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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive: 2007 » Archive through March 05, 2007 » Identifying a Series Pickup « Previous Next »

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Username: markman

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 1:49 pm:   Edit Post

a previous owner has replaced the bridge Pickup of my Series I. It is an original Alembic but I don't know if it is for Series basses. It sounds different and worse compared to the other pu which I also tried in the bridge position and it has much more output. When I use both pickups in mono mode, I get a phase inverted sound. I have to turn arround the pu connector to get the right sound but then the ground is wrong.
How can I find out which type of pickup it is?
It has a dark grey cable which I havent't seen on series pickups so far, but I haven't seen many.
Can someone help me, please?
Advanced Member
Username: inthelows

Post Number: 353
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 2:50 pm:   Edit Post

Is it possible for you to post a picture? Small pics (resolution) work best.
This link will give some general info but there are quite a few people here that may be able to help out if a visual image posted.
Good luck.
Products link
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 967
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 4:24 pm:   Edit Post

Series pickups are single coil. Non-series pickups are hum-cancelling. I'd check them both with an ohmmeter. If they read the same, then they might still be different. If they read different, then they ARE different...

Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 746
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 6:25 pm:   Edit Post

To me it sounds like they are both single coil, but the replacement's polarity is reversed.
Username: mica

Post Number: 4082
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 6:32 pm:   Edit Post

Either the pickups have reversed polarity from each other, or you have one dead pickup.

To eliminate the possibility of a dead pickup, turn off the humcanceller trimpots (the two center trimpots on the back) completely counter-clockwise. If one pickup is dead, you will hear two positions with no sound with the pickup selector switch.

If you still hear both pickups, then we'll have to send you a replacement pickup. Its polarity will match one of your exisitng pickups, since it can only be one or the other.

A dark grey cable only signifies that pickup is made more recently than the other ones you have seen.

There is no way to externally identify a Series I/II pickup unless it is the oldest style with the connectors shown in this thread.

Looking forward to the results of your test. Please include if you have tested in stereo mode as well.
Username: markman

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post

Thank you all for your answers!
Mica, the pickups work both. I have tested all possible configurations (stereo mode as well). The replaced pickup sounds different and much louder as the original (the magnet is much stronger, too) and seems to have reversed polarity. It also has a different design(matte surface with golden letters).
The bass is a short scale from 1978 (78-1032).
IŽd really like to have a matching pair of pickups on this beautiful old instrument.

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2076
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 12:31 pm:   Edit Post


Just a thought - have you checked the trimpots for the two pickups to insure that one isn't turned up more than the other? Have you swapped the pick ups for each other (neck to bridge and bridge to neck) to see if the problem follows the pickup or stays at the pickup position?

Bill, tgo
Username: markman

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 12:42 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, I have done all these things. The problem follows the pickup. Thanks for your input.
Username: mica

Post Number: 4084
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 2:10 pm:   Edit Post

There's 2 choices: buy a set of 2 matching pickups or you can send us the pickup you want to match, and we can cast another in the original mold and confirm the polarity matches.

If you'd like to make arrangements for this, please email me.

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