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Strings not in-between polepieces of pickup

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by semborg, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. I have noticed on many basses that the strings doesn't line up perfectly in-between polepieces of the pickup.

    Shouldn't the strings be exacly symmetrical and line up prefectly in-between to get same volume/sound as the others strings?




  2. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    1. If there's any angle at all to the pictures, no matter how slight, it'll throw the whole thing off.

    2. I don't think it's that big a deal if the string lines up just a bit wonky.
  3. all of those strings look pretty damn close to in between the polls, i dont think something so small will make a difference.
  4. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
  5. cerrem


    Apr 4, 2006
    San Diego
    You are correct....
    Technically, the string "should" be ligned up properly with the poles... The reason they are all slightly off in the same direction is someone at the factory cut the bridge saddle a bit off, in your case it is a fixed bridge saddle...Sometimes the logic for doing this is to keep the E-string from being too close to the edge of the fretboard, so when you are playing you don't slide the string off the side off the fret-board depending on radius...The G-string is small gauge and can go closer to the edge..but the E-string being bigger, you sometimes have to watch this...
    Also sometime they don't want to cut the NUT to close either since the nut will have a thin spot on it that can crack easily...the nut spacing really has very little to do with it... The real answer to your problem is that Fender doesn't have thier act together...whoever made the call for the pick-up spacing is not on the same page with who set-up the bridge spacing, they are probably from different outside vendors with poor process variation.....QC, probably nows this and just lets it go since they don't see it worth the trouble to tear things up in the manufacturing end...$$$$$$$$$....A far as Fender is concerned, as long as the string is withing the magnetic field of the dual poles it is within spec... But a famous artist with a custom shop bass would probably not have this problem..but then again I wouldn't be surprised if it was off..
    Personally I don't agree with this way of seting up......
    The only time you need to worry about this, is if you have lower output on the E-string than the other strings... If this is not the case then don't worry about it... You can also unscrew the pick-up and move it and re-screw it down...but that may involve some minor routing....
    If this is an issue for you and you want this taken care of then you go to plan B, which is to get the Hip-shot bridge that has the side adjustment on the saddles....this way you can line everything up perfectly ;)

  6. If you seriously believe they are still hand cutting bridge saddle pieces in mass production basses, then you are way, way off track dude.

    Hmmm, sixty years of highly successful musical instrument manufacturing counts for naught, right?

    Look, I'm not defending Fender, I don't even own one, but if you seriously think this is a long-term deliberate oversight of the Fender factory and countless other manufacturers, then you need your head examined. :D

    Your suggestion of routing the body and shifting the pickup is also misguided. Take another look at the first picture. If you did line up the E string pole pieces as you suggested, then the G string would be massively out of alignment, and the A and D strings would be somewhat out of alignment.

    The long and the short of it is that it just doesn't make that much difference. Plus, the mass production process has too many variations in it to allow such precision. What they strive for is a good compromise between the alignment of all strings and that's what you see in the pictures.
  7. Take a look @ Bill Lawrence j45, 9 pole pieces for a 4 or 5 string.The strings go rite over the top of the pole pieces.Yet,they are the quietest most vintage sound I've ever come accross.
  8. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Guest

    Feb 4, 2004
    well, the first bass may have had the bridge slots cut off center, or the bridge mounted off center, or it just needs a neck yank. yup, it needs to be pulled(adjusted) towards the bass side(upper horn). i have met a few basses where the neck is sloppy in the pocket, causing misalignment of everthing......look at the strings on the fretboard. the second bass appears pretty good to me. the 3rd doesn't count cuz its an sx for a 100 dollars.....the owner should be happy that the pickups were included.
  9. I've found this problem to be mostly related to improper seating of the neck heel in the body pocket. Note gap between the body and the neck heel in many production basses, Fenders and others. It only takes a couple mm to throw off the angle just enough to mess with that alignment over the pups.

    One fix is to shim the top or bottom of the neck pocket. Another is to mess with the angle of the saddles.

    Ultimately I don't think it matters all that much. I sure as hell wouldn't start moving pickups or bridge location for this minor issue.
  10. fender_mod


    Jun 23, 2005
    the top two basses have BAII bridges, you need to either cut the slots (if you havent already) or just adjust the saddles to either side like i did to get the pole peices to line up. i have 3 pups on my bass and i got the strings to all line up perfectly just by adjusting the saddles and not cutting groves. this doesnt give the lowest action possible but its very decent until you can get the slots cut in the saddles. i want low action so ill prolly end up getting the slots done.
  11. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    That first bass is mine, and I put it together and set it up.

    The E string on mine (and I guess this could also apply to the others) is where it is to give some extra room on that side for the lower tension string, particularly important if you play with a fairly hefty vibrato. The other thing I had in mind when cutting the saddles was equal spacing between the edges of each string (in other words, all three gaps equal width) A symmetrical alignment won't actually give this because the heavier gauge strings will have a smaller gap between than the lighter ones (think about it and you'll see why ;)).

    As far as output balance goes, it makes no difference, the magnetic field of the pickup is pretty constant anywhere over the poles. And if you're further from one pole piece on a J pickup, as in the pic, you're nearer to the other and so overall you won't hear any difference.

    I hope this helps answer the question :)
  12. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Guest

    Feb 4, 2004

    the second bass has a gotoh i believe.

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