1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Fralin Jazz, not vintage enough?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dfp, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    just put stock single coil Fralins in a Hwy 1 Jazz bass, w/ well broken in La Bella deep talkin' steel flats 45-105... very deep sounding... almost too deep... lots of authority, but seems lacking in high end.. i know my strings are contributing to that, but i was expecting a little more balance... the lows on the Fralins seem a bit much, to me, to really be considered vintage correct. Or did Jazz basses really sound that bassy back in the day? thinking of switching to Fender Original. or am i crazy??
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Try lowering the pickup heights slightly and see if it suits your tastes.
  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    The number of windings will have an impact on tone. Capacitors also affect tone. I have Fralin's in my jazz which are over wound by 8%. I get more mids and lows but sacrifice some highs.
  4. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    Fralins are not dark sounding.
    Something else is a miss.
  5. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Doesn't the HWY 1 have the greasebucket circuit? Could be an issue there or maybe the Fralins don't play nice with the Greasebucket? If you want "vintage", the first thing I would do is bring the circuitry to standard and dump the GB.
  6. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    thanks, that helps some, but not completely. I'll play it again tonight on a gig and see how it goes...

    these are the stock wound Fralins, not overwound.
  7. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    this is an older Hwy 1, pre-Grease bucket! :)
  8. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    you're right, it's not a darkness thing, more like an abundance of low punch... i think my dead-ish La Bellas are having a lot to do with it, actually.. but, i do think there's something about the Fralins, that little bit of extra oomph they are known for, that i'm not sold on. i edited "dark" out of my thread title, upon further reflection, btw. :)
  9. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    It's likely the strings. Check pickup height as well.
    I have only used Fralins with nickel rounds and too me they sound
    a little raw and grindy.
  10. AlarmClock314


    Mar 26, 2007
    Southern WI
    What value pots are you using? Increasing the total ohmage may help.

    Another option may be sending the Fralins back to be under wound. This would decrease the output though.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the bass player in the band i play guitar for has stock-wind fralin J's; "raw and grindy" is exactly right, especially since i wired it with 500k pots.

    my stock-wind fralin P has some extended low end beef compared to other vintage-type P pickups, but i don't hear it in the Js, they're not "boosted" like that.
  12. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Re: the pots...i did have one of those "upgrade kits" from some web store (rsguitars?) a while back, can't remember which of my basses it ended up in, and as i recall, that kit used pots that were not quite "stock", i think 280K instead of 250K?? and, yes, my dead La Bellas are certainly a factor.. i can hear acoustically that they sound less snappy than the dead Ernie Ball and D'Addario flatwounds (mixed set) i have on an old Tokai Jazz Sound bass (which incidentally sounds incredible, more to my liking, so maybe i should change strings? haha!).

    All that said, when i review some Jazz pickup comparison videos on youtube, i very certainly hear a little extra beef in the Fralin Jazz sound compared to the stock Fender (Fender Original) sound. I know the Fralins are a wonderful set, and with rounds i'd probably be set for life.. but this is for my dedicated "dead flatwounds" jazz bass.. i guess i just want the nasty Fender sound from the jump, to make the most of my dead flats w/o over coloring them, and i can boost lows on the amp as needed! no accounting for tastes, right? i do appreciate everyone's constructive input on my neurotic ponderings, though... ;)