1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

EMG 5 STRING pu's???

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Smoove-Groove, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. Smoove-Groove

    Smoove-Groove We've got bush, We've got bush!

    Jun 18, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Hello All!
    I just bought a Yamaha 5 string bass(my first 5'er). I found it at an antique market. It didn't have any strings or a nut, but it does have a set of EMG active jazz pickups. I got a nut and cleaned the bass up and strung it up. The B string sounds very low in volume. The other strings have good output. Could it be possible that someone stuck a 4 string set of EMGS in this thing? I also have an old set of EMG jazz pickups kicking around and I noticed they are the same length as the ones in this 5 string. Are the EMG jazz pickups compatible for both 4 & 5 string?. Is there a way to tell if these are 4 string by model#.?
    My spare set have the SJ5 and LJ5 label on the bottom. I didn't remove the ones from the bass to check, so I'll do so and have a look. Just wondering why the output is so low on the B.
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    A 4 string pickup wouldn't make the 5th string weak. It's something else.
  3. Smoove-Groove

    Smoove-Groove We've got bush, We've got bush!

    Jun 18, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    |I just looked under the pickups and the label is the same as the spare set I have. SJ5 and LJ5.
    Does anyone know if these are a 5 string model being that there is the #5 on the label?

    Edit.. Just went on the EMG website.Looks like LJ/SJ5 are a 5 string set.
    Funny.I had a 5 string set of pickups on my jazz bass at one point without even knowing it.
    Would still like to know why the B is not as punchy and loud.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  4. It is completely possible the pickup's string sensing area is not wide enough - many Yamaha 5s have 18 or 19mm string spacing. Post a picture of the body of your bass so we can see. I have used 40J and 45J on my Yamaha's - 40 is just enough, 45 more than enough (but fits the Yamaha's pickup routes better.

    Of string spacing/sensing is not the issue, try raising the pickups on the bass side and see if you get more B string output. EMGs are recommended to be closer to the strings than most pickups as well.

    I have 45JX in my two Yamaha 5s right now, and have no such issues.

  5. Smoove-Groove

    Smoove-Groove We've got bush, We've got bush!

    Jun 18, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Here's a pic of the body. It's a Yamaha BB N5. Probably not the greatest quality of Yamaha, but it feels ok.
    I do have the pickups raised close to the strings. The notes on the B string just don't jump out like they do on the other strings. Especially if I do a descending run from high to low. When I get down to low B string territory, it's very noticeable.
    Gotta get rid of those chickenhead knobs.
  6. I know that model well - had one I heavily modified back in the mid 90s and still have the neck from it (on a similar Yamaha body) - these had 4 string sized pickups, which is why the one sin there now are the same size as on your 4 string bass - they are the same. EMG never had a proper Jazz-shaped J5 until recently, and those are bigger/longer than these. EMG says 4/5 string set BUT they are really made for narrow spaced 5s, whereas the newer J5 set is for fender and wider-spaced 5s. Here's the specs on the set in your BBN5 - http://www.emgpickups.com/media/productfile/j/_/j_ja_jcs_0230-0116rd.pdf

    Since I have the same bass, I just measured the string spacing at that location is just under 3 inches, so likely it is OK, though not ideal.

    Since you've mentioned the pickup height doesn't seem to be an issue, I'd look at break angle over the bridge saddle (and also intonation - your B string saddle is usually BEHIND the E unless using a tapered B string), the nut angle. Even check the battery (might be on the verge of dying and that could affect the output, especially of the lower strings)How does it sound ACOUSTUCALLY/unplugged?

    I see you are in Cambridge - I am by that way once a week- if interested I could bring my BBN5 by for you to compare (PM me if so) - get a sense if your bass has an issue, or if it is simply that the B is as good as it can be and not to your liking.....

    Smoove-Groove likes this.
  7. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Try another B string?
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    they make this stuff called magnet viewing paper that will show just where the magnetic field ends on pickups, you can get it cheap.

    judging by the pics, if those are indeed the 5-string versions of the EMG Js, the magnets should be long enough to extend under the B.
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  9. They are likely JUST long enough for this bass - I know this bass well and the pickup routes are sized for the traditional 4 string size on EMG J.

    At any rate - I'd also look at the saddle height of the B string compared to the others strings, your neck relief too. So many factors to look at but basically I have that exact same bass "platform" and the B is quite good, and balanced well with the others strings. The bass is definitely capable of having a good sounding and balanced B string.

    Question - is there a battery box on the back? The stock control cavity in this bass is VERY tight and I can't see any way a 9v would fit in there with the pots.... just curious. It also looks like a bass I almost bought about a year ago near your area.....

  10. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Given that the string spacing is almost 3" and the information from EMG (http://www.emgpickups.com/media/productfile/j/_/j_ja_jcs_0230-0116rd.pdf) says "Maximum recommended string width 2.725" there at the top, I'd say that the problem is that the pickups don't have a wide enough magnetic coverage.

    I've had two different Warmoth Wide 5's with 3" string spacing (back when Warmoth offered a Wide 5 Jazz option), both with the same EMG Jazz set, and they both had very weak B's, despite being great basses otherwise.
  11. Yup - that bass in about 2.9 inches over the bridge pickup so likely the issue.

    I do know a set of Dimarzio Ultra Jazz/Area 5 or Sadowsky Jazz 5 pickups both fit AND have their pole pieces in the right widths to work in this bass.

    mikezimmerman likes this.
  12. Smoove-Groove

    Smoove-Groove We've got bush, We've got bush!

    Jun 18, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    The battery is in the the control cavity. It fits quite well. Not too cramped. I did pull the B string saddle back a bit more and raised it a touch. I think this helped a little by adding to the break of the string over the saddle. It does sound a bit tighter but still a little weaker than other strings.
    I found this bass at the St.Jacobs antique market. There's always old guitars kicking about there. I just went to get some vinyl and came out with this.:) Happy nonetheless.
  13. The later version of this bass (BBN5 II) changed to the standard Yamaha mega wide soapbars which had no issues covering the string spacing - only pain is the non-standard lenth (about 4.65 inches). I've got the neck from my old BBn5 on thebody of a BBG5 and upgraded with EMG 45 JX - they are wider than needed for te string spacing (a 40 series would work fine) but cover the pickup route length best.
    Cool - I think it once lived in Guelph.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the info for the J5 versions shows the magnets to be a pinch longer than 3", so they should be catching that B string OK assuming that's what he really has in there and somebody at the factory didn't mis-label his pickups :bored:
  15. Howdy Walter - I guarantee they are NOT the J5s in that Yamaha - J5 will not fit - those are Fender widths - these old Yamaha BBn5s were shorter - both neck and bridge in the Yamaha are the same size as the bridge pickup in a normal 4 string Fender Jazz.

    I think there is a chance they'd pickup the B string OK, but not great.

    I'd personally look at Dimarzios/Sadowskys which are the same size but definitely have their polepieces where they need to be for this bass.

    Or do what I did and route for soapbars :)

  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    you know who fails at reading comprehension? this guy!
    the OP's spare set are the J5s!

    if he can get those in there (maybe with a pinch of routing?) he should be good.

  17. Walter - I own the same exact bass and know the pickup measurements, and my reading comprehension is fine.

    The J5 set is fender-sized and won't fit. It just won't. The bridge pickup is too long for that bass.

    The stickers on the bottom of the "old set" from before EMG made a proper Jazz 5 (Fender spec) size fit. They used to put 5 on the stickers because they classified the set as being useable for 4 and 5 string basses (narrow spacing).

    The J5 set is the Fender one and hasn't been out that many years. So then likelihood that he has an "old set" , AND they are the same length as the ones that fit and are in the bass, leads me to believe I know what's in there. The NEW J5 set won't fit without routing, and that bass does not appear to have been routed to fit the new J5.

    All I am trying to do is help solve his issues wit h a bass model I've had since 95, and ideally not waste his time.

    OP - my offer to drop by and bring my BBn5 still stands if you want.

  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    "this guy" with no reading comprehension was me! i totally wasn't slamming you or anybody else. i missed that the J5s were in the OP's parts drawer, not his bass.

    as such, i'm thinking that if he could get them in his bass, with whatever minor routing was required, that might solve his problem while still keeping things mostly stock.
  19. Smoove-Groove

    Smoove-Groove We've got bush, We've got bush!

    Jun 18, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    No no!
    The EMGS that came with this bass do have the J5 labels on them also. As do my spare set that I have. I actually swapped them to see if there would be any difference. No difference to my ear. The pickups are picking up the B string ok. But to my ears, it does sound a little weaker in output. Nothing huge though. This is my first 5 string also. So Im still getting used to it.
  20. Whatever you have, they fit but your output is lacking on the B - love to see your bass as I now think it is simply a setup / string issue.

    Walter - sorry if I got defensive/misinterpreted your comments. I have always seen your comments in various threads and dug your input :)


Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.