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Lindy Fralin Vs. Area J (sound clips)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by 12SB, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. 12SB


    Apr 1, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    So, I had Area J's in my American Special Jazz Bass for 6 months or so, but wanted to try something new. Compared to my G&L JB, this bass lacked some warmth and output. Now, the G&L is a beast, and will always have an edge over the fender on materials and construction, but I figure I can get the Fender to sound better, and fuller.

    My go to shop had a set a Fralin standard wind Jazz pickups so I grabbed 'em. I am blown away. They sound amazing. Tone out of the fender is on par with the G&L when amplified now. I figured I would post the before and after clips- just a few basic riffs done quick to show the differences.

    Just so you guys know, the fender has a Gotoh 201, hipshot tuners and Rotosound swing bass strings. It is an american special series so it has the "greasebucket" tone control, and I must say- it is actually very useful now! I can't quite remember what it sounded like with the stock pickups, but the range of tones even with the volume knobs on these pickups are fantastic! With the Dimarzio's it never seemed that responsive.

    I recorded direct into logic with a Focusrite scarlett interface, with a touch of compression added.
    In both clips:

    1st riff- both p/ups- 10, tone-0
    2nd - neck-10, bridge-0, tone -0
    3rd- neck-0, bridge-10, tone-10
    4th- neck-5, bridge-7, tone- 5

    Attached Files:

  2. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fralin single coils are my favorite passive p'ups,even over his split coils. Ironically,I was curious about the Area J's not long ago and got a set to A/B against the Fralins..I still have the Fralins ;)
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    well yeah, the fralin stock winds are gonna sound a little better, they're real single coils.

    if the hum isn't a problem, there's no need to look at humbuckers.

    if the hum is a problem, then the areas make sense; that's their job, to sound as close as possible to the real thing with no noise.
  4. Fellow Islander here, I preferred the Area J for that little sound test, the Fralin's sounded a little darker or less clear to me.
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. same thoughts here.

    I have Area Js in one of my Jazz basses, and pretty happy with them. I nearly went for the Fralins as I heard great reviews about them, but in the end I decided to try the Area J first: cheaper, and I liked the fact they were humbuckers as I play a lot on the bridge pickup alone... I'm glad I did! :)

    Although both clips sound good, I have to say. I wish you had included a bit of dirty finger funk in there too with the bridge pickup alone ;)
  7. mmbongo

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

    Do you have the Area J's in series or parallel? I had mine in parallel and found them a little thin and weak. Changing to series made them fuller and thicker, with just a hint of bark to them.
  8. In series.
    I was going to try parallel first, but went with series, not sure why now... and I liked the result so it stayed that way.
  9. 12SB


    Apr 1, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    That is why I like them better in person- they are darker and grittier, which is what i was looking for.

    On the flip side, the Area J's ARE great pickups, and do sound good, I was just looking for something different, and the Fralins had it!:smug:
  10. 12SB


    Apr 1, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    I actually realized I could have put them in series as I was taking them out, haha. I did have them in parallel. I could see how it would beef them up a bit, as I have done that on other instruments, but I am really pleased with the Fralins and how they interact with each other and the tone control- I may have lost a little of that with them in series
  11. 12SB


    Apr 1, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    I'm sorry! it was late and I rushed through it :(- next time!
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    wait, what you you guys all mean by "series" and "parallel"? are you talking individually, or the way they're wired with each other?

    "normal" is each pickup itself in series, and the two parallel with each other. wiring them individually parallel is just gonna make them weaker-sounding, the way it does with P-bass pickups.
  13. I've been wanting to put a dpdt tone nob in my sx Jazz to get a series/parallel setting with the pickups. They both sounded decent in series, I'm gonna have to tinker with my bass now.
  14. mmbongo

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

    Yeah individually. The combo I actually like with the Area J's in my Spector is the neck in series and the bridge in parallel. The bridge in series was too muddy.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    you don't get a volume imbalance, with the bridge now being way weaker than the neck?

    how do they sound blended equally together?
  16. mmbongo

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

    Surprisingly not. They sound excellent blended now, they did not before. I'll have to try to do some clips. They are in my Spector NS2J which is not a 'jazz bass' so if I had to compare the sound to something I'd say they sound closer to Geddy Lee's Wal than they do Geddy's Jazz.
  17. That's interesting.
    I don't care much for the sound of both pickups together... but that's just me with any Jazz. Would love to hear that combination, if you do get around to make some clips. :)

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