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Thread: Interesting Caprice Quirk :-)

  1. #1

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    Interesting Caprice Quirk :-)

    Good afternoon,
    I've recently made an interesting discovery. I've found that if I start with both pickups on full and then cut the bridge pickup by 5% it sounds like the overall output increases. In addition, the tone also seems to "open up" and sound more full. Chords really come alive with fullness.

    I'm not sure what's going on here. I suspect it has something to do with the way the passive pickups interact with each other when they are in a setting other than full volume. Any ideas?

    Best Regards,
    -Greg P
    Last edited by GregP; 08-14-2017 at 04:14 PM.

  2. #2

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    No idea why that would be, maybe just allowing for the neck to have that little bit more space lets it ring through more.
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  3. #3

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    Isn't that completely normal? Every Jazz Bass I've owned operates like this:

    Both PUs same volume = scooped out Sound with solid lows and sizzling treble
    Turn the Bridge PU down even a bit = Broad P-Bassy sound, considerably more low mid and volume output.
    Turn Neck PU down even a bit = growly and middy, nasal bark/bite. Cuts through the mix more easily. Sounds louder too, aggressive tone.


    I'm sure a tech guy can elaborate on this. As far as I understand it, there is a certain frequency cancelling going on when both pickups are at the same volume. It stops as soon as one of the pickups is louder.

    90s Stingray Teal with birdseye maple neck.

  4. #4

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    I'm pretty sure it's related to phasing issues from picking up string vibrations at different points on the same string. Oftentimes it sounds like a midrange suckout, or some other anomaly in the midrange. One pickup with a single row of pole pieces won't exhibit this. (One pickup with two rows will exhibit traces of it.) Cut back slightly on one pickup's volume, and you get less phasing issues. However, that's not necessarily desirable; phasing issues can be part of an instrument's charm. It's why JBs sound like they do. It's also why some custom basses place their two pickups very close together: to get just a tiny bit of phase cancellation, but not enough to chop the balls off the bass's sound. They want the pickups to grab string vibrations from essentially -- but not exactly -- the same point.

    One caution: It's what it sounds like in the mix that's the real test of what's going to work best. And the mix includes the person running the board and what the EQ curves look like. And where the engineer has put you in terms of frequency slotting relative to the rest of the band. And it includes the room (size, shape, live or dead, and so on). And how many people in the room. And the quality of the sound system and whether it was competently installed. Also the mastering engineer, if we're talking recording. The point being this: What sounds killer in a practice room may sound like ass in a live-band situation.

  5. #5

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    Thank you all for sharing your insight and experience. All my previous JB's have been single coil so I never took the pickups off maximim volume. Now that I don't have to worry about hum I'm really enjoying experimenting with blending the pickups.

    On a related note, I'm wondering do basses that utilize an onboard preamp have the same issues when they blend 2 pickups? Thanks :-)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregP View Post

    On a related note, I'm wondering do basses that utilize an onboard preamp have the same issues when they blend 2 pickups? Thanks :-)
    I don't have that issue with my Bongo HH. Loudness is very even all across the pan knob, it just changes the mid characteristic from broad to nasal bite. The Bongo knobs all have a very even feel to them, I love that.

    90s Stingray Teal with birdseye maple neck.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregP View Post
    On a related note, I'm wondering do basses that utilize an onboard preamp have the same issues when they blend 2 pickups? Thanks :-)
    Yes, on a Charvel/Jackson 3B I own. The volume drops a bit and the mids completely change when both pickups are selected. The sound is smoother. Also the attack softens noticeably. It sounds, well, like a JB.

    At one point I wired the 3B to bypass the preamp, to see how the tone would change, if at all. In all 3 switch positions it sounded clearer, with slightly more dynamics. My guess is the preamp was doing some compression, as well as possibly loading down the pickups. I never bothered measuring the input impedance of the preamp, so I can't be sure on that latter point. Later I put things back the way they were because it seemed to fit into the band's mix better that way. Didn't call attention to itself as much.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by djaxup View Post
    I don't have that issue with my Bongo HH. Loudness
    is very even all across the pan knob, .........t.
    Bongos are active. Not related to this thread at all.
    In a passive circuit, each PU is also an extra tone
    control for the other PU. It's a minor effect, but is
    detectable to anyone paying attention.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    Bongos are active. Not related to this thread at all.
    Hi Golem, that was a direct answer to GregP's question here:

    "On a related note, I'm wondering do basses that utilize an onboard preamp have the same issues when they blend 2 pickups? Thanks :-)"

    90s Stingray Teal with birdseye maple neck.

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