Wiring a Music Man type bass pickup

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Wiring a Music Man type bass pickup

Postby Peter Wilcox » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:54 pm

I have no experience with these. I'm putting a Chinese MM type PU in a 5 string bass (just because I have it). It will be passive - the coils are 6.5k apiece. I can wire it as a single pickup, or split the coils and wire it with 2 volumes like jazz pickups (or with a switch like a tele). I have 2 questions.

First, is there any point in splitting the coils - is there enough distance between them to make a significant difference in their timbre to want to control each separately?

Second, I see that at least for active installations, the pickup is placed way up near the bridge. I assume this is because the preamp needs increased treble input. I'm going to place mine essentially in the P-bass position. Any reason not to do this?

Thanks for any opinions.
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Re: Wiring a Music Man type bass pickup

Postby Beate Ritzert » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:27 pm

On my bass with 80 cm (32") scale, there is a noticeable difference between the two coils as single coils. In the original position of centerline at 90% of the scale length. The difference should become the less important the further away from the bridge the pickup is mounted.

And yes, the MM style pickup will work nicely closer to the neck. Musicman themselves do this in their two PU models.

A IMHO very interesting and easy setup of such a pickup is switching between SC, parallel and serial humbucking. In the bass i mentioned above i use a really simple passive setup consisting only of this switch and an additional kill switch. Nothing else, no vol pot, no tone control. Sounds great.

BTW. if You mount an MM style PU closer to the neck so that the bridge coil row is in the position of the neck coil row in MMs original position, the coild facing toward the neck will be in a typical position of the bridge/treble part of the split coil.
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Re: Wiring a Music Man type bass pickup

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:42 pm

Thanks for your input Beate - some interesting relationships. I think I'm going to place the PU at the P-bass position - I'm just a "thump thump" bass player, and this will give me lots of thump. :)

I know that far from the bridge there might not be much difference in tone, but I've got lots of pots, so I might as well split the coils and see what it sounds like. I can always turn both pots to max, though they will still bleed off some signal to ground.
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