using pickup as a ramp - smooth top vs protruding pole pieces

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AndyPanda, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. I have a couple of basses where the pole pieces are flush with the top of the pickup cover and I find that I really like playing directly over the pickup with the pickup close to the strings - sort of using it like a ramp.

    But I have a couple of basses where the pole pieces poke up about 1/8" above the pickup covers and it was bothering me - fingers catching on the sharp edged pole pieces. I know some people will put spacers under the pickup cover to get them flush - but on these particular basses I have, I would have to break the glue that is holding the covers to the bobbins and I didn't want to disturb them and risk damage. So I tried an experiment of building up the top of the pickup cover and shaping it - I was going for function, not beauty but one of these days I may do a fine sanding job and paint them. As is, I just rough sanded and used a black magic marker to blacken them. The difference in playability is dramatic (for me at least), I found it so much more comfortable and easier to be consistent in my plucking.

    This was a vintage Yamaha BB400 pickup that has a funny raised rib down the center of the pickup cover like this with the orange line being the material I built up the top with:
    Here's a BB300 that I haven't done anything to (these pole pieces don't stick up as high as they did on the one I modified) and aren't as sharp either:
    And here is the BB400 after I built up the top of the pickups:

    Just curious about whether others are bothered by sharp edges on pole pieces and if anyone else likes pickups up close to strings acting like a ramp?
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016