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String makes contact with poles when I'm playing

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Minger, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    At leat I think they're called poles - the exposed magnet thingy on the pickup. I don't know if this goes here or setup, but here my little dilemma...never had this problem on my Ibanez, but on my SX my playing style sometimes (a lot) has me dig in...and the string hits the magnet and makes a pow-ish sound.

    Any suggestions? I'd try lowering it if it weren't for the fact that well, because of the pickguard, theres not mu8ch room for my thumb anyway on the pickguard pretty low as is...

  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    You have two options: lower the pickups or raise the strings.
  3. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    One other potential solution depending on your current setup and play style might be using higher tension strings. If the strings are less floppy they might be less likely to get to the pickup magnets.

    Not seeing your setup this might be exactly wrong. Take it for what its worth just an idea to think about.

  4. Just a curious question, are you SURE they are touching the polls?? I have the same problem with my SX while playing slap espically on the E string. But, they arent touching the polls.. Its almost like the pickups are TOO hot and its clipping.. I've lowered them down as much as I could and it still does it.

    Here is a response I got on the same subject:
    "Your problem has to do with the tyes of pickups likely used on both of those brands of basses. Inexpensive basses tend to use pickups with a ceramic magnet bar beneath non-magnetic polepieces. Traditional pickups have Alnico magnetic polepieces instead. MIM Fenders use the ceramic magnetic pickups, or at least they did in the ones I've worked on.

    Of the Fender and SX pickups I've used with those kinds of pickups, the sound has been consistent with what you describe. The lows are too big, the highs a bit too bright and the volume harder to keep even while playing. No matter how you adjust them, you'll find the same thing.

    A compressor is a bandaid solution and you'll still be stuck with tone problems.

    I'm working on an SX project now and rounded up a set of Fender Jazz pickups that somebody removed from an American Standard model. Any of the name-brand pickups (Duncan, Fender, etc.) will provide the tone and output evenness you're after. It's like getting a different instrument."
  5. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'm pretty sure it was hitting it...

    Well, I've dropped the pickup so my thumb has barely any room, but thats better than raising the strings - so I guess I'm good for now. At least its not hitting, because it was driving me nuts last time I played at church.
  6. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    You could try getting one of those add-on thumbrests. I know they've been talked about here, but I can't find a pic/thread about it. But there are little thumbrests you can by and attach to your bass with adhesive. Might help with your thumb anchoring.
  7. mashed potatoes

    mashed potatoes

    Nov 11, 2003
    you can always rest your thumb on the edge of the fretboard instead of the pickup as well.
  8. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    yea, I thought about the adhesive and the thumbrest, and scrounged around for one...and couldnt find one. >_<
  9. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    Are you still using the stock strings? I had the same problem with the stockers on my SX P bass, i think they were 40-95 and the E was really low tension and would hit the pickup easily.

    When I switched to the Chrome Flats (45-100) the problem was resolved by the higher tension on the strings. And they sound great.
  10. or he can go buy a pic and stick it in the gap between the pickup and the body... makeshift thumbrest... cheap, and he has a pick handy if he needs it! :smug: