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Raising/lowering pick-ups

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by APouncer, Jun 15, 2001.

  1. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    My bass (Yamaha BBN4F, 2 humbuckers) is significantly quieter than my friends Fender guitar. Will raising the pick-ups make my bass louder? Will it change the tone? What if I only raise one and not the other then turn both of them on (separate volumes for each one)? Thanks in advance guys.
  2. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    You wont see a great deal of difference in volume just by raising the pups. It is normal that two different brands of guitars will have different output levels. The pups in the Fender are probably just a little hotter.

    If you raise them too much the sustain could suffer because of magnetic damping.

    I suggest that you just try it. It's an easy, non critical adjustment. If it doesn't help you can just put 'em back like they were.

  3. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've done a lot of pick up height adjustments over the years, and it does seem to affect both tone and volume, although very slightly. My observations are that you get a little more volume and more highs and lows if you raise the pick ups closer to the string.

    I've heard of the magnetic damping effect too. So, there may be a happy medium to this.

    One other issue is whether or not your bass is active. I have an active bass which will overdrive the signal if the pickup is too close to the B string. I had to lower the neck pickup on that one.
  4. Btone


    May 5, 2001
    A bit off topic: My Marcus Signature had its neck pickup too high from factory - it produced a rather ugly "click" when I slapped the E-string (and snapped the G-string). I just lowered the pickup until it sounded better. Can't say I lost any volume -although it had to go pretty low...
    As pkr2 says its a non critical adjustment - so it can only pay off to experiment!

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