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Fender SCNs vs N3s

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RASHOSS, Feb 26, 2014.



    Jan 21, 2011
    Oak View, CA
    My understanding is that the only notable difference between the 2010 Fender American Jazz Deluxe, and the newer models is that the 2010 has SCN Pickups and the newer models have the N3s.

    Are the N3 pickups "better", or is this just another question of personal preference?

    Are there agreed upon tonal differences between the two?


    Jan 21, 2011
    Oak View, CA
    bump? Is that allowed?
  3. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    SCN 5 string pickups have been discontinued for a long time and I do see that Amazon has some 4 string ones.

    I presume the problem is that Bill Lawrence passed away although the website says his wife Becky is keeping the company going.

    I suspect that the N3 pickups are "better" because you can get them. Hopefully they all will be available again because I love them. MY Jazz V has a set I installed right before they disappeared. One of these days I may want to buy more.
  4. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    First Noiseless series, off early 2000 american deluxe models and now on MIM deluxe ones, were punchy and loud, but also noisy, despite their monicker.

    SCN were way more quieter: I personally installed a pair of SCN on a Squier deluxe Jazz bass V and they really enhanced its electronic definition and focus, if compared to stock pickup.

    Unfortunately, they also were sensitively less loud in output, so present N3 stay less "noisy" than early Noiseless but hotter than SCN. Furthermore they adopt a useful on/off switch, so they deliver in passive mode too, even if with no passive tone.

    Hope this helps



    Jan 21, 2011
    Oak View, CA
    So it sounds like the newer Fender, with N3s is hotter than a 2010 Fender with SCNs. Is it only an output issue then, not necessarily a quality issue? Again, simply goes back to personal preference?

    I had a similar experience, testing out (new) guitars this past weekend, where the American Jazz Deluxe (active) was hotter than the American Jazz (passive).

    I'm very interested in the Fender that "Justyn" has for sale currently, but it's tough buying without playing first, which is why I've asked him a ton of questions, and am posing THIS question here.

    Thanks for feedback.
  6. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Did you compare the Am Dlx in passive mode? The output does increase in active mode, compared to passive. I think that the tone controls are very versatile in active mode, but the option of running passive was something I really like. I own recent P, and J Am Dlx basses, and I really like the way they sound.


    Jan 21, 2011
    Oak View, CA
    Yes, I noticed that the output on the Deluxe is definitely hotter in active mode, than in passive mode. I like that option.

    My main "concern", for lack of a better word, is whether or not the older (2010) pups are going to leave me wanting more, compared to the newer N3s. I guess, in worst case scenario, I could change out the pups, even though my understanding is that it would require some work to make them fit.
  8. My 2010 deluxe has N3 pickups. Stock. After 2012, Fender redesigned the N3 pickups. My friend just bought a 2013 Am Deluxe V. His pickups, tho marked as N3, same as my mark, are TOTALLY different than mine. Smaller poles, and differing tone and output. His are "sweeter", with a more complex top end. Mine are more powerful, by a LOT. Luckily, our differing styles are complimented by our pickup designs. What makes you happy is gonna be up to you.


    Jan 21, 2011
    Oak View, CA
    Okay, we'll, that's what I like to hear. It's not that the newer N3s are "better", it just comes down to personal style/preference.
  10. Absolutely. They both sound killer! And, to clarify. In passive mode, my 2010's N3s are louder. And, there is less of a difference between my active an passive output levels when switching, than my friend's 2013. So I do attribute the extra oomph I have to the pickups themselves, rather than a redesign in the electronics. The preamps seem identical in their abilities in effecting each pickup's individual tone, it seems to me the pickups are the difference.
  11. And? Both our pickups are the same size in outer dimensions. No work involved in switchin. And both our Basses are American Deluxe 5 strings. Both Alder bodies. Mine a maple board. His a Rosewood. But our comparisons, wit same string sets (D'addario ProSteels guages 45, 65, 80, 100, 130.), were usin open strings. Differing fretboards having no effect. We also had a third Deluxe 5, identical to mine but a 2012 model. It had the newer pickups. Same output difference, tho that one had Labella NPS strings.