Are Fender Noiseless Pickups Under-Rated?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by faulknersj, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    I think they are!

    A lot of boutique pickups get a lot of play here on TB...Nordstrand, Fralin, Seymour Duncan, Delano, EMG, Reed James, Bartolini, etc... and I am sure that these are all great pickups and offer different flavors well suited to different tastes.

    My aim is not to knock these pickups at all, but rather to give a shout out to pickups that imho are underestimated, under discussed, and deliver incredible tone.

    Fender Noiseless Pups sound quite growly for split coils imo, and as a guy who plays with both split and single coil pups, I think these come about as close to sounding like single coils as I have heard. They are completely silent (unlike the new N3's) and have a really wide and even frequency response in the highs mids and lows. I have one in the bridge of a PJ bass right now and it just KILLS! I had a Norstrand single coil, and a Fender CS 60 Single coil in there before and for a PJ set up....the Noiseless pup was BY FAR the winner. I also have Noiseless pup (stock in a Custom Classic) in my Fender Custom Classic CS Jazz...and other bass players that come sit in and play my bass gush over the tone.

    Anyway....does anyone else think these pickups are as good as i do?
    FretlessFatty likes this.
  2. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Anyone have an opinion on these?
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I had an MIM Deluxe Jazz with them. They sounded fine, but the output was far less than any of my other basses. I don't know if it is the pickups that were that weak or the preamp in that bass.
  4. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Did you replace them?
  5. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    I've read some good reviews here on the Fender Super 55s.
  6. ncapone


    Nov 17, 2010
    I use Super 55s and they sound just the same as my Custom Shops, but hotter.
  7. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    What are the super 55's?
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
  9. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    My MIM jazz V had some flavor of Fender "noiseless" pickups. And they really were noiseless too! Excellent in the low noise department. But aweful in the tone department. I hated those things. Yech! Definitely NOT underrated!

    I listened to a bunch of boutiques and it was pretty clear that Nordies were what I really wanted to hear. But $$$. Then someone on TB was saying that Fender SCN pups were virtually as good as nordies at a fraction the cost. So I gave it a try.

    That bass just came alive in my hands! Positively LOVE it. Of course Fender seems to have this policy that if they sell something and it's too cool, it MUST be discontinued and SCN pups were no exception. I think I managed to buy just about the last pair still for sale on the planet. I can only hope they never go bad!
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    No, I picked up the bass from a pawn shop for $120 because the guy broke the nut at the G string when he was hanging it on the wall. I bought the bass for the soup purpose of flipping it.
  11. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    I used the "Noiseless" pickups years ago when they first came out. I remember them sounding decent at home but seemed to be so-so in a mix. They didn't sound anything like single coil J pickups either. I definitely liked the SCN or Suhr versions better but they weren't what I was looking for either.

    All of that doesn't make them bad pickups but they weren't my cup of tea.
  12. I actually like the tone of the noiseless ( 1st gen) in my MIM Jazz De Luxe. These do seem to need an active pre to give decent output but are extremely quiet.

    I have the SCNs (2nd gen-Bill Lawrence designed) in a fretless jazz. (Passive ) and love them.

    Haven 't checked out the N3 s at all, so no opinion.
  13. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Inactive

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    I really liked the SCN's, hated the Suhr designed pup. I was told that the MIM noiseless were actually different than the versions used on the US basses. I was also told that the version used for the Custom Classics were different than the US versions and were made specific for the CC's.
  14. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    The Noiseless pups on My Fender Custom Classic just kill. I tried a pair I'd Nordy Single Coils and some Fender single coils, and the Noiseless pups just went right back on.
  15. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Inactive

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    Yep, I've played several Custom Classics with the Noiseless and they all sounded great.
  16. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Inland Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    OK, you lost me when you distinguished between "Noiseless" and N3 pickups. Isn't that what the N3s are?

    You also mentioned that the noiseless pickups are split-coil. Fender also makes a split-coil J pickup (as was mentioned earlier) called the Super 55. I have three of those in my bass. (Check out my avatar.) I love them! Crystal clear and utterly without noise.

    So in one sense, I agree with you that Fender noiseless pickups are great. In another sense, I don't know what you're talking about.
  17. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    I think there pretty anemic(at least the one that came on the jazz deluxe)...the only split single 8 heard from fender worth a **** came on the victor bailey fretted koa top 22 fret jazz. Those things killed with a tad of mid boost...
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    all fender noiseless versions except the old suhrs with the big single polepieces and the new "super 55" are stacks, not split-coils.

    for my money most of them are rated about right :meh: though i haven't heard the super 55s yet.
  19. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    They are not split coils, they're stacked.

    I have tried them in a couple different basses and was never really that happy with them. I found them to have very low output and rather muffled.
    I have been very happy with Area J's (split coil) and have them in both of my Jazzes.
    PawleeP likes this.
  20. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny...

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I couldn't find a better pickup than the SCN for my 03 US Dlx. I tried, believe me, those pickups were great!