500K pots vs active pre

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Zoomie, Jan 16, 2013.


  1. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Good morning everyone. I need some advice please. Sadly, while I know that this has been addressed somewhere here (likely many times), I spent over an hour searching with no luck.

    I want to install Dimarzio J's in a Jazz. Based on everything that I have read, they tend to run a little dark. I want this bass to grind and have edge without sounding anemic. I do not want mud, but I need bottom, or as much bottom that I can get out of a jazz. I know I may be asking for impossible to have snarl with bottom and edge without being scooped and getting buried in the mix.

    My question is, should I just yank the stock 250K and buy something like this.....

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/500k-FENDER...810&pid=100015&prg=1006&rk=1&sd=350677813719&

    or

    should I just go straight to installing an active pre aka an Audere JZ3, which is known to be a little aggressive up top?

    Thanks in advance. Again, I apologize for rehashing something that has likely been discussed many times.
  2. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    500K pots are definitely a cheaper solution and they don't load the pickups as much as 250Ks do and do not darken the sound. I think that if you went for just 500Ks you'll get plenty grind in there.
  3. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

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    Jan 26, 2012
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Thank you, Stealth.

    I thought that I would be OK with 500K's but needed some validation. Worst case, this is the less expensive route for experimentation.
  4. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You can also try wiring the Model Js in parallel. The output will drop slightly, but you will get a brighter tone.
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  6. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

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    You lost me at "the output will drop slightly......" :p

    Sincerest thanks ! I thought about adding an S/P switch to the 250K harness. I may head in that direction if the 500K's fail to take me where I want to go, or, take me too far.
  7. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

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    There's nothing aggressive nor any overt brightness to an Audere preamp. They're beautifully transparent.
  8. jobo4

    jobo4

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    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    500k pots are where it's at for Model Js.
  9. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks guys !

    I didn't expect the Audere to do anything other than provide enough high end to guarantee edge or growl, meaning that the EQ would allow me to compensate or negate the J's perceived slight darkness or lack of brightness.

    It sounds like the 500K's will get that done.
  10. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    The Audere will buffer the pickups, which when in the high Z mode will make them brighter than 500k pots even without the treble boosted.
  11. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

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    Perfect! That's my back up plan in the event the 500ks don't get the bass where I want it. Always appreciate your advice sdg! The other harness you made for me has been flawless!
  12. acebase62

    acebase62 Supporting Member

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    Jun 29, 2010
    In addition to the 500ks, a Fender TBX tone control can help as well.
  13. Brado

    Brado

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Buda, TX.
    If you decide to keep it passive with the DiMarzio's, you could usr 500k push/ pull pots for each pickup volume knob. You canswitch each pickup between series or parallel....lots of tonal varieties there. A standard tone control will do fine, but you could use a different capacitor other than a .047mfd......try a .033. It will roll off treble, but not turn to mush at the maximum roll off.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    sounds like you maybe don't want model Js in the first place.

    dimarzio's ultra-jazz pickups will be louder and have more clarity.
  15. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

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    Thanks again.

    No I am certain that I want Model J's. Just not 100 % sure that they are going to give me what I want in this particular bass. I am trying to learn more about pick up choices, harnesses, and pre's in terms of how they affect tone.

    I did take a hard look at ultra J's but they were a hair too sterile for me.

    Everything is here now. Just waiting on a new soldering iron. Finally broke down and got a good one. I'll swap everything out this week and then take it to rehearsal on Thursday to give it some real world testing.
  16. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

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    Sorry everyone. I failed to give an update.

    I got the Dimarzio J's installed as well as a custom harness with 500K's.

    It absolutely kills. Gave me the exact realm of tone that I was looking for.

    Sincerest thanks to all of you for the advice.
  17. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    They wont have as much output, i.e. not as loud. It's slight though. But they get a much brighter tone that way, and still have good output. I had DiMarzio P/Js in a bass once and had series parallel switches for each one.
  18. VanillaThundah

    VanillaThundah Pleasantly plucky Supporting Member

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    Hmm...I just used the regular 250k's in mine, I wonder if I should consider re-wiring mine :)
  19. Zoomie

    Zoomie Supporting Member

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    East Tennessee
    I didn't try 250s. I went straight to 500's. I did solder the other two wires together.

    As info, I run a Faital loaded twin 15. In addition I am currently running a Streamliner 900. I wanted to make sure I had all the edge I wanted. It or an issue with the Kilo.

    For me, it was the perfect call as I can run tone anywhere from dimed to 50 percent before mud encroaches.

    Hope that helps you to make a decision.

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