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

Pickups too low?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Captain Awesome, Jul 21, 2001.


  1. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    I know there are many problems that can happen when pickups are too high, but can pickups be too low? For example the neck pickup on my bass is 1/4" from the E string.
     
  2. Primus,
    The general rule is to depress the string at the highest fret and allow roughly 1/8 inch to the pickup on each string. Adjust for slightly closer distance on D and G strings or more on E and A, depending on your preference.

    I hope you're still spankin' the Hartke!
    T Jay
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    What T Jay said. 1/4 inch already is a little one the wide side.

    When do you people finally start using the metric system, huh?
    It's so confusing :D
     
  4. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    I pushed the string down at the last fret and it is actually 3/16" at the widest point, which is probably still a bit too low. Problem is that the pickups won't get any higher than that now. It seems there is just a layer of cheap foam holding the pickups up or something. How can I get them higher?
     
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Get longer screws and put more plastic foam underneath. The screws usually are regular wood screws, I only had no luck getting black screws.
     
  6. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    I'll try that. How do low pickups affect tone/output?
     
  7. Old mousepads work great to raise the pickups.
     
  8. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    Ok I just thought I'd add (as I belive it has not been said) that the reason why you would want to raise the pickup is that the closer it is to the strings the better tone will be and the more volume you will get out. This can actually make quite a drastic diffrence.

    I don't know about exact distance between pup and string but I usually raise them as high as I can without the strings buzzing against them. But what JMX and T Jay said is probably right.

    /lovebown
     
  9. The rule of thumb is:

    When the pickup is low you gain high frequency response and sacrifice low frequency response.

    When the pickup is high you gain low frequency response and sacrifice high frequency response.

    If you get no frequency response at all, then the pickup is waaaaay to low :)