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Converting a Fender Custom Shop Jazz to Passive:Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by faulknersj, Jun 7, 2012.


  1. I am looking to convert my Fender Custom Shop 'Custom Classic' Jazz to a passive setup with single coil pickups and wanted some advice regarding the type of passive control plate and pots I should be looking for?

    Also, This bass does have a side mounted jack and i know that most passive J control plates have the jack in the plate. Would that just be a ghost jack?

    I play mostly old school Funk, Soul, RnB, Top 40, Jazz, and Blues.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    There are control plates that only have 3 holes which would allow you to use the side mounted jack and not have any extra holes. That said I made my American Deluxe jazz passive and just put the jack on the control plate leaving the side mounted jack empty.

    As far as pickups go, there are dozens if not hundreds of threads on the subject here at your fingertips if you do a quick search. The usual favorites are Fender Custom Shop, Duncan Antiquity, Lindy Fralin, Jason Lollar, and Carey Nordstrand. They are all slightly different shades of awesome so it really comes down to which set suits your bass/your ears and that is just a matter of trial and error.
     
  3. Thank you ^. As far as pots...any info? Any difference in the pots and control plates that come from MIA, MIJ, or MIM passive Jazz basses?
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Most folks wire their jazz basses with 250k pots. For the smoothest taper use a linear taper pots for the volume control and an audio taper for the tone control. It's a matter of preference whether or not you like 2 volumes vs volume/blend. For tone caps, most basses come with a .047uf (microfarad) cap. I happen to prefer a .1uf cap since it has a more dramatic roll off that suits me. Tone caps are super cheap so try both and see which one you like.
     
  5. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    As far as control plates, the ones that come on Fender's import models (Squier, MIM, MIK, and some MIJ) have smaller holes meant to fit pots with slightly smaller shaft diameters.
     
  6. That is good to know fellas..thank you. I am leaning toward finding a control plate from an Am Std Fender Jazz. Think this would suffice?
     
  7. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    An American Standard would have 4 holes just like the one you have now (volume, blend, tone, output jack). The only one with 3 holes that I know of would be a '62 reissue plate.
     
  8. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Been down this Fender active/passive road many times. My two cents:

    Keep the plate.
    Remove the existing pre-amp (pots and all)
    Bubble wrap it and stick it in a box.
    250K pots and tone cap as already discussed.
    Vintage knobs look cool.
    Side jack=dummy jack.
     
  9. rmars

    rmars

    Jan 2, 2004
    Bettendorf, Ia
    This is a good option, that's what I would do.

    I recently rewired my passive J bass and got some 250K Noble pots from Bestbassgear.com and so far I'm impressed. I usually use CTS but I like the way these roll off better when favoring one pickup or the other. They also have wire and .047 capacitors.

    The other option rather than changing to the '62 reissue plate would be to get a extra pot and knob and not wire it up so it would be dummy knob.... or maybe you could put a series parallel switch in the extra hole.
     
  10. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    Personally, and maybe it's petty or superficial, I wouldn't be okay with the dummy jack. I'd work it out with either the 3-hole plate or do something with 4 pots or combination of pots and switches, VTVT or the series-parallel switch.
     
  11. I would probably laugh if I saw a bass with a dummy jack. That would be ridiculous.

    Keep the side jack and fill the fourth hole with a series/parallel switch or a killswitch or something. Maybe even a bass cut pot.
     
  12. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    I have the same OCD but I moved the output jack to the plate leaving the side jack empty (no jack, just the small cover plate) and it hasn't really bothered since...until now. Doh!
     
  13. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Or a kill switch, which I like a lot these days.
     
  14. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    How about a dummy pot?
     
  15. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    IMO, the dummy pot would be better because it wouldn't be so obvious, but it wouldn't take much more effort to do something with an actual function - even if extraneous in practice.
     
  16. I hear u guys on the dummy jack thing and totally understand where u are coming from. For me, this J bass is just THE J for me in terms of feel, playability, weight, tone etc etc... I put a J-retro in her and really like it....with the exception of one huge issue. The J Retro does not allow you to blend the pups to taste in passive mode. I am one of those guys that uses these types of pre amps backwards, that is to say i play in passive mode 95% of the time, and kick in the active pre on rare occasions. With active pre's, i become one of those constant knob tweakers, which distracts me from what i need to play. So, i need to put some nice single coils in her, get her sheilded, and put in a passive control plate. The 62' Reissue plate sounds like the best option..best of both worlds. No dummy jack..and a 3 hole control plate VVT. I make a living off of this bass, so getting the sound i want from her is WAY more important to me than whether or not there is a 'dummy' jack or not. That said...thanks to u TB nation....it sounds like i can get my cake and eat it too!!

    Im still open to suggestions!

    Thank you all!
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    i like the 3-hole vintage plate idea, too. use a right-angle cable in the side jack and you're in business.

    don't worry about pre-wired kits, just assemble all the best parts and wire it up right.

    CTS of course, linear volumes+audio tone, or even linear volume+M/N blend+audio tone.
     
  18. Well, I have some Nordstrand NJ4 single coils on the way...Any advice on where I could find a loaded 3 hole 62' Reissue control plate VVT to drop in my bass? I have never assembled a control plate myself...how hard is it?
     
  19. Also, I am looking at a 60's reissue control plate and wondering if it will fit right on my Custom Classic jazz?
     
  20. bobbybass85

    bobbybass85

    Dec 19, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I've always wondered what a Jazz would be like wired with 2 Volumes, 2 Tone (1 per pickup). It could open up some possibilities, or it could be worthless. But it's an idea, plus you'd be able to use a 4 knob setup
     

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