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Fender Jazz bass pick ups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by briandavismurph, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. briandavismurph

    briandavismurph Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    I recently picked up a stock made in Mexico Fender Jazz bass. I find that the 60 cycle hum, when you only use one of the two pick ups is annoying. As a result I find myself using both pick ups wide open all the time. I realize that I could buy noiseless pickups but I’m wondering what you guys think about using just one single coil pick up without using a noiseless pickups. I guess put another way why would you keep the single coil pickups and not just go to noiseless pickups? I’m almost thinking I should just redo the wiring to one volume one tone and be done with it.
    HD007 likes this.
  2. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    The hum doesn’t bother me that much, I guess...and I use headphones a lot...but everyone’s different...

    I thought about HC pickups, but that would be an expense of at least $200 depending on what and where you buy; plus I have 2 Jazz basses...double that cost.
    I also really love how my singles sound. Buying new pickups (and preamps) you’ve never tried before is probably the hardest thing to do. You won’t know if you like them until they’re all soldered up and installed.
    JRA and craigie like this.
  3. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    You’ve ignited an age old debate. Leo figured out in 1957 that he could make a bass that didn’t hum (actually it was obvious before that date). Since then, a lot of different pickup designs that cancel hum have been introduced. Humm irritates the crap out of me. I want to play music, not fight hum.

    By my watch, it’s almost 2019. Why anyone still makes basses that hum is a mystery to me.
    BlueTalon, Artman, HD007 and 5 others like this.
  4. I am completely with you. My jazz is my main player but, every time I start to turn one pickup down it bugs me massively. I'd like to try an early 60's concentric knob type jazz - I'd like to hear what both pickups with the bridge tone down sounds like.

    As someone else mentioned, replacing pickups can be quite expensive. money I'd rather put towards trying out a P or Stingray :)

    Forgot to mentioned, I do actually very much enjoy the wide open tone on my jazz!
    Smooth_bass88 and HD007 like this.
  5. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    MIM FSR Deluxe Jazz Bass (ash) w/Custom Shop 60s p/pups and orange drop cap.

    Shield and ground helped me 'minimize' the buzz but it's still there. I'm typically running either the bridge dimed with the neck about 80% or vice versay (neck dimed and bridge 80%). Tone, depending on my mood and amp/room.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  6. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    It’s a question of wrong bass or wrong pickups.
    Plenty of love for Jazz basses out there, of course, but either noisey pickups are an issue that’s an issue that’s worth dealing with, or not.
    If it is an issue, you can try to find a set of Fender Super 50 Jazz pickups (discontented even though they still make inferior noiseless pickups) or maybe some Lace Sensor Man O’ War pickups.

    The Fender Super 55 Split Coil Jazz Bass Pickup Set (Neck and Bridge) offers you the chance to give your guitar authentic Jazz Bass tone without 60 cycle hum ruining your experience. These exceptional-sounding pickups are constructed of two separate, linear wound coils to provide you with a hum-free performance with improved output. A Genuine Fender product, these pickups feature symmetrically staggered pole pieces, Alnico 5 magnets and 42 gauge Formvar wire.

    The Lace Man J-Bass Sensor utilizes patented Lace Sensor technology, voiced in an aggressive yet controlled tone. The Man O' War bass pickup features precise harmonic content with an attitude that cuts through in any situation. Low magnetic pull increases sustain and its broad dynamic range will drive amps and effects better. The Man Bass Pickup provides vintage vibe with modern punch and definition.

    As for only using one pickup...
    Pbassmanca and BlueTalon like this.
  7. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Split coils don’t quite sound the same as true single coils and that’s why they still use them.

    I have had both and prefer good single coils. Hum is bad in my basement but not on gigs usually.

    Don’t rewrite to a single volume. If you must then do volume and blend.

    Try a series/parallel switch. Then they are hum cancelling and work as one volume.
  8. I believe Leo really thought most players would be using some variant of both pickups on. If playing with just one pickup on is super important to you, then there are plenty of hum-less replacement pickups to be had for little money.

    Or maybe you should just be playing a P. ;)
    Pbassmanca, HD007 and Frankie Fender like this.
  9. Subjectively speaking; noiseless J pickups don't sound as organic as noisy vintage J pickups. I tried split and stack coils, neither worked for me. If you prefer noisy pickups (like many do), you could use a noise gate pedal to stop the hum when you are not playing. In a live situation, most people won't hear your hum when playing anyway.
  10. There's a reason why I've owned seven Jazz basses and have none now.
    HD007, J0hn, EmuBass and 2 others like this.
  11. briandavismurph

    briandavismurph Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    I have four different precisions and I play them all the time.
    I wanted to try jazz just to see how I am I like it, and I haven’t given up yet
    HD007 likes this.
  12. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Also, the guitarist’s hum will be 10 times louder and amplified by distortion pedals and they will also be too loud anyway. Unless you’re playing kumbaya under a neon sign it won’t be a problem.
  13. I think there's no true solution to this. There are a lot of ways to mitigate hum but it will always change the sound or character of the bass. Most of the more awesome bass tones throughout history had tons of extra noise and hum to them. Take Jaco for example. He used the back jazz pickup PLUS an Acoustic amp, which had crazy idle hum already. It would annoy me personally, but if I was a real nut for authentic old school jazz bass tone I'd have to just deal with it. Luckily I'm a P guy.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  14. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Jaco didn’t need a humbucking J pickup. Seriously, guitars make much more noise, and I don’t see why the small humming noise of the J would be a problem.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  15. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    the hum doesnt bother me, and I use a noise gate to kill it when im not playing. I just think single coil pickups sound better to me.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  16. Make sure its grounded and shielded.

    I have a 2001 MIM J and it does have some hum but its negligible. I don't play at high volume though. I don't play it much anymore; I would sell it but my wife bought it for me and I don't want piss her off! :)
  17. I shielded the pickup cavities and control cavity on my JB with copper foil tape and ground wire soldered to the copper foil. I barely notice any hum at all when soloing one pickup.
    Joybass, Artman, InnerBass and 3 others like this.
  18. BurtMacklinFBI

    BurtMacklinFBI Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2018
    Just pick up a noise gate pedal and don’t worry about it. The ISP Decimator works beautifully, is so simple a dog could operate it, and acts as an excellent buffer to boot.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  19. The MIM pickups from the early 90s were appalling. This was the time when Fender was using two bridge style pups on the MIM jazz basses, and you couldn't even fit aftermarket pickups as both positions were routed the same. They would buzz even when both were full volume, as they weren't reverse wind/ polarity. Is the OP bass one of those monstrosities, I wonder?
    Pbassmanca and dab12ax7ef like this.
  20. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Shield your bass cavities...best of both worlds...single coil growl and relatively buzz free!
    Joybass, InnerBass and REV like this.

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