DiMarzio's VS. EMGs for me

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by steve21, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Hi, I have about 290 dollars, and I'm considering either a new bass or new pickups for my 1993 Fender Jazz (MIM).

    I've got two pickups thought up right now, the DiMarzio Ultra Jazz set or the EMG J set.

    I just want some general opinions on both of the pickups, as well as a recommendation.

    The type of sound I want is a very bassy, hum free sound, with a good midrange sound and enough treble to be good for tapping with proper EQ'ing.

    I'd like to keep my bass passive (with a VBT, not my current VVT, but that's something else entirely that I've already gotten a good answer to). If I get the EMGs can I make it VBT with the pots EMG comes with, or does it have to stay VVT?

    Finally, are there any other pickups you guys can suggest without breaking the bank that'd fit the sound I want?
  2. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    if you want bassy, im not sure the EMGs will be your thing, especially the Js. ive tried their "darker sounding" pickups on my teacher's bass and they sound really mordern, bright and scooped in the mids. not the kind of sound i think youre aiming for. and these are Js. even brighter.
  3. Read the J pickup shootout in the FAQ and decide it from there :)
  4. joegeezer


    Mar 9, 2005
    Northern Wisconsin
    Avatar Club#12 Eden Club Lucky# 13--USA Peavey Club#37 Carvin Club#5
    The EMG's are great pickups, but you should use the EMG BTC control EQ, to get the big low end. Without it, they could be middy.
  5. Benji5678


    Jan 5, 2006
    i would go with the emgs, I just recently put some i my bass and it really woke it up, tons of low end and crystal clear highs
  6. theyre both great pups, but you should consider dimarzio model j's too, i've heard only amazing reviews about those while i've heard some negative reviews about ultra jazz's
  7. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY

    There's no such thing as running the EMG-Js in passive mode - unless you mean only "without the addition of a preamp" - because this model is internally active, meaning it requires use of a battery to even operate. Even if you can get a signal without using a battery, chances are it would be so weak and lame it wouldn't be worth the bother...

    I can't speak from experience regarding the DiMarzio's, but if you insist upon staying passive, you might want to consider a number of additional makes & models - making sure to select one that's sufficiently hot. But I also have heard good things in this regard concerning the DiMarzio Model J...

  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Absolutely correct. However, you can run active pickups into a passive EQ Vol/Blend/Tone of Vol/Vol/Tone if you want. That's how my Brice works and it sounds like the Bee's Knees to me.
  9. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    I too think the model J pickups are a better choice. The ultra jazz and the emg pickups sound thin to me.
  10. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Do the Model J pickups hum a lot? I'm trying to keep that as little as possible.
  11. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    No there hum bucking pickups
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    You sure? I always thought Model Js were single coils.
  13. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003

    DiMarzio Model J™ pickups reproduce the warmth and roundness of the traditional Fender® Jazz Bass® sound with increased power and hum-cancellation. The additional power translates into a bigger sound that emphasizes the resonant character of the instrument. The DiMarzio Model J™ pickup’s sensitivity and deep tone are also the perfect complement to fretless basses. Double-stop glissandos and delicate violin-style vibrato speak with a classic, woody voice simply by backing off slightly on the tone control. For an even more varied choice of tones, pair a bridge position DiMarzio Model J™ with a DiMarzio Model P® pickup. The warm, fat tone of the DiMarzio Model P® plus the tight punch of the DiMarzio Model J™ open up the sound of any bass.
  14. Careful.

    Pre-2000 MIM basses have non-standard pickup routing sizes. The earlier MIM basses used the same pickup in both Bridge and Neck positions. This is also why earlier MIM basses hum even with both pickups fully on.

    Aftermarket pickup sets for MIA sized J basses won't fit unless you route the MIM to accept the larger pickup. You are going to invest a lot of time and some money into a no-resale value instrument.

    I'd off the bass and get a 2000+ MIM model, then you can add pickups without changing the wood work.
  15. I installed a srt of Ultas on my MIM last year and never really liked 'em. The sound seemed a little sterile and the string to string balance was off. Switced to model "J" recently and it's a big difference. Punchy, warm, just plain funky, plus they have adjustable pole pieces and are hum canceling. Very satisfied!
  16. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Which pickup route will have to be made bigger?
  17. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    The bridge. But you don't need to route the body. Instead, just order a set of 2 neck pups. Both EMG and DiMarzio are humbuckers so you don't need to worry about one of the pair being reverse wound for hum canceling.

    For the DiMarzio Model J, use a pair of DP123S (short). The DP123L (long) would go into a longer bridge route.

    For EMG, order 2 of the EMG-J instead of the EMG-J Set. The Set includes a J and a LJ (long J).
  18. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    So the DP123S sounds the same as the DP123L only it's a different size? Because I want to get the maximum bridge output and tone possible, as I love singling the bridge a lot.

    because if there's a notable difference between the DP123S and the DP123L, I'd be willing to do a little bit of woodworking myself for it... but if the differnce is really unnoticable, or even not there, that'd be all the more better.
  19. I could be wrong but I think the size info in post #17 is backwards. IIRC my '95 MIM uses the bridge sized pickups in both positions. The size difference is minor but I think the only "routing" needed would be minimal at the mounting holes of the neck pickup if you decide on the DP123 set. It's really a simple installation.
    Your best bet is to measure your existing pickups and match up the needed dimensions. There is no tonal difference between the two sized pickups and I highly reccomend the Model Js.
  20. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Alright, that's good to hear there's no tonal difference.

    Any other people with opinions on whether the DP123L or DP123S is needed?