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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Uneven String Volume

nochoke1

USA

Dec 8th, 2016 03:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a problem with my made in Japan 70's Jazz. My brother gave me this bass and I love the way it looks, plays and feels, however, the individual string volumes are significantly uneven in that the E and G strings are much louder than the A and D strings. Been this way since I got it. The problem is apparent in both a live setting and during recording sessions. It also is noticeable everywhere up and down the neck. A few years ago I had a pro replace the stock nut with a bone nut. Nothing changed. Last year I swapped the stock pups for new Aguilar AG 4 pups. Nothing changed. TI Jazz Rounds are on it now. In the past I've tried DR Hi-Beams, RS66's and GHS Boomers. They all had the same issue.

I have not tried different gauge strings on either the A and D or the E and G strings. Might that even things out somewhat? Should I go heavier or lighter on the edges? Or heavier or lighter in the middle? Would strings with different tensions on either pair make a significant difference?

I love the more aggressive sound of this bass and really need it on occasion. So what do you folks think, can anything be done short of custom made pickups?

6G6

Texas

Fender power to the people!
Dec 8th, 2016 05:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think the problem comes down to the strings follow the curvature of the fingerboard, while the pickups are straight.
Try adjusting the pickup height up and down to see where it is least noticable.
Also, try adjusting the string height to get them a little flatter.
This will require some compromise between playability and even string volume.

nochoke1

USA

Dec 8th, 2016 06:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"This will require some compromise between playability and even string volume."

True that. The action setup is freakin' perfect where it is. Then again, the instrument is pretty much unplayable in it's current state. Ah yes, the lost art of compromise...

Thanks


Taildragger
Contributing Member
*********

USA

"toxic masculinity personified"
Dec 8th, 2016 08:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Some replacement pups (e.g. DiMarzio DP-123s) have individually-adjustable pole pieces.

DP-123s:

Jeff Scott

On a spinning rock

Dec 9th, 2016 10:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This string imbalance is a built-in feature of a lot (if not most) Jazz Basses. IME.

6G6

Texas

Fender power to the people!
Dec 9th, 2016 10:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This tends to just remind me of why I like split coil P bass pups.
You can raise or lower each end of each one.

DiMarzios are a good call.
They will sound different, but ajustability is a good thing.

Taildragger
Contributing Member
*********

USA

"toxic masculinity personified"
Dec 10th, 2016 09:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here's a brief sampling of several different Jazz sets. The DP-123s show up a little less than halfway...

...through:

holderman
Contributing Member
*

cave

grrr
Dec 12th, 2016 06:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You could try raising the pole pieces for the A and D strings. It will work but be careful, and never ever do it on the outside E or G poles or you will ruin your pickup.

If you're afraid to do that, you can extend the pole pieces by gluing little pieces of metal on top of them.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Dec 12th, 2016 10:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...If you're afraid to do that, you can extend the pole pieces by gluing little pieces of metal on top of them..."

True, but not just any metal,it has to be "magnetically permeable." Ideally iron, but low carbon steel OK. No brass, copper or aluminum, they will do nothing.

I do wish more pickups came with adjustable pole pieces. Drives me nuts when one string is too weak or stands out too much.

6G6

Texas

Fender power to the people!
Dec 12th, 2016 06:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I wasn't going to even mention moving the pole pieces.
Sure, it can be done and may well be the answer, but not everyone will be aable to o it, without doing some damage.
Of course, if it comes down to that or buy new pups, it's worth a try.
The key is to use only as much force as you need and try to guess right the first time to keep from making multiple changes.
It's tedious taking the pups out, moving the poles, putting it all back together and trying it to see if that was enough.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 13th, 2016 04:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If your bass were mine and I had done all you've done to get the bass to play like a good bass should, with little to show for it, I would sell it and move on.

Sorry my opinion is so cold.

It has been repeated on this forum so many times, but it's true:

"So many basses, so little time."

George

Bubbalou
Contributing Member
**********
****

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Dec 13th, 2016 08:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My 2016 Fender Standard Jazz bass came with raised A and D poles. Good sounding pickup but in the I found it to be just too noisy for my taste so I put Aguilar Dual Coils in it.
I have Aero single coils in my other Jazz bass and it has very little noise.

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Uneven String Volume




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