Fender Jazz tone control lesson 101!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dllive, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. dllive


    Dec 30, 2011

    I have a mexican fender jazz which Ive had for years. Ive never actually played around with the tone control before!! I know that I have 2 pots which control the volume of each pickup, and then I have the smaller tone pot. I hear people talking about "full tone" etc... but I dont kwno what this means. If I have 'no' tone, does that mean the tone pot it turned all the way anticlockwise. And 'full' tone its turned fully clockwise?

    I want to replicate the vintage 60's/70's pbass funk sound, but dont have the money for a pbass! What tone/pickup volume combination do you think I should have?
    I have looked on Youtube for some tutorials on tone control for a jazz bass, but cant find any. It would be useful to see a what tones you can get and what styles theyre useful for. When I watch the bassist from New Mastersounds play (thats the sound Im going for) I can see that on some songs he does something with his tone knob, but dont know what he's doing and why! Tbh I should have leant all this stuff years ago! :)
  2. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007
    That funky tone of 60's and 70's comes mainly from a "neck pickup placement" to say something, and i'd say it has something like 40% of the tone control, that's more efective if you have a good pot that work with linear taper character IMO. I think you can achieve that tone working only with the neck pickup on your jazz bass, and the right hand plucking placement has a lot to do aswell, remeber that! Play near the bridge with the neck pickup activated, and you'll get a punchy round tone.
  3. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    I'm not sure what particular sound you want, but to get close to a P sound I'd go with the neck pickup and boost the lower mids on your amp. Maybe roll back the bass a bit. T
    Then go from there. I'd avoid blending the pickups if you're looking for that sound as it will scoop the mids, which takes you in the opposite direction. Least that's how it sounds on mine. Nothing special about the tone control on a J. Works the same as any other passive guitar or bass I've played.

    The subtlety is in the blend control. I'd like to see a thread on that.
  4. I just don't buy into the idea that a jazz be set up to sound like a p

    I also don't understand why a person wouldn't want to use a j purely for its unique tone capability

    I have both a j and a p and on my experience using the neck pick up on a j is obviously one option but it is not a p tone

  5. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    The OP writes he doesn't have a P-Bass, but wants a P-sound.

    I play a J in a cover band, and if the song calls for a P sound, I just roll off the bridge PU vol to 40%, and pluck closer to the bridge, in order to take out some of the heavy bass that is present. Works pretty well in a live setting...
  6. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    Neck pup solo is as close to a P-Bass tone as a Jazz will get. It still won't sound like a P, but you will get a fuller / rounder tone than both pups or the bridge pup. You can roll the tone control back to see of you like it any better, but just soloing the neck pup will likely get as much of what you want as anything.
  7. Boosting somewhere in the 120Hz to 250Hz to 400Hz range will also help fatten a J.

    I've tried Flatwounds on my J and found more thump. Not so good for slap though.
  8. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA

    If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could also rewire the pickups in series. IMHO, that still won’t get you a P sound, but it’s a way to change the traditional Jazz tone. More discussion here if you’re interested.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Eh, just turn the bridge pickup down and use the neck pickup. Close enough. It's not 100% identical but it's pretty darn close and about as close as any two different P pickups are.

    And full tone means the most treble you can get out of it while no tone means treble turned down all the way.
  10. .
    I agree with these guys.
    I turn the bridge pickup down on my Jazz if I want a (close enough) Precision sound when playing with my band.

    NB. Admittedly, playing solo at home it definitely doesn't sound as acceptable as it does in a band context.