Adjusting pickup heights P / J / PJ

Starting a thread regarding pickup heights on a convo that started in 50s100c.
As some folks go up the neck, esp on the E string, the volume gets louder and not in line with the lower frets. Saw this on my P bass but not really a thing on my J. I had thought maybe the pickup cover had something to do with it but also saw it on another P without the cover.

Maybe it is just a balancing act?
I have the E string set at 8/64" just as Fender recommends.
I also have very heavy flatwounds on the bass, which may also be a contributing factor?


I notice volume differences on my bass too. I wish I had a decibel meter or something to see if it is really in my head. Actually, maybe that can be done through the computer or something when connecting with a DAI. We’d need to test it without the compressor too I think.

As mentioned in the other thread, I think pickup height is the biggest impact on this and Fender recommends the pickups are angled up towards the high string.

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phone apps - usually free can do this too

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what’s funny is i see people talk about angling each P pickup so they form a point in the middle closer to the middle strings, which is not really the general convention of going closer as you get to G, which is what I do.

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That’s exactly how it is on mine (or was, rather… returned it today). Looked a bit weird, but looked intentional, so I assumed it was ok. They formed kind of a V shape, with the E and G sides being much lower than the middle. Never knew that was a thing.

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I’m confused. How can you form a point in the middle of the pickup if only the ends move? Are you sure you aren’t talking about string height? That should be angled towards the middle, like the radius of the fretboard.


On a Precision bass, there are two pickups and each can be angled differently as needed, @JT . . . :slight_smile:



Doh… Got my Jazz Bass blinders on… :rofl:


I have my P pickups set with the D-G pickup parallel to pickguard, and the E-A pickup slightly angled to where it’s lower under the E than A string. This is how I found my preferred volume balance and tone, but there’s so many factors to consider I would just say grab a screwdriver and use your ear to find what sounds good to you. The biggest thing is probably keeping enough distance between pickup and E string so it doesn’t sound muddy. You can use a computer/DAI to test consistent string volume, just make sure you are plucking with consistent force on each string.

I think first thing to do is a good setup for neck relief and string action neither depend on the pick up height so it removes the bad setup of the equation.

After that I set my P pickup 2.8mm for E-A and 2mm for D-G when the strings are pressed on the last fret! Which was working pretty fine for my ear.

I use Pink Floyd - Money bass riff to confirm it.

Also thinking to look for a spectrum analyzer app in windows just to satisfy my nerdness. Decibel meter on phone would also work IF yoi use the usb audio interface. Because I belive phone audio interfaces heavily filter frequencies out of human voice band…

Edit: This one works well on PC

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2.8mm is just above 7/64" so 8/64" (3.175) should be good.

Neck and string action are spot on, double checked.

Yes I think by ear is the next step, as the ‘standards’ are starting points.
My concern is the lower part of the neck gets even lower in volume when you compensate for the upper part.
I am going to do some research to see if this is ‘a thing’ and how folks generally compensate or trade off the two.

Noticed same thing on my jazz bass tonight.
I think it’s just a thing

Actually noticing this on all my basses, most notice-able on the E string at the 12th fret. perhaps its just a harmonics thing.

does everyone see this?