I'm using a set of JX pickups with a BTC tone control. Take this all FWIW, because I'm using a 2011 MIM Jazz Bass body with a Warmoth Goncalno Alves/Pau Ferro neck. At first, I thought the pickups were rather neutral and perhaps too bight and slightly muddy or undefined, but the BTC has helped clear that up. The BTC uses EQ points of 20hz for the Lows and I set the treble point to the widest and highest setting, which effects the mids from about 200hz peaking at around 10khz and remaining shelving from that point up.
But instead of boosting these frequencies, I use them to my advantage to clean up the EMG sound, by rolling off the highs all the way at 10db, sometimes less to about 1/2 that for a brighter sound. This to me sounded a lot like a tone control, but still allows brilliance and upper mids to shine through. I also then roll off the lows very slightly. This helps accentuate 100-200hz, and makes my direct unaffected tone through a DI sound punchy and full. I also am still only using 3 holes on my bass. Aside from a little routing to fit a single 9v battery, everything fit in without modification.
Honestly, I've never been happier with my tone since. Roll off what you don't like and you'll have a better experience with EMG pickups if you are a more vintage guy. Oh yeah, I never hear 60hz noise anymore, and even the noisiest rooms I play in are quiet for me. I also find myself being able to actually use single pickup sounds in my Jazz bass without having the noise floor go to hell. In some rooms I was stuck using both pickups and dealing with some 60hz noise. Now I can run neck pickup only and never hear noise.
You just have to re-approach your tone controls once you get EMG pickups. For instance, this might not work well with an amp that has a low cut filter applied already, like a Genz Benz Shuttle or GBE1200. But for my Ampeg PF-500 it has cleared up what I didn't like and made the amp sound like its worth double it's cost.
If I was using the standard non-x pickups, I would need 2 9v for 18v to make them sound. I've so far been fine with 9v on the X's. With standard J set and 2)9v I was able to fit that all under my control plate (with smaller soldered on pots), both 9v and the wires + pots fit without modification on a Warmoth J bass body. I think the fender body might be close if not the same.
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:" Matthew 6:20
Last edited by joelb79 : 02-03-2013 at 01:14 PM.