“Turbo” pickup placement

I’m working on a new project, which will (hopefully) involve a Warmoth Gecko 5-string bass body with two soapbar pickups mounted in the “sweet spot” and the “near-bridge” positions.  I’m calling this the “Turbo” configuration, for no better reason than to follow other basses which have had a similar configuration, including the following:

I actually own a Zon Legacy Elite Special (one of my last remaining fretted basses) and the pickups work very well in this configuration.  Then again, they are custom-wound Bartolini pickups.

Why wouldn’t I use the standard pickup locations?  What’s wrong with the usual neck pickup location, you ask?  Nothing’s wrong, but I like having lots of good midrange on a fretless bass, and moving the neck pickup closer to the bridge gives me just that – midrange, clarity, focus and a balanced roundness that simply can’t be found at the usual neck pickup location.  It’s for this reason that I decided to route a third pickup cavity on a perfectly good Gecko bass body earlier this year.  Having the middle pickup in the “sweet spot” not only gives me great tone in that position, but lots of flexibility in switching pickups.

And moving the bridge pickup slightly closer to the bridge (by about 1cm) brings out that much more upper-midrange punch and detail.  The combination is stunning.

Hopefully this next project will go nicely.  I’m not sure which pickups (or even which neck!) need to go on this body, but I’m sure I will make it work.

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