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Does a J wired in Series Sound like...?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Dec 7, 2006.


  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    ... a J wired in parallel with both volumes maxed?

    I know the series turns the two pickups into "one big humbucking" pickup so that has me thinking maybe the tone is the same.

    Hmmm... Perhaps I should state the question this way... When both pups on a J wired in parallel have the volumes maxed would that mean they are humbucking?
     
  2. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart

    Nov 16, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    The short answer is "No". If you look in the pickup FAQ, you will find pointers to threads about it that go into detail.
     
  3. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart

    Nov 16, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Kind of a tangent; if you look at the thread with the poll (click to see poll results), it is pretty obvious that people who know about it and try it usually like it. I wonder why it isn't pretty standard.
     
  4. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    In short, no.

    It's true that they are "humbucking" simply because they "buck the hum." That's why you get a slight hum if you slightly solo a single-coil pickup. Even if they are "humbucking" together, they're still wired in parallel.

    Series makes them act as one pickup, and since they aren't wired parallel to the jack, but rather the signal from one goes through the other before hitting the output jack, the tone is pretty significantly different.

    In regards to the tone of series, it is typically thought of as thicker and meatier, with less high end and a more mid and low-mid prominent tone. Great for punchy fingerstyle, or for meatier picking tone, which usually sounds too thin and anemic to my ears when in parallel. My SX with Model J's sounds very much like a P bass, meaty and aggressive, with lots of depth and "roundness." Rolling down the tone yields a tone remiscent of a Motown-ish thump.

    Series also creates a hotter signal, at almost twice the amount of gain, to my ears. Great for a little quick volume boost.

    It's amazing how much versatility is added with such a simple switch. I highly suggest you try it and see what you think!
     
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
  6. Series, as others have said, is a lot thicker. On my Fernandes, I keep it in series all the time, and it sounds great. Definitely a good (and easy!) mod.
     
  7. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    In parallel they they are the same 2 coils they are in series. If you want to look at them as one or two pickups is up to you but changing seires/parallel does not change how many pickups you have or appear to have.
     
  8. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart

    Nov 16, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    They act as one; the signal goes in one side clean and comes out the other with sound "infused" after going through both pickups. You only have one volume and one tone control that works when they are in series.

    This brings up an interesting question - does it make a difference which one is "downstream"? Hmmm - maybe a three position switch could offer even more variations...
     
  9. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    You could be goofy like me and have model J's setup with the bridge pickup wired in series, and the neck pickup wired in parallel. My thought process was to have a lower output pickup at the neck and a higher output pickup at the bridge to yield a more balanced tone across picking area... Not sure if its really more "even" but it definitely sounds cool :p
     
  10. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart

    Nov 16, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    ????

    Series versus parallel describes the relationship between the two pickups not how one pickup is wired.
     
  11. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    So would a Stingray with a series /parallel switch flip between a one and two pickup bass depending on where the switch is?
     
  12. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    S v P describes the interaction between 2 coils or groups of coils, you can have S/P in a 2 coil pickup and then S/P for how it interacts with another pickup. It is very relevant to how one pickup is wired. There is not only one S/P possibility per bass.
     
  13. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart

    Nov 16, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Please enlighten me further. Post a schematic, rough sketch or even a verbal description of how to wire a single pickup in series or how to wire a single pickup in parallel. To simplify the explanation, just explain it as a single pickup bass - one pickup, one volume, one tone and one jack.

    EDIT - you can certainly just explain how tow pickups can be wired so that one is parallel and one is in series if you want. Or maybe just provide defintions of either the word "series" or "parallel" that does not refer to a relationship.
     
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I think what I might try to achieve is:

    -parallel with both pups wired to one vol pot
    -then add the push/pull switch so that I can switch it into series.

    Wonder if that might work.
     
  15. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart

    Nov 16, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    It would work, but why force the mix in step one?

    Ignoring the tone control and mixed volumes for the moment, a standard J bass has 3 very different tones - bridge pickup only, neck pickup only (a signature sound in some Jaco lines) and both pickups mixed. You want to do away with 2 of the 3 right off the bat?

    Now bring separate volume controls back into the discussion - there are really a lot more than 3 different tones. The variety of tones is the main reason to get a jazz, IMO.
     
  16. I got 2 posts past silky smoove's post about putting a bridge p/u in the neck and vice versa and I think it should be noted (as it may have been) that the model j's he's talking about are individually humbucking, like a p-pickup is the way I'm thinking of it.

    Regardless, I tested this mod on my MIM Squier jazz and haven't switched it back yet, its been a few years and counting now, the mod is great, it gave my bass some more balls, and its gotten my bass a lot of compliments on its sound alone. At first I had considered wiring a switch in, but now I don't think that switch has any use for me anymore, I'm converted.
     
  17. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Well, They function as "one pickup". Of course they don't physically change from one pickup to two pickups...

    Interesting thought! I didn't think of that. I wonder if there are any noticeable differences between which one is "first in line."
     
  18. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Essentially its because I really dislike having two vol knobs. Its much easier to reach down and give the vol knob on the bass a tweak than the amp. Usually I run the vol on my bass at about 75%. Then if things start getting loud I crank her up til the end of the song. With two knobs its just more of a pain. Add to this that I always play with both vol pots and tone pot maxed out anyway.

    throw in the series switch just to fatten things up a bit once in awhile.

    It gives me the simplicity of a P-bass with the tone of a J and the neck profile of a J. Mmmm.... much better!:bassist:
     
  19. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You're dealing with AC signal. There is no such thing as stream direction since signal goes both ways.
     
  20. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    I had a Jazz bass with an S-1 series/parallel switch and really liked it.
    The series setup lends a fatter/ louder tone that is sweet but has slight loss of highs. With TI Jazz Flats and in series mode it could sound close as you can get to a P bass with jazz pups. Not a perfect P tone but good enough. With round wounds such as GHS Boomers the tone deep lowend and nice mids/upper mids.
     

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