Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

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Slapfest62
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Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by Slapfest62 » 08 Jul 2017, 11:15

This is apparently old news , but it was news to me.
It applies to not only Sire v7's (5 string), but any J type bass that has
a string to string audio balance issue (mostly G and B strings)
Due to the fairly tight 7.5" fretboard radius on the Sire and the dead flat singl;e coil pickups
my bass had really loud G and B strings , or very quiet E and A (depending on how you see it)strings.
D string seemed middle ground, kinda.
Didnt matter really how much fiddling I did , it would be pretty much unchanged.
It was really nice to play , with a killer B string (amazing, really), but just wouldnt cut where it counted
or was too loud at times at either edge of its range.
Finally, after reading some stuff , I looked at this clip
(its not great , but the information is there)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=564laZGCbGA
And so , obviously, there is significant risk for those that are game to try manually moving pole pieces -
But I gave it a go, and it worked as easily as it does on the clip,
and has made all the difference in the world to the bass.
I just raised E and A , with A getting the biggest shift upwards (limitating a radius, sort of)
I believe this is the way to go, as tampering with the ourside magnets can be fatal (so I read)
something about wires being attached, so not something I could recommend ,
perhaps someone can shed some light on this or clarify?
Anyway, its no big deal, I guess, except now I can play my 5 string along with tunes and other people!
I will probably go in again soon and give D a small moove upwards as well, and that should be it.
And what the guy says about being able to move the pole peices back if you go too far etc, I found to be correct as well.
I'm not sure it IS all that risky, it seemed so easy, but I guess anyone attempting this should be prepared to lose the pick up if you muck it up , or something goes wrong.
This is more for traditionally made single coil pickups.
I have a brand new amazing sounding set of Bass Mods rare earth 5 string J pickups that are epoxy potted
and dont allow access for this adjustment.
I wish I'd seen this clip before I spent the $300 on them (anyone wanna buy them? . . incredibly responsive , huge sound)
so it depends what pickups your running, I guess.
I'm told this has been a common single coil J bass issue for many years,
but I couldnt find a single clip on youtube that had anyone trying this on a bass,
so I thought there may be others here with a similar issue, that might benefit from knowing of this option.
it has really changed my 5 string from being a bass that I will play if the circumstances dictate that I have to,
INTO a great 1st or 2nd choice with a really killer sound that I love and cant stop playing.
If you have this issue , I would give it a go,. was definitely worth it , for me, anyway.
Last edited by Slapfest62 on 08 Jul 2017, 11:26, edited 1 time in total.

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NotTheFish
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by NotTheFish » 08 Jul 2017, 11:25

I have a set of Lollars in a Fernandes J that have raised A & D poles.. Excellent string to string balance.. I don't know why this isn't done more often. I know some Dimarzios have a hex nut in the pole for adjustment but can't think of any others. Modifying the pickup does seem a good way to go - if you are game.. Good to hear it worked for you. I don't think think I will try this on my '67 jazz bass though.

Slapfest62
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by Slapfest62 » 08 Jul 2017, 11:34

Yep . thats good thinking . . . lol.
you know, I emailed a lot of companies and asked if they did radiused or raised poles and got 1 x Nordstrand ('70's or '60's), 1 x fralin. 2 x Delano and Bartolini said they would be able to do something.
That might seem like a lot of options , but I emailed everyone I could think of .
And there are a LOT of J pickups out there . . but only a choice of half a dozen or so with raised poles.
Even Kent Armstrong (who is known for using adjustable poles , like the old DiMarzios)
couldnt do it in a 5 string.

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BazzBass
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by BazzBass » 08 Jul 2017, 11:49

thanks so much for sharing this, I've wanted to adjust a pickup like this but didn't know it was possible :)
Loud things: Markbass LittleMark 250, Hartke HA2500 amps, Hartke XL210 cabs
Pretty things: Fender MIA P, MIM P and J, SX J, Takamine ABG
Bands: Los Mescalitos , Distorted Tarts

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terry
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by terry » 08 Jul 2017, 22:05

Any EMG pickups would fix this whole issue.
Low End Jazz 5 - EBS Reidmar 250 - MarkBass RJ15

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NotTheFish
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by NotTheFish » 08 Jul 2017, 22:11

terry wrote:
08 Jul 2017, 22:05
Any EMG pickups would fix this whole issue.
So are you still rocking JVX's Terry ?

Slapfest62
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by Slapfest62 » 08 Jul 2017, 22:28

terry wrote:
08 Jul 2017, 22:05
Any EMG pickups would fix this whole issue.
I guess that would be ok, if I wanted that EMG sound . . but if someone wanted to retain the sound they already had , this way saves buying more pickups.

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NotTheFish
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by NotTheFish » 08 Jul 2017, 22:47

Slapfest62 wrote:
08 Jul 2017, 22:28
terry wrote:
08 Jul 2017, 22:05
Any EMG pickups would fix this whole issue.
I'm not sure about that , but perhaps you can explain what you mean . How would they fix it exactly?
The EMGs are very different from the single coils we have been talking about. They have very little magnetic pull over the strings so you can get them very close to the strings and largely negate the proximity effect the higher gauss magnets have. Depending on the model EMGS, some have bar rather than pole piece magnets too (like the JVX I think). The lack of gain through having lack of magnet strength is made up by having preamps in the pickups. I like EMGs, but I like conventional pickups too.

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bassbass
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by bassbass » 09 Jul 2017, 17:18

Firstly, never rest your soldering iron on a guitar. Even if it's cold, it will scratch if bumped and if hot, well.... :hellno:

Later in the vid, this bloke rests the iron on his bench. Also a very bad habit. Use a decent holder. They are cheap and easy to get. :crazy:

Anyway, rant over... :p

This is risky with a vintage style pickup. Personally, I'd not just do it by hand like that, but probably make a simple jig with a vice or clamp or something so I could push in a more controlled way, and have shims to move the magnet for a set distance.

But most importantly, I'd remove the cover. This will often give you a better assessment of the condition of the coil. I've seen near new pickups that have all sorts of loose windings. I wouldn't try this with one of those. OTOH, there are a lot of pickups that are wound on plastic bobbins that have cylinders for the magnets. You'd be very unlucky to damage the pickup with this mod. In fact, heating the magnets with one of these bobbins may actually make more damage.

Older, unpotted pickups will very often have some corrosion on the pole pieces. If this is the case, don't try to shift them.

Unless you happen to have those plastic formers I just mentioned, don't ever try to shift the first or last polepiece in a row.

Make sure you don't have ceramic magnets. By simply looking from the top, old steel pole pieces can be hard to tell from aged alnico mags. Pushing down on a pickup with ceramics would almost certainly damage it.

Make sure you have plenty of room in route depth under the pickup. Plus older instruments may have foam that has gone rock hard. If you manage to push down a polepiece or two, and then not replace hardened old foam, the whole pickup will be resting on this one low magnet. This is not ideal at all, especially for a vintage pickup.

Also, this vid is for strats, and yeah, if you use an unwound G string set, then vintage staggered pickups are a poor choice in the first place. On a similar point, for bass, if your E string is boomy, just make sure it's actually the pickup, and not the room. Any sound guy will tell you that 9 out of 10 small and medium rooms will have feedback problems around 100-120hz. This is the loudest overtone of our instrument around low G to B. When you play A on the 5th of the E, it has far more first overtone content than the open A, so it can make it seem like the E string is boomy.

If you want to get into building, winding, modding pickups, there has been no better time than now. You can get pickups of all types for very little money to experiment on. Plus winding wire, mags etc etc from ebay.

TBH, in a lot of cases, you may be better off raising the other pole pieces. The bobbin is shimmed on top to drop the polepieces into the cover, then you place a mild steel disc of appropriate diameter on the polepiece. Along with the magetism, a tiny drop of super glue would hold it in place.

I wonder if you could simply use a leather hole-punch, and small discs of fridge magnet material to raise a pole piece... hmmm.... I must try that out...
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terry
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by terry » 10 Jul 2017, 03:01

NotTheFish wrote:
08 Jul 2017, 22:11
terry wrote:
08 Jul 2017, 22:05
Any EMG pickups would fix this whole issue.
So are you still rocking JVX's Terry ?
Sold the Mailloux a year ago.
Low End Jazz 5 - EBS Reidmar 250 - MarkBass RJ15

Bass Lesson Enquiries: roma.terry@gmail.com

Slapfest62
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by Slapfest62 » 24 Sep 2017, 20:38

bassbass wrote:
09 Jul 2017, 17:18

I wonder if you could simply use a leather hole-punch, and small discs of fridge magnet material to raise a pole piece... hmmm.... I must try that out...
Hey, great idea . . . Have you tried it out yet?

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bassbass
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Re: Sire v7 5 String string balance fix - if you're game

Post by bassbass » 26 Sep 2017, 09:27

Yep. Works fine.
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