Jump to content

Using Bridge Pup In Neck?


Arseneau
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay, so this is probably a really dumb question but I've searched the forum over and over without finding an answer (or simply couldn't find the right key word/phrase) so here goes:

What would happen if you used a pickup that was marketed as a "bridge" pup in the neck position, or vice versa? Would it sound like crap? Why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it all depends on personal preference the EMG 81 is a bridge pick up but many use it in both positions, often the pickups are made for the position they are in (duh) but i mean bridge pickups are made more for lead and neck pickups are made more for rhythm. the only way you'll know if you like it is if you try it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

generally speaking if you buy a matched set of pups there will be a little difference in the output but you'll also notice on different manufacturer's webbsites that they're description of a particular pup will include something like, "sounds great in either neck or bridge position." there aren't any iron clad rules so just experiment a little 'til you find the sound that you're looking for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, it's mainly an output level thing. Neck pickups tend to have higher output, but they're generally referred to as "neck pickups" because they're matched to another pickup (the bridge pickup, of course!) and the combination of output levels is balanced.

If you're mixing and matching anyhow, you can just give'er until you find something you like. :D

Despite claims to the contrary, there isn't THAT much of a frequency response difference inherent in "neck" or "bridge" pickups. You can't "EQ" a pickup, it's just magnets and wire. However, the different amount of windings and the different magnets used can result in different resonant peaks (ie. dominant frequencies).

In other words, a pickup marketed as a "neck pickup" could just as easily have identical magnets and similar windings to one marketed as a "bridge pickup". The truth is that unless you're buying a matched pair, it's all very arbitrary.

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

generally you have the bridge pickup with a higher output because the neck pickup is naturally louder (something to do with strings moving more above the neck pickup i think). Its Ok to use a bridge pickup in the neck but i would still add something even hotter to the bridge, it makes it easier to get the volume to match when switching between pickups. Some bridge pickups are made wider to accomodate a wider string spacing at the bridge so these would be unsuitable, avoid pups with 52mm/f-spaced/trem spaced (could be called something else) pole peices because the balance between strings could be affected if the polepeices are not in the right place, directly under the string.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trem-spacing is more to accomodate the low and high strings at the bridge position, though-- because with a normal-spaced pickup, they might start sneaking out from the narrower magnetic field. The intervening poles are semi-arbitrary, though, since the overall magnetic field is fairly encompassing (which is why we can bend strings without the volume dipping in and out).

BUT, if you're putting a trem-spaced bridge pickup in the neck, it'd be less of a problem since the low and high strings will be enveloped by the field. And if your trem isn't widely-spaced (ie. a Floyd Rose), it doesn't matter much anyhow.

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, it's mainly an output level thing.  Neck pickups tend to have higher output, but they're generally referred to as "neck pickups" because they're matched to another pickup (the bridge pickup, of course!) and the combination of output levels is balanced.

Methinks you've got that a bit backwards: the bridge pickup is slightly 'hotter' than the neck in a matched pair. There's more signal/string movement at the neck pickup location than at the bridge, so the bridge pickup needs to be a bit 'hotter' to compensate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As mattia corrected, the bridge pup does tend to be hotter. The strings don't vibrate as much at the bridge and so stronger magnets are needed to pick up the sound at the same volume as at the neck. If you put a bridge pickup at the neck it may be slightly muddy, and the stronger magnets will cause the sustain to decrease.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[edit: man, I'm the king of hasty typing. Yes, the bridge pickups are normally higher-output to compensate for the physical area generating less motion and therefore output.]

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...