I am building my 3rd cbg, the first with a single coil pickup. I see from others pictures a range of location, from closer to the neck to closer to the bridge and in between. Using a padron average size box, with bridge about 1/3 from the edge, so not sure where to place the pickup ( and I will have to cut an oval hole in the box lid, so want to get it right the first time) any thoughts? thanks.
I depends a little bit on what you want from it. How did your last 2 cbgs sound? If they were thin and trebly, place it closer to the neck to mellow it out (good for rhythmic stuff too). If they were muddy sounding or you're looking to rip out some face-melting, ear-splitting lead riffs, go closer to the bridge.
A general rule is: closer to the neck is deeper, blusier and more sustain. Closer to the bridge is louder, more 'rock', less sustain and more for lead solos.
Thanks for the quick response guys... Ben, first one was small box acoustic, not much sound. second was a larger, deep box with rod piezo under bridge, and it sounds nice. This will be first with coil pickup. i think I will put more toward neck for richer deeper sound. And Ted, thanks for the site and all you do to help with home made music.
Thanks for that info. & Ted, I'd also like to thank you for creating this great site! Why are pick-ups sometimes placed at an angle?
If you have a little time, you can build a small fixture to hold your single-coil above the strings so you can slide it up and down the length of the box to get a feeling for the sound at different positions. I made one from a 4 x 4" piece of 1/8" fiber board with to strips of 1 x 1 along the sides to hold the pickup about 1/4" above the strings. You can use jumpers from the single coil to your amp so you can strum, listen, move strum. Three is a lot of difference in sound between the bridge and upper end of the box. It helps to actually hear that difference before you cut a hole in the box top.
I tried a very similar approach last week when I was trying to test a bunch of pickups I "acquired". I tried half of a jazz bass PU using an almost identical setup to your picture. I got a pretty continuous buzz, though the sound did come thru when I plucked the strings. I gave it up as a bad job, thinking that my jumpers were causing the buzz. Clearly, I need to try again. Thanks
I know that the buzz is easy to come by particularly with single wound pickups. I try to make sure all the florescent lights are off in the room I'm working in and will try moving cords around a bit to see if I can make it change.
I guess as long as you can get a tone when plucked, you can at least hear the difference in tone between close to the bridge and close to the neck. I'm finding that a distance from the bridge of about 15% of the scale length is a good sounding point for a clean sound. Closer to the neck and it gets more bass. Closer to the bridge brings out treble.
I just like being able to play around with the sound before cutting a hole in the box.