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What are the sweet spots for MM pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by CThompson, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. I know people talk about the "sweet spot" for placing MusicMan pickups. How do you determine where that spot is if you were converting something with J pickups?

    More specifically, this:


    I can easily do the woodwork required to put MMs on that bass, but how do you place them?
  2. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    There is no such thing as a sweet spot for all notes. There may be one for a specific string length such as an open string, but that will not hold true for any fretted note. Basically, closer to the neck = more fundemental, closer to the bridge = more overtones in a given signal. In the above case, route the current pup holes back toward the bridge for more bite, forward toward the neck for more thud, or a any combination of the two.
  3. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I'd recommend that you find a Stingray hanging on a store wall and measure from the 12th fret to some consistant point of reference (center of one of the sets of poles, etc.).

    I don't know if the pickup on a Stingray as moved any since they were first introduced in the mid/late '70s.
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    No, but there is a location for pickup placement along the length of a string that is consistent from Musicman SR to Musicman SR. That's what he is asking for, I believe. I don't have the specs, though.

    You still can't expect it to sound like a Musicman, though, even with the proper pickup location.
  5. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    The two most common ways to approach this are to 1) place the MM style pups such that the inner coils line up with the jazz single coils or 2) place the new pups such that the outer coils line up with the jazz single coils. If you do it that way and are clever about your wiring, you can get a good jazz sound out of the instrument as well.
  6. That was my thought, lining up a row of MM polepieces with where the J would have been.

    My gut told me to do the neckward poles on both pickups in the J slots. I've seen too many references to "The MM Sweetspot", and thought there might be a rule.

    As to wiring, that was my plan. Actually, though he doesn't seem to make them anymore, Nordstrand used to have MM 4.4 pickups, where each pickup is four coils, two per row of poles. With the correct wiring on those you could also cop a P-bass if you wanted.
  7. Here's how you find the sweet spot without measuring.

    PLAY HARMONICS ON THE OPEN G close to the bridge UNTIL YOU FIND THE B. That is where the CENTER of the MM/SR pickup is, between the poles.

    On a standard long scale 34" or 35" bass, it should be about three inches from the witness point of the bridge saddle.

  8. Yvarg

    Yvarg Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Irvine, CA
    . . . or if that's one of SX's short scale basses you can go to fretfind and print out a 30" fret template with around 36 frets on it. Last i remember, the edge of a stingray pickup closest to the fretboard falls just about on where the 36th fret would be.
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Assuming of course that intonation is adjusted properly.
  10. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    I seen to remember it's 30" from the nut

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