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Fralin vs. Aero Jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by emor, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. emor


    May 16, 2004
    I would like some opinions based on "real world" experience.

    I put some Lindy Fralins in my '87 Korean Squier Jazz last week and absolutely love them. Rave reviews from other bass players who have heard and played it.

    I've been looking around for another new Jazz for awhile and have been disappointed in most of the Fenders I have tried. Almost without exception they have been in dire need of a good set up. I want a passive without S-1 switch.

    I have run across a Lakland Darryl Jones that plays very nicely and I am close to purchasing it. However, I'm liking the sound of the Fralins more than the Aeros, but there are other contributing factors. I have D'Addario half rounds on my Squier and the Lakland has rounds. I didn't truly appreciate the Fralins until I had played them in an ensemble at volume. I have only played the Lakland solo in the store at low volume.
    It seems to have a brighter, maybe more mid-rangey tone compared to the Fralins which seem darker (woodier?), but still with plenty of definition and punch. I just don't know how much of the difference is in the strings and how much it might be the pickups. For what the Lakland costs, I'm not too keen on the idea of having to spend more money on switching out the pickups.

    I play mostly blues and blues-derived rock; fingerstyle only--no slap or pick.

    I would appreciate any comments/opinions from anyone who has A/B'd these, preferrably in the same bass with the same strings.

  2. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    A couple of things to consider...
    1. Pickup spacing. The DJ has 70's pickup spacing which means that the bridge pickup is closer to the bridge than a regular Jazz bass (I believe it is 1 1/2" closer). Giving the bass a brighter tone all things being equal

    2.Aero has multiple types of Jazz pickups. Type 1,2 and 3. Check the websites for specifics.

    On the same bass, I tried this on an alder jazz style bass and I think if you are looking for a more vintage sound the fralins are definitely the way to go. To my ears the Aeros have more tone, but the fralins have a more vintage old school sound that is "rounder" than the Aeros. I think too one of the differences that may contribute to that is the magnet material. The Fralins have alnico pickups which are warmer than the standard magnet material.

    If you want something that is similar to your current jazz bass, find one that the same pickup spacing. Have you had the opportunity to check out Lakland Joe Osborne?
  3. emor


    May 16, 2004
    Thanks. That's the kind of info I was looking for.

    I haven't had the opportunity to try the JO. The only place around here that carries Lakland (that I know of) currently has only the DJ in stock and I was hoping to pick something up soon. I'd really like to give the JO a try, so maybe Ill put my purchase on hold for awhile and see if they get one in stock--I'm really diggin' the Fralins.

    One thing about the JO--and it certainly isn't a deal-breaker--is the two knob configuration. When I had the new pickups put in the Squier, I had the guy change the standard volume/volume/tone to volume/pan/tone, which is a change I've already decided to make on any jazz I get from now on.

    Thanks again.
    madjazzbass likes this.
  4. madjazzbass


    Jan 5, 2014
    I'm Loving the Volume, Pan, Tone idea; I'm going to do that with my next mod./ project.
  5. Isotonic

    Isotonic Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Round Rock TX
    The Fralins are darker and raw. The Aeros have beautiful complex mids, not as dark sounding. Not as raw. I have both on similar basses and I prefer the Aeros, especially after hearing a recording of a live gig. They have a beautiful tone. The Fralins are also excellent. There is a beautiful low mid bloom that the Fralins provide that I believe add to the appeal for many. The Aeros are a little more even handed.