Reed James pickups vs MK5CBC for MK1 Upgrade

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Hopkins, Oct 10, 2012.


  1. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    I am looking to replace a set of MK1s in a five string. They are noisy and are very flat sounding.

    Nordstrand has a pickup size that will fit in my cavities but they only offer exposed pole pickups that wont line up with my string spacing.

    I was going to buy a set of MK5CBCs but I have since stumbled upon these and they have me intrigued.

    Does anyone have any experience with Reed James pickups? How do they compare to the MK5CBCs. I like a bright sounding set of pickups that can get a good growl with the mids boosted.
     
  2. MarthaSamira

    MarthaSamira Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    844
    I'm pretty sure Nordstrand can accommodate different spacing or you can use a closed enclosure.
     
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Maybe, but I don't want to wait on or pay for anything custom. I haven't seen anything of theirs advertised for a .669 string spacing. Also, they are actually P2 shaped, while they will fit in the cavity, they aren't exactly the same size.

    Not to mention they cost more.

    The Reed James pickups, have me intrigued. Their youtube videos sound pretty decent, but they are not of very good quality, and I would trust the opinion of someone with experience with them over a youtube video and my tiny computer speakers.
     
  4. mmbongo

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

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,045
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    I have no experience with the Reed James pickups, but I have the MK5's in both of my Laklands and they are phenomenal. I have them wired with a master 3 way switch that allows inner coil/series/outer coil for each pickup and that setup just kills. Gives me two different Jazz bass sounds, Stingray, and P Bass.

    Don't hesitate to get the Barts, but I have heard good things about Reed James. I'd like to check them out some day.

    On a side note, Carvin soapbars are the same size and can be had a little cheaper. I've never used them though...there are a few sets in the emporium right now for $100-ish.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Thanks, I all but have my mind made up on the Barts, but I happened upon the Reed James website, and it got me thinking.

    I have a bad habit of always wanting to try something new just because its new. Even when there is something else that I already know I will be happy with.

    The Carvins are 1.25 wide while the MK1 is 1.33. It would work fine, but I would rather keep the same size. What exactly is the emporium?
     
  7. cocodrilo58

    cocodrilo58

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    i will tell you give reed james a call, i use his pickups and they are the best for your bass, i did a job for someone w/same bass you got, he the neo's killer tones, killer slap, if you slap, one thing for sure, it will bring out the tone of the woods in your axe. he'll wind them up to your specs, if so you disire, trust me i use nothing els but rj's for 8 years, all my basses have them, alnicos, neos humbuckers, jazz, he covers it all, also we makes the prettiest wood cvers for your p/ups if you want a combi/the fretboard, depending on the wood, the tone is vintage, modern, and they can skanky, if you want , they have a beasutiful top end like belltone:crying:
     
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Does he keep any in stock, or does he wind them when ordered? What is the turn around time?

    At a .669 string spacing this is not a slap bass, but I do want a good growly pick tone for some situations. I also want a smooth clean finger style.

    This is for a bass build I finished a few months back. I used a set of MK1s that I had laying around with the intent of upgrading them later. I wound up shooting myself in the foot because of limited options in that pickup size.

    This is the bass

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. mmbongo

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

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,045
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    Yeah MK5's are 1.33 also. I always just saw Carvin as a cheap upgrade from MK1's :)

    The emporium is the place on TalkBass where folks post stuff for sale.
     
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    The classifieds? I haven't ever heard it referred to as the emporium lol.

    I'm not going to skimp this time, I am either going to use the R.J.s or the Barts.

    I have a Kent Armstrong 3 band preamp in it for now. I am going to see how I like it with some good pickups in it. I put a set of Bart Jazz pickups in it for the time being. It sound pretty good with them other than the fact that they are 4 string split coil pickups and the A string runs between the poles and has very little output. Its dead silent, and the bass and mid boost are very responsive and useable. The MK1s I had in it were terribly noisy so they had to go.
     
  11. cocodrilo58

    cocodrilo58

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    yes he does what ever you need he make everything from scratch, and they do growl for dayssssssssssssssssssssss talk to him, tell him exactly what you want, what tone you need, want, specs.
     
  12. mixx80

    mixx80

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    Nashville
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist:Lakland Basses
    I did that mod with much success ! Reed James pickups opened my 4 and 5 string Lakland basses up nice with great tight low end and a focused clarity. The guy is super nice and will practically make you anything in a pickup you want. Just call and ask him. I cant see using anything else at this point give em' a try !
     
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Ill call him tomorrow, it all depends on the turn around. If he can get me a set by the 18th I am going to give the R.J.s a shot. If not I am going to use the Barts. I want to use this bass for a gig on the 19th.


    Thanks everyone for the information.
     
  14. muddog

    muddog

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Used a set of reed james in a jazz bass . they were very nice a+
     
  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Ordered a set of the Reed James. I talked to him on the phone and he seemed like a very nice guy. He said he has everything, and just has to wind them and epoxy cast them. They should ship either Saturday or Monday.
     
  16. mmbongo

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

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,045
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    Awesome, need a followup once you get them!
     
  17. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Will do
     
  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    The Reed James pickups arrived Tuesday and I installed them the same day. The pickups sound great, very balanced and articulate. Big bottom end, good mid rangy growl. They're not to bright but not dark sounding either.

    There is one small problem with them, the bridge pickup is kind of noisy, not to the point where it is unusable, but it is kind of annoying. I spent yesterday eliminating any other possible causes for the noise problem, and narrowed it down to the bridge pickup. I called Jim this morning, he is winding me another bridge pickup, and will ship it out by Saturday. I am more than impressed with his customer service.
     
    Joey Medina likes this.
  19. diglo

    diglo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,833
    Location:
    SMYRNA, TN
    Disclosures:
    BASS4yourFace!
    Just ordered a set of RJ Neos for a 5501. EXCITED!!!
     
  20. diglo

    diglo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,833
    Location:
    SMYRNA, TN
    Disclosures:
    BASS4yourFace!
    I'm selling the brand new set of RJ neos I have. Never been used. Pm if interested.
     
  21. Joey Medina

    Joey Medina

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Disclosures:
    N/A
    I picked up a set of RJ Neo's for my MIM 5 string Fender Deluxe and a set for my 4 string American Standard Jazz from Jim. I have to say that these pups surpassed my expectations. It was a breath of fresh air dealing with Jim as opposed to the DS fiasco I had to deal with. They are amazing. It totally transformed both basses. I will never use anything but JR's Pups in my basses.
     

Share This Page