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. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Thumb Hanger.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
  2. Got a pup cover for my 50's Squier (no bridge cover) and a bridge cover for my P bass (no pup cover). I always leave them on. It took a bit of acclimation in order for me to get comfortable with them, but all is well now :thumbsup:
  3. Keep playing that J bass with the cover, exclusively for a month or so. You'll probably be totally fine by that point in time.
    TonetotheBone and Killing Floor like this.
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Getting it. I’m not dragging my fingers on the edges anymore. Thanks!
    Kipp Harrington likes this.
  5. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    I play with them in my parts bin place, yes!
  6. You're welcome. Keep at it :thumbsup:
    Killing Floor likes this.
  7. On one 57 style p the bridge cover is in place.

    On my Warmoth 56 style p the pickup cover is in place.

    No covers on any of my other FSOs but not opposed and love the aesthetic.
  8. 2saddleslab likes this.
  9. dangevans

    dangevans Guest

    Mar 26, 2014
    Huh- I never seemed to notice the difference in tone with or without with mine. Interesting thing to check out again, though.
    I agree about them "not getting in the way". I really can't see how they would really be in the way of anything unless you rest your thumb on the pickup or slap all over the place, maybe.
  10. I use both covers on all of my Fender basses that originally came with them, including my main gigging basses, but I don't typically add them to basses that didn't have them when they left the factory.
    For me, they're not an impediment to playing at all, and I don't even think about them.
  11. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008

    Yes, I tried holding the cover in place with one hand while plucking the strings with the other hand and then immediately took the cover away from the bass and plucked the strings again and there is a definite difference in tone. As you have said there is some interaction somehow.
    andare likes this.
  12. In Defense of the Pickup Fence

    I chose the least popular answer here (neck PU only), so I feel like I should offer some kind of argument in favor of that eccentric choice. ;)

    IMHO, anyone who thinks the front pickup cover “gets in the way” isn’t doing it right. For starters, the stock Fender cover is sized for a Precision-style pickup. I got one from Atelier Z that’s actually sized for a Jazz Bass. It’s skinny enough that you can see the mounting screws for that pickup sticking out to either side. So it doesn’t get in the way at all.

    On the contrary, it actually helps me play, in a variety of ways: (1) It gives my thumb an anchor point while plucking between the pickups. (Including I can rest the side of my thumb on it when plucking the high strings, or float on it instead of a string.) (2) It likewise gives the side of my hand, or pinky & ring knuckles, a place to rest when plucking between the neck and front pickup. (3) It gives my wrist / palm a place to rest when slapping or picking between the neck and front p’up. (4) It facilitates volume swells: my thumb slides on it while my pinky slides on the knob. (5) It even facilitates percussion when recording loops. :laugh: Etc.? (This is probably not a comprehensive list of the many ways it can be used!)

    Also importantly, it protects the pickup. IME, plucking directly over the p’up is inadvisable, as bits of shed skin and grease will inevitably make their way inside it from around the magnet poles, build up in there over time and eventually degrade performance. (Plus sweat can’t be good for the magnets themselves.) Likewise, using the pickup as a thumbrest is bad practice, since you could push it out of place slightly, ruining your perfect setup. (Or improving it accidentally, I suppose. But let’s face it: if your setup’s not already perfect, it should be.) ;)

    The bridge cover is less useful, since when I pick right in front of that p’up I can just rest my forearm on the contour of the body, and when I pluck between the p’ups I already rest my thumb on the other side, as mentioned. That said though, the main reason I don’t have a bridge cover is simply that I have a Badass II bridge, and have been unable to find one that’ll fit over it. :meh:

    Anyway, IME a properly sized pickup fence does everything except get in the way. It looks cool, too, and weighs basically nothing, so there’s really no downside. I think Leo Fender knew what he was doing, and Atelier Z understood that and improved on the concept for Jazz Basses in particular. I like mine so much, I wouldn’t want to play without it!

    For those interested, just search for “Atelier Z ZPF-3500 Pickup Fence” (available in chrome, gold and black). You should be able to get one on eBay or somewhere. I got mine from a Japanese seller, and they included origami, a nice note (in cute Engrish), and a coupon in case I wanted anything else. Apparently customer service still exists, even on the Internet. :cool:
  13. COYS


    Dec 27, 2020
    On my jazz I normally remove the thumbrest, pickup cover, and bridge cover. I do kinda like the bridge cover though so sometimes I leave it on, but it seems pointless because you have to remove it to change strings or adjust the saddles
  14. Rick Nicosia

    Rick Nicosia

    Jan 2, 2020
    rickenbacker.jpg My #1.....I wish Geddy still played his. I have his USA GL Jazz and my 4001 is still more amazing. Just my opinion.