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pickup height, or just go for the P?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fenderx55, Oct 12, 2005.


  1. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    hey,
    so for the past week or so i've been playing my fretless mim J exclusively. This is a bass that i've pumped more money into than i bought it for (dimarzio pups, warmoth neck, etc) and now that i'm playing it just through a mxr bass di and my computer, the neck pickup sounds really... idk, muddy. I've had it rolled all the way off since saturday and i only turn it up when i'm just playing whole notes because all it does is hinder any sort of articulation I try.

    My thought was this: replace it with a P-style pup in the bridge position. However, the thought of someone cutting into my first bass kinda freaks me out; especially cause i don't really trust the techs around me, i'd half to have it done at manny's or matt umanov's.

    Or: can this be avoided by just lowering the pickup? The p-pickup has been something i've been thinking about for a while, but it isn't fiscally feasable at the moment.
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE

    FWIW:

    Quickest, cheapest, easiest, least invasive, most reversible procedures first. The P pup does't meet any of those and is ruled out by default by finances by your own statement. Adjusting the pup meets all of them - at least as an option.

    Any neck pup will be muddy when compared to the same pup at a bridge position. It's inherent in the location. Doubling the pup/string spacing will decrease low frequency response (and enhance higher frequency) and drop volume by about 60%.

    It may also be an issue with the signal the computer is getting. If it doesn't sound like that through an amp, then it may be the signal.
     
  3. Yes, by all means, try lowering the pickup...all it requires is a screw driver...no investment... no routing

    if this still doesn't get you...step #2...NEW STRINGS...that's right...go for something really articulate like some chromes

    if this STILL doesn't get you...step #3...a split coil J-pup...like those made by Carey Nordstrand will probably get you over that final hurdle....

    Don't rout your bass unless you REALLY want a P-pup (nothing against P's...I LOVE THEM), but I just think you should go down the logical path...
     
  4. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    I completely forgot I posted this until i just went to search about lowering my pickups. Is there a specific way to do this or is it just tightening the screw that holds it into the bass? It's a mim j with Dimarzio DP p'ups.
     
  5. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Cheap basses are not spring loaded but simply "padded" beneath, as typically are pups with only two towers. The padding typically used by manufacturers is dense and has no give. If you crank down on the srews you may crack the screw towers, depending. Backing off them would simply give you a "floppy" pup and not increase height any.

    Measure the current distance from E & G strings beforehand. You'll need to back off the strings sufficient to get them completely out of your way. Pull the pups out and measure the padding thickness. Deduct that from where you want your strings to be. If it's not enough, you can just fill in the difference and add it to the existing thickness. The typical padding doesn't lend well to shaving to make thinnner and is easier to chuck and start over.

    That padding is good in that it's firm and your pups won't give when you push on them but there is no leeway for height adjustment. To me it's too firm and I replace it with less dense packing foam that allows some cushion for flexibility in pup height adjustment yet is dense enough to keep the pups quite stable. If you need more height, you could just throw a less dense matterial in to make up the routing. Another plus with the less dense padding is it will work around pup lead better. Leads will usually elevate the more dense padding only where the leads are so you end up with a lopsided pup face.

    Springs are not really an option for pups with only two screws cause the pup face will tilt, 3 is workable, 4 is ideal. With springs you would just tighten or back off to adjust.