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Username: marcschilp

Post Number: 5
Registered: 1-2011
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 - 10:33 am:   Edit Post

Question to all alembicians: will my jazz-activators suit a 5- string bass,string widht 18 mm. at the bridge..?
Magnetic field seems ok for it, but before i slaughter my bass it would be nice if there's anybody who tried this before..\
Thanks!\ grtz, Marc
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 513
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 10:09 am:   Edit Post

The challenge here is whether or not the magnets in the pickups are wide enough to "scan" the full motion of the outer strings. The magnets typically don't come that close to the ends of the pickup. You need to have the full swing of the strings in the magnetic field or you'll have anemic strings on one end or the other.

The best way to detect the edges of the magnets is to buy a piece of magnetic viewing paper/film which is a transparent plastic sheet that's filled with a mixture of oil and fine iron powder. When you hold it over the pickup, you can see what the magnetic structure underneath looks. You can get viewing paper from EMG (it's the only way to tell the different models apart), or even on Amazon.

If you want a quickie test, just hold a paper clip on the top of the pickup and push it to the edge. You can feel where the magnet starts.

You probably want the magnet to be 1/2" wider than the span of the strings (1/4" on each side).

You can also ask Alembic about what the width of the magnet is, but you can't depend on it being centered in the pickup housing.

David Fung
Username: marcschilp

Post Number: 6
Registered: 1-2011
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post

Hi David, thanks for your reply. I tried the field by tapping on it with a screwdriver, and there seems enough signal,specially with the smaller stringspacing, but still..Would be bummer if the outer strings were slightly softer in output. I asked Mica, but didn't get a reply. I can put the p.u.'s in that bass to test, the alembic's are smaller than the fabric ones, but the connectors were bad, and are soldered now, so it's gonna be quite a job. I'll check your advised quarter inch first(and google what an inch was, i only know millimeters haha!)
Grtz, Marc
Username: mica

Post Number: 7471
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 11:10 am:   Edit Post

You can field test easily by simply holding the pickup over the strings (of course connected to the electronics). You don't have to worry about noise from everything hanging out in space, since you are just testing to see if the pickup will catch the movement of the string.

18mm doesn't seem like small string spacing to me BTW, and I'm almost certain that the 4-string Jazz replacement pickups will not suit your purpose, but it's worth at least checking as I describe above.

And David is right - you need to have ample room to allow for all of the string movement and the magnets are not always centered so it's best to check your specific pickup to see what it will be best suited for.

BTW, if you use the same email address on the club as you sent to me, I didn't get it. We have spam filters, and from time to time real messages get gobbled up by them, or I can even mistakenly delete one when I prune the messages that are not caught. Good thing there is always more than one way to contact.
Username: marcschilp

Post Number: 7
Registered: 1-2011
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 12:59 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Mica, that's response! Must be the spamfilter..
I'll try your suggestion, the stringwidth measured on the center of the bridge pickup is 7cm, pickups are 9 cm, that's 1 cm left on both sides, i think it'll work, and will let you you know anyhow.
Got a nice status bass(is that swearing over here?) very cheap, with walnut top,and with pulling out the activators from my 4 string i'm trying to get myself a nice "poor mans alembic" haha!
Thanks! Marc
Username: marcschilp

Post Number: 8
Registered: 1-2011
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2012 - 7:52 am:   Edit Post

Ok, that leaves me with 1 broken volumepot which i very much like to replace by a volume and panpot, instead of my 2 volume-knobs now..
I mailed about 5 times to Mica to place that order, but i get no reply at all, even with different email- adresses..
Can anyone here please help me?
Thanks, Marc.
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3088
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2012 - 5:32 am:   Edit Post

try phoning. I've called a couple of times from the Uk and have always had a pleasant conversation.


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