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Strap button and pickup placment

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Kabal, May 12, 2011.

  1. Kabal


    Nov 8, 2007
    Hey all this is a two parter I figure I put it here because you guys might deal with these things a little more regularly.

    PART 1
    I'm putting some strap buttons in a Warmoth build but can't decide where to put them. It has a geddy neck with hipshots so I'm not too worried about neck dive per se but I want to be as preventative as possible because perfect balance is pretty much why I built this. I was thinking of doing non traditional button placement. I already have the greatest strap known to mortals so that's covered :smug:

    The upper horn seems a little narrow at the tip and if the neck does point in a 45 degrees or greater position I feel like it would be at greater risk of being pulled out.

    I read some posts about putting the button on the back of the neck heel where one of the bolts are but I wear my bass kind of high so wouldn't that be poking me in the stomach? Would moving the bridge button up a few inches on the body and the horn button down a few inches closer to the neck be a viable solution to this?

    PART 2

    I've been thinking about a future build I'd like to try my hand at and was thinking about placing the pickups in such a way that I wouldn't get uber growl or woof when switching the pickup selector pot from center position, but instead got a more gentle coloring of the centered tone. Would placing the pickups closer together achieve this? And how close together would you place them?
  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    no need to change placement, use 2 volume controls so you can dial each pick-up seperately for achieving your desired amount of mix, this is the one thing a blend pot can't really do effectively. you can also do this with a stacked pot to keep it in on pot space.

    perfect balance is all dependant on the player. A good strap with a suede back will keep your bass is position, but for button placement, it is more about your personal ergonomics, and this would have to be played with by trial and error, opinions vary greatly on placement, but most come back to the end of the upper horn and the center rear edge(maybe above or below an inch to even everything out for your personal form)
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I really like placing the bridge-end strap button about 4 inches above the center-line of the body. This tends to keep the top of the instrument from "rolling forward", and (especially on offset bodies like the Jazz) helps put a little more weight in the bridge end, which can compensate for a heavy neck. And even if your neck isn't heavy, it really presents no disadvantages that I can see. I'd leave the other button in the normal position on the upper horn, though you can mount it so that it points downward a little bit more, if you like.

    To your pickup question: Yes, and it depends, but probably around two inches (depending upon the actual width of the pickups themselves).
  4. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    Putting the button on the neck plate will push the bass to the left, making the first fret closer to Mars than to your left hand. Especially if you wear your bass high.
    I also like the bridge-end button a few inches higher than the center line of the body.

    Having said that, it really boils down to your playing style, ergonomics and what the specific bass does for you.

    Say, if a bass has a killer tone for finger style and I know I will play it mainly around the bridge p-ups, then I like it to hang slightly forward as it reduces strain on my right arm and shoulder. I'd like the neck angled up a bit.

    On a fretless I like the neck to have even more upward angle. Conversely, I like a slap bass to hang mostly horizontal and slightly forward.

    These are very very personal likes/dislikes. All a result of trial and error. If you don't have specific needs, then go with the classic placement - a P bass is perfect the way it is ;)

    Hope it helps.
  5. Kabal


    Nov 8, 2007
    Thanks for the input so far. I still haven't decided where to put them yet but this is all helping.

    When it comes to ergonomics the most important thing for me is to avoid strain on my left hand. I want my left hand/forearm and shoulder to have as little stress as possible on it. I'm trying to get away from the position my Warwick gets into. It likes a nice flat horizontal line but I'm constantly fighting with the neck to get it into an upward angle and pulled back closer to me.

    I do finger style mostly with some slapping and chords thrown in for flavoring.

    Maybe I should just put ten buttons up the bridge side and ten down the horn? That'd be the trial and error of the century :D
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Interesting - I thought Warwicks were fairly ergonomic already. Have you tried ultralite tuners on it?
  7. Kabal


    Nov 8, 2007
    D'oh! :oops:


    I thought they already were! but now looking at the tuners on the wick and some spare lites I have lying around I see they are in fact different. *looks in mirror* :scowl:

    I think ergonomics of wicks depends somewhat on the type you get. Mine is a Korean corvette std. Other body types or higher end stuff might be better balanced but that's just mine

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