Joey's Post on Pickup Height and Adju... Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » FAQ & Must Reads » Must Reads » Pickup Height » Joey's Post on Pickup Height and Adjustment « Previous Next »

Author Message
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1339
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 2:54 pm:   Edit Post

Joey wrote the following as it relates to a Twentieth Anniversary bass; but the basic principles apply to the other basses as well:

I'll assume your setup is done; the string heights in your setup also affect their height over the pickups. After you're done, you might want to store the pickup clearances if your ears can hear small differences a new setup may introduce.

As the 20th Anniversary's have the rotary pickup selector, start with either pickup, but not both, after you've set the trim pots to identical gain postions. I usually set mine to 12 or 1 o'clock to do this. You'll need a small Phillips screwdriver and a small ruler, and a small blade screwdriver for the trim pots.

Also, be sure you understand the Alembic mounting system for mounting the AXYs. Back off the 2 screws you can't see first( screw them IN a litlle), then loosen the two that you can (screw them OUT a little). I use the two hidden ones for height, and the two visible ones to fine tune the angle and lock them down. BE CAREFUL, just get 'em snug when you're through.

Then raise or lower the pickup to suit the tone that you are looking for. As you close in on this sound, try several tone/Q settings to confirm your choice. At this point we're not worried about volume or the relative balance between the two, only the sound of each pickup soloed one at a time.

I use a ruler to match the 'lay' of the pickup to the strings: the bass side is the same clearance under the B-string as the high side is under the G-string, and the face of the pickup is parallel to the strings. Of course, you can tilt each pickup to fine tune the tone as well, but I don't do that as I'm trying to reduce a few extra variables for myself. Run the low side high for more bottom, the high side higher for bigger Gs and Ds, etc.

Once each pickup's sound suits you, NOW turn you rotary selector to both pickups. This is where the trim pots come in to build your tone for the 'both pickups' setting. Boost the back pickup for more twang,the front for more fundamental. You may find you must compromise a bit here as the back pickup is naturally softer than the neck pickup: The string just vibrates at smaller amplitudes that close to the bridge.
You'll have to find a blend that also makes your bridge pickup loud enough if you use it separately in your playing.

This is a very subjective process that you may repeat several times to get it exactly right for you. I generally run mine at about 1/4" clearance. In my conversations with the Help Desk at Alembic, I was told basically what I've just told you.

The trim pots full-on are a LOT of output for some amps. Again, you'll hear this pushing if it's too much. I believe I remember you use an Alembic preamp, so you've got lots of headroom.

This design including the trim pots, that allows each pickup to be toned exactly with out worry of high pickup heights boosting output is just one more ot the gems the Wickershams build into these basses. I marvel at the genius involved in these basses that lets me be the final judge for my very own tone.

Learning to do my own setups (child's play with two truss rods and an adjustable nut) and fine tuning my tone in the above process have added tremendous pleasure and pride to my playing the BigRedBass. I hope it does the same for your 20th Anniversary.

(Message edited by davehouck on February 06, 2005)

Add Your Message Here
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration