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Vintage Fender Pickup Covers - what do they do?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pinck, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Pinck


    Jun 20, 2004

    I try to know a lot about gear, but I'm stumped on this one. Anyone know the logic behind Fender putting pickup covers on their basses back in the day?

    My only stab at it would be that maybe they were trying to take some harshness out of the tone by weakening the pickups placing metal all around the area where the pickups were trying to pick up magnetic change?

    I don't know. Thus I ask.

  2. I think that they were just there for the looks.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    They give you a place to rest your hand without muting the strings. Dudes used to pluck closer to the neck in the olden days to get that fake upright thing going.
  4. Tage


    Sep 17, 2003
    I've heard they were put there to reduce pickup 'hum' and/or feedback, though I'm not sure how true that is.
  5. I believe the cover over the pickup is there for a hand rest and you could also assume they're there to protect and 'hide' the pickup.

    Look at all the early Fender designs and "workings" are all under covers. The bridge is covered by a cover on all guitars up to the Jazzmaster (1958-59), the pickup that wouldn't be under the "ashtray" cover on the Telecaster is chromed, Strat pickups show pretty much because it would be near impossible to put covers over them and have any area to strum or pick.

    Also, the entire magnetic field would be inside the cover as well, acting as shielding.
  6. toad


    Jun 26, 2002
    aesthetics and they have foam that dampen the strings.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    I too had heard it was to reduce feedback.
  8. AFAIK, they're just to protect the pickup and, where applicable, the bridge.
  9. csholtmeier


    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    The bridge cover is what held the string mute. I had the privilidge of checking out an all original '65 Jazz yesterday. It even had all of the accessories with it, including the original (now almost disintegrated) string mute.
  10. Pinck


    Jun 20, 2004
    yeah, I don"t buy the shielding theory because if you ask any tech they'll tell you that you try to keep sheilding paint away from the pickup cavities or you'll weaken the pickups response.

    I guess the answer that I'm taking is the protection/string mute ones.

    Thanks. And if anyone else has any ideas, by all means.
  11. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Eh? Don't listen to those techs, they are full of ****.