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What kind of replacement pickups for my American Special Jazz?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mike Sorr, Mar 15, 2014.


Best Replacement pickups for an American Special Jazz Bass for Hard Rock?

  1. Seymour Duncan SJB-3

    2 vote(s)
    6.5%
  2. Seymour Duncan SJB-2

    3 vote(s)
    9.7%
  3. Fender Custom Shop 60s

    5 vote(s)
    16.1%
  4. Something by DiMarzio

    12 vote(s)
    38.7%
  5. Other

    9 vote(s)
    29.0%
  1. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr Hack with nice gear. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Exit 82, NJ
    So, my new American Special Jazz bass arrived this morning and now the modifications can begin. I already have a Babicz Bridge I'm going to drop in and a Hipshot D tuner, but I'm interested in replacing the pickups with something a little hotter. I play everything from hard rock to roots reggae. I know there are volumes of information on this subject, too much actually. A simple search inundated me with so much info that is actually made more sense just to post this simple question about your experiences. I'm leaning toward the Duncan SJB-3s, anyone want to talk me out of it?
     
  2. Rich McCoy

    Rich McCoy

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    I'll talk you out of it (not).
    I really have no opinion or experience with any of those except the CS 60's which were pretty ggod, but I dunno if they were any better than the others mentioned.
    As far as this type of mod goes, my opinion is: I would of gotten myself a nice 2008-present MIM used and did the upgrades and saved a few hundred. I would encourage most people to do this.
     
  3. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    Cincy, OH
  4. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr Hack with nice gear. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Exit 82, NJ
    Something by DiMarzio has a bunch of votes...anything specific? My guess would be their Ultra Jazz. Anyone use these for hard rock?
     
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  6. 39-Bassist

    39-Bassist

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6
    Go with the STK-J's....great tones and humbucking......full and sweet....
    just a suggestion...
     
  7. Rusty G String

    Rusty G String

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    I bought a mim jazz because I didn't care for any of the American pickups. Paid $300 for the bass, and about $95 for the Dimarzio Ultras. I liked the jazz pickups a lot, but we're a little thin and growly. I play in a classic/modern rock cover band and these pickups sound great. They play with such clarity and really punch through. I play with 2 loud guitards and sometimes before I couldn't hear the Bass. Not now. Humbucking is nice too. I miss the "jazziness" sometimes when I'm home playing rush, but that's why we have to have mutipl basses, right?
     
  8. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr Hack with nice gear. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Exit 82, NJ
    Anyone have any experience with Mojotone pickups?
     
  9. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Champaign, IL
    I really like EMG JVX's, Nordstrand, and Bartolinis
     
  10. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr Hack with nice gear. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Exit 82, NJ
    I keep wavering back and forth between the DiMarzio Ultra Jazz, and a few of the Duncans, namely the SJB-2, SJB-3 and the STK-J2. I usually play with both pickups wide open, so noise should not be that much of an issue. It really comes down to that I want to keep the bass completely passive yet aggressive (no pun intended). I'm leaning toward either the SJB-2 or 3s and sort of favoring the 3s at the moment. But that could change.
     
  11. VanillaThundah

    VanillaThundah Straight out a donkey's mouth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    From what I've seen on the Mfg. websites, user reviews, and some personal use...the Ultra Jazz and the SJB-3's are going to be pretty mid-scooped to say the least. 1/4 #er's from SD are going to be pretty clanky and pick up a lot of finger noise. Not as much definition since the pickups tend to be rather boomy. Ultra jazz sound clean and big, but little definition and some people have said the mid scoop is difficult to dial out of the tone.

    I do have a pair of DiMarzio model J's in my jazz bass and can't recommend them enough. Adjustable pole pieces, option to wire series or parallel (I recommend series big time), and the tone is great despite the lower price. You can wire them parallel for a more traditional tone, but the series wiring gives you a bass and mid boost that makes them sound very growly and aggressive.

    Area jazz would be a good one to look at as well, but won't be much different from what you probably already have in your jazz. If you pair up the Model J's with a really good preamp like the Audere Z-mode preamp, you'll have an immense amount of versatility at your fingertips. The Model Js will rock hard all night long in passive mode too though.
     
  12. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr Hack with nice gear. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Exit 82, NJ
    Cool, that's what I'm looking for. I'd like to keep it all passive if possible. I know this sounds petty, but I hate changing...and worrying about, batteries. I prefer passive regardless. Good advice, thank you!

    Know anything about the Duncan SJB-2?
     
  13. 39-Bassist

    39-Bassist

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6
    The 2's will be more pronounced in the mids! Smoother tones when both pickups all on.....the 3's a bit more bottom boom. From my experience. That is why I preferred the stk- J's but i wanted the humbuckers.
     
  14. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr Hack with nice gear. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Exit 82, NJ
    Anyone know of any sound clips featuring the Duncan SJB-2? The ones on Youtube are godawful, especially those put up by SD.
     
  15. Ray man

    Ray man

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Location:
    Staten Island NY
    If anybody knows anything about the new Fender '74 pure vintage jazz pickups, please share.
     

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