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Dimarzio Model J PIckups set

  • Pickup Type:
    J set
    Active or Passive:
    MSRP $169, Street $120
    Other Specs:
    Wiring: 4 Conductor
    Magnet: Ceramic
    Output mV: 150
    DC Resistance: 6.82 Kohm
    Year of Introduction: 1979

Recent Reviews

  1. jamro217
    "Unique pickups."
    Build Quality:
    Pros - loud, humbucking
    Cons - Unusual sound
    These Jazz Bass replacement pickups are humbuckers that feature two coils side by side, similar to a split P bass pickup. They are loud and powerful with a different tone than single coils. Not a bad sound, but not what you'd expect from a typical Jazz bass.
    Price Paid:
    $70 used for the pair
  2. Eilif
    "A time-tested J set and still a great option."
    Build Quality:
    Pros - Well made, dead silent and very thick and even sounding.
    Cons - May not have the brightness that many modern and slap players prefer.
    Dimarzio Model J pups have been sold for well over 30 years and their continued sales show the utility of the design. Fundamentally, they improve/modify 4 aspects of the classic Fender Jazz pickup design.
    -Due to a split-coil humbucking design (much like a P-bass pickup) they are noiseless when soloed or in combination.
    -Individually adjustable poles allow for more even string to string response.
    -Generally stronger output than stock pickups
    -Puts in a bit of the mids and lows that a traditional Jazz set lacks in certain settings.

    I installed them in a parts bass that had formerly worn a set of Fender "Noiseless" pickups until one of them died. I found that the Model J's did all the things mentioned above well. The tone is balanced and thick and there is no hum in any position. I found it to be notably warmer, thicker and less "zingy" than a traditional J pickup which was just what I was hoping for.
    I'm generally a P-bass fan so while Iand prefer a thicker sound I really don't want to loose clarity and these were perfect. It is also great to be able to solo either pickup in any situation and not have to worry about single-coil buzz. Some folks have compared model J pickups to having a pair of P-pickups. I wouldn't go that far, but there are some P'ish characteristics in a model J.

    It must be noted that Folks looking for a very lively bright set of pickups will probably not find these to their liking. The less-emphasized highs of the model J means that such a player would probably be better served by the Dimarzio "UltraJazz" set which has much stronger highs and a brighter voicing. The Dimarzio model J would be fine for finger style and pick players, but slap players would probably benefit from a brighter pickup as well.

    As an aside, I installed these with a series-paralell switch and I can report that despite not being single coil pickups, switching to "Series" still brings the thick humbucker'ish tone that one would expect. The differences between the two settings aren't quite as pronounced as would be with a true single coil set, but they are definitely different enough that a series parallel switch is a worthwhile addition to a bass with these pickups.

    In conclusion, I've had these pickups for about 4 years and can confidently say that, if you're looking for a bright and modern pickup this set not for you. However if you want a J pickup set that is a bit thicker and rounder than a traditional J with even response and a strong (but not overdriven) output, this could be exactly what you're looking for. It's a time tested design with a great tone that is entirely worthy of consideration.
    Price Paid:
    btmpancake, waynobass, sfmag1 and 3 others like this.


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  1. Willy-D
    Installed a salvaged 1980's set into a parts J-bass. The back pickup does everything I remembered from my old p/j add ons in the 80's, and this bass was fretless so it had all the mwah I had expected. I had never run a full set though, just the back pickup up against a P (usually a hot pickup, too).
    The front pickup has proven a thick & meaty thing. Sounds like a P but without as much low-mid hump.So the full set sounds neither P nor J, but has its own thing happening, in a good way.
  2. jamro217
    These pickups are loud humbuckers that have a distinctive sound that is unlike standard single coil j bass pickups.
    1. Eilif
      Thanks Jamro217.
      I just realized that someone seeing the title might reasonably think I was recommending these for "classic" J tone rather than suggesting that they're a well established option for replacement.

      They're definitely not a classic Single coil J Bass tone

      I'm going to edit the title to get rid of "classic"..
      Eilif, Sep 5, 2016
      jamro217 likes this.
    2. jamro217
      Bought a set of these used in the late '90's. They are still in my parts drawer after trying them out in a couple of different basses. The sound wasn't what I was looking for at the time and I don't have any project basses going that would use them. Time for a custom build.
      jamro217, Sep 6, 2016