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Fender or DiMarzio for MIM jazz?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mello_bedwetter, May 13, 2010.

  1. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    You might be able to dig up some info or even a comparison in the J-pickup sticky up at the top of the page - in case you haven't been through that yet. Plenty of feedback/reviews around on the DiMarzio options and a search should yield good results, but I've only seen those specific Fenders in some of their deluxe basses.

    I've got a set of DiMarzio's Ultra Jazz pickups in my passive franken-J and they turned out to be pretty much what the gang out there predicted. Just because of my respect for them (actually I adore my Ultra J's), I'd lean toward the Model J's before the Fenders, but if you do a little digging, you ought to be able to turn up some impressions on the character of each set and get more of what you want from one or the other.
  2. Model J's are very dark-sounding. They have their followers, but I'm pretty sure all these followers have their tweeters up full on their cabs. LOL
    I like Ultra Jazz.
  3. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    If you want something that sounds close to your current pickups, but noiseless, get the Fenders. If you want something much hotter and thicker, get the DiMarzios. The new DiMarzio Area J pickups get good reviews as providing solid vintage tone with no hum.
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the fenders are rather dull and weak. (you'll note fender stocks these only on active preamp instruments to make up for it.)

    the area J will give you the closest thing to dead-on vintage jazz bass, while the ultras are a little bigger and louder.
  5. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i installed the Model J pups in my 74 Jazz ... very thick , loud , punchy , nice finger funk sound ...

    more recently , installed Fender Noiseless in 86 "75" RI ...
    a bit thinner , but cleaner , weeker output than Model J ..

    in another Jazz build , i installed the Ultra Jazz set ... i would say they sat right about in the middle of the other 2 in every repect ... could be easily EQ'd to get darker or cleaner ...

    had also had my eye on the Sadwsky hum cancelling pups ... finally got to try them , but they're in my new/used Sadowsky UV70 ...
    they seem similar to the Ultra Jazz pups when running them passive ... i had seen some Blem Sad pups at their website for a very good price a little while back ..

    something i usually installed on my J basses ... 62 style concentric vol/tone controls ... w/spraque caps ...
    the last one had a series/parallel switch and a 5 way varitone ... w/copper tape in the pup and control cavities .

    and of course a BadAss bridge .. or any higher mass bridge .

    whoops ... sorry , i'm rambling ... but i'm old , started playing in 1963 ... good luck , have fun with it ..!! Dave C.
  6. I ended up ordering the Model J set. The bass they're going on is a 2009 MIM Jazz. I just figured the DiMarzio's would be better than the PU's that came on it. I'll find out soon I guess. Thanks for the help. Any more responses...I like reading your opinions.
  7. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I have Model Js in one of my Jazz basses, and I do like them. As others have said, they are kinda' dark and thumpy, but with good strings they still have some sizzle and high end.
  8. I should really get some dark thumping then...I use flats. But that will go good with the type music I play..
  9. I got the DiMarzio's put on today. They sound really good. A lot more punch than the stock pups.
  10. No-one has mentioned that the Model J's are 4 conductor pickups. This is because they comprise of 2 half-sized jazz pups wired together.

    You can wire them in series (stock) or in parallel.

    I had a setup with an Ultrajazz in the bridge & a Model J in the neck. The neck pup overpowered the bridge & was very thick, leaning toward a P sound.

    I put in a push/pull tone pot & wired it for parallel on the neck pup & series when I pulled it up. This gave a much lighter (almost standard) J sound which balanced well both tonally & volume-wise with the J.

    I know you don't need to balance different pups, but since you already have had the Model Js installed, why not replace the volume puts with push/pull pots and you can have the benefit of switching from the thick model j tone to a much more standard tone? It will make the bass more flexible, is easy to achieve, doesn't involve hacking bits out the body & it can all be returned to standard/stock if necessary.

    No brainer to me.
  11. I still may do that. I think I'm going to upgrade the bridge to a BADASS. Any other suggestions for a bridge?
  12. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    For a bridge, I really liked the Gotoh 201 on an MIM fretless P project bass I used to have. It's less expensive than the Badass, and IMO added focus and sustain compared to the MIM Fender bridge.
  13. The Gotoh may be the next step for me. Right now I really like the sound of it with the new DiMarzio pups. Last night I played some old country, the real stuff, and the bass sounded good. I was playing through an Ibanez Soundwave 65 watt 12" that I use around the house and when I set in on some acoustics. I hadn't even tried it through my GK MB210 until today. Now that sounded really cool. I'm glad I went with the DiMarzio's...I'm very pleased.
  14. martijn_2m


    Aug 23, 2005
    I have the DiMarzio model J's in my Fender Marcus Miller Jazzbass. Here's a summary of my experience:

    - No more noise obviously !!
    - Better definition in sound (esp with harmonies etc and in the lower end)
    - Less fuzzy/whooly sound when playing only the neck pickup (great for reggae)
    - Much more punch in the bridge pickup
    - More defined and thicker sound in the bridge pickup (the stock ones sound thinner)

    - I lost a bit of the true Fender Jazz characteristics

    Needless to say that I am very happy with them!
  15. LaBassGuy

    LaBassGuy Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    I installed the UltraJazz pups in my Fender Geddy Lee and Marcus Miller jazz basses.

    I am not happy with my tone and have bought Fender Custom Shop '60s pickups to swap with the UltraJazz.

    With the UJ, the fingerstyle tone is much better. It's more open and clear, but the traditional jazz grit is gone. This is simply because these pups are not single coil.

    I am not happy with my slap tone either. Both my Fenders are bright sounding basses. And the UJ just opens up the sound more. So you get a sound that's too bright, lacking the grit.

    Now, if your MIM jazz has rosewood neck or otherwise has a darker tone, then the Ultrajazz might be exactly what you are looking for.
  16. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    I also use the Gotoh 201 bridge and like it.

    Currently using Seymour Duncan hot stack for Jazz Bass (STK-J2) with 500k volume pots and Fender TBX tone control.

    I get a variety of good fingerstyle and slap tones. I might consider the Dimarzio Area Js in the future if I do another Warmoth project.
  17. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Ive used the Dimarzios in a few basses over the years. Was my fave jazz pup voice wise. With better (hotter) output then the fenders and better imo growl to them. They are a little darker toned then fender jazz pups Ive played as well.
  18. eyecandy


    Jul 28, 2009
    Dizzies sound more modern... If you want a little scooped mid sound, and you slap a lot, the UJ is your pickup however, if you prefer a fat, warm, and extreme punch... the model J, they seem to have a bit tamed highs not that classic vintage tone though

    also the thing about Fender Noiseless, i don't like it that much since it makes my jazz sound like a P... or maybe its just me...

    I personally prefer Fender CS 60 for its midrange growl.. and warm bridge solo pickup..

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