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Jazz pickups that get the same or similar tone to '62 RI/AV

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassman_al, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. bassman_al

    bassman_al Supporting Member

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    Yes, yet another jazz pickup tone question thread. I did a search last night , did not find what I was looking for.

    I have a '62 RI and also a 2000 P-bass Special Deluxe. Passive pickups on that one, MIM but with a very similar tone to the AV, and in direct contrast with the USA J-bass pickups I installed in my MIM "70's" J-bass.

    I am hoping to get some pickups that have a tone similar to the other two I mentioned. I don't mind the lower output, I just compensate by boosting the pre-amp input level slightly.

    So for anyone with a couple minutes, please take a listen to the clip below. Bass solo starts at 2:52. Recorded live, with Zoom H2. EQ of the amp set flat with a bottom boost because the Shuttle 6.0 is a little weak without that boost. The bass is set with both pups on full, and both tone knobs turned back about 3 clicks. The bass is my '62 RI with TI flats 1994 model year. The bassist is a local pro, and friend of mine, sitting in with my jazz group. He is way better than me and elicits that tone more readily than I do. But I can get there somewhat when I play it. For me, this is the the definitive Jazz bass tone.

    What suggestions for that tone do you all have? I have looked at Fralins, Novacs, Lollar, SD Antiquity II. Trying not to have to try them all to find out...

    Thanks for any help, guys!

    Oh, and by the way, for those of you who are wondering where the hi-hat and other cymbols are, they were in the drummers living room at home. He forgot them, so he made do all night using other gadgets he had in his drum bag. Worked out ok, for a night. Drummers... :)

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014 at 4:08 AM
  2. big evil robot

    big evil robot

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    I would probably lean towards Fralins, as I find them more balanced and "woody" in the right spots. I'd used the Antiquity II's for years for rock and punk stuff and I think they are ideal for anything where you are adding grit and drive, but dry with the tone rolled back - they quickly turn to muddy mush.
  3. narud

    narud Supporting Member

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    ?... so your bass already has the tone but your looking for pickups to give you that tone? are they going in another bass? why non fender ri pickups?
  4. bassman_al

    bassman_al Supporting Member

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    I'm looking for pickups for the "70's" J-bass. The other 2 basses already have the tone I like. One obvious solution would be fender RI pups. This thread was meant to answer the question of whether there are other non-Fender options out there.
  5. mpdd

    mpdd Supporting Member

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    alleva coppolos have worked very well for me with my 84 mij squier jazz, great string to string balance, nice deep voice without being muddy, not in conflict with the guitarists space
  6. Troph

    Troph Supporting Member

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    Of course it doesn't hurt to try replacing the pups, but one thing that will keep your 70s jazz from sounding exactly like a '62 RI is the different pickup spacing. Some claim the difference is negligible, but the extra 0.4" of pickup separation in the 70s models does influence the tone, both in terms of what the bridge pickup sees individually, as well as how the the two pickups combine to respond to harmonic content at each position.

    With that said, the sound clip you provided has the tone control rolled off quite a bit, and I should think you would be able something pretty close with a wide variety of pickups.

    It might help to describe why you think the current pups don't work. Are they too "aggressive" and growly?
  7. narud

    narud Supporting Member

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    lollars would be the only set with the same amount of smoothness as theyre lower wind than the other sets. the other stuff is going to be barkier in the mids and not as sweet. however youd be paying a lot more than for a set of 62 ri pickups.
  8. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

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    I've been happy with Lollars in a 62RI jazz.
  9. Troph

    Troph Supporting Member

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    I think the OP wants to make his MIM 70s jazz sound like a stock '62 RI, not necessarily a modded one.

    For under $100, you could try a set of Golden Age single coils from StewMac.com:
    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Pickups:_Bass/Golden_Age_Pickups_for_Jazz_Bass.html

    They're wound hotter than real vintage '60s pups from Fender, but are probably fairly close to what comes on the '62 RI these days. Then again, I don't have a '62 RI to test to say for sure.
  10. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

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    They're pretty 'open', though. More than the real thing, IMO. Rolling the tone control back a bit helps.

    I like the Fender pickups, too.
  11. Troph

    Troph Supporting Member

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    Interesting... alnico 2 magnets, and the neck is wound hotter than the bridge. That would seem to be more like the sound the OP is going for.

    Is that what comes stock on the '64 American Vintage Jazz?
  12. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

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    I could only guess.

    Edit: No. These are in the '64 reissue. Looking at the specs, they are wound slightly differently from the Vintage Original pickups. The Vintage Originals are somewhere between the '64 and the '74 pickups.
  13. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

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    I understood that. They are vintage style jazz bass pickups. He was asking about a range of pickups including Lollars as possible options. Mine just happened to be in 62RI.

    I think you can probably get close with a number of vintage style pickups but may have to compensate for the differences in pickup spacing 60s vs 70s to get a vintage type sound.
  14. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

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    I had a 74 AVRI for a while before I decided to return to GC. I love the sound of the pickups in that bass. They were very full sounding, even with 70s spacing but you could still dial in classic 70s sound. I have thought about getting a 70s MIM Jazz Classic and putting those PUs in.

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