What is it about single coil?

What is it about single coil?

Postby jfh4242 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:12 pm

Hi guys, I have a few different fretless basses, among them an L2000 and a Japaness Jazz with a J Retro. I also have a 1978 fretless P with a QP. They all sound good, but the single coil Jazz is just so much more sensitive to intonation and finger pressure. I have fooled around with cheap fretless Js and it is the same thing. Have you guys noticed this too? Why would it be?

John
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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Re: What is it about single coil?

Postby BluesBassPlayer » Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:12 am

In a nutshell.......Leo got it right....
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Re: What is it about single coil?

Postby Golem » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:36 am

jfh4242 wrote:Hi guys, I have a few different fretless basses, among them an L2000 and a Japaness Jazz with a J Retro. I also have a 1978 fretless P with a QP. They all sound good, but the single coil Jazz is just so much more sensitive to intonation and finger pressure. I have fooled around with cheap fretless Js and it is the same thing. Have you guys noticed this too? Why would it be?

John
`

Judging from the examples you list, I'd say it's the ability to elimiate coils that aren't close by the bridge. The P-PU is miles from the bridge. Even the the bridge humber of the L2K includes the second row, which in most L2K's cannot be shut off.

The less you hear from sections of string not right near the bridge, the less sensitive will be your touch response. I've come to the conclusion that the "sensitive nature" of a piezo PU is not entirely due to it's function as a microphonic device. That is certainly part of it, but I think about half of the effect comes from its location, which is as close to the bridge as you can get [inside the bridge].

Piezo bridges aside, I've got mag PU basses that let me play a SC even closer to the bridge than the bridge PU of a J-bass, and the sensitivity to touch offered by these basses supports the idea that closer [or closest] proximity of the PU coil to the bridge is the key to a touchy-feely tone. Dimarzio Ultra-J jazz replacement PU's are no less sensitive, even tho they are not really SC PUs, but are actually P-PUs set into a J-PU form factor [hence their lack of SC noise].

IOW, altho you very often encounter SC PU's as bridge PU's, the sensitivity is not linked to the SC PU design. if you replace the bridge PU on a J-bass with a humber that has both coils no further away than the SC on the normal J-bass, you will get an extremely sensitive ax, more touchy than a J-bass, but with a darker tone than a J-bass, cuz two coils are running instead of one. Touchy but dark. Very cool. One version of this is the Spector NSJH [NS bass with 'J-H' PU config], which has the EMG humber smack dab by the bridge. Of course, just to frost your cake, that humber is splitable!

`

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