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Thread: Pre Ernie ball Sabre owners: are the bridge and neck pickup interchangeable

  1. #1

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    Pre Ernie ball Sabre owners: are the bridge and neck pickup interchangeable

    They look identical. I bought a pickup for my 84 Sabre but me and the person who sold it for me are trying to figure out which one of the two pickups he has are the bridge pickup. I was wondering if the pre Ernie ball sabres pickups are interchangeable or identical to one another or if there’s some clue as to which is the bridge pickup and which is the neck pickup, can someone maybe measure magnet spacing or get some readings on the electronics so we can figure this out?!

  2. #2

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    FWIW, I had a dead PU which was removed from my pre-EB Sabre and I later had it restored to spec. The tech is a very resourceful type, but he never asked me if it were neck or bridge. This suggests to me that he had found only one spec for both Sabre PUs.
    Last edited by Golem; 08-12-2021 at 07:25 PM.
    EB SUB SL4 - SR4p FL [x3]
    Early EB SR4 defretted
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    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL
    SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL [x2]
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    "Too many basses is never enuf"

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    FWIW, I had a dead PU which was removed from my pre-EB Sabre and I later had it restored to spec. The tech is a very resourceful type, but he never asked me if it were neck or bridge. This suggests to me that he had found only one spec for both Sabre PUs.
    Very reassuring!

    A few people said that the top one will have lower dc resistance so the person who sold me them measured them and there was a .05 difference between the two, we went with the higher number 2.22 vs 2.17

    My thought was that they did end up changing the bridge pickup on sabres, and my thought was that maybe it was because they wanted a pickup that was actually designed with the neck in mind rather than two of the bridge pickup. That could sound good too though! But maybe they wanted to for whatever readon
    Last edited by kevins; 08-12-2021 at 07:58 PM.

  4. #4

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    My notes are that the 2 pickups (neck and bridge) for the earlier Pre-EB Sabre are the same as each other and have the same windings as the Sting Ray. Total resistance of each pickup is 1,950 ohms (2K ohms). However resistances varied back then.

    I don't know for sure about a 1984 EB Sabre bridge pickup but my guess is it would be the same as the pre-EB pickups and that either one of your pickups would be suitable.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Trussbroken View Post
    My notes are that the 2 pickups (neck and bridge) for the earlier Pre-EB Sabre are the same as each other and have the same windings as the Sting Ray. Total resistance of each pickup is 1,950 ohms (2K ohms). However resistances varied back then.

    I don't know for sure about a 1984 EB Sabre bridge pickup but my guess is it would be the same as the pre-EB pickups and that either one of your pickups would be suitable.

    My guess would be that it’s the same size routing for the pickup for both pre EB and post EB. I do know that the pre-eb ones had exposed pole pieces on the bridge and the post eb ones were covered, but I think they were covered to match the aesthetic of the top pickup, other than that I think everything is probably mostly the same?

    Mainly I’m really hoping that the routing size is the same and that no one routed the pickup slot bigger for the aftermarket pickup; the guy working on it did say that the aftermarket pickup in there(a Kent Armstrong covered stingray pickup) fit perfectly into the original cavity down to where the screws are. I’m hoping that the 78 pickup size is the same as the 84.

    Otherwise they might have to further route it, but the worst case scenario in that case is that the bass will have more space around the pickup and it won’t form a near perfect seam right? It’s not going to mess up the sound if I ever find the correct 1984 pickup and it goes into a slightly wider pickup cavity right?


    But I may have finished the restoration! It’s got parts shipped from 3 cities in it but they’re all originally from a musicman factory! It’ll be a 78/84 lol
    Last edited by kevins; 08-13-2021 at 01:46 AM.

  6. #6

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    The pickup covers are the same size for early and later Sabre bass pickups.

    Stingray pickups are larger than Sabre pickups.

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