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KevB

Odd response from P pickups

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I'm sure they werent like this when i bought my bass but recently I've noticed that the open A string is noticeably low in output to the extent it was getting lost in the mix at gigs, compared for eg with A fretted at fret 5 on E string. I've changed strings and I've tried adjusting the overall action and the angle and height of the pickup covering the A string but to no real effect. I notice that you can get P pickups with specifically 'raised A' pole pieces so I'm suspecting this is not a unique issue?
So, if it looks like the pickups themselves may have gone suboptimal are there any current recommendations for decent P pickups? Are quarter pounders still rated as highly as once was for the money? I'm not looking to spend a fortune on bespoke Pu's but it's a good quality USA Fender (50th anniv model from 2001) so I'd like something decent.

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Are you sure the A string is properly wound on the tuning machine? I mean so that its angle on the nut is big enough? (hope I managed to explain it)

Edited by shamrock198804

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Could be a duff A string? You could test that by swapping the strings around and see if the low volume follows the A string or stays on the 'A' pickup position. Would feel weird but it'll tell you if it's the strings or pickup.

If it comes down to getting a replacement, folks seem to love the Fender Custom shop '62 precision pickup (Looks to be around £125 at the moment). Bit pricier than the SPB-3 but very good apparently.

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Try flipping the pickup around (if the the loom will stretch) and see if the problem follows the pole piece.

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I've completely changed strings at least once, possibly twice, since I noticed this and I've wound the strings pretty much as I've always done on my other basses which don't show the problem. The whole 'raised A' thing may just be coincidence but you can get them, from Seymour Duncan as it happens but they are pricey:
[url="http://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Seymour-Duncan-Antiquity-Precision-Bass-Pickup-Set-Raised-A/1X1D?origin=product-ads&utm_campaign=*PLA+Shop+-+All+Products&utm_medium=vertical_search&network=google&adgroup=**All+Products&merchant_id=1279443&product_id=89473d1&product_country=GB&product_partition_id=40987389974&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhI7jocrK1gIVjr3tCh18ZwoREAYYAiABEgKM3_D_BwE"]http://www.gear4musi...AiABEgKM3_D_BwE[/url]
Looks the whole raised A thing harks back to compensating for poor output old amps anyway.
I guess I could try flipping them but haven't got a lot of time, might just be easier buying a new set and getting a tech to shove'em in and take it from there. The custom shop 62's look interesting but again not cheap. Will think about it. Cheers for the responses.

Edited by KevB

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Try touching each pole piece on the pickup with a metallic object eg small srewdriver with the bass plugged in and amp volume pretty pow but audible.You will get a distintive 'thump' at each polepiece.Does the 'A' thump sound quieter than the other 3?If so,the pickup is at fault.

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[quote name='squire5' timestamp='1506695180' post='3380502']
Try touching each pole piece on the pickup with a metallic object eg small srewdriver with the bass plugged in and amp volume pretty pow but audible.You will get a distintive 'thump' at each polepiece.Does the 'A' thump sound quieter than the other 3?If so,the pickup is at fault.
[/quote]

Yep - This is a much quicker+simpler way of checking!

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[quote name='squire5' timestamp='1506695180' post='3380502']
Try touching each pole piece on the pickup with a metallic object eg small srewdriver with the bass plugged in and amp volume pretty pow but audible.You will get a distintive 'thump' at each polepiece.Does the 'A' thump sound quieter than the other 3?If so,the pickup is at fault.
[/quote]

Sorry, should have mentioned I'd already done that early doors, all the pole pieces are generating a magnetic field. No noticeably quieter 'thump' just a noticeably quieter open A string response on every set of strings in last 12-18 months!

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It's surprising how string volume differs when they're in different aspects to the pole pieces. Bend a note and listen to the change as it moves around over the pickup. It's possible that your neck is out of line and the strings are misaligned with the pups. Lay the guitar down and look at the relationship of the strings with each side of the fretboard. A simple slight loosen of the neck screws and a sharp pull will sort things out. Might just get the A string picking up better.

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