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Disappointed with ultra jazz pups....

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by basseddie, May 4, 2001.

  1. Picked up the set of dimarzio ultra jazz that I ordered a month ago, for my mim fender 5 string jazz.
    Well, i think i wasted $200 bucks, because, well first they did not fit, they are about 1/4 inch shorter than the stock ones and the mounting ears are also in about 1/8 of an inch more.
    Got out my dremel tool and carved out the pick gaurd and body to make it fit. Soldered the wires, put it all back together , tuned it and fired her up.
    Well it sounds different, not what i expected, not 200 bucks worth anyway.
    I also put a badass 5 string bridge on 2 weeks ago, and was not overly excited about the sound of that either. That was 150 bucks wasted.
    So now i got big gaps around the pups, but at least the hum is gone.
    Anyone else find this out after spending the bread on these trick items, or do we try to convince ourselves that it must sound better because of the cost.
    Maybe i will try wiring up the pups in series and try that. Maybe change the didario flats back to xl's,or what ever was on before.
    Any comments,...tips...
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Huh. I didn't know they even made Ultra-Jazz' for fivers.
    I DO know that gettin' a drop-in for a MIM V is kinda' tough.
    It's water under the bridge, but maybe you shoulda' gone with
    a set of Seymour Duncan 67/70's or 70/74's. They got `em at
    Warmoth for ~$132.00/set. They ARE single coil though.

    Here's some more info from Harmony Central.

    BTW / FYI...Here's the installation instructions for Ultra-
    Jazzers from the DiMarzio site.

    I dunno what to tell ya' RE the Badass V. I put a Badass II
    on a cheapie Yamaha with good results. `Course it looks
    like a blower on a Volkswagen :p (overkill). Think I'll get a
    Gotoh 201 to replace IT. Ya' know you CAN do string-through-
    body with those things? (click)
  3. Hey notduane, I think the ultras for the jazz 5's are recently a new item, but they definatly are not a direct drop in for a mim jazz. Maybe for a mia, dont know. The pole pieces are the same spacing as the originals, looks like it anyway, but they are smaller overall. It doesnt make sense for the mounting ears not to be the same, as it is only a plastic cover, maybe it is the same spacing as the 4 string pups, and they never checked it on the 5s.
    Maybe I jumped the gun last night about them not being a better pup. During practice the bass seemed to keep dropping out, and could not get even volume and tone, very frustrating. After i got home i changed the battery in the sansamp and adjusted the pup hites, higher on the b string, lower on the g, seems opposite of what it sould be, but that evened out the volume.
    Played the gig this morning and it did sound much better than the night before, so maybe the battery was low in the di unit, as i did not have to max out the unit to here myself.
    I need to play around i figure to get it to sound as i want, so the jury is still out on the ultras sound, but still disappointed in having to cut up the bass to install them when they could have been made to fit perfectly at the factory.
    The cataloges dont give dimensions, so one only assumes they are the same.
    Oh well , live and learn.
  4. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    I hear that. Could ya' use the NEW pups with the OLD covers?

    I got a cheapie Yammer expressly for the purpose of
    bein' a "victim" in case I get some whacked notion to
    start carvin' somethin' up. `Bout all I came up with was
    makin' it string-through...drill some holes behind the bridge,
    stick in some ferrules. I got an old Ibanez fiver I'm gonna'
    fix up for a bud. It has this pair of J-pups in a kind of
    'Roscoe' arrrangement, i.e., one straight, one slanted.
    I splurged and got a real fine steel metric rule and discovered
    the pups are the same size. Probably a cost-cuttin' measure :rolleyes: .
  5. You shoulda read some of the older posts on this forum, and you would've found plenty of posts telling you that MIM jazz basses are different from others, very little fits them. IMO, they're a budget bass for beginners, you're better off saving the bucks for a used MIA. I work in a gear store, and I've yet to see a MIM that I liked!
  6. analog kid

    analog kid

    Aug 26, 2000
    Dimarzio Ultra Jazz Pick ups I find work a lot better if you install a preamp with them.What I really like about them is they are dead quiet.
  7. I have Ultrajazzes on one bass. 4 string version. Love 'em. Very clear and punchy. But low output, as analog kid implies. Play with them for a bit. They are worth it.
  8. Hey Marty.... I really like my mim 5, and i like tinkering with it. The price is not the point, as i could go out tomorrow and purchase any bass i want. but for now the mim suits my purpose. Besides i have another hobby that i would rather spend the big bucks on.
    All I really ment to say was i was dissapointed and unimpressed that the dimarzios were not a drop in replacement, when it so easily could have been.
    Maybe i will email dimarzio and see what they say about it.
  9. BassicRob


    Mar 28, 2001
    Massapequa, NY
    I had the same prob with my Ultra Jazzes in my MIM 4. I had to shave some of the pickguard off for the ears and the bridge pup was slightly larger than the cavity, as was anticipated fom what I read here. I called DiMarzio about it, they said i could send it to them and they would send me another neck pup as a replacement. I ended up just shaving the extra messy paint and finish of the side of the pup cavity, wedged it in, and now it fits like butta. As for the sound: amazing, output: low.

    Was it worth it? Every penny :)
  10. Low Output? I have the DiMarzio catalog, and they make this pup sound like its got output to spare. I have a four string MIM Jazz and have wanted to replace the stock Fender pups(because of humming)
    since last July, but, now I'm glad I waited. I was also considering Bartolinis, but got all kind of mixed reviews from different people. I was even considering getting a Warmoth Jazz body so that the pickup routes would be regular Fender so I wouldn't have to start shaving here and there. A couple of weeks ago I tried a Yamaha BB4NIII and this to me is how a Jazz
    bass should sound.

    How much lower is the output than the stock Fender's? Also, how do the Ultras compare to the DiMarzio model J pups? I've also read in other threads that while the Ultras are very quiet, some guys had the problem of hum when they took their hands off the strings. That Yamaha's looking better
    all the time.

    Boy, I'm glad I read this thread.

    Mike J.
  11. BassicRob


    Mar 28, 2001
    Massapequa, NY
    Its not a considerable difference but it just seems i have to turn down my spector a bit more than I used to when running both into the passive and active inputs of the amp. When I first tried them I didn't notice, and they rocked the first night at rehearsal, but it just doesn't seem the same in the band situation. Maybe its just me, I still haven't gotten the time to setup my bass correctly so that could be the prob.

    I would say go with the DiMarzios. You won't be dissappointed. Then again, I am biased because I don't like Yahmahas. But even still, it gives you an excuse to turn the volume up one more notch or buy an preamp if you notice it and it really bothers you. I just keep my Spector lower and raise the amp vol. Yes the Spector is active and yes, of course its going to be louder. If you havent already, check out my thread: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14837

    Sorry for the confusion.
  12. I have some experience of both the Ultrajazz and the Model J.

    The model J has a high output. It is a very punchy pickup, loud, in yer face and somewhat ugly. The Ultrajazz is cleaner, clearer, better highs and a lower output.
  13. Hey BasicRob and Andy, thanks for the responses.
    From what you guys have said, I think I'd prefer the Ultras over the model Js. I still have to decide what to do though, upgrade my MIM, or sell it for one of those Yamahas. Believe me I was very surprised to hear such a Fender type sound coming out of a Yamaha. If you go to the Bartolini site, they've got about six different types for Jazz. I don't even want to start messing with that.


    Mike J.
  15. I have the ultrajazzes in the MIM, and I did get that hum when I took my hands off the strings. So I had the repair dude shield it everywhere it could be shielded and do something to the grounding. Now it's quiet all the time. And indeed, he had to carve out a little piece of bass to make it fit. I felt that was a better option than two neck pickups, as discussed in one of the many many posts on exactly this pickup and this bass in this forum. It fits the design intent of the pickups and what the design intent of the bass should have been in the first place.
    As to low output, I haven't noticed that.
  16. td1368


    Jan 9, 2001
    I had a similar problem with hum. No where near as bad as with the stock pickups though. I need to get a sheilding job done though. Also I went through a round of upgrades on my bass. although the upgrades helped when all was said and done I might have been better off just saving up to get another bass.
  17. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I don't know where you shop, but I'd stop going there. List price for a set of Ultra Jazz 5-String pups is $160!!!! Which means they would sell in a store for around $110-120. Even if you had them installed, it shouldn't of costed more that $150. IMO
  18. td1368


    Jan 9, 2001
    I got my DP149 Set (4 String) for $84 bucks online
  19. I got $75 at GC. Made me wonder what the hell they pay for them since I barely even negotiated to get that price.
  20. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Basseddie's Canadian. CAD $200 = USD $140 (?) .

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