Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Pickup placement

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Balor, Jun 2, 2005.


  1. Balor

    Balor

    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    Hi everyone,

    I've been thinking of a weird pickup config... 2 soapbars very close together placed between the MM and P bass config. The tone of this setup should be interesting, but that's not my main concern. I spoke of this to my luthier and he told me that there might be an issue with the phase of the pickups by placing them so close form one an other. Is that possible? I'd like to use a pair of Lane Poor (JB5000) pickups to try this... Am I wasting my time with this idea?

    thanks
    PL
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Possible but shouldn't be too difficult for a good luthier to figure out how to do. Personally I think it's overkill and just adds weight to a heavy instrument, but it should work. Might get some interesting tones, might not.
     
  3. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Maybe phasing and impedance issues and of course you'd need more controls if you're going to make use of the whatever tone may result. To my knowledge you can't get pups too close to where the magnetic fields adversely affect each other and do wierd things to tone. You could always have a pickgaurd fashioned to cover up the holes if it doesn't work out - or just trough out under the strings and fashion a pickguard. Then you could set any kind of pups wherever you want in the bass. When you find a combo you like, then have a pickgaurd made to order.

    Most players find a single pup or two that will give them 2 or 3 different sounds with flexible tone variations that play well to various styles most optimal. Fairly useless to have great tone if you can't get it quickly.
     
  4. Balor

    Balor

    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    Hey luknfur,

    Is there a way to test the width of the magnetic field of the pickups; to see if the proximity might pose a problem? Since I already have 2 7 strings with jazz like position of the pickups, I thought it might be a good idea to mix it up a bit... I might be wrong though!

    I've added a drawing of the design I'm going for with the intended position of the pickups. How do you think it will sound?

    thanks
    PL
     

    Attached Files:

  5. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    There's are ways to observe the magnetic fields with the pups isolated and then placed however desired. For a stooges view you can simply take a pup screw and hold it parallel to the side of the pup and run it around the perimeter. Even a pup as stout as an MM doesn't have a lot more strength than to be able to simply adhere the screw to the pup itself - in comparison to sticking it to the pole directly. Somebody (Dimarzio or one of the pup makers it seems) makes a "paper" or the like that will define the magnetic field similar to what you get spreading iron shavings on to a sheet of paper placed over a pickup. It would give you some idea of potential problems but that's not going to tell you how it would sound, which is all that matters.

    The only way I know to know anything about pickups is to do it and see what happens. The most practical way would be to get a low end bass of like scale and general construction, route out a channel below the strings and run your set-up and see how it sounds. Lots of advantages to doing that - you could not only check for interference but move the pups around for ideal placement, do a test run of the real thing (and flush out the inevitable "I didn't think about thats"), and have the bass available for testing any combination of pups any time. And if the bass has acoustic properties similar to the test best - it will sound pretty close to the same.
     
  6. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Here's how Leo Fender tested pickup placement:

    [​IMG]

    Should be cheap to make one yourself.
     
  7. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE

    There you go.

    ==================

    It was so simple. Like the Jitter Bug. It just plumb evaded me (Jimmy Buffett - God's Own Drunk).