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Fender Jazz Pickup Position - 60s vs 70s - what changed?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ten Four One, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    I keep reading about this here & other places, but I don't know what they changed, when, why, and how each affects the sound of the instrument.

    And when you order a body from someone like Warmoth or Mighty Mite or USACG, which position do they typically use? (I'm guessing the modern one unless you specify otherwise.)

    Side by side photos for comparison would be nice. :)
  2. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I do believe that in the 70's they moved the bridge pickup closer to the neck, certainly by a distance siginificant enough as to cause some debate on it's effect on the tone of the instrument. If you search, you'll find a rather extensive thread on the subject, which I really should read too to clear the subject up for myself!
  3. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    LOL you try searching for "fender jazz position" and variations on that and wading through the hundreds of threads. I would have searched if I thought I had a snowball's chance in hell of being successful.
  4. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005

    I thought it was the other way around, they moved it closer to the bridge.
  5. SoulStabber


    Mar 13, 2006
    Wait..I'm confused. What's the differance?
  6. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Yes, this is correct. I believe this was 1975.

    The American 1975 RI reflects this move, as does the Geddy Lee. And it does affect the sound.
  7. UBU


    Nov 15, 2006
    70's the bridge pup was moved 1/8th or a 1/2 of an inch towards the bridge(pretty sure). The marcus sig is this way
  8. I've heard that the reason was purely visual: it looked better in combination with the bridge cover... :eek:
  9. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Not sure what the original intent was, but ANY movement of the P/U is going to change the sound somewhat.
  10. but how is the sound affected?
  11. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    An even thinner sound from the bridge pickups. Think of the difference between the sound of neck and bridge position j-pickups, the closer to the bridge, the tighter and less bassy the sound will be.
  12. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    Moving pickup closer to bridge, will make tone tighter, more treble.
    The % of change is small, but there is a change in tone.
  13. True 70's position is 1/2 in closer to bridge.

    70's tone has more of a gritty edge to the high's
    60's is a bit rounder
  14. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    the more closer to the middle of the sring (fret 12) the more rounder the sound (with more fundamental frequancy and less armonics).

    the more the pickups get away from there, more arminics start to apear and less fundamental.

    If you compare in a jazz bass both pickups (neck and bridge) you will notice a BIG difference.

    If you compare in 2 different jazzes with different bridge pup positions you will notice less difference.... but sure it changes!

    I prefear the 70`s style jazz, a lot of mid growl and slap tone is awsome
  15. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    So all Fenders are now in the post 1975 configuration? Or did they switch it back - from the posts here it looks like they switched it back (e.g. the 75 reissue reflects this change).

    And if you buy an aftermarket body, which configuration do you get?

    Something tells me I'd prefer the 60's position.
  16. 95% percent of Fender J's are in the 60's position. If the instument doesn't specifically mention something about the bridge pickups being in the "70's, 1/2 inch closer to bridge" location, its in the 60's.

    If you purchase an aftermarket body... its going to have a 60's position. Check to make sure, but I'm guaranteeing you if "70's, 1/2 closer to bridge" is mentions somewhere in the descripton, or marketing of the body, its standard 60's position. - Thats it, there's the word, 'standard'. The 60's position is pretty much the standard.
  17. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    Great. Thanks for the info.
  18. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Many people refer to the wider spacing as the 70's spacing. It's really 3.6" vs 4.0" spacing, and was intended to debut for the start of 1970 and used til phased out about early 1983.

    My dec/1969 Jazz has a 4" spacing...I have only seen a couple other 69's that early with 4".

    Like mentioned the bridge pickup being closer to the bridge gives it more mids, and a growlier sound.

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