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Anyone here use factory settings for a Fender Jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FishDub, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. FishDub

    FishDub Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    I am curious about this...particularly with pickup setting, or height. Whenever I have a jazz set up at my local tech he sets it up with Fender factory settings. It seems like the neck pickup comes set up lower than the bridge pickup. So does anyone here swear by or trust that set up, or do you automatically bypass that and customize?
  2. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    That is the right way to set up the pickup height if you want even output from both pickups. The bridge pickup should be higher. As for the action, I take the factory settings as a suggestion, because I like it much lower and can get it there.
    I personally set my pickup height on the 2 Jazz basses I have, and I set them so the output is even. It always ends up with the neck pickup lower than the bridge pickup. At least with stock Fender pickups. You can get an overwound bridge pickup that won't need to be set higher, but that's not the way they come stock from Fender.
  3. FishDub

    FishDub Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Interesting...yeah many complain about their jazzes lack of volume(compared to their P-that's another topic in itself) so maybe they are trusting the Fender set up and not tweaking based on what is heard...I could be wrong..
  4. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    The Jazz has a quieter output in general compared to a Precision (I'm talking about the standard passive versions). The Precision also has a very meaty sound with plenty of mid-range compared to the Jazz. Before I learned about how a Jazz is normally setup, I always had a problem with the bridge pickup being quieter than the neck pickup. I often switch between the two in the middle of a song. Once I learned that the bridge pickup should be set higher to even out the volume, I didn't have any more issues.
    Spidey2112 and FishDub like this.
  5. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    Just for reference, SD Apollo pickup sets have a slightly hotter bridge pickup, possibly for this situation.
  6. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Not possibly. Definitely. The Apollo pickups are also split coil, which makes the outputs different anyway. They sound close to Jazz pickups, but have a P-Bass quality to them as well.
    McFarlin and FishDub like this.
  7. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    I have a set that I can’t frickin’ wait to use...in a parts pile waiting for a Warmoth build...
  8. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I do, too! They're going in a Fender Jazz I put together. The body half is 60's Classic Series, and the neck is a Vintera. I bought some Gotoh Re-O-Lite GB640 tuners for it as well, because they aren't reverse tuners. I should have everything today and hopefully a fully functioning Jazz Bass by tonight.
  9. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    My basses are set-up according to the link below, and this seems good enough for me. Both the bridge and neck pickups are the same distance from the strings. The bass side is lower than the treble side.

    How do I set up my bass guitar properly?
    Polish Thunder and FishDub like this.
  10. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    That's really funny what they have about the Jazz pickups, because they never come from the factory adjusted to the same height. The bridge is always slightly higher.
    FishDub likes this.
  11. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I always set up the bass with the bridge pickup as close as I can without warbling (stratitis), or danger of hitting the pole pieces with the strings. Then the neck pickup is set up for relatively equal output, which means lower (further from the strings)

    A hotter bridge pickup sounds like a good idea,.....until you realize it's usually done by adding winds, which raises the impedance of the bridge pickup. So what? Glad you asked. When you use both pickups, the lower impedance neck pickup "wins" - it ends up hotter in the combined mix of pickups. You may like that sound, but if you're after the "mid scooped" sound that a Jazz is famous for, that's best done with equally wound pickups - differently wound pickups don't "scoop" as much.
  12. Fender uses very good suggestions, but you should use yours ears too, imho.

    This is how I do it on all basses:

    - only turn on bridge pickup (since we'll set it first)

    - lower neck pickup some unless it's already pretty close to strings (just to make sure it's magnetic pull isn't causing overtone issues in strings - it's a real thing)

    - play through amp. Raise bridge pickup to it's recommended height, but it also depends on the type of pickup, amount of winding, type of magnets.... so imho raise it to roughly that height but adjust closer if it's still not quite intense enough for your taste in tone (closer is more intense sounding, for lack of more scientific word).... further a bit from strings for a little less intensity to teh tone.

    - Now, turn on the neck pickup only, check it's volume compared to bridge pickup (one at a time, back and forth if needed). raise neck pickup to match volume level of bridge pickup output (imho). You can use fender recommendations, they do work pretty darn well, but again since not all pickups are created equal, your ears work best.

    Now turn on both pickups, make sure you like the sound that way too (should have a nice mid scoop and not be hearing too much of either pickup in the mix.... only way this wouldn't work out well if you followed above guidelines is if the pickups are radically different, electrically, in the circuit..... or if the phase is wrong on one of the pickups)

    Anyhow, cheers - Fender guideines get you most of the way there without any of that messing around.
    hintz and FishDub like this.
  13. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    I like action higher than factory specs, but each bass is different.
    johnnynitro and FishDub like this.
  14. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggbassplayer.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    If I remember right, pick up height is measured by holding down the string at the last fret and measuring bottom of string to surface of pick up, leaving a little more space for the lower strings, which have a wider excursion (they vibrate in a wider arc than the thinner strings). Using that method, then the bridge pickup will end up being higher than the neck pickup, because as you can see by simply looking at it, when you press the string at the last fret, the string gets very low and close to the neck pick up, whereas there is almost no change in height of string at the bridge pick up- the bridge holds the height steady, but the string height from open string to fretting high on the neck is pretty drastic from the neck pick up POV.
  15. RattleSnack

    RattleSnack Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    Fender recomendations are actualy pretty good. I.e. my AVRI Jazz has quite a neck radius (7.25") and pickups are flat. When I raise pickups closer to strings, I get pretty uneven response, with E and G strings much louder than A and D. Fender has solution, lower pickup height for vintage bass, and it works. You loose a little of output, but everything sounds much more equal.
    I always start with their specs, than fine-tune.
    Samatza, johnnynitro and FishDub like this.
  16. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I tend to play Js mostly in equal blend mode, and the balance of the time in neck only.
    If the pickups have the same output, I adjust them individually to my liking, then check them in blend mode. Once they are pretty much set, the final, small tweak--the bass side of the neck pickup gets slightly dropped and the bass side of the bridge pickup gets raised a tiny bit. I find this gives a touch more punch to the E & A.
    FishDub likes this.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    while my Js are not actual fenders, i tend to adjust the pickups by playing (ear) for a "custom" approach. i've been doing it for so long it only takes me a few minutes/trials to get the instrument cooking. it's also the case that i may not be that picky. but in general: i believe that each ax is unique (just like the player) and that fender's "suggestions" are aimed to get us in the ballpark. i don't think they guarantee anyone a 'homerun'.
  18. bassstrangler


    Mar 2, 2015
    I take two nickels and stack them underneath the string. I adjust until the pickup is high enough or low enough so the two nickels barely touch the strings.

    I read about this method somewhere on here in the past and it seems to work for me just fine. For less slippage on the nickels, you can super glue the nickels together.

    Edit: I put a capo on at the last fret when doing this.
  19. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009


  20. DAmn... wish we could edit after a few minutes are up. "unless it's already pretty FAR from the string" is what I mean. meh.
    Guzzi Toad likes this.

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