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Pick Up Placement

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Worshiper, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    Hey everybody,
    I in the process of designing my 3rd custom and i have a question about pickup placement. On my First bass I used a fender P-bass body as a mockup so I did not concern myself with the placement and on my second one I just took the body I used for a mockup and really worked on the paintjob, once again, no concern with the placement. For this one I want ot do something completely different using active pickups but I just don't know where to put them in relation to the rest of the body (besides under the strings). Can anybody help me out here? Thanks :help:
  2. Go to the Pickup forum and search for Luknfur's comprehensive testing of various pup placements. Some good reading.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Thanks for the Cudo's Hambone.


    In my experience it's trial and error for a specific situation. Moving a pup factions of an inch doesn't make much if any difference I could tell. Obviously moving from the bridge to the neck in graduations will go from a bright, clearer tone to a darker less clear tone. The industry standards, Fender settings for P and J, Music man, Ric, etc, to me are as good as any.

    If you're as crazy as I am, you would just take a chunk out below the strings and move it to where you like it best then fashiion a pickgaurd as indicated. FWIW, I could tell no difference in the tone of my basses resulting from removal of the wood with the exception that the thumper bass may have became a little more so. I've loaded various pups into my basses and the only ones presenting a problem were the original music man (about 3/8" thicker than standard pups) and Ric bridge pup - requiring removal of the backing plate (too wide).

    Different pups, different strings, different rigging, different etc., will likely result in a different sweet spot to your ears. But I'd go with the standards if I had to choose one placement. Most the manufacturers stick pretty close to standards so that should say something.

    Good luck.
  4. brandinstroy

    brandinstroy Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    Houston, TX
    I Support the following: Fodera, Noble Amps, JHAudio, Trickfish Amplification
    could someone post the standard pickup placements for various scale lengths measuring from the end point of the scale (bridge location).

    I would say 30", 32", 33", 34", 34.5", 35", and 36" scale.

    I know there are plenty of people out there that would like this information.
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001