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Thread: Pickup cover quandary...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    West By-God Virginia
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    26

    Pickup cover quandary...

    Morning, all! I've got a question which may be kinda silly, but here goes. I have a 2012 (I'm pretty sure) Sterling 4 HS, and love it dearly. Some months back, I posed a question about maybe electronically eliminating my neck pickup, but came to my senses and realized that's dumb. Nonetheless, there's still one switch position I just can't possibly imagine a use for, position '2' (one coil of bridge humbucker + dummy coil), and I would very much like to modify it to activate both bridge coils in parallel, a la Stingray.

    Now, if I understand correctly, the bridge pickup on HH and HS models is lacking a wire to make this possible, which bums me out for two reasons. The first and biggest is that it sounds flat out amazing, though if I swap it out it'll likely be for a Nordstrand, which I'm told is just as good or maybe even (blasphemy!) better. The second is that the Nordstrand (and all other aftermarkets of which I'm aware) has the old-style cover with the three mounting ears, whereas my bass has the awesome molded thumbrest deals. I'm sure it wouldn't be too big a deal comfort-wise, but aesthetically it would be less than ideal since it would match neither my pickguard cutout nor my neck pickup.

    Does anyone know if the pickup covers on these basses can be removed/replaced? I would think so, because surely people break them here and there, but I've heard they can and can't from various sources. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    My Place
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    1,916
    IIRC the confusion is cuz some really can and some
    really cannot be removed. But [again IIRC] there's
    a pattern to it. SR4 covers are removable, but SR5
    covers are not. The same pattern presumably holds
    for Sterlings, which share 99% DNA with the SRs.

    Since you have a 4-string, your real problem would
    be whether the cover you remove from the MM PU
    will work with the innards of your 3rd party PU. It's
    likely that the poles are spaced slightly differently
    and also the depth may be a problem. You can get
    a custom PG and learn to rest your thumb on your
    new PU without the empty space that results from
    keeping the MM PG in place.

    Or, you can find a use for Position 2. I doubt any
    player in a listenable band uses it for an entire set
    but it does have some uses, like waking up drunks.

    Maybe since you like to solder, you can add a hefty
    tone cap to Position 2 to tame it for general use as
    a bridge single ?

    It seems you're averse to having a useless position
    on the coil switch. But swapping PUs just to sleep
    better at night ? Really ? If you don't wanna add a
    cap, just cut the wire and call it the mute switch :-)
    Last edited by Golem; 05-20-2017 at 01:30 PM.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x2] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaged in social networks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    West By-God Virginia
    Posts
    26
    I don't want to swap the pickup just to not have an unused switch position, I actually would really like to be able to use the wiring scheme I described (hard to believe adding one pickup wouldn't retain the switching options available on the single pickup model and just add a couple more). I don't care a bit about the comfort level of the different pickup cover, I just would rather it look factory, or at least not cobbled up. I suppose the best option might be to replace the bridge pickup, (reversibly) mod the wiring, and buy a pickguard for a single-H bass and cut the neck pickup rout for the new style neck single coil.

    As for that switch position, maybe there's something wrong with my bass, but it most certainly wouldn't wake up any drunk, unless maybe through 1000+ watts with every knob dimed. It's completely unusable not because of tone, but because of a complete lack of volume. Also, (aside from the bridge coils in series, which I love) both bridge coils in parallel is my second favorite MM tone out there. A single-H Sterling probably would've been all I needed, but at the time of purchase I assumed that's what I was getting, but more versatile. Now I'm not saying that it isn't more versatile, just that the tradeoff is a pretty damn desirable option not being there. Meh. Maybe I'll just save up and buy a 4H to have when I want that tone.

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