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Unusual pickup configuration?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Eli M., Oct 22, 2004.

  1. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    I’ve seen quite a few basses with a J-MM (neck-bridge) configuration. Why have I never seen a bass with a MM in the neck position and a J at the bridge? Has nobody thought of it, is it a bad idea, does it not work electronically, or some other reason? I figure since nobody does it, there's probably something wrong with it. But I’m curious about how this might sound (especially on a fretless). Please enlighten me - I know very little about pickups. Are there any basses out there like this?

    (edited this post five seconds after posting to take out a smiley icon that somehow ended up there)
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I've probably done it but I'd have to go back and read to be sure. But there's probably an MM/J review or at least comment on it in the Dimento MM experiment.

    Anything you stick at the neck is basically going to be darker, louder, and less defined - at least compared to a bridge mounting. So the neck pup is typically used to darken, reduce clariity, beef up/ fill-out, etc. (assuming it's run in series anyway).

    The MM is typically run series-parallel HB/single coil at the bridge. MM's sound very much like J pups when split (more so than any HB I've run across) and, in fact, in series the MM sounds very much like two single coil J's at bridge position (which I definetly remmeber doing). So with an MM you get that brighter, cutting, growly J tone when split and if you want to add some balls you switch it to series. Which is probably why the MM wasn't designed with a neck pup - it can get by without it. To me a J at the neck is a good compliment cause it can be used to take the edge off the MM bridge or fatten it up a little if desired. The output is also more evenly balanced with that combo.

    Putting an MM at the neck (in series anyway) gives more everything than needed. I've ran MM's neck and bridge and J neck MM bridge. I personally don't like a fat neck pup but someone who does would unlikely settle for a J at the bridge. You could wire an MM neck to split coils (or whatever variation) and probably it would most often be used that way - as a J pup in other words.

    It might work well for someone who is heavy into neck pups and just uses the bridge for flavor/variety. Otherwise, it would probably take a very hi output J single or a stacked J to have output that would be any match for the MM neck.
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    MM in the neck position sounds blurry and too boomy IMHO.
    That's what I found everytime I tried a bass equipped this way : MM Sabre or Bongo, Ibanez, Cort, Jackson.
    A P/J will work much better than a MM/J in this case.
    I once met a J/P (J neck, P bridge) and it really worked well for punk.
  4. Thee


    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I actually love a MM in the neck. Depends on what I'm playing, but in general a blend of a little of the bridge pup is nice for note definition and edge. I've been exploring more of the soloed neck though recently.
  5. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I did that on my first bass. It had a MM in the neck, an inch back of where a P would go, and it was from a Sabre. The Jazz pu was a '63, set back a half inch from where a stock J would go. I put a Bart TBT pre on it, and it was awesome. The MM would tend to get the better of it's littler cousin if they were both flat-out, but if I backed the front off a little bit, it was crystal clear. The active EQ helped a lot, but the output of the MM was 2/3 again what the J put out. I'd like to give that setup another try now that the Ultra Jazz is in my vocabulary. I love the sound on the J bridge soloed, and the MM is classic as well. I think a lower-output MM with a DM UJ bridge would work out very well. What MM replacement is less hot than stock? Bart, maybe? Or Lane Poor? Or possibly a plain old Mighty Mite or AllPartz?
  6. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Very similar, though mine had a lot more room between the pickups. Bet that one sounds gnarly though.