Barts in my '08' MIA Jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by vinxbass, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. I've had my '08' MIA Jazz now for a month now and have decided, after giving it some careful thought, to install Original Series Bartolini 57J1's in place of the American Standard pups that came with the bass, and here's why -

    I am a guy who usually leaves his sticks alone - no upgrades and don't get me wrong, the bass sounds great, but I'm not too keen about the bridge pup at all. Compared to the Bart bridge pup in the Squier, the bridge pup in the MIA Jazz is very anemic - it doesn't have the output that I've come to expect. The 57J1's have the deepest tone of the Original Series Barts, but at the same time will preserve the Jazz tone that I so much like. Here's what Bartolini says about them - They have bright Neck tone and deep Bridge tone. These pickups are wound to yield much more "growl" from the Bridge pickup. Tonally, these have stronger lows and low mids than the typical "vintage" tone. I guess I could have just put a bridge pup in, but decided to go for both, instead.

    I will admit I'm a little nervous about doing this, it's the first time I've ever really done any type of upgrade to a bass of this kind. My buddy's got a '97' MIA Jazz that he installed the 4 string version of the Barts in and it sounds pretty awesome, so I said, "Why not." If they don't work out I'll just put the stock pups back in and evil bay or Craigslist the Barts. Anyway, a tone report will definitely be coming up.;)
  2. Well, my Bartolini experience has turned out to be not a good one. First, I've got to say that anytime you do something to your stick, go with your first gut reaction. My first gut reaction when I replaced the pups in my '08' MIA Jazz V with Bartolini 57J1 pups was I didn't like it, but I stuck with the Barts because I didn't want to be wrong - I wasn't honest with myself.

    With the Barts I lost alot of the low deep end that you get from the neck pup. The 57J1's are more midrange growl, it's not a bad tone, it's just different - it's not the tone for me. I still like the Bart bridge pup over the AS bridge pup, but when I swapped out the AS bridge pup for the Bart bridge pup, it caused both the AS neck pup and the Bart bridge pup to phase cancel when both volumes were full up. When the volume for the bridge pup was up and the volume for the neck pup was down the bridge pup sounded great, and visa-versa, but together I lost nearly a quarter of the output when both pups were full up. I got tired of the hassle and said to hell with, just go back to the American Standards and leave well enough alone - now I'm happy. I've got that deep low end back and I really need that for slapping. With the Barts, when I slapped I lost all my low end; not acceptable.

    The new American Standard Jazz Bass V got a Editor's Pick Award by Bass Player Mag. for a reason. It's best to leave history alone and let the experiments be up to someone else, not me.
  3. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    Thanks for the report, vinx. Sorry it didn't work out.

    Have you considered other brands of replacement pickups? Lots of good things said about Fralins, Nordies, etc...
  4. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    ... or DimArzio UltraJazz 5s... note: I have no firsthand experience with these (only with the 4s, which I love), but am hoping someone else will report in on how they work with an AS 08 :)
  5. Sure no prob, no I haven't. Really, it's the bridge pup I don't care for, it still sounds twangy. The neck pup I like and together they do sound good, but I was thinking if I could get a decent bridge pup in there this puppy would just sing.

    Now I'm a little leary of even wanting to mess with it, but hopefully as time goes on we'll start seeing somebody start swapping out the AS pups for more custom pup options.
  6. These phrases are huge red flags to me that you probably wired the Barts out of phase with each other. I bet if you put them back in and switch the red/black on one of them, you'll find the tone you wanted.
  7. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    +1, you wired the pickup backwards, causing the out of phase sound when both pickups are on. Switch the wires on one of them (not both, obviously) and your problem should be solved. It's really not fair to blame the pickup for "installer error." :)

    Edit: Just to clarify, it's not necessarily that you followed directions wrong, it's just that JJ pickups come in a set. Probably the AS and Barts sets have opposite polarity from each other, which is why the problem occurred when you mixed one pickup from each set.
  8. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    You may want to go with Bartolini 9J1's. They are very even sounding, and like they say in the description - 'like a P bass pickup in a J housing'.

    They are my favorite J bass pickup.
  9. 76Dub

    76Dub Guest

    Jul 9, 2008
    I told you bro. At least you gave it a shot. love the pickups in these bad boys but I usually favor the neck pickup due to my reggae obsession so I can't comment on the thin bridge sound. I really do think these basses are on par w/ the more boutique jazzes. Best lookin bass out there though...besides my sadowsky pj hybrid;)
  10. deepdown

    deepdown Guest

    Aug 9, 2008
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