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Author Topic: Jazz Bass pickups  (Read 6294 times)

BobSchwenkler

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Jazz Bass pickups
« on: March 16, 2011, 02:26:34 am »

Hi All,

This might not the the most suitable forum to ask about this, but then again, perhaps it is...

I've got a cheapo jazz bass that I've been thinking about fixing up for a while now (basically new neck and pickups). I've never been much of a bass player (or any electric instrument for that matter), any suggestions on what pickups I might check out as higher quality replacements? Something you'd consider to be well rounded (as in versatile) in a studio instrument?

Bubba--Kron

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 04:08:53 am »

I put Fender Custom Shop Jazz Pickups in mine and love them.  Very vintage but rich sounding.  I'm sure you can get them cheap off ebay used.  If you want to really pimp it out, get a camel bone nut off ebay too and have someone put it in for you.

Cheers
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Leonardo Valvassori

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 10:56:39 am »

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Leonardo Valvassori

Jim Williams

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 11:13:55 am »

Cheap spongwood basswood bodies won't fix what you want to fix. Buy a better bass if you want to soup it up.
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BobSchwenkler

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 02:39:59 pm »

Cheap spongwood basswood bodies won't fix what you want to fix. Buy a better bass if you want to soup it up.

Ok, so that addresses another question I've previously asked about on another forum. Certainly the body material has an effect on the sound, but how much? My intuition says that by putting a nice neck and pickups I could still end up with at least a good sounding bass, maybe not a great sounding bass. Seem accurate at all? Jim, can you expand on your opinion here, ie. what differences do you hear with different body types and how dramatic are these differences?

If it's very relevant, it's a '98 Mexican Fender Jazz bass. Looking at prices, seems like the Mexican jazz basses aren't so terribly cheap... Also if it's relevant, I'm replacing the neck because it's fucked.

BobSchwenkler

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 02:42:44 pm »

Oh, I expected the forum software to censor me. Any issues with swearing here?

mbrebes

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 04:54:45 pm »

You might also consider the Seymour Duncan Antiquity series Jazz Bass pickups.  Very good.

If the neck tends to pull down when the bass is strapped on, it might have a cheap wood body.  If it's pretty stable then chances are that it's alder and should be fine.
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Joe Giannone

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2011, 12:20:41 am »

I have several "cheap" basses over here that have had the electronics upgraded and sound great. Don't think you can go wrong with any of the Fender pickups, or really with anything from any of the "known" pickup guys, and there are lots of 'em. Head over to the Fender bass forum (FDP), ask the same question and you'll get a hundred differing opinions on what's best. I've personally had great luck with the Vintage Fender sets.
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Jim Williams

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 11:53:29 am »

Most of the Mexican stuff used good wood and hardware, most likely alder. If so, good to go. If not, consider replacing the body too, or just get another bass used.
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New Orleans Steve

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 12:55:20 pm »

  For most purposes a Mexican Fender is Great.....If set up properly, really....Great (not Really Great) But really....Great.
  I sooped up a Japanese(....God Bless Japan) Squire P Bass (at that time, just a Japanese PBass) with Bartaloni's and it was Wonderfull....

 Now, I'm not a player, mind you, But in terms of tone, I couldn't ask for more.

 I have cheap back line But have it set up really well. I figure, If a player's instrument isn't good enough to record with, I've got something workable. I've said it before, IMHO cheap instruments today, are really so much better than 10 or 15 yrs ago. Well, Electric Guitars and Basses, anyway. Horns....well, that's a different story.
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BobSchwenkler

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2011, 02:07:09 am »

Thanks for the input everyone. I think I might just try out the Fender Customs, but I'll investigate some other options as well.

jdier

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2011, 04:18:56 pm »

I have a HWY 1 JB so it is probably pretty close to your rig.

The straight entry level Vintage for Jazz pickups from Seymour Duncan are rock solid great pick ups.  Total value price.  I would never sneer at anyone using them.

The entry level Dimarzio Model J's are really nice sounding pick ups too.  Maybe a bit more modern or mid boost sounding than the Seymour Duncans.

My favs are the Jazz Antiquities.  They are pretty expensive but for my recording bass I figured it was worth it to splurge and I have never regretted the decision.

The only other things I have tried were EMG's and Barts, which I did not like either in my Jazz basses.
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Benjamin Anderson

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 12:34:34 am »

I second the vote for Lollar Pickups.
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rjc

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 08:54:43 am »

You might also consider the Seymour Duncan Antiquity series Jazz Bass pickups...
Agreed that Seymour Duncan Jazz Bass pickups are worth a look.

I put one of their stacked Jazz Bass pickups in the neck position on a relatively cheap Yamaha bass, and it was a noticeable improvement over the stock p/u.

The wood is certainly a factor in the sound, so you do need to consider the body as a major contributing factor.
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Ray Cologon
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musiclab

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2011, 09:17:20 am »

I dunno, I think Seymour Duncan used to make great pickups, but I haven't heard a new pickup I thought that sounded any good from him for a long time. I recommend Lindy Fralin, still hand wound in the US and nobody get's Fender like Lindy.
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Jim Williams

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Re: Jazz Bass pickups
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2011, 11:36:23 am »

I use a couple I like quite a bit. One was a custon jobby from Bill Bartolini I waited a year for. It's a stacked humcanceling design that is wound for a 15k hz resonant peak for a really clear acoustic top end.

The other is a Reflex pickup that was made by Trident (the console maker). It's also a lower impedance design with fantastic 20k hz acoustic harmonics. Got those at a blow out at Guitar Center for fifty bucks a pair.

I like clear, clean upper harmonics for bass. Hotter pickups are overwound which places the pickup's resonant peak lower in frequency, too may turns of wire and you get that peaky mid range sound that rips you a new one. The pickups I use are very smooth and flat in the mids so if I want to low pass it to remove some of the upper harmonics, the mids remain smooth.
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