Pickup placement on a baritone 8

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by jwade, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I’m struggling with something I’d originally thought to be a simple thing: how far the pickup should be from the guitar’s bridge.

    I’ve spent the afternoon reading so many posts on so many websites and no-one seems to really agree on any specific values regarding baritone pickup placement. I’ve read a bunch of articles/posts regarding short scale basses as well, and I think I’ve taken in too much information here.

    It’s the 29.4” scale 8 string build I started forever ago (I’m finally getting back into trying to finish the various projects I’ve started).

    Does it make sense to just put it an inch and a bit out from the bridge? At a loss here.
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    There's really no right or wrong. It's kind of one of those things that you just estimate and play around.

    A lot of builders make a test mule to try different placements out.
     
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  3. KR250

    KR250 Build addict

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    Was just about to post, but yeah, what Max said. It really depends on the sound you want. Further from the bridge gets a bit chunkier and less harmonics. Anything from .5-1.00" will yield good results though, with longer scale perhaps somewhere in between.
     
  4. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I look at my Baritone LP (28”) and it’s around 1.5-1.25 (offset tom) to the polepieces of the first bobbin. I’m thinking that since the 8 string is only a little bit longer scale length, I’ll just go with about 1.75” to the pole piece. See how it goes!
     
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  5. Purelojik

    Purelojik SS.org Regular

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    I'll play a bunch of guitars and the ones with the best balance of bass and treble aggression without shrill is the one I measure for bridge pickup placement. if I want it a little tighter/more treble I'll push it towards the bridge a touch. if I want a bassier looser sound I'll do the opposite. My personal build (on my avatar) I used a humbucker sized P90 which threw off my sound a bit when I switched it to humbuckers. Something to keep in mind as well as scale length. To be honest i dont bother with it all that much nowadays. it all usually sounds good.
     
  6. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    Realistically, my Orange Thunderverb is going to do the vast majority of the work in producing the sound I want, so really as long as I have a pickup in general, I’m sure it’ll be just fine. Kind of leaning towards having the pickup a bit farther from the bridge. This guitar is essentially a short scale bass with extra strings, so....
     
  7. GraemeH

    GraemeH SS.org Regular

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    What changes the sound characteristic is the ratio between the saddle and nut nodes, rather than the absolute distance from the bridge.
    So for example on 648mm Ibanez guitars, the middle of the bridge pickup is 44mm from the bridge saddle node, which is 0.0679 of the ratio. So if I wanted the same characteristic on a 30" (762mm) guitar, I'd want the middle of the pickup to be 51.7398mm from the bridge saddle node.
    So measure for whatever guitar of whatever scale length you like the sound of and translate the absolute to the ratio, then ratio back to your new scale length.
     
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