Why do Bartolini's wear like this??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mmbongo, May 18, 2012.

  1. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I'm borrowing this pic from the Emporium, this pickup is for sale there.

    I've always wondered why it is that Bartolini pickups get those 'wear lines' on them like the 3 lines clearly visible. It's not from the string touching the pickup, or it would look like the 4th line. Sup with that?

  2. CTC564

    CTC564 Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Toms River,NJ
    I have had that happen to my Barts in my original Lakland 55-94 as well as my EMG P/J equipped Spector NS-2

    Never knew why though

    Good question...subscribed
  3. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    If that's a 5 string pickup... it could be fingers wearing after they strike the strings.

    On my telebass, which has a chrome bridge humbucker, I've got some wear / marking between the strings where my fingers go when I make her bark...


    Could be this, could be where strings strike the plastic but I'm not conviced. the marks towards the left side of the bart are more like those heavily striated marks left by roundwounds (esp. SS).
  4. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I don't have pics of mine but my Bart's in my Jazzes get these from cleaning the strings and the fact that the rubber covering wears easier than plastic.
  5. coyote1


    Mar 23, 2012
    Ummm... it could be that the E string is typically thumbed much more frequently while slapping than the other strings, and it moves much more than the others. So its wear lines will be larger and more diffuse. Notice that the wear lines get progressively narrower as you move from thick to thin strings.
  6. I'd actually guess that those wear lines are actually wear at all. Bartolinis come new in a matte black but as you play and your finger touches the area between the strings, your body's natural oils rub off onto the pickup and make it all shiny and stuff. So the wear lines are just places your finger hasn't touched regularly. The same thing happens to fingerboards except the wear lines are actually worn down from string contact.
  7. vinnydbass


    Feb 4, 2008
    uh yea, its definitely simple wear from your fingers hitting the cover after plucking. The one thing i dont like about barts is how awesome they look brand new, but look like crap when worn. i have a set on my jazz bass. i usually play over the bridge pickup, so the neck pickups still looks new and matte, but the old looks worn and shiny.
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Barts are cast from black epoxy, so it's probably a little softer than the plastic cases used on other pickups. Then since a lot of Barts are a little lower in output, people probably crank them up very close the the strings.

    Some of the pickups on my basses with plastic covers have similar wear lines on them.
  9. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
  10. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It's not just from finger oils. Here's an old cover of mine that had been on one of my basses for the past six years or so.


    The shiny areas have had the matt texture that's molded into the pickup polished off. This is a combination of your finger touching the cover and the strings hitting it. In the Bart above you can clearly see where the strings have gouged out the cover.

    It's hard to photograph and looks a lot more apparent in person.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    If you un-focus your eyes you can see it pretty clearly on the SGD pickup :)
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    It is most definitely from fingers touching them. I have barts in my BTB 676 and it has significant wear marks over the bridge pickup, the neck isn't so bad.... I obviously play over the bridge pickup

  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Yep, the pickups got "polished" by the fingers between the strings.
  14. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    The bart MM on my Lakland has the same thing going on. The pickup cover feels a little softer than my EMGs, so I think something is hitting it. I would think it either from your hands touching it, or skin flakes (sexy) from your hands brushing off while playing and sticking to the cover.
  15. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Barts are cast out of epoxy. The cover on the EMGs is ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) plastic, as is the cover I posted in the photo above. Some epoxies are quite hard, but I suspect the kind they use is softer.

    Any plastic is softer than metal strings.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You can restore their look with a little 000 synthetic steel wool (non-metallic). Courtesy George at BSD.
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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