounds awesome. I did notice how the pickguard is a bit different on it. The P sound really thumps on my bass

  13. 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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