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Warwick Thumb pickup placement & angle.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by popinfresh, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hey guys, i'm going to be putting Dimarzio J's into my T-bird shaped bass and i'm interested in angling the pickups like that of a Thumb 4 or 5.
    I'm just wondering if owners of Thumb basses could just tell me how far the pickups are from the bridge or whatever and what the angle is on the pickups.

    Cheers guys.
     
  2. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    If there's a store nearby with a Thumb in stock, go there with a tape measure.
     
  3. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    From bridge centerline to bridge pickup centerline:

    Bass side: 1.5"
    Treble side: 2"

    From bridge saddles to bridge pickup centerline:

    Bass side: 1.75"
    Treble side: 1.75"

    I do believe that much of the tone come from this angling of the pickups. Good luck.
     
  4. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hmmm, I think i get that.

    So the 'bridge' pup is 1.5" from the bridge, and the 'neck' one is 2" from it?
    But then how can they both be the same length from saddles..
    Couldn't do me a quick sketch could you? Also, do you know the angle, roughly?

    Thanks heaps for helping so far.
     
  5. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    Er, No. That was measurements just to the bridge pickup, from two different bridge reference points (the saddles as adjusted for intonation, and the centerline). You want the position of the neck pickup too?? JEEZ!!! (kidding)

    The pickups are 1.75" apart (they're parallel).
     
  6. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Be aware that if you do this, there are two problems you'll run into.

    First, the DiMarzio Js have polepieces (which the MECs lack), so the polepieces won't align with the strings if the pickups are angled.

    Second, the Ovankal bodies on the Thumbs are very dense and dark sounding. The Warwick pickup placement offsets this tone by putting the pickups closer to the bridge. In most basses, you'll lose low end by doing this and accentuate the nasal upper midrange.
     
  7. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Agree with Lyle's comments on body woods and positioning. I also prefer to reference pickup positions from the nut or 12th fret to get around any confusion with distances and varying bridge saddle positions.
     
  8. +1 on the measurement reference point.

    However, I do recall that DiMarzio J's have dual pole pieces, so a little angle would probably be, OK. Mind you, I've applied the pythagoreum theorum to this arrangement
    (3" E-string to A-string with a 1/2" offset), and you'll only be short by 0.04" overall (not much at all). With a 1" offset, you'll be short by 0.16".

    If you like your basses a little brighter, do it...otherwise, don't.
     
  9. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Basshole - Riiight! Got ya now, heh. Cheers.

    Lyle etc - I do want this bass to be fairly bright and growly/mid centred. But don't want to lose TOO much low end.
    One reason i'm going for an angled pickup (at least in the bridge position) is because, to my annoyance, the walnut peice I got revealed kinda deep knot after I took the thickness down a bit, seens that this is my first project bass and I didn't have much $$, I decided to work with it. If I angle the pup, I can route out the knot and put the pup there without going too far away from the bridge (which it may be if it were straight).

    So what if I angled the bridge pup and had it fairly close to the bridge, then put the neck pup closer to the fretboard, would that be better at getting a bit more bottom without losing the growl?

    EDIT: Measurements from the nut would also be handy.

    Thanks.
     
  10. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hey guys, just had a thought. Would it be possible at all to have two J's in the bridge position, kind of like the Thumb 5.. and then have a P pickup closer to the neck? to even out some brightness.

    I was thinking the Dimarzio P/J might give me more of what i'm after.. But I can get a pair of DM (and Bart) J's off a TB'er to loan and put in there to see what I think. I was going to make use of that free offer to see if I like the DM's. But then read around about the P/J combo and it seems to be talked about as more agressive/growly (what i'm after)?
    Or would a J/J + P be too much for one bass (kind of like a MM + P setup really)? Am I better off going J/J or P/J then if that's the case?
     
  11. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't J-bass pickups have doubled pole pieces for each string? Even if you angled the pickups, the pole pieces would more than cover the string, magnetically speaking.


    I have Wenge/Bubinga Thumb basses (3 of them) and only one Ovangkol. I would not say the Ovangkol is much darker than my Wenge/Bubingas, in fact, perhaps a tad brighter.

    I've played a Sadowsky with the pickup angled much the same as the Thumb (in Roger's shop, I think it was a prototype), and not too surprisingly, it had a similar growl.

    If your bass body and neck woods are going to be particularly bright (like Maple), you might consider moving the neck pickup just a little bit further from the bridge.

    I'll measure the pickup positions referenced from the nut when I get a chance.
     
  12. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I like it. The P's are humbucked. You could wire the coil backwards on one of the J's, and that would even humbuck the J's a bit (flip the magnets too, and you'd humbuck for real).

    I like the idea. The only thing is that you won't have much room to shove your hand in for slap. That's kinda the reason for the Thumb's positioning of the pickups (besides the sound) - it's to give you plenty of room to dig in for slap; hence the name of the bass.
     
  13. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    That's fine with me. This is pretty much going to be my drop D/aggressive band song bass, which I pretty much will never slap on, i've got my Sterling for that anyway.

    But if it will work, and sound good, i'm up for it. Also, which preamp would work well with them (if any?) I've got an Aguilar OBP-3 sitting in front of me which I can use. Or should I keep it passive/use another pre?
     
  14. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    If you have the Aggie, why not try it? You don't need to install it to do so; just cliplead it and mount to controls and pre on a small piece of scrap wood or plastic, external to the bass. If you find a combo you like, either active or passive, then drill and install.

    Someone else's opinion about a certain component is nice to have, but nowhere near as valuable as trying it yourself and letting your own ears decide.
     
  15. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    ^^Yeah, good idea. Fair enough.

    Now all i'll have to figure out is how to wire and what controls I'd like... Hmm.
     
  16. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hmm, so does anyone have measurements from the nut at all? I'm getting a bit confused as to where exactly they should be.

    Basshole - The one bit I don't get is how can both ends be 1.75" from the saddle if the pups on an angle? :confused:

    If anyone has angles, that'd be cool too.
     
  17. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    Bass side: 32.75" from nut (ringing length side) to bridge pickup centerline

    Treble side: 32.25" from nut (ringing length side) to bridge pickup centerline

    Again...the pickups are 1.75" apart, and parallel SO...

    Bass side: 31" from nut (ringing length side) to neck pickup centerline

    Treble side: 30.5" from nut (ringing length side) to neck pickup centerline

    Easy, the saddles are angled - not straight across from each other. Think about it, the saddles are always angled for proper intonation. That's why I also gave measurements to the bridge centerline.