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4 String Jazz Players: do you favor E & A strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Garagiste, Jul 14, 2019 at 8:20 AM.

  1. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    I’m on jazz bass experiment #___ and again I’m finding that I don’t get the sound I need on the D and G strings in lower positions. Specifically, when I play a fill on the lower positions on the D and/or G strings, my tone gets lost when combining with the drum hits. I’m mostly a P with flats player and needless to say, don’t have that problem with that setup. So my question is, do you shift up the neck and favor the E and A strings to avoid that problem, if you have it. Or do you use flats on your Jazz Bass, or maybe a preamp or a compressor. I’m mostly playing Soul/R&B stuff. But I’ve been listening to a lot of Tom Petty records and I’m loving Ron Blair’s J bass tone. Thanks.
  2. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    I had a long 8 hour session with two different groups yesterday.

    I had my 2013 American Standard Jazz Bass with me as well as my five string. My American Standard Jazz is a full stock Fender. D’Addario half round strings. CS60 pickups.

    My five string is “probably” a squire that someone put Fender water slide decals on. But I put Fender pickups in and had all of the electronics gutted and replaced when I got it. It also wears D’Addario half rounds.

    Yeah I love those strings.

    I had my Gallien Krueger MB-800 fusion and a 800 watt 8ohm GK 410 cab.

    On the amp I was running the master at around 9 and input at around 1. I control final volume at the instrument.

    Treble at 12:30, high mid around 12, low mid about 1 and bass about 1.

    All frequencies were well represented.

    And I had to use just about all of them.

    I was up against loud guitars and drums. Plus keyboards and their danged Roland amps.

    The Fender Jazz should(and does) produce all notes clearly and evenly when all factors are in line.

    Perhaps your amplification isn’t configured properly. Perhaps your Jazz needs a setup. Perhaps your pickups have an issue.

    Bottom line the Fender Jazz can sing.

    Time to trouble shoot.
  3. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I’m not a gigger, but my first instinct would be to raise the pickup height under the D and G strings.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    How do you dial in your pickups? You get a mid-scoop when they are balanced due to the parallel wiring. I would recommend trying to favour the neck pickup and seeing how that sounds against your drummer. A series/parallel switch is a must in my Jazz basses.
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  5. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    It’s a good question and the answer is I usually try to dial back the neck a bit to bring out the sound of the jazz bass bridge pickup, but that’s also part of the problem. You are right that more neck would beef up the G string. But then I think why bother with this exercise yet again and just grab a Precision bass....
    bobyoung53 and bassboysam like this.
  6. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    You could always convert your Jazz into a P/J like I did. While it's not a fully reversible modification, it would still allow you the option to switch between P/J and J/J configurations with the slight application of a little elbow grease.
  7. David Heath

    David Heath

    Apr 7, 2017
    Interesting question.
    Q: Do you know that the D and G are not cutting through or is it your monitor/ie-ear mix?
    Q: Have you tried other strings?
    Q: Do you play/pluck near the bridge or nearer the neck?

    Naturally, the D and G stings share more bandwidth than the E and A string with other instruments and so you would expect more sonic interference. what you are experiencing may be normal. If you experiment with more or less neck pick up you might find this helps.

    Garagiste likes this.
  8. I think the most obvious answer maybe try a different set of flats. on my P bass which is a 95 Fender American standard, I tried LaBella low-tension flats and they just didn't work. And I went to DR Pure Blues rounds. Maybe a different set of flats would be in order.
  9. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    You know, every PJ I have tried seemed to have a weak AF bridge pickup and nothing special in terms of evening else you would want in a P bass. I’ve just never discerned the appeal from any of the PJs I have played. Also, my two Jazz Basses are not ones I’m inclined to modify. One is a ‘73 and one is a MIJ ‘66 reissue. They are both excellent specimens of the Jazz Bass. I just don’t seem able to play them to the same level of satisfaction I get from P Basses. But I’m not giving up yet...
  10. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Couple FWIW items.

    First, Jazz pickups are NOTORIOUSLY sensitive to pickup height adjustment. The Sadowsky specs are a good reference starting point.
    Club Sadowsky!!!

    Bear in mind, you have to start there and then adjust for your playing technique. IME, J’s are MUCH more setup dependent than P’s; though P’s certainly also benefit from a great setup.

    Second, pickups and strings matter. A lot. The aftermarket J pickup replacement options are legion. My favorite single coils are the Seymour Duncan SJB2, which are potent while retaining the original J vibe. But, I have gone to Delano JMVC’s which are humcancelling, while still delivering all the classic tones. I use DR High Beams; and my J basses are absolutely dead even top to bottom and across the board. GL


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