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Would a "bad" pickup get louder?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jonathanhughes, May 12, 2010.

  1. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I haven't played my 25-year-old Ibanez Roadstar in quite some time. It's got an original P-bass style pickup in it, and then I had a Seymour Duncan jazz pickup added near the bridge a few years after I got the bass.

    Last night, I took it out, plugged it in, and the P pickup sounds a lot different than I remember. It's really boomy, and LOUD. Like WAY louder than either of my jazz basses. When soloed the bridge pickup is maybe a hair quieter than my jazz basses.

    I may be imagining things, since I haven't played it in a while, but I'm wondering if the the P pickup has somehow gone "bad", and if so, could that cause it to get louder and bassier?


  2. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I can't think of any scenario where you would end up with more output due to a pickup itself failing. If some of the internal windings shorted, you should get less output and if they opened, you should get no output. If one side of the P pickup failed, it should be obvious due to radically dffierent output levels between you high and low strings.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Agreed. Stretching my imagination a bit, it is conceivable that there was a problem with the wiring previously, resulting in quieter sound, and in the intervening time something shifted so that now it is operating the way it should. But don't ask me to back that idea up, it's a stretch. :p

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