1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
  2. Welcome Back!  Please see this thread for more info about the site outage.  Thank you for your patience as we work out bugs and tweak server configs.

Why don't pole pieces line up with strings?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by matante, Sep 3, 2012.


  1. matante

    matante

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I know most people will say it doesn't affect the sound, but that's not the issue.

    I'm just curious to know why, if the same company designed both the pickups and the bass, would the pole pieces not line up? Please explain.
     
  2. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    Mass production? Lack of QC?
     
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Example?
     
  4. matante

    matante

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Gibson, Ibanez, Yamaha, and most Fenders I've seen, including MIA. I've seen pictures of Lakland basses like this too. I don't think it's a matter of QC, as it apparently doesn't affect the tone, but it still doesn't seem like a desirable trait.

    It seems especially prevalent on the bridge pickup of Jazz style basses.

    EDIT: Here's an example:

    443-Silver-R-100-dpi.jpg
     
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas

    Are you talking about the strings being centered between the pole pieces? It's supposed to be like that, has been since Leo Fender did it in the 50's. The magnet pull would be too strong if the strings were directly over the poles.
     
  6. jarrydee

    jarrydee

    Oct 22, 2011
    Michigan
    looks to me like each string is in between 2 pieces, seems like it is supposed to be that way, or it is a very well measured accident
     
  7. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Norway
    In some cases it's simply a matter of camera angle. Remember that the pickups sit behind the strings with some distance, so a small shift in camera angle will give the illusion of misaligned pole pieces.

    On the picture of that Lakland you can see the side of the knobs (Or at least the reflection) and the G string seems to be at the very edge of the fretboard. This indicates that the picture were taken from a slight downward angle. Remember that it's impossible to photograph a bass from straight ahead over its entire length unless you have a camera sensor the same size as the bass. (This is basically what a scanner is ;) )

    Having that said, on my Squier Jag the J pickup is slightly too wide for some strange reason.
     
  8. In J- and P-style pickups, the offset of the polepieces (and the strings falling between them) is done on purpose, as mmbongo mentioned, or else the magnetic pull would be very strong. There is a minor difference in tone between offsets, directly-unders and bars but it's minor.

    --Silvie
     
  9. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    For a setup, it's very important that the vertical distance between the top of the pickups and the bottom of the strings is just right. Never heard about needing to specially align the strings on their horizontal plane between the poles. It's not clear how this would be done with precision. BTW, I have a Fender Aerodyne Jazz w/Seymour Duncan pickups and here is the string positioning. The alignment is not precisely between all the poles. Placement is perfect over my fretboard, however, and it sounds great.
     
  10. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    I seem to remember this discussion not too long ago here. There was even a photo of a Fender VM JB that clearly showed the strings way off line with the pole pieces.
     
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Here is a Sadowsky. You going to question Roger's QC? :)

    tumblr_l5k17bDBbe1qa4vnho1_500.jpg
     
  12. Right his first bass pickup (still found in the single coil P-basses) had the strings each over a single pole, very punchy. The two pole design softened that a bit.
     
  13. bubinga5

    bubinga5

    Jun 6, 2006
    cheltenham(UK)
    i think you should stop worrying about such unimportant subject and play more... its what it all about you know...;)
     
    TortCult likes this.
  14. matante

    matante

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    NO that's not what I'm talking about. C'mon! Look at how the strings are centered between the pole pieces except on one string.
     
    eddododo likes this.
  15. matante

    matante

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    But if 2 or 3 of the strings are centered and the other(s) are not it can't be blamed on camera angle, because changing the angle would mean the strings that are centered in one photo would not be centered in the other.
     
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    That's even less of an issue than the first thing.
     
  17. Strings are also different sizes and that affects appearances in the photos too.
     
  18. matante

    matante

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I said in the first post that it wasn't an issue or a problem. I understand that it doesn't affect tone. I'm just curious why something would be designed this way.

    Your Sadowsky picture shows that it can be done properly so why would other companies half-ass it?
     
  19. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    Other companies don't necessarily half-ass it. Again, it could be photo angles throwing you off. Maybe the bridge is ever so minutely mounted off from where it should be and it's only seen after being strung up. At that point do you propose they scrap the whole body? Do recall that humans make these instruments
     
  20. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Acutally that picture shows that Sadowsky's are 'misaligned' exactly like that Lakland you said had QC issues. The point is, it's normal even on $4000 basses.
     
  21. 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.

     
    Apr 12, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.