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Best replacement for 70's Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bass.player, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. bass.player


    May 30, 2006
    Hi, I want to replace the pickups in my '75 American vintage Jazz bass. The stock pickups sound a bit 'muddy' and not well defined. A bit dissapointing for a 1800 euro bass but none the less.

    What would be the best replacement pickups that stay true to the 70's sound?
  2. 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.
    Dimarzios all day long. Model J or Ultra, depending upon your tonal preference.
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    I would try lowering the pickups ever so slightly. It makes a noticeable difference. If that doesn't get you where you want to go, then investigate pickups (I recommend Sadowsky or Lindy Fralin).
  4. been there done that in the same model bass. ive gone through almost every pickup in my 75 reissue to try and get it to sound like my 78. nothing out there does it. thats a fact. the closest would be a set of antiquity 2s but even that isnt spot on.

    so, i bought a set of 1980 pickups off ebay and installed them. now its a sonic match frequency response wise to my 78. those pickups are now at carey nordstrands where he is going to try and wind a set that replicates those old fenders. we'll see how it turns out:bassist:
  5. mhduffl


    Nov 27, 2008
    Hong Kong

    I trust Lindy fralin single coil. It works very fine in my Atelier z 70's style bass.

    Good luck,
  6. bass.player


    May 30, 2006
    I like what you say when you tested the antquities being the closest to the original. Are they a big improvement to the original pickups? Don't they sound to thin in the low-mids? How is the slap tone?

    I thought about Fralin as wel but I cannot find a (web)shop in europe that sells them although the Antiquities are readily available.
  7. if youre interested in what a 70s jazz really sounds like dont bother with the stock fralins or even the antiquity 1's. the antiquity 2's are the closest but still not a sonic match. im hoping these custom nordstrands i have coming will do the trick. he's got that set of old fender pickups to work off of so he should be able to do it.
  8. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    +1 The Antiquity II's sound really good in my Marcus Miller which is a RI of a 1977 Jazz Bass. Very crisp sounding, even with the preamp disengaged.

    Narud, I would like to hear a review of those custom Nordstrands after you've had a chance to really use them.
  9. bass.player


    May 30, 2006
    Ok, I'm going to take my chance and order a set of Antiquity II's.
    For me, it does not have to be an exàct sonic match but closest is good enough for me. The principal is that they sound good, well defined and better than the stock pickups. :bassist:
    (I wonder if the stock pickups are a close sonic match with real 70's?
  10. theyre not. i mentioned that earlier

  11. if they turn out the way i hope, theyll probably be a bad match for a jretro. the retro is so juiced that it can take a relatively dark set of pickups and make them sound full range. the combination would probably sound pretty thin.
  12. troyus


    Apr 9, 2008
    San Diego, CA.
    Aren't these 30+ year old pickups are going to sound different now then they did 30+ years ago due to magnet decay?
  13. bass.player


    May 30, 2006
    My remark about the stock pups was ment ironically :) to say either way if the Antiquity II's are close they would probably be closer than the original 75ri pickups.
  14. 76JazzRay


    Mar 30, 2009
    I just put the split coil Fralins into my 76 Jazz and it sounds great! :hyper:

    Lots of clarity, balanced bottom, and that Jazz growl is right below the surface. Dig into it a bit and out it comes.

    I had ~1980 Dimarzios which were very hot and heavy but lacked some top end. To be fair, I also changed the cap back to .047 which is close to the .05 value which was used starting in the 60's. That opened up a bit of top end and starts to roll off around 4K if my math is correct.

    Best of luck. :D
  15. bass.player


    May 30, 2006
    Update: my Antiquity II's arrived on monday but unfortuntely I dont like them so much in my USA '75ri. It was lacking highs(!), sounds a bit boomy and has little definition. For the time being I have put them in my Geddy Lee Jazz where I believe they match better.
    I've ordered a pair Dimarzio Ultra Jazz pickups to try next. Maybe not true to the '70s sound but I prefer a sound that I like to an authentic that I don't :meh:. If these do not work out it is back to the originals.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    if you're looking for brightness and definition, try opening up the tone with higher value pots. a pair of 500k linear volumes and a 500k audio tone will make everything brighter and louder. (use linear volumes because 500k audio volumes on a bass don't have a smooth taper.)

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