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dispel me of my bias

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by swartzfeger, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Just got back from a band rehearsal, and I gotta say that the single coil hum is driving me nuts. Don't know if it was the overhead flourescents or something else, but it was really annoying (this is on a brand new GL Jazz thru a new SWR 12 combo).

    So... it got me thinking about trying a humbucker again.

    Honestly, every dual coil/humbucker I've played did nothing for me tonewise. Thick, boomy, just not to my taste. I gigged exclusively with my steinberger for years due to its practicality, but I never used it in the studio due to its tone.

    Am I just playing/trying the wrong humbucking basses? There are a few notable exceptions I can think of, like the Wals of the 80s, which seemed to get the kind of mids/'quacky' tone I shoot for. I just followed a youtube link here to a MM and it sounded pretty good, I must admit.

    Basically, are there any duals out there that can deliver the Jazz's single coil growl/bite/burp? Or am I deluded?

    And yes, I plan on playing as many as I can this weekend, both at mom and pop stores and the local GC. :)
  2. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Nordy Split coil Single Coils? Ultra Jazz stacked humbuckers? etc etc etc... I think there's quite a few humless offerings from different vendors.
  3. Thanks man, and I don't mean to disparage your recommendations, I'm thankful for your time and effort, but --

    I'm really looking for something with 'bite'. And while the Nords sound good (nay, GREAT), to my ears they sound mellow. Maybe I'm listening to the wrong ones. The Nords I've heard sound great but a tad 'mellow'.

    I'm looking for dirt with burp. Fralins? Sell my soul?

  4. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    IME, brand new Fender Jazz basses (GL, Am Std, 62RI - all of 'em) buzz like there's no tomorrow. Shielding tape makes this about 90% better.

    I'm not a humbucker lover either. I prefer the raw sound of a good single coil. Also, I kind of think my Jazz lost a little of its edge when I shielded the control cavity. Could be my imagination.
  5. Not to sound weird, but as much as I hate the noise coming out of my Jazz, I'm hesitant to shield it for the very reason you point out.
  6. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Those new DiMarzio Area J's sound like a viable option, or the regular Model J's.
  7. I've looked high and low, and I've never found a humbucker that preserves the tone of a single-coil pickup. The best hum-cancelling sound I've heard is the Alembic Series basses, and they don't really do the 'dirt with burp' thing you're looking for.

    Stand closer to the drummer and kill your high-end hearing. You won't know the bass is buzzing.
  8. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    EMGs are known for growl, IIRC.
  9. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Solution, both pickups wide open. Now it's a parallel humbucker, and you will sound just like Will Lee!
  10. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I was going to suggest EMGs too.
  11. ZionBound


    Dec 12, 2008
    I know these are for a fiver but the Bartolini 57CBJS(single) or the 57CBJD(dual hum cancelling) both jazz pups and both offer a great bite without sacrificing the low end. I'm putting some 57CBJD's in a build project I'm working on right now. Once they get here maybe I'll throw out a sound clip.
  12. nothumb


    Sep 20, 2006
    i've got a switchable dual / single ceramic EMG in a six string i own which is really nice and growly in both settings, would definitely recommend those
  13. If you can, try a noise gate first.

    I have a Bass i just LOVE the sound of but it has a bit of pre amp noise. Over the years I've been a great believer in eliminate the noise at the source (In this case the electronics) but 'coz I like the Bass' sound so much I decided to bite the bullet and use a noise gate instead of ripping out the pickups and preamp; in my case I used an ISP Decimator, and I'm happy that I did.

    Unless the hum is horrendously bad, it's only audible when you're not playing; when you're actually playing it's masked by the sound of your Bass. What a noise gate does is cut off the output from your instrument when you're not playing. As soon as you play, it opens up and lets the signal through.

    All you need to do is adjust the threshold of the gate, with everything plugged in and the Bass' volume at max, to the lowest setting that makes the gate shut, i.e. when the noise stops.

    And before everyone jumps in, I know this is an over-simplification but I haven't got time to type a doctoral thesis.
  14. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Seriously, just open both pickups all the way... problem solved.
  15. My solution is similar to this. I have my Rocktron Hush pedal on whether I'm using other effects or not. I would say it eliminates 75% or so of the single coil hum from my Jazz Bass, but doesn't mess with my Jazz Bass sound. I kind of found this out by accident, as I originally had the Hush to quiet down my effects before I started playing the Jazz Bass again. :D

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