POLL: Ashtrays & Pickup Covers -- Do You Play With Them in Place?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jeremy Crockett, Oct 3, 2022.

  1. Yes -- The covers never leave my bass.

    64 vote(s)
  2. No -- I do not leave them on when playing, but I do like the esthetic.

    118 vote(s)
  3. Yes -- Ashtray/bridge cover ONLY while playing.

    44 vote(s)
  4. Yes -- Pickup cover ONLY while playing.

    19 vote(s)
  5. No -- I do not have them nor would I EVER have them.

    141 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Love the look of a P or J with the covers, and I have tried having both on, and just one or the other as an experiment, but they always come off pretty quick. Ya just lose too much string real estate with the covers on. I can't palm mute when playing pickstyle or thumb thumping with the bridge cover on, and I can't anchor my thumb on the front pickup with the other cover on, losing that classic finger plucking position. I have however put them on for photos and videos;)
    Jeremy Crockett likes this.
  2. At first I wondered if anyone else played a Fender Jazz bass in rock music.

    Then I realized that Fran Sheehan WAS playing a Jazz in the pic in the second album, he had just taken the metal covers off!

    I took mine off and never looked back. Until recently, that is. Now I wish Inhd them but they were tossed in the trash along with the original pickups by someone who didn’t know better and did not care.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  3. Mine stay in the case. I don't like the look and I don't like how they restrict my playing . . .
  4. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    This is not necessarily true. If my bass came from the factory with covers, I'm going to find covers to put on it, somehow. But like you I am skittish about drilling additional holes. My solution? Put a small bit of Loctite putty into the screw hole on the cover and press the cover in place. Given a couple of days to set up, that putty is amazingly strong. Until one gets to very close range it is invisible, and it is a quickly reversible mod.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  5. I dig the 50's chrome vibe, but I prefer to grow dust bunnies elsewhere.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  6. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Plenty of Jazz basses used in rock way before Boston.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  7. My 1973 Ibanez EB3L's bridge cover stays.

    mikewalker and DJ Bebop like this.
  8. Tommy V

    Tommy V

    Feb 19, 2019
    i like the look of an ashtray, but can not play with it on. palm muting is a habit I brought from guitar, and the ashtray gets in the way. Pickup covers are fine, though.
  9. Like the look.

    Can't palm mute with the bridge covers on and my hand is constantly looking at where the best tone is in the moment. Can't do covers at all.
  10. NobodyImportant


    Jul 22, 2021
    Only on one bass, a P with both bridge and pickup covers. A la Jamerson. NBD makeover pics coming very soon... surf green content...
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2022
  11. andare


    Oct 4, 2016
    I bought them to use them but unfortunately the one over the pickups messes with the magnetic field and it makes my P bass hum.
    No solution has been found.
  12. OnTheDownLow

    OnTheDownLow Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2020
    I love ashtray covers, my playing style does not require for me to have them off. I can see why some like them off, I usually play on the neck anyways. I feel bad for the guys that feel limited by them.
  13. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Only one bass. I'm vain, what can I say. It looks niiiiiice.
  14. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    They cover all the good spots
  15. My plucking hand goes all over so I can’t use them. Too restrictive.
  16. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    I took them off my '51 P-Bass relic, and then one night I whacked the pickup (a Seymour Duncan single coil) with my thumb at a gig and it went out on me in the middle of a song. After I had a new pickup installed, I kept them on because of that. It gets in the way sometimes but I can deal with it.

  17. The exposed innards of that pickup is always on my mind when I play mine. I’ve thought about homemade ways to protect it. I wonder if a closed top strat cover would work ?.
    DJ Bebop and Tony In Philly like this.
  18. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I’m a musician.
    I want access to every portion of the strings.
    There are so many varied tones there. From staccato punch to low thump all without touching a pedal or eq controls.
    Yes I saw all those Fenders as we drooled over the catalogue in class in 1967. The Telecaster ashtrays were so striking in their angular design. We played them at our music store. Even took those covers off Gibson EBOs and EB2Ds.
    So, no. To each his own.
    mikewalker likes this.
  19. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I had a 1970 Telebass. Single coil all ‘60s left over parts except the lollipop tuners it’s rumored. It was my only bass from 1971 to 1990. Thumb rested on the pickup. Never any damage. Even caught the E under the pickup once with a furious pluck. No damage.
    mikewalker likes this.
  20. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Good idea if it preserves the sound, although I've never seen it done that way. My Fender Bass VI has a Strat type single coil however, but I suspect it's simply a guitar pickup. Yeah - my Seymour Duncan immediately lost more than half its volume just from one quick thumb slap. Now I know why Leo Fender placed that cover on it.
    mikewalker likes this.