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hamfist

Surely this is the best pickup configuration.

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Just set up one of my Thunders with this MM/P config. It is absolutely superb, and what a great mix of tones. The MM (in parallel) is in the Ernie Ball sweet spot, and then The P pickup snug right up to it, just a few millimetres nearer the neck than the Fender sweetspot (in use I'll never notice those few mms).
All into a 3 band pre-amp with parametric mids.

The P and MM soloed obviously give great P and MM tones, but there are also excellent Jazz-like tones blending the two. This really is a sweet setup. You just don't see it around. Don't understand why.

[url=http://www.ephotobay.com/share/green-w-body.html][/url]

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I was thinking that a little while ago, it does seem like a good pickup placement.

Perhaps it's aesthetics? It's not the most attractive and us bassists are a conservative bunch when it comes to looks.

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They could be built into a single housing as part of a custom build though which would look fine?

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[quote name='andydye' timestamp='1388775772' post='2325995']
They could be built into a single housing as part of a custom build though which would look fine?
[/quote]

Good shout - megabucker!

I've always thought this would be a killer combo, but never had the £ to spare (or the technical ability) to mod one of my basses/start a bitsa project.

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Could be wrong here but I think the guys at Enfield may have already done this...

http://www.enfieldguitars.com/

Just sayin' ;)

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If positions didn't overlap it would be a fun experiment to route out and fit, from neck downwards,

Mudbucker
Jazz neck
Precision
Musicman
Jazz bridge

Would take some wiring and switching but would definitely be interesting.

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Thanks for all your comments guys.

Maude's suggestion about fitting 5 pickups sounds interesting, but I think it would look disgusting ! For me , there's nothing a mudbucker or Jazz pickups could offer me sonically that I'd want. All my taste is fulfilled with the MM/P.

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[quote name='andydye' timestamp='1388775772' post='2325995']
They could be built into a single housing as part of a custom build though which would look fine?
[/quote]

I think that's a brilliant idea :-)

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Agreed that it i indeed a great configuration. Here is one I had made but later sold due to custom building another bass. It started as a Fender MiM 50's classic P. Picups are Nordstrand MM, and Wildepickups P-46 P. It sounded wonderful!

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[quote name='dannybuoy' timestamp='1388942341' post='2327890']
Should be totally hum free if put together well, unlike a PJ combination.
[/quote]

Correct.

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The Sandberg California VM has a similar configuration, but the MM pickup is closer to the bridge. Still has a great range of sounds though.

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FOr me, the distance from the bridge is critical for a bridge pickup. It only takes a few mms too close for a pickup to become rather uselessly thin and/or honky for my needs. The MM sweetspot is as far as I want to go bridgeward.

I suspect that manufacturers like Sandberg position their bridge humbucker where it is for mainly cosmetic reasons. The positioning I have shown in the OP may look cumbersome as we are not used to it, but for a variety of useful tones it is way ahead IMO.

Edited by hamfist

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[quote name='hamfist' timestamp='1388994984' post='2328433']
I suspect that manufacturers like Sandberg position their bridge humbucker where it is for mainly cosmetic reasons. The positioning I have shown in the OP may look cumbersome as we are not used to it, but for a variety of useful tones it is way ahead IMO.
[/quote]

I would doubt very much that Sandberg place their pickups where they do for cosmetic reasons. They position their bridge pickups closer to the traditional Jazz bridge pickup position which surely increases the tonal variables. There is no best option as "Useful tones" are entirely subjective to the player. Personally speaking, I wouldn't have a bass that didn't have a pickup in the tight and honky zone. That's the pickup on which I play most of the time. I agree that tonal options are good though. I just prefer distance between the pickups, different positions, different string resonance, different pickup types, different sounds, blend to suit, bobs yer uncle.

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[quote name='Fionn' timestamp='1388996987' post='2328451']


I would doubt very much that Sandberg place their pickups where they do for cosmetic reasons. They position their bridge pickups closer to the traditional Jazz bridge pickup position which surely increases the tonal variables. There is no best option as "Useful tones" are entirely subjective to the player. Personally speaking, I wouldn't have a bass that didn't have a pickup in the tight and honky zone. That's the pickup on which I play most of the time. I agree that tonal options are good though. I just prefer distance between the pickups, different positions, different string resonance, different pickup types, different sounds, blend to suit, bobs yer uncle.
[/quote]

I hear where you're coming from Fionn and, yes, I'm sure Sandberg's pickup placement is not just for cosmesis. But I suspect cosmetic "normality" is definitely a consideration for virtually all manufacturers, as the instrument-buying public is a very traditional lot, and not many will try out something very different.

Players "expect" to have pickups near certain Fender and Musicman "norms". Manufacturers will probably lose sales if they differ too much from them (and yes I'm sure there are lots of niche market manufacturers who do try different things, but their overall sales will probably be low).

It seems to be conventional "wisdom" that pickups placed a decent way apart gives the best variety of tones. Not my experience though. The wider the gap, the bigger the mid-scoop when blended is my experience.
I know we're all looking for different tones but for rock players who tend to focus on the Precision and Stingray sounds, I reckon my pickup positioning is perfect. And, as I mentioned before, the blended tones are surprisingly excellent too.

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