Fender MIM Jass Bass 5 String - Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by praveenbhoomi, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. praveenbhoomi


    Mar 20, 2008
    Dear fellow bass players!

    I know this topic has been spoken off before but I really need some help taking some decisions.

    I have MZ3xxxxxx model; meaning bridge and neck pickups are of same size.

    neck pu 3.9 inches/ 10 cm
    bridge pu 3.9 inches / 10 cm

    I have been experiencing the common problem of noise and I am tired of troubleshooting it. So, I have decided to replace the pickups with American Jazz bass pickups.

    And replace all the pots with CTS and switchcraft output jack.

    Now, I am not finding the size of the American Jazz bass pickups to see if that fits into this slot.

    Can someone please guide me here?

    If you have suggestions of pickups that suits this dimension, please advice.

    I am from India, so I have no liberty to demo pickups at guitar store here :(

    Looking forward to responses!

  2. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    I'm a fan of the Dimarzio Area J 5 string set that I had installed in a modified Yamaha BBN5.

    They are are both a little less than 10 cm in length at top of pickup cover.

    They might work with different covers, not sure.
  3. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Information is a bit sparce here. First of all does the noise go away or get less when you touch the strings or ground (jack)? If so, then shielding and not pickups are what is needed. If hum does not go away when you touch ground but changes when you change orientation of bass (with one pickup soloed) then you need to consider hum-canceling pickups. Hum should go away with both pickups on full.

    I think most MIM Jazz 5 (like mine) came with "noiseless" hum canceling pickups. Now if you said "tone sucks" then THAT is the "common problem". Which is why I put Fender SCN pickups on mine. Wonderful...but now discontinued. As for sizes, Hey, standards are great! Every bass should have it's own! And As I recall the AM. STd and MIM sizes aren't the same. It's a matter of careful measurements and paying attention if the two pickups are the same size or one is smaller.

    I like Dimarzio pickups too, but they don't come in Fender sizes. As Acebase62 says, you could perhaps change the covers. But personally I'd just search the internet for pickups listed as in sizes to fit MIM 5ers. Why people selling things like pickups, tuners etc. seem to think that you really don't need to know what size they are is beyond me.

    Good Luck.
    praveenbhoomi likes this.
  4. praveenbhoomi


    Mar 20, 2008
    Hey bassbeni!
    thanks much for the response.

    1. This is Fender MIM 2003 model with pickup dimensions - Length - 3.9 Inches and Width: 0.70 inches

    2. No, the sound does not go away when I touch it

    3. I tried shielding the cavity with aluminium foil and grounding the bridge+pickups+electronics

    4. The pickups in MIM are not hum cancelling; the noise doesnt go away with pickups full

    This is why I am considering to replace the electronics completely including pickups :(
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Well this is a problem! Note that my MIM is a 2002 and came with "noiseless" pickups. The fact that shielding didn't do anything (remember all aluminum must be grounded (connected to jack body) for shielding to work) and since touching ground changes nothing and that both pickups on full doesn't cancel hum seems strange! Even single coil pickups are typically wired to cancel hum when both pickups are on full (especially in a 2003 bass). True test is if moving the bass around in direction can change the hum level. If so, and sometimes you may even be able to find a "null" position with hum mostly gone, that means the problem is magnetic pickup (as in pickups). And if so that almost certainly means the problem is bad wiring or a defective pickup which means your solution of new pickups probably is the answer. It certainly is the answer for improved tone.

    You made me just go check my MIM. It has the pickups that are two different lengths. The Neck pickup is 3.9" wide and 0.72 wide. The bridge pickup is 4.1" wide and also 0.72 wide. If yours are like this too then the key is to look for pickups that come in the two different sizes mode for Fenders. (not others such as DiMarzio which are a completely different size or pairs where bridge and neck are the same length (If I recall correctly they are both the bigger size). As I said, I put SCN pickups in my MIM (they used to be the standard pickups in the AM. STd. basses) but now they are virtually impossible to find in 5 string sizes and a two-size pair. Some others like Carvin pickups only come in the neck and bridge the same size mode.

    Probably the best pickups you can get (in my opinion) are the Nordstrand NJ5FS (if yours takes two sizes of pickups). Just killer, but get out wallet! That's why I went with the cheaper SCNs. Note that I did put copper shielding in mine to eliminate that last bit of "hum that goes away when you touch the strings" as well, although the original Fender shielding did sort of work. It's really silent now.

    Good luck!
    praveenbhoomi likes this.
  6. praveenbhoomi


    Mar 20, 2008
    Hello Bassbenj!
    I really really appreciate the response.
    From what I have read in forums, MIM until serial nmber MZ3xxxxxx had pickups of same size.

    I love the feel when I play on this bass at home through sound card at lower gains, but the noise amplifies when I connect it to PA in gigs even with ground lift on DI box.

    And I dont have any guitar electronics experts nor luthiers in my location and thats why I decided to change the entire electronics part of the bass.

    1. CTS potentiometers - 3 [250k]
    2. Swithcraft output jack
    3. new wires
    4. FENDER VINTAGE NOISELESS™ JAZZ BASS PICKUPS [do you know someone who has used these pickups? any direct reviews on this one?]

    but I am not able to find the actual size of these pickups; so I know if fits into the pickup cavity without having to resize it :(