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74 Jazz-really weak neck pup

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by poorbassist15, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. I just got in a 74 Jazz at my music store. I adore the neck and the bridge pup has a lot of bite, so I've already set aside some money to buy it. I noticed, however, that the neck pup was very very weak. I initially thought it was an open circuit but I stuck a multimeter on it and it read 3.8-4k. I looked at the wiring and thought it maybe be grounding out on the ground strip, but alas, that wasn't it either. I'm stumped on this thing. I really want to buy it but I want to fix the neck pickup before I drop serious money on it. Any suggestions?
  2. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    If you adore the neck and the price is good, get it. There is a ton of options for pickups, and they all take a back seat to the feel of the instrument.
  3. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Vintage P/Us die, nothing you can do about it, but it's not anything to pass on an otherwise great bass because of IMO. Lindy Fralin charges about $75 (shipping included) to rewind the P/U with period correct enamel wire to what ever resistance you'd like. It usually takes a few weeks or less. He's done a few now for me and they sound perfect, so I highly recommend him. I would definitely negotiate on the price of the bass because of that though.
  4. neckdive

    neckdive Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I agree with these guys. You can get early 70s pickups on eBay for under $100 if you need authenticity or get a new boutique set for about $150. Try to use it to your advantage to knock $100 off of the price. I guarantee they know about it the pickup and offered the seller less because of it.

    If you like it that much don't let it get away for such a small fixable issue.
  5. I put $150 down on it before I left today. What is the consensus for good sounding pickups? I don't want anything too ultra modern sounding, I think the organic deadness is why I like my old Fenders.
  6. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    did you test the pots? and check thier values too.

    has it got a shielding job? I've seen a few axes with magnets shorting to earth. this is normally a good thing, but a lot of fender pickups have inner windings short to the mags. if this is the case, you can usually reverse its wires, but you'll have to reverse the wires on the bridge pickup too and if they aren't a rwrp pair (I've got a feeling that fender didn't officially go rwrp til the 80's), there's a good chance the other has the same problem.

    if you do get a new single coil neck pup, make sure its magnetic polarity is opposite to the bridge pickup. even if this axe didn't have a hum canceling pair originally, there's no reason to keep it this way.

    oh, and put the original pickup somewhere safe...
  7. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Keep the value of the that vintage bass as high as possible and rewind it. It'll sound right. Even though P/Us are relatively cheap, replacement P/Us will hurt the value of the overall bass more than just the value of the P/Us. And if you ever sell it down the road, the pool of potential buyers will be halved right off the bat when they see the P/Us are replaced.
  8. I would consider a rewind if I knew someone good who could do it.
  9. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
  10. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    With respect to the previous few posters, if it is not short, it doesn't need a rewind.

    If you've tested the other parts of the circuit (pots, wiring, solder joints, jack etc etc) and it is still weak, there's a chance the magnets have lost their gauss. There are a few pickup makers who will be able to carefully re-gauss the magnets. Here in Australia there are only one or two who have the equipment, so in your part of the world, you may need to phone around.
  11. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I have heard that re-magnetizing Pups can do wonders. Could be as simple as that.
  12. I'll be trying all of this when I get a chance to look at it.