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Single MM placement on a new project

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DougP, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i searched through this section of the forum and could only come up with partial answers for my questions.

    i am building my first bass body. it is ash bodied with a zebrawood and bolivian rosewood top. this will be a 5 string fretless with an ebony fretboard and maple neck. i want to go with a single MM style pickup.

    i would like to place the pickup roughly where the neck pickup is on a jazz bass. i have been looking for other examples similar to this setup, so if you guys know of any please let me know.

    the reason for my choice of placement is that i would like to get more low end and low mids out of this than in the standard Stingray placement. Does anyone have any experience with this to let me know if i am on the right track.

    i have narrowed down my choices to either a Bartolini MM or the Nordstrand MM5.3. thoughts and opinions on these choices are greatly appreciated. i am wondering how these will react to my chosen wood types and my preferences for sound: lows, low mids, with sweet highs. i'm not looking for a growly sound with this.

  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I've done something similar... let me find the pic.... the one on the right, obviously.


    This is a bit further back from the neck than what you're talking about, but its pretty close.

    This setup almost yields too much bass to be really useable. Imagine the tone of a P-Bass and you'll be very close. Now, cust some of the mids, cust a lot of the highs and boost the lows a bit more and you'll be right on the money.

    Oh, and just for reference, that bass has a Seymour Duncan MM with ceramic magnets and the Seymour Duncan tone circuit. The Flea bass in that picture is using a Nordstrand MM4.2 (the picture still has the old Lane Poor in it though), so I would definitley recommend the Nordstrand over the Bartolini. Good luck with the project.
  3. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    thanks for the reply. The P Bass is close to what i was looking for. maybe i will try it a hair closer to the bridge than a stock P PU, if you are saying that it is too bass-y.

    the SDs are more bottom end than the nordstrand would be right? hmmm...maybe it will balance out.
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Well, take what I say with a grain of salt, because my favorite kind of tones are ultra-bright and really in your face aggressive, so my taste for smooth mellow tones is a bit negatively biased. This setup might work out perfectly for you. My general consensus is that an MM pup in the P position, or the neck position basically will sound like a P-Bass, just "bigger".

    Regarding its placement. You suggested going a touch closer to the bridge than a P pickup. If I'm not mistaken, a P pickup is already closer to the bridge than a "true" neck pickup. With that being said, and the tone you're going for, I would think that the P position (slightly closer to the bridge than a neck pickup on a 2 pickup instrument) would be perfect. You'll get the P tone, with more bottom due to the pickup selection. If you go to far back you'll be getting into the location of a traditional MM setup, which sounds to me like it would be different than what you're going for.

    I think the SD does have more bottom than the Nordstrand, but oddly enough its just in the lowest ends of the low end spectrum. The Nordstrand absolutely kills the SD in terms of lower midrange (which is where I find a lot of useable low end). Overall I much prefer the Nordstrand to the Seymour Duncan (only tried the ceramic version, haven't had a chance to try the alnico version), and I even preferred it to the Lane Poor, which is such a highly coveted pickup.
  5. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    thanks for the replies. Silky, i think that i will go ahead and try it with the Nordstrand PU. if the placement is absolutely horrible then i'll just route the top of the bass for a different position. i only paid about 40 dollars for the wood, so i can always build another once i settle on something that suits me. by the way that you are describing, it sounds like it might be just what i am after.

    i hadnt thought about a blend control between coils. i was just going to go with Volume/Tone/S-P switch. i'll have to look into it.
  6. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    hmmm...intriguing. will have to see if i can find schematics for wiring that and see if its doable. the less knobs and switches on the front the better.
  7. j3b3r


    Aug 19, 2000
    Mika, in Stingray, the distance between the 12th fret and the neck-side edge of pickups is 320 mm. is that correct ??

    I need to know the exact location, I want to install J/MM/J configuration :hyper:

    please my thread "J/MM/J pickups setup"