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95 Jazz bass...questions about preamps

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by micgtr71, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. micgtr71


    Dec 4, 2012
    I have been playing bass for many years and have owned both passive and active basses. For the last ten years I have been playing the same jazz bass and have not played anything else other than trying something at a music store.

    I want to put some more oomph into my bass. I have never played a jazz with active electronics...well, maybe emgs back in the day. Currently, the pickups in the jazz are stock as are the electronics.

    My questions concern the addition of the preamp.

    Is it worth adding a preamp to the existing pickups, or should they be upgraded as well?

    Does it matter if the pickups are humbucking or single coil?

    I have pretty much decided that I want to make the preamp an onboard one. Not sure what company to go with yet, but I want to sort out the questions concerning the original pickups.

    Thank you for your help.
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    A quality onboard preamp should be nearly transparent. This means that the basic tone of the instrument should come from the pickups, and the preamp should simply add buffering (for clarity) and tone shaping ability. So if you like the basic tone you're getting now, then you don't need to change pickups; just add a good quality preamp. But if you want a different tone altogether, then the pickup swap is your first order of business, and the preamp should come later.

    IMHO, of course. :)
  3. micgtr71


    Dec 4, 2012
    Ok, that helps a lot. I do like the tone of my bass so I guess I could leave the pickups in.

    I will begin the search for a quality pre.
    Thank you for your insight.
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    there are better pickups you could get (the american standard pickups were OK, but not great), but if the stock ones sound right to you, then an onboard pre would indeed keep what you have but also give you "more".

    the EMG BTC control and the aguilar units are both compact, transparent, and can just replace the tone knob with a stacked bass and treble control.
  5. xabicho

    xabicho Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Long Beach, California
    Roger Guitars
    It was an article on the bass player magazine few months ago from a famous cat that buy Mexican and Japanese basses and modified then. First thing he change the bridge to add resonance…he mention the hipshot, but there others like the badass, babicz, gotoh, even a fodera they show on the bay once in a while, second the preamp he mention the Jretro, on my experience the Audere is good too. Then the Pick Ups he mention Bartolinis, Seymor Duncan, I tried DiMarzio on a J great sound, then tuning machines again hipshot, schaller, last the nut for a brass one, you can make a terrific J bass…I love the Mike Pope on the Fodera's 4!string like the NYC Empire or the YYS's but I think would need a major modification on the back of the body to fit on the J Bass…good luck on your search for that unique tone…
  6. micgtr71


    Dec 4, 2012
    Thank you all. I really have not tried other pickups. Every jazz bass I have played has had stock pickups...as far as I could tell. The best sounding one was a 64 reissue from the mid 90s. Not sure what pickups it had. I will have to figure out a way to try others.

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