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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Barnacle Joe, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Hi, I just recently started playing bass (and bought one) after playing guitar off and on for a couple years. Its a mexican jazz five-string. I really love the jazz bass sound, especially that sound with the full on neck pickup and the bridge pickup turned down but obviously it hums like crazy (just practicing by myself its no big deal but with the band its annoying). Soo, I was curious about my options, It's my understanding that if I rewired everything so that I have a master volume and tone and a pot that pans from neck to bridge (i'm not really sure what that would be called) the hum would be permanently canceled regardless of if the pickups were used evenly (a friend of mine's peavey fretless axcelerator is made that way but I cant remember if the pickups themselves are hum canceling or not.) Am I right? Also, does anyone know where I could find some information about hum canceling jazz pickups made for the five string model? I was looking around the other day, I think I remember finding one set (by dimarzio maybe? i dont even remember) but of course there had to be a big statement that they do not fit Fender basses, odd huh? The stock pickups sound fine though to me (at this point in my bass playing career anyway, also I paid 250 for the bass, which I feel was fair (almost brand new) but I'm pretty cheap and wouldn't have gone much more than that and don't plan to put a whole lot in it) so if the wiring mod would work that would be great (cheap + I like having a master volume on an instrument).

  2. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Before spending the $ on new pups, try eliminating ground loops and adding shielding. Should quiet your bass down quite a bit, at least that's been my experience. Can someone else jump in here about whether a Volume-Blend-Tone layout cancells hum? Seems to me it wouldn't necessarily, not by virtue of the blend pot alone, I dunno. My basses with that wiring are quiet, but I shield and star ground, too. ;)

    As for the pickups themselves, any stacked J would do, a dual coil humbucker in a single coil package. Seymour Duncan offers a 5 string version...a forum search for "stacked J" or "hum cancelling" should bring up alot of info.

  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Ryan, there are dual coil humbuckers that aren't stacked J's - Bart J humbuckers are dual in-line coils.

    the pickup balance pot you refer to is called a 'blend' pot. In itself, it will not rid you of any hum.

    The problem with 5 string Jazz basses is that there really isn't a standard size for pickup length - some have one long, one short (3.75" and 3.62"), some have two long (3.75") and some fenders have one 3.98" and one 4.13". Measure your existing pickup lengths before ordering anything.

    Check out Smash's thread at the top of the forum for some J reviews. Also, some mfr sites to check out for humbuckers:

    dimarzio.com (you found that one already).

    All of those mfr's sould have measurement information available online.

    some retailers web sites:

  4. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Cool, I wasn't aware.

    I was guessing that using a blend control wouldn't in and of itself get rid of hum. The output jack is still "seeing" the pups the same, whether through two physically seperate pots, or one ganged/reversed blending pot. Do you think shielding and grounding is going to eliminate most of the noise, or are dual coil J's the way to go?

    Good specific info on 5 string pickups!

    Barnacle Joe, in case you need it, here's a schem for wiring a blend control.

    You betcha.
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Shielding and proper grounding are the way to go. Even humbuckers can hum in a bass that does not have shielding.