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Position for Dearmond Gold Foil - Punch

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Tonto, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Tonto


    Aug 13, 2012
    Hello, I've been browsing these forums for advice for a long time but now I have a question of my own!

    I am converting an '89 Charvel Charvette Japanese cheapo p-bass into a 60's-style Frankenstein for use as a live back-up bass and for some new sounds for recording. I would like to keep it a single-pickup bass and acquired a '62 Dearmond gold foil to replace the stock reverse-p-bass pickup. I have already filled the old pickup route and the gold foil will be top-mounted.

    My question is where should I position the gold foil? I love the sound of Harmony H-22s on recordings (haven't played one myself), which is what inspired me to use this pickup. For reference, I use flats. All this inclines me to place it near the neck for maximum low-end thump; however, my main bass is an Epiphone Jack Casady, with a low-impedence pickup in the middle position, and while I assume this bass will be an entirely different animal, I'm afraid of losing that middle-position punch and the high-mid spike that provides that "WOMP" sound I associate with the bass on Captain Beefheart's Safe As Milk album.

    Since I have to route a hole under the pickup for the wire, I would like to put it in the right place the first time. I love the mid-range punch, harmonic overtones, and full-range richness I get out of the Casady but wouldn't be opposed to a little more punch. I play with a pick and quite often use palm-muting for Carol Kaye-style 60s thump. However, the Dearmond is very hot (something like 11.5k, whatever that means in the physical world), and I wonder if it will still allow me plenty of punch in the neck position, where I could get some extended low-end, which the Casady seems to lack through my set-up. Then again, I don't want to lose sound definition, as I play a lot of melodic fills and Jack Bruce-style fuzz-bass solos in a power trio and don't want everything to turn to mush.

    Anyone have thoughts on this? I need to finish up this project in the next few days, and this is the final aspect in question. Sorry for the very long post, my love for thump and womp overcame me. Your help and brutal honestly is greatly appreciated!
  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    Find a way to hold the pickup over the strings while you play; A couple pieces of scrap wood and some painters tape would work. Then just wore it up to a jack and play around with a location until you get the sound you're looking (listening) for.
  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Those are even thin enough where you can probably place them under the strings to check them out.

    Since it's a P bass, put them where P and J pickups would sit on a P/J.

    Those gold foils are some of my favorite pickups. They are single coils, but don't sound like Fender pickups.
  4. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Try it at the neck, I think you'll be surprised at how good it sounds there, especially if you surface mount it like the old H22. Part of the charm of those bases is the pickup placement....and being pretty microphonic, the Dearmond picks up the sound of the body...at least on the two I've owned it did! The string spacing at the end of the neck is pretty narrow on the H22....
  5. Tonto


    Aug 13, 2012
    Thanks for the advice!

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