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String spacing... tech help please!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BassyBill, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Just ordered some NJ4SEs from GuitarEffectsPedals.com after hearing them on the basstasters site and reading reviews on TB. They sound like exactly what I'm after. :hyper: But can anyone help with this question?

    The bass they will be used on is getting a Badass II bridge (I have several of these and they do the job for me really well). When I've used these bridges before, I cut the saddle slots to give equal gaps between each string. Because of string gauges, this obviously means the string *centre-to-centre* spacing is bigger on the E-A then on the A-D, which is (albeit very slightly) bigger than on the D-G, so that that the actual gaps between the strings are always the same.

    Now a J pickup has the same spacing across its width between each pair of pole pieces. This means the asymmetric arrangement above cannot align each string EXACTLY in between the poles in all cases.

    Question is, how important is the string/pole-piece alignment? Do the strings have to be exactly in the centre for each pole piece pair, which means the strings are slightly closer together (edge to edge) on the thicker strings? Or do the strings just have to be anywhere in the gap between pole pieces, the "nearness" to one pole piece compensating for the "distance" to the other? When cutting bridge saddles, should I go for even string spacing, perfect pole piece alignment or a compromise between the two? This hasn't arisen before because the last two basses I put together had EMGs on. I hadn't found out about Nordstrands then!

    Sorry that this is a longish post, but I have tried to make my questions as clear as I can. I hope I've succeeded! I am aware that the distances I'm talking about are small, but maybe they still make a difference? I'm sure somebody out there can answer this. Thanks for taking the time to get this far!

  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I use Schaller rollers for the lateral adjustment cause I may go from a set of Rics to a Ray to an MM to an EBO to J's in the same bass within a months time. Obviously for an assortment like that, I need to be able to space the strings laterally.

    But I've dropped LOTS of J's in and with bi-pole J's, as long the the perimeter strings are such that you won't bend them away from center and out of the meat of the magnetic field, the middle strings can literally be anywhere because the magnetic field is solid from outside of E to outside of G.
  3. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Guys, that's really helpful. Carey Nordstrand kindly responded to a message I sent, with pretty much the same advice. Nice of you all to take the time to respond - much appreciated, thank you! :D

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