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where to put a sidewinder pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DaniKettu, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. DaniKettu


    Aug 18, 2008
    So i have a new bass project. Maple Precision bass body and maple neck. That's about all precision bass on that bass. I'm putting a graphtech piezo bridge to it.

    The pickups i'm using are two
    sidewinder pickups which are "basic" soapbar size. I'm putting one into the precision pickup position, cause there is a routed hole already. But where to but the other one? I thought about putting them right next to each other on the precision pickup position for the reason there is a hole already. But how would that sound? I guess not that good.

    The pickups are going to be passive. And no onboard eq or nothing for the magnetic pickups.
  2. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Since you already know where you want one pickup, maybe it'd be a good idea to make a mounting rig for the "non-precision position" pickup and slide it up and down the body to see where it'd sound good for you.

    Found this on The Gear Page:

    Basically, suspend the pickups over the strings and move them around to see how they work best. Since you're sure you want one pickup in the P position, mount that to the body and float the other one around on the rig. Feel free to set up the wiring for it so you can test how the V/V/T-V/B/T-3/V/T or whatever control set you work.

    There is one small problem with your plan about no onboard EQ. In order to make the pickups blend as well as possible (without one pickup sucking the tone out of the other), pickups have to be matched by impedance (within the order of magnitude).

    Piezo pickups have an impedance an order of magnitude above magnetics, and magnetics have an impedance an order of magnitude above any buffered pickup. (If you don't already know, a buffer is transparent, EQ-less preamp that lowers the impedance of anything fed to it).

    To avoid tone suck, you have a few options:
    • buffer the output of the magnetic pickups and controls, buffer the output of the pickup and controls, then join the output wires at the output jack. This shouldn't make it sound active as the interaction between the magnetic pickups and controls will remain passive.
    • use a three-way switch to select magnetics-blend-piezo or a two-way to select magnetics-piezo. The blend will sound lifeless if the magnets remain unbuffered.
    • use two output jacks, one for the magnetics, one for the piezo. You can then send each pickup to its own rig, or use a mini mixer to join them together (essentially the same as the first option.).
  3. DaniKettu


    Aug 18, 2008
    I forgot to mention that i have a buffer for the piezo pickup.

    That idea about the mounting rig is awesome. Thank you very much.
  4. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Since you have the piezo bridge I would go up near the neck (kinda like an Allen Woody with middle and far neck).

    I struggled with mods on my Spectorcore, which is a mag/piezo mix, for quite awhile. Eventually I put in a Bartolini pre with the matching Bart buffer. Now the mag and piezo blend perfectly.