DiMarzio Tone Zone S in Fender Musicmaster

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bogmummy, Jan 16, 2014.


  1. bogmummy

    bogmummy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    I know the Fast Track 2 is a popular replacement pup for the Musicmaster Bass but has anyone tried the Tone Zone S? I am on a tight budget right now and haven't been able to find any used/discounted FT2 pups for sale but there are a couple of Tone Zones floating around. It seems that the Tone Zone is designed to enhance bass and mids, but the DC resistance is lower than the FT2. Here are the specs:

    DP189 Tone Zone S
    EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 8 / 8.5 / 5
    DC Resistance: 12.39 k
    Magnet: Ceramic
    Description: "We've built in the tremendous mid-range and bass response of the original Tone Zone®, and the same patented dual-resonance design produces great harmonics. We also warmed up the higher frequencies and brightened the low notes a little."

    DP182 Fast Track 2
    EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 7.5 / 8 / 5
    DC Resistance: 17.53 k
    Magnet: Ceramic
    Description: "It's got three times the output of an average single-coil, with a huge mid-range and bass punch and a strong resemblance to the Super Distortion® This is our hottest single-coil sized bridge pickup—particularly useful when you need a tightly focused jolt of power to crank your amplifier into rich overdrive. The dual-blade polepieces can handle all string-spacing options."

    Would the Tone Zone be pretty muddy? I am looking for a replacement pup with less hum/interference and more output. If the pickup increases the low end of the musicmaster, that would just be an added bonus.
  2. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Location:
    On the bench
    The Tone Zone should sound pretty good. I would not think it would be particularly muddy -- perhaps even less so than the Fast Track.

    I'd recommend the option of a series/parallel switch on either of those, though. You could easily do that with a push-pull pot.
  3. bogmummy

    bogmummy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Thanks for the reply, Arvin. Series vs. Parallel was actually my next question :confused:. I believe I read in another thread that series is recommended for these? Parallel is not as hot? I am not super familiar with the way these are designed (or the world of electronics in general :meh:), but I already have all the other guts but the pickup for my musicmaster wiring harness (.047 cap, 250k cts pots, switchcraft jack). My other concern is that with the extra wiring the cavity might not fit everything without some modification to the body.

    This is my first and only bass. I'm in an indie rock/ psych blues band
  4. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Location:
    On the bench
    Wiring the coils in parallel gives you slightly less output, and a more clear, less midrange-heavy tone, while still cancelling hum. Having the parallel option with that pickup should sound pretty nice in a Musicmaster: a little less boomy, a little more articulate, perhaps somewhat reminiscent of the old single-coil P-bass pickups (though not exactly).

    Swapping one of your pots to a push-pull should work just fine, as far as wiring real estate goes. There should be plenty of room to do that mod.

    If you aren't sure, you could try wiring it in series, play it for a while, then re-wire it in parallel and see how you like that. It's not that hard to do. Dimarzio has good diagrams and step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
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  6. bogmummy

    bogmummy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Alright, I'm going to give the push-pull pot a try. Looking at DiMarzio brand. Should I go with a 500k or 250k PP, or since my volume pot will be a standard 250k, will it not really matter since the higher frequencies will already be "filtered" out?

    Oh, and for anyone who may be wondering, I AM having an electronics wizard help me put this all together, once all of the parts are on hand.

    For anyone that's trying a similar project, here's DiMarzio's wiring diagram for "Dual Sound":
    http://www.dimarzio.com/sites/default/files/diagrams/1v1ppt_dualsnd.pdf
  7. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Location:
    On the bench
    Excellent choice. :cool:

    I'd go with 250K for the tone pot. With that pickup, I think it will be more usable.

    Let us know how it turns out?
  8. bogmummy

    bogmummy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Will do. Thanks for the input.
  9. bogmummy

    bogmummy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Sorry for the delay in posting an update - I've been busy playing my new and improved musicmaster. Has been upgraded for about a month. Ended up finding a like-new Fast Track 2 from a forum member here and decided to go that route. New CTS volume pot, Orange drop, and DiMarzio push pull for the tone pot. Sounds great! Can get a variety of tones with this setup. Can get a much heavier low end now. I don't believe the hum has completely vanished but has improved and the pickup is MUCH louder. I would say at least 3x more output than the stock pickup.

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