Pickup Poll Piece Noise

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Greatcrimson, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Greatcrimson

    Greatcrimson Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    Central NJ, USA
    I know this has got to be one of the most ridicules questions ever, but does anyone else have problems with noise coming from your strings striking the poll pieces on exposed poll pickups? I have a Deluxe Jazz Bass V and when really digging in while playing with my fingers, the string strikes the exposed poll piece and it makes an ugly metallic noise. I guess I could lower the pickup to the point where maybe it won’t touch (if it will go that far), but I think that will reduce the pickups effectiveness (and volume).

    Are there pickup covers that would fit over the stock Fender pickups and cover the poll pieces? That would be the best answer…and of course I know that I could change pickups to ones that are completely covered, but that’s an expensive solution.

    Civil responses appreciated. ;)
  2. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Well, I can't say I have the problem, considering the way I play, but I think that you will find that every pickup on the planet with exposed poles will do this. They are just not designed with contact in mind. Considering that you play the way you do, consider lowering your pickups a tad . . . .

    - Tim
  3. e.maynard


    Nov 11, 2004
    Afton, Virginia
    I've always had the same dillema. Thusly, I've used EMG, Bartollini and DiMarzio's for this reason. The EMG's of course are active. The Bartollini's can be had active or passive. The DiMarzio's have adjustable pole pieces that can be lowered "below the surface" as it were.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Dave LaRue has been known to put electrical tape over his polepieces when recording to eliminate that noise.
  5. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Allparts sells Jazz covers without the polepiece holes ....
  6. clear nail polish over the exposed pole pieces can help, and not change the look of your instrument.

    another thing you could try is masking off your pickup with masking tape...cutting out the pole piece holes with a razor knife and then applying a layer of epoxy...after the epoxy has set sufficiently, cut the excess free with the razor knife and then remove the tape...let the epoxy cure and you should no longer have an issue.

    what happens is that the magnetism of the pole changes when contact is made with the string...and it is rapid, hence the sound is loud and sounds like a "pop"...the whole idea is to eliminate contact, either by insulation or separation...
  7. Try electrical tape. I did this on my 4 string and it works like a charm. And super cheap, too.
  8. Greatcrimson

    Greatcrimson Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    Central NJ, USA
    Thanks for everyone’s responses.

    I went to Allparts and I don’t see poll-less Jazz V covers posted on their site, so I sent them an email asking if they have them. For now I think I will try the tape suggestion since it’s quick, easy & cheap.

    I just don’t get why pickups continue to be made this way when this causes a problem for some of us. There are certainly some very good pickups with covered poll pieces so it’s not that the approach is inferior…and some exposed poll pieces also rust over time…I just don’t get it. :eyebrow:
  9. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    This is why pickup height adjustment screws were invented. To allow you adjustment of the pickups to taste - as in the strings NOT hitting the pole pieces.

    So break out the phillips head screwdriver and invest 30 seconds in correcting the problem.

    Even if your strings touching the pickup made no noise at all, the strings should NEVER touch the pickup. It interferes with the vibration of the string and over time it with mar the face of the pickup.
  10. exposed pieces look cool, AND they look vintage...that's the basic reason they still are exposed....95% of the time, there are no issues with strings coming in contact.

    When people see closed tops they think Bartolini or MEC or Alembic or EMG...definitely NOT vintage...but, those who are clued in about the subject know that "vintage" is about how the pickup is made (windings and pole pieces), and sound NOT what little bit of plastic covers them...

    pickups with adjustible poles (like some of the DiMarzios) must have their pole pieces exposed...adjustible pole pieces is a good idea, but not all that important, IMO.

    If you saw a MM stingray with no exposed pole pieces what would immediately come to mind ("oh...it's been modified...it must no longer have that stingray mojo")? But, in fact, it may just be a different pickup cover and sound EXACTLY the same.