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Strings between pole pieces?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    I have an SX fretless bass. The spacing at the bridge is wide enough that I'll add another string (c string) using a 5 string Kahler fixed bridge.

    The outer spacing of the new 5 string (e-c) will be the same as the old 4 string (e-g) spacing. This means that the strings will no longer fall between the pole pieces of those SX pups (surprisingly good). Is that going to be a problem.?

    I do have a set of MIM blade ceramic pups (that I took off my Squier DJAV) that I can put on the SX. Am I going to have to use them? Anybody out there who doesn't think the position of the string, relative to the pole pieces is crucial?
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    There's one way to find out, but I would guess that the individual string volume is going to be all over the place without the blades.
  3. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    So, you're going change a 4-string into a 5-string, but not change the PUs? Not a good idea.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I don't think it's that crucial, but it depends on the pickup. This works just fine:


    And there's this guy around here who does 4-to-5 conversions all the time, often reusing the original Fender-style pickups....
  5. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Yes I can use those spare MIM blades, but those cheap SX ceramic pickups actually seem less brittle & have more punch than the blades.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    If it were me I'd just by a new set of pickups
  7. .
    Just do it, it makes no audible difference.

    The Bill Lawrence P-46 (P-bass) pickup pair has five pole pieces per unit. Only half of them line up with strings perfectly.
    Works just fine. Even volume everywhere.

  8. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    That's what I wanted to hear.
  9. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    I think you'll be fine if your pickups have all the same magnetic polarity across the strings, like a standard single coil jazz, or a mm humbucker. IOW, where the coils span all four strings.

    If you try this with a P pickup, where two strings have one coil with north magnets, and the other two have another coil with south magnets, there's a very good chance you'll hear a big difference in tone and output from that middle string. It's not just the location of the pole pieces in relation to the string centres, but also the magnetic field that's created by this side-by-side humbucker arrangement. There are many humbucking J pickups with side-by-side coils like this as well.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Other than the polepieces sticking up too far, those SX pickups are probably the best thing about those basses.
  11. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    They are shockingly good-robust like alnicos. The wood work is impressive too. New nut, new bridge, new pots (later when they distort) & I got me a good instrument.
  12. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    I'd throw a good switchcraft Jack in it as well....
  13. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    This is a really old thread, but there's an addendum to this. The SX bass was converted to a 5 string by a reputable Nordstrand tech using a Kahler bridge.

    The d string falls between the pole pieces and is a little weak, noticeably, as the tech pointed out & offered to custom wind a jazz pickup himself.

    I opted not now. Earlier I described the pups as "robust" sounding like Alnicos. That was when I had those flat wound hex core strings--and the hex cores were responsible for much of that perceived punch.

    Now with the Hibeams on, they have a marked slap bass growl. But it's a brittle slap sound, like on Seinfeld. Later when I learn to play it in tune I will put my Carvin J99a's on the SX (from my other really good jazz bass) & put Carvin JVAs on the good bass, or have Nordstrand custom make pups for the good jazz bass.

    But yeah, not having the poles aligned with the strings does matter. Also the SX ceramics are OK, but are like the MIM ceramics. Could be better.