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Fender Jazz Sound Samples - Stock vs. SJB-1 pickups

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by -=DanAtkinson=-, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. [​IMG]

    So I decided to upgrade my MIM Fender 60s Classic Jazz with aftermarket pups. The stock bass sounded good to me, but I figured an upgrade would certainly make an improvement, especially since the stock pickups are nothing fancy. After a bit of research, I decided to go with the Seymour Duncan SJB-1 pickups. I read great things about them everywhere (including TB). Price was $115 for the set.

    Here are the before & after samples. As a test song, I opted to go with some John Paul Jones (this bass looks just like his, so I figured why not). I added some simple backing tracks to see how the bass would sit in a mix.

    I honestly cannot hear a bit of difference. Can you?

  2. Sounds to me -- with headphones on -- like there's a wee bit more clarity and bite from the Seymour Duncans. But that could be attack on your part. And the difference certainly isn't something you'd hear in a full band situation.

    Thx for posting nonetheless.
  3. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    Through my headphones a hear a VERY slight bit more body with the Duncans, but I agree nearly indistinguishable. Perhaps there's more of a noticeable difference when you reposition the PUPs either lower or higher?
    At any rate, a nice tone.
  4. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I changed out the stock pups in my MIM jazz with the fender 62 re issue (geddy) pups and the difference was not very noticable. I kept those for a year and then put in a set of Dimarzio Model J's. Now they sound different! Much thicker and beefy sounding with tons of growl. They dont have the sweet scooped tone of the single coils but are very impressive for a very inexpensive replacement set.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I agree with woolysock. It's a very subtle difference, but I'm hearing just a tiny bit more high mid and treble in the Duncans that seem to give it that little extra clarity. You'd never hear it at a gig. I prefer the sound of the Duncans.
  6. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Hm, I feel the stock is a bit muddier and less attack. Though in truths the difference are barely noticeable in my mind unless you're really looking for it.
  7. mellobud


    May 17, 2007
    Through my trusty cans....I can hear your attack better and the notes sound more spread out throughout the upper mids whereas your stocks seem to jumble together in the mids more.

    this difference would be lost in any band setting though...

    perhaps you might notice the difference more with some quality pots.
  8. musicelectronix


    Jul 8, 2007
    Hüstın, TX
    Lead Designer, Zeibek Boutique Pedals
    IMO Duncan SJB-1 was meant to sound similiar to stock Fender Jazz Pickups. IMO both shares same jazz tone, but Duncan has a more distinctive with crispier attack and clear tone, as everyone else said.
  9. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Is your tone knob down? Or is it all the way open? If you open it up all the way, I bet the differences will be a bit more pronounced.
  10. BobXboB

    BobXboB Banned

    Sep 25, 2007
    I could hear that much of a difference with 2 tracks of the same pickups or if you spliced these 2 tracks together I could never find the splice point.
  11. All the way open. But I play with Chromes (flats). So the tone is a bit mellow.

    I think you guys are right. I am hearing a TINY bit of improved clarity on the SJB-1 pickups. But only about a 10% improvement, to my ears.

    One thing is for sure - the new pickups are WAY HOTTER than stock! I guess that's a plus. You can see the difference in Cubase. The SJB-1 waveform is much "thicker" than the stock. I had to turn the volume down on that track to keep the levels consistent.
  12. Both clips sound pretty gretty great!

    I'll agree that there a subtle difference at best. If someone gave me the SJBs for free I'd likely put them in, but it's not a $119 difference, imo.

    The difference might be greater with rounds.
  13. chiplexic


    Apr 21, 2004
    Given the added clarity with the SJB's and the fact you say they are hotter would make it worth the $$ to change them for me. The stock ones do sound alot like the original recording/album though. Unfortunately that may be what the stock ones sound like all the time with little change being accomplished with eq. Another reason worth changing them.
  14. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I can barely hear an audible difference either, but I've been there before. I've replaced stock pickups & not gained much at all, or worse - didn't like them. But as others stated, if the gain improvement was substantial, I'd say it was worth it. FWIW, I think the tone you've currently got (only louder now) is just fantastic. Personally, I don't know that I would be replacing the pup's, but I'm sure you've got a certain tone your looking for. The recording sounded really nice as well - what's your basic recording setup?
  15. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Very subtle and without knowing your settings and recording method, I would say that the duncans have a slight increase of high frequency beyond 3khz and they are slightly hotter.
  16. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Lows and mids are tighter and better defined on the duncans. Theres a bit of mud in the stock pups and the duncans cleaned that right up. I actually think live with a band is precisely where this will pay off.

    For the most part, pickup swapping results in subtle changes. IMO, this was a good change :) I've played a bunch of Hamer Cruises with SJB-1s and they've all sounded killer.
  17. I really doubt in a band setting that anyone would notice. The only reason we can hear any difference is because:

    1. We are bassists
    2. Most of us are listening to the samples with headphones
    3. The bass is very prominent in my mix

    The 10% improvement in tone would be totally lost in a live setting with a couple of loud guitars and heavy drums.
  18. I threw Aeros in ( A Lakland JoBo5 Sky) and the difference was much less subtle than that, quite dramatic actually.
  19. For only a 100$ a set, I think they are great, They have not changed what sounded good of your other pickups and took what left to be desired to the next level.

    I mean, you bass sounded just fine in the first recording and sounds a bit better in the second. What would you like in the sound to be upgraded?

    Basslines are like that, You want an upgraded stock pick-up sound, look at the sjb-1, you want more mids and highs that are less harsh it's the Sjb-2. if you want a scooped sound go for the qurter pounders.

    If you want a better sound that's in another ballpark, you have to pay more.
  20. I guess you're right. But in hindsight, I don't think the difference in tone is worth $100, plus the effort of swapping pickups. I guess the lesson here is that stock Fender pickups really aren't that bad.

    (Sorry for taking 5 months to respond) :)

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