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Sweet Spot is located ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, Feb 8, 2002.

  1. Does anyone know where the "Sweet Spot" is on a bass? For years I'd heard it was where Musicman basses have their pickups positioned, but, I read something recently about basses that have their pups in the P-bass position as being in the "Sweet Spot." Which one is correct? Could they both be correct?

    Mike J.
  2. I'd say that both are correct. To me it really depends on the sound you are after and the type of music you play. A Pbass sounds great for blues gigs but might not be the best choice for slap-funk.
  3. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    It all depends on what you consider sweet.;)
  4. I suppose for many the bridge p/up on a Jazz bass is in a sweet spot too.

    I'd go for the P, though:) (for rock playing, at least)
  5. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i wonder if there's a mathmatic way we could figure out the spot on the string that has the most overtones in one spot - or at least, the spot that has the best ones (maybe that's where the difference in opinion comes in)

  6. I would guess that how the bass is constructed would also contribute to where you'd want to place a PU. Different woods, bolt on, neck thru...
  7. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Suspiciously absent; any mention of a Casady :eek:

    Ohhh that's right...they nailed it :D
  8. I'll buy that. ;) That plus the spot between the nut and the bridge. That's a pretty sweet spot. :D
  9. Sweet spot? OK, stupid question - why didn't the idea of sliding pickups ever catch on? Seem like a good idea to me. Flame away!

    Oh - My Jackbass pickup is held in place with screws, not nails.:D
  10. The closer you are to the bridge the more overtones you get but your volume will be lower and your pickups will have to be more precise depending on how close you go to the bridge
  11. Warwick5s may have something there.
    I think I once read that Leo Fender used some kind of a mathematical formula to determine where to place the pickups on the Jazz bass, and later, the Stingray. I remember the #16, or 1/16th appearing a few times.

    NotDuane, How could I forget? In the ads Gibson used to run in Bass Player mag, it said that the Casady's pickup was "in the sweet spot."

    Maybe this is just an advertising term?

    Weaselboy, you still lovin' that Casady? ;)

    Mike J.
  12. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    :cool: It is in your fingers:cool:
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Another thing to consider besides placement is pickup type and aperture. The P-bass has large coils, the MM bucker uses two narrower coils together as one 'bucker, the Jazz bass uses two narrow coils separately.

    But you can throw all that hoopajoo away. It all boils down to the fact that one person's "sweet spot" is another person's bilge bucket. Jocko lovers prefer a Jazz pup at the bridge for the additional harmonics and natural compression. Jamerson lovers prefer the thud and dynamics of the big Funk Machine split-pup which is closer to the neck.

    And of course it ain't just electronics: body wood is very significant. So is playing technique: what sounds good for Flea or Victor Wooten might not work for you... and vice versa.

    There ain't no "best". "Sweet spot" is just a marketing gimmick.

    Raining on the parade -- Fuzzbass ;)
  14. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    There actually is a mathmatical formula that locates the most harmonically rich spots on the string. I saw it a couple of days ago but my eyes immediatly glazed over so don't ask me what it was.

    And as a wise man just pointed out, you can move your fingers a half an inch and completely change the attack of the string...
  15. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    This isn't really true. Magnetic pickups sense the string movement, and all overtones will have nodes where the string doesn't move much. The antinodes, places of maximum movement, are where a magnetic pickup will sense the most. The closer you get to the bridge, the farther from the antinodes you get from the lower harmonics. And the high harmonics have antinodes all over the place, so there's not real increase as you get near the bridge.

    Piezo pickups are placed at the witness point itself, where all the harmonics have a node. And they don't rely on string movement but on pressure, which is maximum at a node. So they pickup the most overtones.
  16. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I haven't seen the formula, but I don't know how it could work without making assumptions about what overtones are present and at what percentage volume. Seems to me that, if you change your technique, you change the overtone content, and there's a new "most harmonically rich" spot. So, what you said. :)

    I think the answer to the question for this thread is: Where You Find it. :) Alternatively, There is No Such Thing.
  17. I don't accept this. Next, you'll be telling me there's no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. :(

    Mike J. :D
  18. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    ok. i'm actually in an acoustics for musicians physics class, so i'll look thru my book and let you know if i find anything.

    this sounds like a great paper topic, actually!!!

  19. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well, except that there's no acoustics involved. :D But very similar to topics from acoustics (resonances in closed pipes or something).

  20. I think I got this quote from the Bartolini site. The bridge pickup is located as per Leo Fender's original design which is the 1/16th open scale point.

    [ edit ]

    The Fender Precision pole pieces on the lower string side are all 11.0" from the 12th fret. I measured every P bass in a couple music stores and they are the same in all cases. The bridge pickups on P+J basses deviate. Fender Jazz basses also are particularly accurate in the placement of both J pickups.

    The MusicMan pickups are 13.09" from the 12th fret to the center of the closest pole pieces. This also seems to very strictly located.

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