Popping Cracking String Pickup Contact

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by yakmastermax, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Hey all!

    I've got a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar bass that I've been digging a lot. This particular issue though I've run into with a variety of basses. I play hard, big digs. When I do so, especially during slap playing, my strings make contact with my pickups (the exposed metal part) and it results in a very loud popping cracking noise that is probably not good for my speakers.

    In particular I've got some 5 string precision pickups. Does anyone have any solutions for how to get rid of this problem without changing my play style? Perhaps a layer of polyurethane over the exposed poles?

    Thanks for any tips!

  2. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    Is there a problem with lowering your pickups? Each bass I set up gets it's own p/u height adjustment for the style I play which is on many tunes is to dig in so I set pickups 'baseline' there where I can dig if I want to then I adjust for even volume after that across strings doesn't everybody?
    RSBBass likes this.
  3. Aside from lowering the pickup, some people put a strip of electrical tape over the top of the pickup.

    A dab of clear nail Polish on the pole pieces also works.

    Tape placed over pickup?
    yakmastermax likes this.
  4. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Part of my setup includes adjusting the pickup height. I lower them just out of reach of hitting the strings when digging in so as to avoid that. Then balancing them so it sounds good.
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    As other has said a proper setup, which is always to be expected when buying a bass, even high end ones, includes adjusting the pickups to your preference and for the output of the strings to balance properly, this includes adjusting the pickups low enough so that they won't hit the pickup poles when fretted at the last fret and when digging in.

    Additionally the problem can also be eliminated by putting a strip of electrical tape (also sometimes called insulating tape) or Gaffa tape over the exposed pickup pole pieces, should the strings hit the pole pieces occasionally anyway.

    This is how electrical tape (or insulating tape) looks, kind of rubbery (but as said Gaffa tape can be used as well) :
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
    yakmastermax likes this.
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Regardless of bass or playing style, if the strings ever hit the pickups, the pickups are too close to the strings. No exceptions.
    Bigguy2017, legalbass, 202dy and 3 others like this.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 30, 2021

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