Fretless Jazz Bass; '60s or '70's pickup position?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lowfreqgeek, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups, Westone Audio
    Title says it all. I have 2 fretted J-basses with the '60s position bridge pickup. I'd love to add a fretless jazz to my arsenal (I already have 4 other non-jazz fretless basses...) and I'm curious if there's any preference for one position or the other on fretless.
  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    There is an interesting article on this subject in the most recent edition of BassGear magazine (free e version and paid print version are both available).

    What kind of sound are YOU trying to achieve?
  3. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups, Westone Audio
    Well, the general ballpark sound I'm trying to achieve is "single coils, rounds, and coated board". But not specifically "Jaco" or "Mark Egan" or "Christian McBride" or "Gary Willis", but something in that general category of tone.

    My 4 fretless basses are G&L, MM, and one piezo-only Rick Turner Electroline. My most-used sound is a solo'd dual-coil bridge pickup in parallel mode. I don't have a coated board on any of them, but I think that's big component to the sound I want to achieve, as are the single coils.

    In reality, it's not gonna make much difference to me. Certainly not so much that I'd turn down one or the other based on the position of the bridge pickup alone. Just curious how the position difference plays out on the fretless.
  4. atomicdog


    Jun 18, 2011
    I have the Jaco tribute JB. 70s model. Not as kick-ass as the JB standard fretlesss to tell the truth and costs four times as much. I'd say, audition a lot of models, incl. the Squier VM JB fretless.
  5. This is just a suggestion but, why not put one of those double Jazz Bass pups at the bridge position with switching to the front, or rear coil? I've never played one or anything but, it seems that something like that would solve your dilemma. BTW, do those actually sound like a true single coil Jazz pup? And, if they don't, buy one of each. As for me, I much, much prefer the 70's pup position with an ash body.
  6. klaus486


    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    60's 60's 60's! I find the 70's position much to thin. You'd think the short distance it's changed wouldn't matter that much but it really seems to. If fact the bridge position pickup soloed on any 70's spaced Jazz sounds too thin by itself for my tastes. Sounds great however for that Marcus Miller all knobs up brand new strings slap tone.

    My main bass is a fretless Warmoth/Moses Graphite 60's spaced J.
  7. Warmoth is currently building me a Deluxe5 fretless P/J, with the J in the 70s position.
    I'm using a Nordstrand Big Split at the bridge.

    As per my conversation with Adrien at Nordstrand: "You'll probably get more high-mids out of it in the '70s position. Big Splits still sound pretty beefy even in the '70s position, standard bridge position will be a little thicker."