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Fender Jazz: 60's position vs 70's position

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by malthumb, Dec 16, 2012.


  1. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Asking this question because I've seen a number of folks ask about J-basses they consider buying "are the pickups 60's position or 70's position?"

    I never really knew what that meant or how one might visually discern the difference. Anybody have an example of both that they can post side by side so that I can see the difference? Also please describe what tonal differences you notice between the two.
     
  2. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    The 70's position pickup is about 1/2" closer to the bridge than the 60's position. The pickup being closer to the bridge makes it a bit brighter sounding.
     
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  4. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Both pickups or just the bridge pickup?
     
  5. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento California
    I don't have pics handy to show the difference, but the 70's model has the bridge pickup a half inch closer to the bridge. This gives the tone a bit more bite.

    After you've seen a few of the 60's and the 70's models, you can tell right away by looking since the space between the pickguard and the bridge pickup is greater on the 70's model.
     
  6. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento California
    To my knowledge, just the bridge pickup is moved.
     
  7. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Stone Soup......SactoBass......


    Thanx guys.
     
  8. hieronymous

    hieronymous

    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    Subscribed - when I had a PJ set of Alembic Activators put in my MIJ '70s P-Bass, the issue of the spacing came up - not sure what we came up with, I wanted to go for '70s spacing. I know this doesn't help much, but I would be interested in seeing a pic of examples of the two, side-by-side would be great!
     
  9. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
  10. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    THanks again Stone Soup.
     
  11. FunkyMan

    FunkyMan

    Nov 27, 2007
    We should also consider that in the 70's they used different materials for the pickups too, but i don't know for sure how much that influenced the tone!
     
  12. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    ... as Stones perfect illustration shows, the easiest way to tell on a Fender bass by glance is that the bridge pup is directly over the tone knob on 70's spacing, and positioned between the tone knob and the bridge volume knob for 60's spacing ... sometimes the different bridges used can make it a bit confusing if you try to gauge spacing ...
     
  13. From what I understand, it was more of an aesthetic consideration than anything to do with tone (Althought that was indeed the final result), the 60's pickup stuck out from underneath the bridge cover, they moved it back so the cover would hide it better.
     
  14. True story. Heard it in a custom shop demo on YT.

    Personally, I play a Classic 70's RI J. Love the bright tone, but still maintaining that low end vibe.
     
  15. Personally, I like the mellower tone of the 60's spacing.
     
  16. electracoyote

    electracoyote Supporting Member

    I'll be darned if I could hear enough difference for it to matter. I'm normally kind of sensitive to that kind of thing, but I've usually been able to get a variety of almost identical tones from either placement.
     
  17. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    That makes more than a little bit of sense.
     
  18. Marcus Miller, Alex Al 70s position
    Jaco, Larry Graham,Victor Bailey 60s position

    To me that difference is huge.
    Which one is right for you? You need to make that decision on your own.
     
  19. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'm all about 60s position. I personally can hear a big difference.
     
  20. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I own both. I like both. I lean toward the more popular 60's position for general playing, but I think the 70's position has a bit more of an edge for hard rock and for slap sounds. Either will get the job done, regardless of the style you're playing.
     
  21. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    I had both, either at different times, or at the same time, but on basses with different pups/strings/etc ... I never noticed that big of a difference ...

    ...when the difference became noticable to me, was when I had both my Classic Series 60's Jazz, and the Classic Series 70's Jazz side by side with the same strings, pups, and set up... the difference was clear ..
     



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