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Anything better than ultrajazz 5 for the $

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Eilif, Sep 6, 2005.


  1. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Sorry, this is my third thread today, I have alot of questions.

    I am upgrading a 5 string SX jazz on a very restricted budget, and it just dawned on me that I can get a set of ultrajazz 5 for the price of a set of carvin jazz pickups,(my previous option).
    My question is this, is there anything better than ultra jazz for the same money, or something almost as good for less?

    Note: spacing doesn't matter because when I change the bridge, I will change it based on the pickup spacing, also length doesn't matter, because while I want to stick with jazz pups, I don't mind lengthening the route a bit.
     
  2. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I can only fall back on the advice of Bass Player magazine that rated them top of the list in a passive jazz bass pickup shootout. I figured they've heard a heck of a lot more J-style aftermarket pickups than I have. That is why I put a set into my new SX Jazz bass 5-string. I am really, really happy with the tone. By the way, you will find that the pole pieces line up WAY better (with the stock bridge) and the UltraJazz pickups. Not that it made a difference sound-wise, but it is more aesthetically (sp?) pleasing when they do.

    Also, you will NOT have to extend either pickup cavity. The UJ's will drop straight in. You WILL have to take a round-file or a dremel tool to the pickguard (the neck position cutout - I think) once the new UJ's are in there. The pickguard cavity is about 2-3 millimeters too tight with the new UltraJazz pickups in place. At least it was for me - I am pretty sure I got them in at dead center of the orginal pickup cavities. One last thing - you will have to drill/screw new holes in the empty cavities when putting in the new UJ's because the ears on the UJ's do not put the screws anywhere close to where the stock pickup's screw holes were located down inside the cavities (both neck and bridge pickups). One final tip from someone who forgot to do it: Make sure you measure the space from the top of the stock pickups to the bottom of the strings you currently have on so that you'll know when you're in the ballpark when setting the proper height on the new pickups.
     
  3. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Stingray69
    Thanks for the addtional info. Above and beyond the call, and definately good stuff to know. I just wanted to double check, you are saying that the pole pieces will line up with the strings right? That is better than I expected.
    Much appreciated.

    Now in the grand tradition of talkbass, does anyone want to disagree with stingray69? :p
     
  4. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Let me restate: The pole pieces do not line up perfectly, but better than I remember the stock pickups lining up. The strings most out of line for me are the B & E strings. The a & d strings are good, the g is a little off. It's been my experiene that a slight drift in pole piece alignment is negligible in terms of string balance. I've read many Essex review on the MEGATHREAD that support my experiences as well. I consider it a non-issue. I've not noticed any hint of un-even string volume/balance with the stock pickups OR the DiMarzio replacements. But a wider bridge would help a little, especially one with adjustable string spacing, which is next on my list - although I'm in no rush to do it other than aesthetic (sp?) value.
     
  5. aesthetic, aesthetically - you are correct
     
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    have you considered bartolini pickups? They do split coil J humbuckers in the same price range. With Ultra Jazz pickups, I've always had a great sound at home but difficulty cutting through live.
     
  7. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    I looked ath the barts, and I just checked with my hookup at GC, and they don't order barts anymore for some reason. They do order SD and Dimarzio though.

    Would it be worth getting the barts if I didn't get a preamp to go with it?
     
  8. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    I've used the UJs and the Bart Classic Stack set in the same bass and the Barts were more to my liking. My Bart set was the original version, not the enhanced versions sold now. I have the deep set in my Read Model J and I wouldn't swap them for anything. Really stout pickups.