Area J's - lower output, or pickups too low?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DrVenkman, Apr 9, 2014.


  1. DrVenkman

    DrVenkman

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    Jan 22, 2010
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    Pacific NW
    I've got a CV Jazz I put Area J's in. I'm happy with the way they sound and love how little hum I get with them.

    It seems they have relatively low output though. Two examples of this. First, my other bass is an OLP and the pickup in that puts out a much hotter signal. Through the same amp the OLP is noticeably louder at the same settings.

    Second, last night I was running the Jazz bass through my recently acquired Ampeg B100r and noticed I could barely get the signal LED to come on even when playing really hard just to try and get it to come on (with the gain knob turned all the way up), and couldn't get the clip LED to come on at all. I then ran the signal through my VT Bass to add some gain and verify the LED's do in fact work, and doing this I was able to get them both to light up as I would expect.

    Do I just have my pickups set too low and need to raise them? Yes, I could have just tried raising them last night but ran out of time, and besides it's more fun to talk about it a bunch first ;) (and no, I didn't measure the distance to the strings either). Or do the Area J's just have relatively low output?
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    How do you have the pickups wired? Series will be much louder than parallel.

    What kind of preamp is in your bass? Does it have a gain control?
     
  3. DrVenkman

    DrVenkman

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    This was in parallel, passive (no preamp installed).
     
  4. DrVenkman

    DrVenkman

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    And I just realized I might not have answered the question you're actually asking. The individual pickups are wired in series, with the two pickups in parallel (standard Jazz setup).
     
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  6. iunno

    iunno

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    Try raising them and you tell us.
     
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    Musicman style pickups are inherently hotter than jazz pickups. I always have to lower the amp volume when using my SBMM SUB Ray4.
     
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    What he said, a MM humbucker has a lot more output than a J pickup.

    But wiring them like you have them (in series, then parallel with each other) is the way to go for output.
     
  9. DrVenkman

    DrVenkman

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    Lower than a MM-style humbucker I certainly understand; enough lower that it won't light up the signal LED on an amp? Is that typical for all J-style pickups?

    And of course the real answer is just try raising the pickups, and I'll do that, but right now I'm stuck at work.
     
  10. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

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    Area J's are not particularly hot.
     
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    No, not typical. SD Quarter Pounders are pretty hot for J pups.
     
  12. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    These are stacks, right?

    You can wire stacks out of phase and only lose a chunk of volume, as opposed to a regular humbucker where that would kill almost everything.

    Does it hum?
     
  13. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Sixty percent of the time, it works every time. Supporting Member

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    With AJ's you can/should get them quite close to the strings*. Most people are more familiar w/ the MJ's, which are much hotter, and therefore, need to be set lower.

    *Edit*- this is mainly due to the (lack of) magnet pull, and is discussed on Dimarzio's website.

    Rob
    :bassist:
     
  14. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

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    Side-by-side coils.
     
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    Actually they are end-to-end coils.
     
  16. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

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    Yeah, that's what I meant. Just didn't quite choose the right words. :oops:
     

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