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'62 RI J bass issue

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Refonbass, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Refonbass


    Jan 29, 2006
    Windsor Ontario
    I have a '62 Reissue Fender Jazz and I love this thing. I love the pickups that are in it and the sound of them but I have one dilemma.
    These damned raised pole pieces are a pain in my ass! lol
    I can't dig in on this thing at all without the string at some point contacting the pickup poles. And we all know how good that sounds.. :eek: I've tried lowering them, but if I go any lower than they are now I'm going to lose all my output and tone..

    Anyway I'm looking for a suggestion for an aftermarket pickup with similar tonal qualities to the pickups that are in this bass. Obviously without the raised poles.
    My fear is that I'm going to somehow change the character of the tone for the worse.
    Any input or suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Just shim the pickup case so that the pole pieces are flush or countersunk. If you want to get really fancy, grab another pickup case set and cut the tops off to use as perfect fit shims.
  3. Type-55


    Jul 20, 2000
    I have the same pups (I Think) Fender calls them Original Jazz bass pups.
    The magnets are beveled. No sharp edges.
  4. John D

    John D Guest

    Dec 27, 2009
    I've got this same issue with a MIM Jazz. The A & D pole pieces are up higher than the E & G. I searched TB so see if they are adjustable, but I can't fine a clear answer. Some posts say they are, but some say they aren't. Has anyone tried adjusting them on 2005 MIM Standard Jazz?

    Edit: The E string is already weaker than the A. So, if I lower the whole pickup, the E is too weak.
  5. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You can get covers with no holes. It wont after the tone of the pickup, and you can rise them up even until the strings hit the covers without that thwack with you get when they hit the magnets.

    If the pickups are made like regular Jazz pickups, then you can't really lower the magnets, because the wire is wound right on the magnets. So you run the risk of breaking the coil if you try and push on them. On some of the MiM pickups, they use plastic bobbins. With those you can push the magnets or steel poles down. However, if they are steel poles, there is a magnet glued to the bottom which may come lose.
  6. John D

    John D Guest

    Dec 27, 2009
    Thanks, SGD
  7. Refonbass


    Jan 29, 2006
    Windsor Ontario
    Thanks for the responses. Thinking of trying some Fralins. Seem to get quite positive reviews.
  8. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    The A & D are raised to match the radius on the neck. 62 RI has a 7.25 which is the has the more curvature than modern necks. Fender AM Stds are 9.5 and some basses are even flatter.

    If the strings are hitting the pickups then the pickups are too high.

    Using the Fender guidelines of 8/64 on bass side and 6/64 on the treble side is a good place to start and you can adjust from there

    FenderĀ® Support

    You should be able to lower the pickup to a point where this is not an issue without sacrificing tone or output. Best to adjust in a quiet setting where you can compare while you're making adjustments. These are vintage style pickups so not super high output. If you find that you need to have them up really close to the strings to get the tone and output you want, might want to consider pickups with higher output like a SD Quarter Pounder.
  9. You could always try the old "put clear fingernail polish on top of the poles" trick. It will not eliminate you problem completely, but it will greatly reduce the click-ity clacks.
  10. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    Boutique J pickups are very nice (Fralin, Nordy, Lollar, etc.) but if you're already happy with your tone, take the above advice and pocket the $140 difference.
  11. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Duncan Antiquity pickups would work. They sound great too.
  12. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I have the same bass, though a Fullerton era one. I replaced the stock pickups with Lollars and they are awesome but also have the raised A and D to match the radius. I have Fralins in a Mike Lull that also have raised poles.

    Again, if you like the sound of the stock pickups you should be able to adjust height without hitting the pole pieces while getting a good sound. I don't have an scientific data to support this but my experience has been that you can lower them quite a bit before there is a significant difference in output. You may have to adjust input gain on amp a bit to compensate.
  13. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    Tell me if this is a stupid suggestion, but I always used to put black duct tape over my pickups back in the day. The strings still make contact but without the accidental-Fieldy sound.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    here's the issue, i think;

    with proper playing technique, there should be a zone between "too close, hitting strings" and "too far, weak tone". polepieces or no, you shouldn't be bouncing the strings off the pickups.

    try dropping them until they don't clack, then re-adjusting the pre-gain on your rig. a little compression or even preamp grit is your friend here.
  15. barrybass33

    barrybass33 Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    westchester new york.
    Try solid covers. Like emg uses...

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