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Can you make a MM pickup make sound like a J pickup??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by emielow, Mar 9, 2005.


  1. emielow

    emielow

    Jan 18, 2004
    yes, that's the quesion,

    Can you make a MM pickup (if you switch it in single coil mode) make sound like a J pickup??

    so if you build a bass, with a MM / J setup, switch the MM into single coil, do you have the J / J sound then???
     
  2. ColdYinTiger

    ColdYinTiger

    Jul 15, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    You can somewhat make it sound like a J, but with my experimentation at stores with any bass with a MM style pickup, you get more of a P sound from it.

    You might be able to with some EQing, but I doubt thats what your looking for. Anyone else have tried to make a MM pick up sound like a singlecoil jazz?
     
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    An example would be a Music Man Sterling. They have a 3 position switch that toggles between series, parallel and single coil configurations. Single coil is a typical J style pickup, however the "extra" coil of the MM pickup acts as a dummy coil to cancel out hum. That would be about as close as it could get I would think.
     
  4. emielow

    emielow

    Jan 18, 2004
    what pickup should i get?

    is a basslines MM pickup an idea?

    of a nordstrand?
     
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    My preference is still the Nordstrand MM. We've discussed this over email a bit and I know I've seen some other threads where you asked about MM pups. My suggestions is to just buy 'em and try 'em. You're not likely to get a much better ascertation than that.
     
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    what sort of sound do you want? Have you read lunkfurs' MM pickup review thread?
    I don't think there's a HUGE difference between the Nordstrand and Basslines MM Alnico MM pickups. Alnico is a warmer sound than Ceramic, so think about what sound you're trying to get.
     
  7. emielow

    emielow

    Jan 18, 2004
    it's all a future project.. no money now.. haha

    but i want to build a jazz bass with a MM pickup and a J pickup, that can sound like a stingray AND a jazzbass
     
  8. the problem with that is placement as well, for either one to sound right, the other can't be in the "correct" position. Stingray is a sweetspot, while J's are closer to the bridge
     
  9. Zirc

    Zirc

    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Why on earth would you want to get a Jazz sound out of a MM. Just buy a cheap Jazz bass to get the cheap Jazz bass sound.
     
  10. emielow

    emielow

    Jan 18, 2004
    i allready have a jazz, but i want to build a bass that has it all, maybe 2 MM pickups (both switchable series, parallel, single coil) so you can get lots of sound out of 1 bass :hyper:
     
  11. Zirc

    Zirc

    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Oh, that's definitely your deal then.
     
  12. emielow

    emielow

    Jan 18, 2004
  13. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    well, in general terms, trying to build a bass that does everything well is tough.
    As groovecenter said, one *huge* issue is pickup placement. The bridge J placement is usually done in one of two distances from the bridge (60s placement and 70s placement).
    Unless the bridgemost coil of your MM is in the exact same spot where a bridge J would be, you won't get a bridge J sound. You'll get something close, but not exact.
    If you take the MM pup closer to the bridge to be able to get the J sound, you'll take away from the MM sound since that's due to pickup placement also.
    See what I mean?
     
  14. emielow

    emielow

    Jan 18, 2004
  15. emielow

    emielow

    Jan 18, 2004
    and something like this? WITH a J pikcup

    [​IMG]
     
  16. NOthing Jazzy about that except the look... It would be all MM IMO...
     
  17. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW

    there's a ton of variables involved. First, there's a ton of variation in J pups themselves discounting the bass they're in, what's between the bass and the ears, personal preference, etc.. I prefer a J tone in general and I mount an MM closer to the bridge for that reason. In my experience, it's easier to darken a bright bass than lighten up a dark bass. However, you can do a lot with caps to brighten a bass but it's not something I've messed with but once.

    I had a Schec with Bart M34C's that was too dark to be of any use. Tried some different things with no change. Then I wired the HB's to run inside coils, outside coils, and both HBs. This makes for single coil in HB mode (no hum) with two different J like tones. I wired the harness like a Les Paul '54 standard with two very different size caps for the neck and bridge pup. The cool thing (in terms of tonal variation) was the tone controls were interactive so I could blend whatever mix of these two different cap values I wanted for either or both pups.

    That combined with switching options created an anazingly versatile bass with very little wiring. Not only did it brighten the M34's up (including with both HB's), it made for some choice tones. It didn't have a J tone after my own heart but it definetly could do a passable J.

    I've never done that scheme with MM's but I'm guessing it would be very impressive. And that's just one other variation of wiring you could do.

    One things for certain, there are a myriad of wiring options available with a pair of HB's with 4 lead w/ground. When you throw caps into the mix, you can fine tune tone even more. I would think you should be able to pull some tones that would make it worth your while. You could experiment with a setup like that for years trying different things.

    At any rate, apparently you have a J bass you're relatively satisfied with so it would be no great loss if you got something desireable but different.

    An off the wall thought would be to stick a J at the bridge behind the MM if there's enough space. Haven't tried it so don't know if it'd be workable or not. But I don't recall seeing it done.