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Pope preamp and ? pickups in American Deluxe

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MichaelSmalley, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey all- 3 things-

    I have a stock '08 American Deluxe Jazz 5 string and I'm looking at replacing the Pre and pickups in the very near future.

    1) For the preamp I'm leaning heavily toward the Pope Flexcore because it is so highly regarded and versatile. For the pickups I was thinking I wanted EMGs because I like aggressive modern tone- but now after reading tons of threads I'm not sure. There are awesome boutique pup manufacturers like Nordstrand and many others.

    How on earth do I decide?

    2) Also, I'm not sure what I need to consider for this preamp and any potential pickup combination. I know the preamp needs at least 1.25" of depth to be properly installed, which the Am Dlx bass does have. I have read many threads about both various pickups (including Smash's awesome reviews) and the flexcore preamp, but no one mentioned the american deluxe bass.


    3) Last Question- If I get Active pickups, is there any point in getting the preamp configuration that has the active/passive switch and passive tone control? That just bypasses the preamp, correct? If passive tone just bypasses the preamp, passive tone should still work with EMGs or any other active pickup, I think.
  2. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks in advance for your help, btw. Everyone on Talkbass is very helpful whenever I have questions about gear.
  3. FunkyMan

    FunkyMan

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    Bro, go for the Aguilar AG-5J 60's Pickups (Or 70's for modern tone) Nices pickups i've ever played IMO, they are pasive and i'm sure they will match perfect with the Pope Pre!
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    As to how you decide, I'm going to assume that's a rhetorical question, and allow you to grapple with it according to whatever logical system makes sense to you... :smug:

    However, as to recommendations for a set of aftermarket pickups that are "aggressive" and "modern", might I suggest the Delano JMVC 5 FE? Or if you're a single-coil purist, the JMVC 5 FE/S?

    I have a set of the JMVC 5 FE hum-canceling version in my Carvin SB5000 Jazz-style five-string, and am very impressed. You want modern? They are very modern. You want aggressive? They are very aggressive.

    Just be careful what you wish for... :smug:

    MM
  5. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm not any kind of purist- I just want them to fit in my Am. Dlx. Jazz Bass without routing.
  6. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

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    By "aggressive" do mean scooped?
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    Are you sure you can fit all that in the cavity of your bass?
    Active/passive switch is indeed useless if you go with EMG because your bass will remain active whatever happens.
    I'd ask Pope directly about the modifications.
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    No. I mean aggressive...

    MM
  9. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure I can fit all or any of this stuff in my bass at all. That's why I was asking if anyone had done it on a similar model.
  10. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

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    Can you define what you mean by that? I'm very interested in trying them, but that term means different things to different people. Is it more highs, harder attack, or something else? What makes it modern and aggressive if not a scooped out mid?

    Thanks!
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    IME, the Delano JMVC line have plenty of highs, mids and lows. Since they have such abundant highs and lows, you might regard them as scooped - I don't know. They don't seem particularly scooped to my ear. :meh:

    What makes them sound modern & aggressive is that they are hot, and they are bright. Lots of presence. Very punchy. Very articulate. Because they have those huge 9.5 mm pole pieces, the JMVCs are very sensitive to touch, and will capture just about every nuance of your playing. The attack is instantaneous - and powerful. They will smack you upside the head...and leave you with a wedgie. :smug:

    For anyone who happens to be a slapper, the Delano JMVCs are just about the most perfect J-style pickup on the market, so far as I can see. They are crisp, yet ballsy.

    How's that? :meh:

    MM
  12. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

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    That helps, thanks!

    The only samples I can find online aren't very clear, but from the comments and the overall sound, I have to ask one more question: Does it still sound like a jazz bass? I keep seeing the comment "it sounds like a MusicMan".
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    Doesn't sound like a conventional Jazz Bass, if that's what you mean. Sounds like a souped-up, high-octane Jazz Bass.

    The comparison with MusicMan is probably pretty spot on. I can't give you any detailed tonal comparisons - I don't have much experience with MusicMan basses, personally.

    Best guess is that the JMVCs are somewhere in between a Jazz and a MusicMan (let's say a Stingray for the sake of argument). Exactly where they are on that continuum, I couldn't say...

    MM
  14. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    Yay- just ordered a Pope 2stk.2stk and a pair of Nordstrand NJ5F's. I hope I ordered the right knobs.

    Very exciting.
  15. David281189

    David281189

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    and how does it sound? keep us updated!
  16. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    It sounds stunning, frankly.

    My main rig is now American Dlx J5 with Nordstrand single coil J pickups and pope 2.2stk pre -> Demeter preamp -> Drivercore 2500 power amp -> Epifani ul3 410.

    It is quite a different sound, but very detailed, and very punchy. Last night at my gig I took me a minute to dial it in just right so the upper strings weren't too thin and twangy. I ended up rolling the highs off a bit and boosting the high-mids.

    One thing I've noticed with this preamp is that much smaller adjustments are needed. With the fender preamp, I would need to make very drastic adjustments, usually boosting the mids all the way to get a decent slap sound that didn't get lost in the mix... the pope pre is more surgical.

    I love it. I finally have a bass that sounds like a high-end custom instrument (which it kind of is). Nordstrand and Mike Pope get mad props for their products. Also bestbassgear.com sent me the wrong preamp but quickly corrected the problem. They're great and I look forward to my next order from them.

    While I was fixing up my bass I replaced the tuners because the stock fender ones were falling apart (2008 tuners are apparently highly crappy.... screws kept falling out, big pain in the butt) and between the tuners and preamp, the bass is quite a bit heavier than it had been. Still worth it though.
  17. David281189

    David281189

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    nice! any sound clips available?
  18. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    Will record some clips at my gig tonight. Don't know how to upload them here though.
  19. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

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    VERY interested in this.
    I have a 2012 Am Deluxe Jazz V, having the pickups replaced with NJ5F's as we speak. At some point I will probably want to replace the preamp, and to date, my favorite preamp is the Nordstrand 3-band. Has anybody compared the Nordstrand preamp to the Pope?
  20. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately my clips from my gig last night turned out horribly and I don't have the means to record a gots clip at my house.

    I can't tell you how the preamp sounds apart from the pickups because I installed them at the same time. I only know that it is a pretty drastic departure from the stock Fender Am Dlx stuff. I also can't describe the sound in any way that would be helpful to you, I'm afraid. Aggressive? Scooped? Bright? All very subjective. I've also never heard the Nordstrand pre to compare. At the very least Pope would have a configuration that would work well for you. Just don't try to install anything with more than 4 pots unless you plan on routing some extra space. The Pope is a TIGHT fit.

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