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Measuring and matching pickup output

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  • Measuring and matching pickup output

    I have encountered 2 different basses where the output levels are noticeably different between the G and D strings compared to the lower A, E and B strings. The G and D strings have much less volume compared to the other strings. One is a Ken Smith the other a Fender Deluxe Jazz. Both bassís pickup configurations are such that the each pickup covers all the strings linearly, meaning not like the Precision Bass straddled pickup configuration. I suspect the delta in volume has to do with the sound system / amp EQ (it happens in both the stage monitors and my amp Ė strange huh) since both basses share this problem and the amplification equipment is the only constant in the equation, but just to be on the safe side, is there a way to test and insure by a scientific means that the pickups are adjusted such that the output across all strings are the same? Can you use a voltage meter for this somehow? An oscilloscope for sure, but where to find one Ė not something you find too often laying around ones house. Are there other ways of accomplishing this?

    Iíve had the Fender setup by a professional recently and this phenomenon didnít change any, so I really suspect it is related to amplification, but it does have me wanting to find out how to make sure I know how to correct this problem if its not amplification related. I have had a similar problem in the past where the height adjustment of the pickups were way out of whack (on a precision bass) and I used my trusty ear to get them balanced again, but Iíd like to find a more accurate way of balancing the output volume if possible. I tried changing the height of the pickups on the Fender by raising them closer to the G & D strings and lowering them farther away from the A & E strings, but it didn't help much.

    I am open to any suggestions and comments that come my way.

    Thanks in advance for all your help.
    Last edited by rwyarbrough; 01-07-2005, 05:17 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Measuring and matching pickup output

    It might also have to do in part to the string guages. A thicker string will be louder than a thinner one. I would try out a quality compressor to see if that would cure your problem.
    Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.