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I got a gift card for Amazon and decided to shop for some instrument project odds & ends I might not want to waste the money on otherwise.

I bought some cheap pickups for a primitive 5 string bass project. I saw the picture and thought it was a mistake and they would send the right items...

Well, I got what was in the picture and and have never see anything like this. I'm hoping it makes sense.

There are two pickups...I assumed bridge & neck, and didn't understand why one had 4 pole pieces and the other had 6...it made to sense at all to me. Well ,that's what I got, but they are wired together, so they apparently are placed closely together.

What kind of sense am I missing out on?



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Makes no sense to me.


I've never seen that before.  Wired how closely together?


They're usable, what kind of tone are you looking for on a 5 string.


I don't see too far past the obvious. Elsewhere, someone showed me a pic of P-Bass pickups that had two parts, one with three pairs of pole pieces and one with 2 pairs of pole pieces. They had some spacing between the pairs so it was obvious it was intended to provide two poles per string.

What I have are equally-spaced, which led my literal imagination to see 6 strings and 4 strings. I wasn't really expecting them to be wired together inches apart (described as neck and bridge), but I >think< I now understand if I think P-Bass (neck and bridge is incorrect, then)..

...and what kind of tone? Ha, how ignorant I am...I used to think it didn't matter where the pickup was or how many on a bass...you know, it's 'just' a bass. I was wrong. I saw someone with a bass that appeared to have two pickups (Les Paul spacing) and frets. Upon closer inspection, and explanation by the owner, the frets were markers and not frets ;O), and there was a third invisible piezo in the tailpiece!

I will have to assume that I'd prefer a near-neck location as I do on guitar, but don't know. I'm thinking about a Klein-looking body with a leg cutaway. I have a slab of cherry I changed my mind about making into a table, isn't big enough for normal guitar bodies, I don't need two, so hey, why not make a guitar and bass body that are small and somewhat alike. The 'somewhat alike' part is a weird thought for me, but maybe it's worth exploring.

Maybe I should pay attention to the parts - maybe a brighter or darker pickups work better at the neck or bridge because of how the strings sound there, and reversing them might give one too dark or too harsh an instrument?


I'm even more confused now.  I think if it was me I'd cut the yellow wire and use them on 2 builds.  If you do, you might have to strip the yellow wire of the 4 pole and twist them together - might have to test it.  The 6 pole can be used easily on a 5 string bass, with the strings centered between the poles like a jazz bass.  I wouldn't use the 4 pole on a 5 string.

Do you have the link to where you bought these?

Here's where these came from.


The attached Delano image shows what I think they are supposed to be analogous to, with more intuitive spacing...


I kinda get it now.  But it looks like string spacing on yours is way too wide.

Looks too close to me...no pairing evident...

I guess that just means I need to be careful with the tailpiece spacing and maybe not as critically the nut...

OK...now looking at dirt cheep bass bridges, I can get 5 individual ones with 2 screws each, or a one-piece that accommodates 5 strings.

I just noticed the individual ones are diecast zinc, and something about that makes me turn up my nose...yet I doubt the one-piece assembly has a better pedigree...

I wonder if the individual ones would have a 'woodier', more organic sound than a one-piece 5-string bridge...

Check out www.aliexpress.com. I haven't used this site before, but lots to choose from there. 



Well, I did separate the two halves, and lost interest in the bass for a while...the small one I decided to put into the converted tenor guitar. Kind of got it fit but it pretty much nails the battery in permanently, and it was already nearly impossible to get my hand inside...putting a pickup in the soundhole basically makes my existing battery bag mount at the end of the neck obsolete.

So now I think I need a blend preamp for the magnetic soundhole pickup and bridge piezo...I like the Cafewalter bass preamp blend circuit as a template...build, not buy! (another detour).

Trigger finger hand surgery almost two weeks ago...waiting for 'normal' to return, then hopefully back to trying to build, trying to play or both!

The strings go in between the poles. And yes the pickups are to be installed right next to each other. Placement makes a difference so before you actually mount them, try them out in different positions to get the tone you want. Closer to the neck will provide a deeper tone and require the pick-ups to be located a bit further away from the strings to provide clearance during playing. A good way to understand this is to ply a bass close to the bridge and then move your pick or fingers closer to the neck and listen to the difference. Happy building and happy new year!


Haven't gotten back to it, but the plan is to mount it in the tone hole of an acoustic instrument with steel strings (selected to have same tension as original nylon ones).

It will make it impossible to access the existing battery for the saddle piezo preamp, so I decided I need a blend preamp that doesn't require tone hole battery access.

Someday I'll get back to it.

Happy New Year

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