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4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:46 pm
by heinz
Greetings all,

Long time lurker, finally got an old (75) 4001 but there's an odd issue with it. The string alignment doesn't match the pickup, starts fine on the high string but on the E it's so far off the pickup pole that the tone is seriously wrong.

Any suggestions on how to address this? (please see pic).

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Thanks and best regards,
Heinz

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:11 pm
by jps
Hi Heinz,

Try turning the pickup around 180ยบ as it is probably not quite symmetrical. I have read of people doing this and getting the poles to line up better under the strings. They don't have to be perfectly under them as there is a wide enough field to cover the strings generally. How is the spacing from the edges of the fingerboard to the E and G strings?

The pickguard has been changed out to what looks like a poorly cut one, so there may be other mods that have been done to the bass, also. Can you post more photos of this 4001?

Getting back to the pickup, my guess is that it had been flipped around at one point, hence the mis-alignment of the poles, possibly.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:19 pm
by aceonbass
The bridge saddles appear to be cut slightly off center, so that is a factor as well. Flipping the pickup 180 degrees won't help because with the G string lining up, and the other strings off, the distance between the first and last poles will still be the same once flipped. I'd order three new saddles, and cut them to line up with the poles.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:26 pm
by heinz
Thank you both for the insights, the pickup flip is interesting i gotta look at that. The fingerboard spacing seems good.

And yeah I figured the bridge saddles might have a big influence as well will look into replacing them.

I received this bass from the original owner (my brother in law) and would be surprised if it was not original, but given the age I'm sure anything is possible, Here are some more pics of the body:

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Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:41 pm
by aceonbass
I can tell by the wiring on the bottom that the pickup is oriented correctly.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:45 pm
by heinz
aceonbass wrote:I can tell by the wiring on the bottom that the pickup is oriented correctly.


Thanks you, seemed good but it's nice to know for sure.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:52 am
by chefothefuture
aceonbass wrote:The bridge saddles appear to be cut slightly off center, so that is a factor as well. Flipping the pickup 180 degrees won't help because with the G string lining up, and the other strings off, the distance between the first and last poles will still be the same once flipped. I'd order three new saddles, and cut them to line up with the poles.


Wouldn't that mess up the alignment with the neck pickup and the neck itself?
Also- that two layer guard is funky.

What about flipping the pickup 180deg in the bezel?

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:09 am
by aceonbass
Ya, recutting saddles would throw off the string alignment with the sides of the neck. Honestly, I thing removing the bridge pickup assembly, pegging the four mounting holes, then placing the assembly back on the bass while lining it up with the strings and redrilling those four holes is the way to go. The string spacing would be a bit wider than the pole spacing, but overall it would line up better. Nowadays the bridge pickup pole spacing is wider on a 4003, but if it weren't back in the 70's, that would explain this. Measure the pole spacing on both neck and bridge pickup, and see of they're the same.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:34 pm
by JRyder
Just a thought:
Can the PUP base plate be modded or replaced? seems less invasive than drilling holes in the body.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:25 am
by aceonbass
JRyder wrote:Just a thought:
Can the PUP base plate be modded or replaced? seems less invasive than drilling holes in the body.

No. I'll bet there were extra holes drilled when that aftermarket guard was installed.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:42 pm
by chefothefuture
A little more involved would be removing the bobbin/magnet from the support plate and using a jeweler's file, widening the screw holes in the plate just a MM or so over to correct the alignment. You could also do it with a drill press.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:18 pm
by jps
chefothefuture wrote:A little more involved would be removing the bobbin/magnet from the support plate and using a jeweler's file, widening the screw holes in the plate just a MM or so over to correct the alignment. You could also do it with a drill press.

That's a great idea, IMO.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:07 pm
by Graze
mine's like that as well, '92 4003S

IMG_9098.JPG

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:45 pm
by cassius987
Am I the only one who thinks it probably will have zero effect on the sound to get the strings perfectly lined up with the pole pieces? I have never found that this matters much, on Rics or Fenders.

Re: 4001 pickup vs string alignment

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:10 am
by jps
cassius987 wrote:Am I the only one who thinks it probably will have zero effect on the sound to get the strings perfectly lined up with the pole pieces? I have never found that this matters much, on Rics or Fenders.

+1, big time.