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Confused about my Jazz pickup wiring ...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by CPplaysBASS, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. CPplaysBASS


    Mar 17, 2007
    Hi all,
    Hoping someone can help me out here. Try as I might to understand wiring diagrams found online, my mind just goes blank looking at them.

    I recently bought a used 2011 Fender MIM Jazz bazz. In terms of feel and playability, it beats the 2008 MIA Jazz I used to own.

    The tone, however, is too bassy. No treble, lack of mids, no note definition (I thought it was the guy's amp when checking out the bass). So I just ordered a set of Dimarzio Area J pickups. I couldn't remember whether J pickups were typically wired in series or parallel and started reading up on it.

    This led me to wondering if maybe the pickups are fine and the previous owner of the bass changed the wiring to series. Looking at the soldering job, there's no question it's the work of an amateur. And the thick beefy tone is consistent with what would be the result with series wiring (although it sounds nothing like a P-Bass. I own three P-basses). Problem is there's no toggle to switch to parallel.

    Also, the two volume controls work independently. I thought series wiring essentially meant only one volume control would be working. With that said, both volume controls seem to be the exact same ... either they are both working as a master volume for both pickups, or the bridge pickup sounds the exact same as the neck pickup! lol

    For sure, the wiring is different than my other two Jazz basses.

    Here's a pic and it's even hard for me to follow looking at it in person. The black wires for both pickups are soldered to the middle pot. There is a black wire from the first pot on the left going to ground. White wire for neck pickup goes to the first pot. White wire for bridge pickup goes to the middle pot. Then we have a white wire from first pot to middle, middle to tone pot and tone pot to jack ... phew:


    Any thoughts? I'm guessing serial with two master volumes, but clearly have no clue. If this is some variation of parallel wiring, then these pickups are gone :)

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
  2. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It looks like regular parallel wiring to me. Does the tone control work? Maybe it's shorted out so its always on zero (no treble).
  3. As SGD pointed out, that's standard parallel wiring.
  4. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Definitely standard parallel. Though series wiring can be made to work with independent volumes, this is regular parallel.
  5. rogerb


    Aug 31, 2010
    Post the pot values (250K) and markings and the capacitor value (.047uf), maybe something wrong there, wiring looks standard vol/vol/tone as mentioned.
  6. CPplaysBASS


    Mar 17, 2007
    Thanks for all the quick replies! I'm actually glad since I had already ordered the pickups before I questioned the wiring. Rogerb, the pot values are 250k and tone capacitor is stamped "ic 5032".

    Maybe Fender did something to their pickups in 2011. I have a 2010 MIA P with a stock pickup I love and would never ever replace. My 2011 MIA P had a pickup that I found too dark and muddy and had to replace, similar to the 2011 MIM Jazz I'm talking about now.

    The Dimarzio Area J's seem to fit the bill of what I'm looking for, so hopefully that works out.

    Thanks again!

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