Strange pickup ohm reading. Explain.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassdude51, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    I've got a 1984 Fender MIJ Bullet Bass pickup that's giving a strange ohm reading. This pickup is built like a P Bass pickup but smaller.

    One coil is reading around 4k ohm which I think is correct but the other coil is reading 96k ohm! When measured in series, it is once again in the 90k range. Why? What does this mean?

    The pickup works when I test it plugged in and a tuning fork is passed over the pickup. (There is no neck or strings for true testing.)

    Please explain what's wrong with this pickup?

  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I'm not familiar with the bass/pickup so I have no way to know if this is normal or not, though it seems unlikely. A typical amplifier has a 1M Ohm input impdedance so a 96k Ohm pickup coil will suffer little voltage loss when run into an amplifier and it will "work". If those readings are normal for that pickup then nothing to worry about. I suspect, however, that the pickup has a flaky connection which may be buried deep inside that is about to go open. If you can't see anything to repair right now then I suppose you just enjoy it for now and deal with it if and when it does open up completely. If you depend on this bass for income then I would preemptively replace the pickup now, unless someone here can confirm that this is normal for that pickup.

  3. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Thanks Ken. You did mention a flaky connection and I think that you are right and I think that it is indeed deep inside the coil and can't be seen.

    I did re-sodder the eyelet connections and that didn't do anything.

    The normal in series reading for this pickup should be in the 8k ohm range with each coil being around 4k. As I mentioned, it's series reading is around 95k which is "off the map" for a pickup. One coil reading 4k and the other high 90k.

    I'll looking into either a re-wind or a replacement pickup.

    Thanks Ken.