Tech Tips: Installing Active Bassline Pickups

Today we’re going to show you how to install a new set of Bassline pickups for an electric bass. Basslines bass pickups range from the most authentic vintage reproductions to the most modern active pickups.  Today in particular we’re going to be focusing on the installation of active bassline pickups. These include: "Phase I" soapbars (replacements for Bartolini P-2 and P-4), "Phase II" soapbars (replacements for EMG model 40 and 45), and Jazz Bass and P-Bass replacements. Of course, if you're not comfortable with instrument repair, take your instrument to a qualified tech before taking a hot soldering iron to your instrument.

If you are comfortable with a soldering iron and know your way around the inside of an electric bass, installing new pickups is the best way to upgrade your tone if buying a new instrument is out of the question. The process for installing bassline pickups is as simple as 1,2,3 … 4!

1. Install the pickups in their proper locations and wire them up according the diagram. Make sure the bridge and neck pickups are in their correct respective positions. (Obviously, if you're upgrading a P-Bass, you won't have a bridge pickup).

2. Start off with the pickup-to-string clearance as follows:

Neck 11/64" (.171)

Bridge 7/64" (.109)

Hint: Drill bits work great as height gauges.

3. Fine tune the string-to-string balance by listening to each pickup individually and adjusting the tilt to produce equal output on the high and low strings.

4. Fine tune the pickup-to-pickup balance by alternatively comparing the output of the neck and bridge pickups and adjusting the overall height of each pickup to produce equal output. Some additional adjustments may be required to produce the particular blended sound that may be desired. Not too difficult, right? Now you can enjoy the features of active bassline pickups!

Check out the schematics for bassline pickups below:



Check out our entire selection of bass pickups right here!

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