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Boost pickup output?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by blipndub, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Is there a way to boost the output level of passive pups with some simple mods? I have a set of Rio Grande jazz pickups that sound nice but are pretty low output compared to my pbass (with a Fender Original '62 RI). I would like to give the jazz a little more power. Any suggestions?
  2. Wire them in series.
  3. I'd suggest going fully series if you want the output. This is the one i use on my J:

    I also found this one: jazzSPindepvol.
    Both layouts are by Stealth
  4. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Note, that wiring them in series will change the tone somewhat, if you really, really like the tone, wiring them in series is not the best way to increase volume and retain that tone. A boost pedal does exactly what you're looking for -- boosts the signal from your bass.
  5. I used this schematic and rewired my jazz bass this weekend.

    Preliminary thoughts? Definitely gave me what I was looking for, more output and heavier bottom end. At bedroom volume not an appreciable increase in buzz/noise.

    Yes the nuance and complexity of the tone is overpowered and she is a much more blunt instrument now, but in the context of the band I'm playing in now I don't think that will matter too much. Haven't cranked it up for rehearsal yet, nor attempted any recording, maybe I'll try to find some comparisons form my home recordings.

    For some pickups like the SD Antiquities or maybe the classic Bartolinis I wouldn't do this, they have such a sweet characteristic, but these Rio Grandes needed a kick in the pants.


    Just realized I used 250K pots not the 500. Will have to do some more experimenting!!
  6. I learned on the sx 6string bass thread that putting a magnet under the pickups boosts the output. The thread also had a nifty link to buy some super powerful neodymium magnets which fit in j bass routs. Check it out!
  7. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    250 pots will bleed off a bit more high end than 500, so the bass will sound a bit duller, but its not a big issue. If I recall, fender jazz comes with 250k pots.

    If you like the series wiring but also like your old tone, its easy to wire it up in a switch to have the best of both worlds. I think the other diagram above shows how to do it on a push/pull pot, but the wiring should be the same if you just get a dpdt switch.