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DiMarzio Model J's or SD Basslines STK-J2 Hot Stacks for a Warwick?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. I am looking for a set of humcancelling J pickups to throw in my 4 string passive Warwick Rockbass Corvette. Ideally, I want something that will keep/increase the inherent growl, have a decent output, and also be capable to achieve a pretty bright tone when desired.

    I have read a lot of threads and listened to a lot of sound clips and narrowed it down to these two.

    From what I've read, the Model J's can have a lot of growl and are quite aggressive when using 500k pots. I also heard though that they don't have an extremely bright tone, they're a little darker, but I would install switches to switch between series/parallel within each pickup and possibly a series/parallel between the two if I could as well, if any of these could aid in getting a brighter tone when I really want it.

    I've also read the Seymour Duncan Basslines are very highly recommended by Warwick players as they keep/increase the growl and just make them sound even more brighter and more aggressive. However, there are several different models of SD Basslines, and few people give this much detail. Since I'm looking for humcancelling ones though, the STK-J2 Hot Stacks are my only choice on bestbassgear.com, so I'm wondering how these compare with Warwick owners.

    Any recommendations, details, and opinions on either set, particularly how they sound in Warwicks would be hugely appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. augdog

    augdog Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Quakertown PA
    I don't know about the Seymour Duncans but I put Model J's or P's in most of my basses. I think they have a lot of growl and low end thump. I get compliments on the sound of the basses playing classic rock and even jazz. One guy came up just to stare at my bass to see how I got my tone.

    I've heard great things about Duncans. Its a win-win situation.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    what pots are in that bass? i've seen some rockbasses that were passive, but with 25k pots! those would kill the output of any passive pickup.

    some proper 250k or 500ks in there and the stock pickups come to life.
  4. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Holy crap, better check that out first, OP. Also check out Wilde J-45.
  5. Thanks for your opinion. For the model J's, do you use the 500k pots, and do wire you them in series or parallel? I like growl and low end thump, but do want to achieve some good upper mids and treble.

    That's crazy. I have to check, but I can't imagine that. My main problem with the passive MECs is that they are super noisy, and I hate buzzing guitars - hence why I'm looking for humcancelling ones. I've read up a lot on the MEC Dynamic Correction pickups, and being noisy seems to be a pretty common complaint.

    Thanks, I'll look into them.

    Any other opinions on Model J's or the Hot Stacks?
  6. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    I have both and they are both good pups.

    I am not good a describing tones so I will just say that the way I think of them is that DiMarzios are more aggressive than the Hot Stacks which tend to be as bright but smoother than the DiMarzios.

    That probably dosen't help you much.
  7. No it helps a lot thank you. It sounds to me like the Hot Stacks may be brighter, but the Model J's will give more growl?

    If that's the case, I have a very hard decision to make.
  8. Hmm, read some more reviews on the Bassline STK-J2's on other websites and they seem to be bright and have a thick midrange.

    The frequnecy on the STK-J's seem to be more of a boost in the upper mids and treble, where as the Model J's may have more of a boost in the bass and lower mids... I think I'm looking for the bump somewhere around the 800hz - 1200hz range, not sure which one would be best for that...
  9. Have you pulled the trigger yet? I'm currently debating between these two myself for a bass with an MM bridge pickup.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    remember that any stack, even a "hot stack", is gonna have a weaker output than the side-by-side dimarzios, due to the inherent signal loss from stacking what is essentially a dummy coil under the "working" coil.

    a preamp can of course more than make up for it.
  11. I've chosen against both of these pickups. I wanted something either aggressive in the upper mids, or really evenly balanced among the whole frequency range. My lead choices now area Dimarzio Area J's, Lindy Fralin split cols, or Nordstrand ns4jv's (I believe)
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i'm on board with all three of those, they'll all be closer to a "real" J pickup in sound.
  13. Yeah, I'm really just debating which one will be right for me.

    I know the Area J's each have 4 conductors so they can each be wired in Series or parallel, which gives them a slight lead. I'm about to send an email to bestbassgear.com to see if these other two can have this option as well.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i'm sure they all can;

    there probably isn't much point in parallel-wiring any of them though, it'll just make them weaker sounding.
  15. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I've been trying different J bridge pups lately. Just the one pup hard wired to the jack, so I'm getting some pretty good direct comparisons. I just replaced an STK-J1 with the J2. Of those two, I prefer the J1, BUT I also have a Model J on the way, so I can give you a review comparing the J2 to the J soon. Again, just soloed bridge pups here, but we'll see...
  16. Doesn't it also make them sound warmer though? I'm thinking of times when I may want the neck pickup to be rounder sounding
  17. I'm a huge, die-hard DiMarzio fan. I have 2 basses currently fitted with some earlier-production Model J's. You say you want some growl n' sizzle? Stick some Model J's in it, my friend. Those things have every quality, tone-wise, in a pickup that my ears desire. And, they're cheap, too! When you run across some. Hell, I currently have 2 extra sets stashed away. You never know :D.
    Now, this is just my opinion, but, I think the Model J's from the 70's sound better than than the ones made currently. But, that could just be me being biased, so who knows?
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    Nope, the exact oppposite. The standard series wiring will have the output and the warmth. Parallel will be brighter and weaker.
  19. Thanks Walter. I have a question.

    I'm thinking a split coil P bass pickup is wired in series.

    A standard single coil jazz bass is wired in parallel.

    in my experiences, a P bass output is usually a bit stronger than a jazz bass, but if I were to wire say a single DiMarzio Area J pickup with a series/parallel switch. Would the volume drop from series to parallel, be about the same as the difference from a P bass to a Jazz bass?
  20. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    a standard jazz single coil is a single coil, it's neither series nor parallel.

    the area J and such will sound close to a regular single coil J pickup when wired up series with itself like it's meant for; wire it parallel and it's thinner and weaker than a single J pickup.