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Pickup placement test rig?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by koobie, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. koobie


    Jul 11, 2007
    Portland OR
    I'm all over the map with deciding on pickup(s) for an upcoming bass build, haven't decided between J or P types or Nordy Big Splits. I'd like to demo some various options.

    Going one step further than choosing a particular pickup, has anybody here built a rig for testing various pick-up locations? I've got an old Warmoth mahogany J body and would like to hear how different pickups sound in different locations before I have the body routed. I remember seeing some kind of guide rail contraption here or on a guitar forum where a pickup could be temporarily placed upside down over the strings and moved closer or farther to the bridge or neck - does this sound feasible and/or useful? I guess it could be tough for the right hand to pluck/strum if the pickup is in the way.
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    A rail above the strings does make the instrument difficult to play. However, your goal is to test pickups, not lay down infectious grooves. Figuring out how to mount the pickup in a sled to slide on the rails is the major design problem.

    An alternative would be to rout a large trough in the spare body and test various positions. A rails and sled configuration could be devised for this like the Gibson Grabber. Or you could just screw the pickups into the body. If this is a one-off build and you do not intend to build more than one or two basses in your life, there is little to recommend going through the trouble to build a sliding device.

    There will be those who will point out that removing the wood will change the sound of the bass. The tonefreaks will also be quick to point out that the lumber used for the new guitar will negate your findings. Again, the idea is to test the pickups against one another to establish a baseline from which to judge.

    Good Luck.

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