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Fender 60's Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by XUSMC1775x, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. XUSMC1775x


    Dec 8, 2012
    hey everyone, i have an Fender MIM 60's Jazz Bass and i am not completely satisfied with it. i only been playing for a little over a year so i dont know much! so i was wondering what upgrades should i make? (the Bass is all stock already) if i should upgrade the pickups which pickups would you recommend for a 60's Jazz Bass sound? i want to achieve a sound similar (but not exactly) like James Jamerson, such as his work on "my girl" by the Temptations and "i cant help myself" by the Four Tops(yes i know he mainly used a 62 P Bass) i was think Fender 60's CS Jazz Pickups would do the trick. Please let me know what you guys think, thanks!
  2. Not sure if you've already done this, but putting flats on your jazz will help a lot with achieving that sound. It won't sound like a "P with flats", but IMO is still a pretty cool, old school sound (I've done this to both passive and active jazzes). Plus, it's cheap and easy to try!
  3. I would speak to the guys at Wizard pickups and tell them what you are looking for. They have always been very helpful in my dealings with them and it`s a quality product. As you say, you are trying to make a P bass sound with a Jazz, so flatwounds, front pickup up full, bridge pickup off and play as close to the neck as you can. IMO of course.
  4. I would go the flatwound strings route first. Try La bella's. Do a search about them here. It's cheaper than new pickups and a lot less work. Add a foam mute at the bridge and you will definitely be in Motown/reggae territory! After that, then change pickups or what not if your still trying to look for something different. It took me almost 15 years to figure that one out!
  5. Jwood

    Jwood Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Richmond, Va
    I've been in your shoes and was never able to get a jbass to sound like a pbass. I think if you want pbass sound you need to get a pbass.
  6. Agreed, but with flatwounds and mute, you'll be a lot closer to that thumpy 60's sound.
    This is what it would sound like with flats on a jazz so ou have an idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE3WaSETf8k

    I think Ashton Barrett used Fender Flats though.
  7. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Flatwounds, mute foam and favor the neck pickup.
  8. i think its aston not ashton
    i agree whats been said already. you can get closer to the Pbass sound with flatwounds, foam mute and neck pickup soloed (and played in between neck and pickup)
    though you will never nail that pbass soudn especialyl not james jamersons. jazz bass is a different animal.
    i think you should learn to love the thin and smooth sound of it. otherwise sell it and get a P bass.
    you can get close to the sound with the above approach
  9. Thanks :p
  10. XUSMC1775x


    Dec 8, 2012
    Thank you everyone for your responses, right now i do actually have foam at the bridge (because i heard that James Jamerson put foam in the ashtray bridge cover haha) but i will try some flatwound stings. im not trying to exactly emulate the sound from jamerson but get fairly close to it. he never really took care of his bass ever (the neck was so warped some said it was unplayable) thats probably a big big reason for his sound. so ill try some flats and if i want more ill try flats with some new pickups. ive been really looking at the Fender CS 60's jazz bass pickups. thanks again for replies!
  11. Topspin

    Topspin What's my name again?

    Dec 15, 2010
    I played Tom Sawyer with a pick once. Shame on me.
    I had the CS 60's pickups in my jazz for a while. They definitely get the 60's jazz sound, but the closest I ever got to 60's P was when I wired them in series and rolled off the tone. It wasn't a perfect fit, but it was close.
  12. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    OP, enjoy your mods! One thought about jazz pickups if it comes to that...hum is a big issue whenever you solo a single coil pup. If you are going to spend the big bucks, you might consider hum-canceling pups. Can't say which ones favor the '60s sound though.

    Yet I have to agree with those who say the best way to get the P bass tone is with a P bass. And two basses are more fun than one! But that totally depends on your budget...and possibly your wife or GF's budget.

  13. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    The stick pickups are probably not the problem. While different PUPs will change things, it won't get you appreciably closer to you goal than other, less expensive, and more simple things.

    Start with strings rather than PUPs. For the price of new electronics you can try a lot of string sets. I'd suggest GHS Precision Flats to start. My favorite flat, but a good starting point fir most folks because they have that essential flatwound sound in a tension that's close to similarly gauges rounds.

    Next, solo the neck PUP, that'll get you a lot more into Jamerson territory than using both PUPs. BTW, Joe Osborn only used the neck PUP on his Jazz for all his classic recordings too.

    Then carefully play with the EQ on your amp, don't be afraid of the tone control on the bass (it doesn't have to be at either extreme either), and most importantly, your hands. Where you hit the string, angle of attack, and how hard you hit it will have huge impact on your sound.

  14. freu


    Dec 7, 2010
    mh, close the tone pot.
    Neck Volume 90%, Bridge Volume 80%
    don't care about string brand in this case.

    if you happy then just go on.
    If not buy a P-Bass
  15. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    i got an idea!

    get use to what you have and make lemonade...;)
  16. thats what im saying.

    i dont see much sense reconfigurating a jazz bass to sound like a p bass. for the mod money you want to spend+ selling your jazz you could easily buy lets say a fender 50's precision bass.
    or if you got the bucks just buy another bass. its great to have a jazz and p. when i get some money i will do exactly this myself

    i see when someone is trying to emulate a tone for certain songs (for this neck pu solo and foam is sufficient) but modding and limiting such a versatile instrument is not wise imo
  17. XUSMC1775x


    Dec 8, 2012
    thanks again for further replies, alot of informative stuff. However i am not wanting to "exactly" copy James Jamerson sound. maybe in my original post i should of said i want a 60's J Bass tone, however James Jamerson played on most Motown hits so i want to get close to that. and as for getting a P Bass, its not that comfortable to me as it is to others (i had one) i have one J bass for a modern sound, and i want to get this bass to that Classic Motown sound.
  18. XUSMC1775x


    Dec 8, 2012
    so would you recommend using Flats with Fender CS 60's pickups?
  19. I'm sure that's all they really had back then. That's where the sound comes from. Don't worry about the pickups. Just trying to save you money dude.
  20. XUSMC1775x


    Dec 8, 2012