1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

best bass pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Jonas., Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Jonas.


    Jun 2, 2005
    i'm planning to buy a fender MIM jazz and make some alterations almost straight away.

    first off i plan on putting in a J-retro in, and secondly i plan on putting in the best slap sounding pickups i can in.

    i just have a number of questions i need to ask first

    1) will a J-retro suit my slap style
    2) i know slap prefers active pickups, but i'll have to get passive pickups to wire to the J-retro, which then makes them active. is this right?
    3) what are the best pickups i can buy to compliment the J-retro
    4) are there any other alternativese to getting a J-retro etc bearing in mind i AM getting the fender MIM jazz.

    thank you :smug:
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Best is subjective. You will get a lot of different answers in the Pickups forum, which is where I am moving this.
  3. I wonder what that Pickups forum is for . . .

    [edit] beat me to it [/edit]
  4. Jonas.


    Jun 2, 2005
    sorry :(
  5. iplay4-5

    iplay4-5 Guest

    Feb 4, 2004
    rockford, IL
    well w/ the j retro pre- you'll be best off using the stock pickups in it that's what the pre-amp was designed for, you can get a great slap tone from messing w/ the pre-amp and or amp, but if you want just a straight slap tone w/ that pre-amp i'd have to say emg or basslines, maybe even the noiseless fender pups, they're tons and tons of "good slap tone pickups just mess around and get one that fits best, IMO i'd say a basslines active j and basslines preamp they sound very scooped for that, and as for passve pups becomeing active thru a pre-amp that's not true your pups are still passive but you just have the ablity to change the tone of them w/ the pre and the onboard pre amp may color your bass in diff ways. active v.s. passive is such a wide area to cover sence everyone what's "that true tone", they are looking for you'll just have to mess around and see what is best i still am and i'm pretty good w/ bart's and emg is not bad at all peace from thee mexican
  6. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    AFTER you get the thing and play it for a while, then decide whether or not you like it the way it is. If you don't like it as purchased (try some different strings first), then come on here and tell us why you don't like it what you want it to sound like.

    How do you know you want a J Retro? Maybe an Aguilar will work as well and for a lot less money. This is almost like calling your doctor and telling him you think you're going to be sick without knowing the symptoms yet and telling him what medication you think you need. Get your bass, play it some and then decide.

    Please don't misunderstand; I'm not trying to be insulting, here. Too often, and I've been guilty of this, it's easy to get into the idea that we NEED some technology just because others are using it and it looks like a cool idea. There's a reason that a number of folks on this forum are going back to simpler equipment. Sometimes that's what works best.
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.
  7. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Also, there are ne "best bass pickups"

    I also recommend that you check out the Pickup FAQ

    There is a huge J-pickup shootout with just about every info you need. Also the J-retro has been discussed here a gazillon times.
    Do a search for it.
  8. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I am a huge fan of the pickups made by Carey Nordstrand.

  9. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I'll preface this by stating that I am a fan of passive Jazz basses, personally:

    Check out Dimarzio jazz pickups. They are VERY hot pickups and you may very well find (as I did) that you don;t need active electronics in order to get a sweet slap sound. My J-bass is equipped with Dimarzios and it has a sweet slap tone.
  10. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    The j retro is very flexible and you can get a good phat slap sound and many other sounds.

    for slap you would probably want a slightly scooped sound anyway i 'm guessing??? so i would go for noise cancelling jazz bass pickups. it will help prevent you bass from being too noisy with that preamp and you can always add mids on the preamp...

    i think dimarzio ultrajazz because they are not too expensive and get many good reviews or as someone else suggested nordstrands...
  11. steels01


    May 1, 2009
    I retro-fitted 2 of my basses (Warwick Corvette FNA Jazzman, Warwick Corvette STD) with Bartolini pickups and the Jazzman also got the Bartolini pre-amp and EQ. I would highly recommend them. Both replaced MEC equipment and the difference was AMAZING. I bought them because after reading Bass Player for over a decade I noticed they always rated them as the best, and I now know why. The Corvette STD got the pickups you would need, passive J-bass (works with active EQ)-you want the bright ones (59CBJD L3/S3) or possibly the mixed bright neck/deep bridge set if you want to keep your dubs low and your slaps high (L1/S3-I think). I payed $129.
    Hope this helps-
    happy thumping!
  12. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Which DiMarzio jazz pickups are you using? They make 3 varieties. Ultra, Model and Area. I use Models in my jazz bass and I definitely wouldn't call them VERY hot, in fact I wouldn't even call them hot. Pretty average output really. The MFD pickups in G&L basses is what I use as the benchmark for truly hot pickups.

    I'm a DiMarzio fan, so in keeping with that brand I'd have to say:

    For a slapper that wants a scooped Marcus type slap tone I'd think the Ultras would work best.

    If you want more midrange meat in a sort of BSSM era Flea type tone, it would be hard to beat Models.

    If you're looking for a vintage, Larry Graham type slap tone I'd check out the Areas.

    Outside of DiMarzio, I've found Seymour Duncan 1/4 Pounders to have a fairly pronounced scoop that would lend itself pretty well to slapping.

    EDIT: Just noticed how old of a thread this is... ugh...
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I wouldn't want a very hot pickup for slapping, because the attack might cause clipping which will sound bad.

    Barts are a great choice, the 9J1 set would be what I would use. They are noisless which is a big plus when using a preamp, and they are slightly mid scooped which is good for a slap tone.
  14. cv115505


    Sep 14, 2012
    MJC Ironworks
    I think a better choice may be to go with a preamp pedal like Aguilar, Sadowsky, EBS, etc etc etc. That way you can use it for all of your basses. As far as pickups go, it really is a toss up... Bill Lawrence, Lindy Fralin, Lollar, Hanson, Bartolini, EMG, Fender, Nordstrand,etc etc etc... they ALL make great sounding pickups
  15. Ax_Lebron_Bros


    Mar 17, 2014
    Good day, I have a Peavey Millennium Bass 4 Quilt Top BXP Electric Bass. I want to change my pick ups and bridge any reccomendations. The genre's I play are R&B,Soul, Funk.....

    Thank you
  16. madmarvin

    madmarvin Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    Ontario, NY
  17. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    You can get great slap tones from a passive pickups in a Jazz style bass.

    Single coils sound good, but I prefer good hum-cancelling J pickups to reduce noise.

    Dimarzio Area J are more vintage, Dimarzio Ultra J are more scooped/hi-fi.

    Seymour Duncan Hot Stack Js aren't bad either, if you get a good price.

    500k volume pots, a Fender TBX tone, and newer strings will give you plenty of snap if you want it.

    Running both pickups on full will give you a degree of natural mid scoop, and your technique & amp can add more versatility.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  18. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    I've heard that those are nice pickups.
  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Another thought, beyond pickups: If you are committed to an MIM J bass, play before you buy - don't just order one from MF. These are mass produced products and you will find variations from bass to bass. Go to GC, find one that you like and THEN buy it.
  20. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    One other option to consider is the noise cancelling Fender Super 55 pickups.

    There have been some very good reports here from people using them in their Jazz Bass.

Share This Page