bridge J pickup suggestions for SB-1 PJ build

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cataract, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    Having a major brain fart here & I think I’ve got it narrowed it down— I’m putting a G&L SB-1 MFD in my PJ & need to figure out which super hot J pickup to pair with it.

    Dimarzio Model J? SD Quarter Pound?
    Delano? Something ultra boutique & made of unicorn juice?!

    Open to suggestions here. Also if anyone’s selling anything they think would work, even better.
    Photo is the bass getting the transplant :bassist:
  2. Why not the same J style MFD pickup used in the SB-2. The P style MFD will likely overshadow most J pickups as it is pretty hefty output. My SB-2 rivals many Active basses. However thinking about it the MFD J style pickup is too big for your bass. Maybe you can get a pickup with about 20K resistance or an active
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
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  3. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    Yeah if G&L ever puts out “normal sized” J pickups, I’ll be the first to buy a set. Been waiting too long for that.
    Not looking to go the active route for this build, so thinking a Model J will be the way to go.. unless I’m missing something hotter in the standard size.
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  4. They do have normal sized J pickups for a JB-2 bass but doubt they are of sufficient output to work properly with the MDF P
  5. cataract likes this.
  6. On my SB-2 the Bridge pickup is high output but also can pickup noise so I put an S-1 Switch in it to put the MFD P and J in series and believe it or not it is totally quiet but darker sounding. I was trying it out as a test with little hope a P and J pickup could be put in series without phase problems. You can imagine my total surprise when it worked. The Hotstack pickup would not introduce noise
    cataract likes this.
  7. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    I did some digging / research on this Hot Stack.. seems like it may be too quiet to pair with the MFD but if I ever decide to do a PJ build with a Duncan SPB-4 (one of my fave off the shelf P pickups!) this one seems like it would pair nicely.
    I love the idea of noise cancellation as a feature in some J pickups but it’s not something I super need. I had an old 80s P that was home routed with a J pickup + active circuitry under the pickguard & the previous owner had a set of mystery EMGs installed.. super quiet & clear but missing something in the overall warmth appeal.
  8. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Definitely a hot pickup with a lot of great features too. The SD Quarter Pounders are more scooped than I would like, plus you can adjust the pole pieces on Model J. A set of Model P and J wouldn't be a bad combo either IMO.
    cataract likes this.
  9. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    Agreed! I have an MFD P pickup already on the way, so looking to supplement that with a hot J. Leaning strongly towards the Model J at this point!
  10. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    To go with a P-pickup that has a lot of mids and growl, I would suggest a DiMarzio Ultra J: enough output to balance the P-pickup, and a scoop in its tonal characteristics that I find helps give a great alternative smooth tone when combined. Also, a P-pickup is essentially a humbucker. So is the DiMarzio Ultra J. I don't do single coil J-pickups with a P-pickup because I can't stand losing the humbucking characteristics when I roll to the J-bridge pickup.
    cataract likes this.
  11. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    The Model J is definitely a beefy J - I think it would compliment the MFD tonally, but I never thought of my Models as particularly hot. Certainly not compared to any MFD I've encountered!
    cataract likes this.
  12. kevmac


    Mar 17, 2019
    Rhode Island
    Guns and Guitars called these "the best pickup you've never heard of". Hand wound at low prices. I've put them in a couple of builds and I'm thoroughly satisfied.

    Attached Files:

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  13. Shumasonics


    Aug 24, 2011
    Hartford, CT
    Just a note on the Duncan Hot Stack J pickup: there is a suggested "High Output" mode where you use a switch to essentially go to dual single coil. I had one in a bass and used it that way most of the time. Don't know if its as loud as your P pickup though.
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  14. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    Kings Bay, GA
    i would wait for the Sheehan relentless J pickup to come out and match it with the P pickup
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  15. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    I have a fresh set of Nordstrand Blade PJs on the way, direct from the source, and of course in my undying impatience decided to give the SB-1 MFD a whirl in the PJ configuration before the Blades arrive in a few weeks.
    I installed an MFD in my old Nate Mendel P & it sounded pretty awesome. I had just pulled a Model P out of it, too, so hearing them back to back was pretty informative— very similar tone wise but the MFD had seemingly TWICE the amount of output. Love them both, though. I really REALLY wish G&L had already released the MFD J style PUs allegedly “in the works.”
    neptoon likes this.
  16. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    When I was experimenting with the same, the Model J was the best I found as far as output without sacrificing too much top end as many overwound Js do (of course it is still quite a bit lower in output though, as the MFD P is IMO the loudest passive pickup I’ve ever used). This was a dozen years ago or more so there are definitely a lot more options available now. I found the Model J did help add some useful color to the MFD, but usually I just preferred the MFD soloed most of the time. Interestingly, I find that when you use more overwound J pickups to try to match a P in output that you end up losing alot of the clarity on top that a bridge J could bring to the table, so alternative J designs like neodymium J pickups or something like the Delano big-pole pickups might be a good experiment. Even the Nord blade J might be interesting to try.

    The bridge pickup in the SB-2 is actually (relatively) quite low output (certainly less powerful than a Model J) and pretty thin/weak sounding on its own, but as a result it does work incredibly well in an SB-2 as a tone enhancer for the P pickup (almost like a midrange contour control, which makes it one of more complementary and unique pickup sets in the “PJ”-ish realm). I probably wouldn’t route out a PJ body to fit that pickup though- makes more sense to just grab an SB-2!
    cataract likes this.
  17. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    I did a lil more research on the Hot Stack Jazz pickup & in the midst of doing so remembered wanting to try the Duncan SJB2B Hot Jazz in a bass that had an SPB-4 installed— long story short, I just ordered an SJB2B to pair with the SB1 MFD. Not “exactly” the same as the noiseless Hot Stack you mentioned but thanks for planting the seed. Excited to hear the results! Will have to give the noiseless set a go at some point in the future, for sure.

    Also Sunbeast if you’re reading this thanks for chiming in, too.. great points on keeping the bridge J on the milder side. Always good to hear what you have to say about pickups in general!
  18. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    SJB-2b Hot Jazz is installed- the MFD arrived earlier this afternoon but I won’t be able to install it til tomorrow.
    This bridge pickup sounds pretty great, growly / warm & rich.. I dig it!
    bass-shy likes this.
  19. ravlin


    Oct 12, 2004
    Where’s that update?! How does it sound? I’m considering an almost identical pickup configuration but have the same issue/question about the bridge. Thanks in advance.
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  20. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    Hey there, they sound pretty good together but I’m already looking for something a bit more “modern” sounding. Thinking about taking these out and replacing them with some Nordstrands again or maybe some diMarzio Model PJs.
    Let me know if you’d be interested in buying the SPB4 & Hot Jazz bridge pickup as a set. I haven’t listed them in the classifieds yet but I’m taking them out of my bass tomorrow & will cut you a deal on em.
    johnnynitro and ravlin like this.