SX Frankencaster PJ pup placement

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by senorblues, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. I am remaking my SX (essex) short scale PJ to work on an SX tele body. I have a Dimarzio PJ set that I am using.

    Rondo no longer sells short scale PJs. I was never happy with its sound and I think the problem (even with the Dimarzios) is that the pickups were both too close to the bridge. It seemed to have some weirdness of overtones, not enough clarity, punch or resonance. Yes. I understand its a shortscale.

    I think I want to put the P pup up close to the neck, angled so the poles line up nice as in my concept pic. I think the J pup should be at least a few inches from the bridge like a normal size jazz. Any thoughts? Why do you never see P pups up to the neck?
  2. I've gone ahead and cut a huge hole in the center of the old reduced size SX P body so I could experiment with pickup placement and my suspicions seem correct. With the split P pup moved up to the neck I get much more punch and a deeper more full tone. The J sounds better moved a little further away from the bridge than its original position. I now don't think angling the pup is necessary as it doesn't seem to make much difference.

    Again I ask why are P pups almost always placed centered between the bridge and the neck? The original single coil P was closer to the neck. 2 pickup guitars usually have a neck and bridge pup with a lot of space between. Short scales like EBOs and violin basses are set up with the pickup at the neck.
  3. tbone409

    tbone409 Guest

    Feb 17, 2007
    kenosha, wi
    the positions of a P pickup (at least on a full scale p) are centered at harmonic points, try this, put your thumb on the string right over the pole piece on the G string on an original position P, you should get a harmonic, if not right over the pickup it should be close, and then repeat on the A string pickup, pickups aren't just strewn around, they are placed at what was believed to be the best position to pick up sound in relation to the string.

    now whether or not those are good place to put pickups or not is up to debate, obviously leo thought it was a good idea (all fender MM and G&L basses) but others like Fred Hammond of Darkstar Pickups, disagrees because the string is moving less at those harmonic nodes.