HELP! Am Orig Jazz Owners: Fender Pure Vintage ‘78 Pickups vs EMG JVHZ

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dopejohnpaul, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Fender Pure Vintage ‘78 Jazz

    1 vote(s)

    0 vote(s)
  3. Other

    1 vote(s)
  1. dopejohnpaul

    dopejohnpaul Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    Bonaire, GA
    Ok, here’s my dilemma-
    A couple of years ago a I bought an American Original 70s Jazz from another TB’er and it has been hands down my favorite bass of all time. I use it as my number one, from a stable of many worthy beauties. In short, I love her. The original owner had already swapped the stock Pure Vintage 78s with the EMG JVHZ, which is their passive Vintage Jazz replacement. The original owner said this was because they were truly noiseless, whereas in pure single coil fashion, the PV Jazz pups would get noisy if not evenly leveled. That all sounded great, as I usually roll off the bridge a bit, and having owned many JB’s knew exactly what he meant. I got the bass. Sounds amazing. But listening back to some recordings, I noticed that my live tone was getting grittier. Couldn’t hear it at home, but in the recordings I could.

    Fast forward to now. I just purchased an American Original 50s P to give the JB some company. Again, I have nothing but great things to say about this bass. But let me tell you- it is LOUD! In the best way possible. Clear, clean, and chimey tone. It effin slaps. That 58 pickup is a beast. Probably the best sounding P pickup I’ve ever played/heard, and I was all ready to drop a Geezer in there (not happening now). So I pull out the JB to do a side by side comparison. The JB is almost like a whisper compared to the P bass. I started watching myself turn up the gain to get my V4B where I needed to sculpt my tone, lo and behold, there’s all that grit I was finding in my live tone. I was having to crank this guy just to hear what I needed out of the Jazz Bass itself.

    Immediately, I’m thinking I should go grab the stock Pure Vintage pups and throw them back in. Right? They were included, and I do have them. But the original owner seemed so convinced these EMGs were far better. They do sound good, just sooooo quiet. They’re a passive model, so I know they’re not requiring power. I’ve read other great reviews on them, and up until now, they suited me just fine. I just don’t know. So do any of you have experience with both pickups? How did they compare to you? Does anyone have extensive experience with the stock PV Jazz pup? Are they super quiet like the EMG? Are they loud like the P? Is there really a ton of 60cycle hum if I roll off the bridge? Is it bad? I’m just so impressed by the PV Precision pickup, I don’t see how the Jazz could be a letdown.

    Let me know your thoughts. Threw in a poll just to appease the voting types. Feel free to suggest others, but I’m mainly wondering about the two mentioned.
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    What’s stopping you? ;)
  3. dopejohnpaul

    dopejohnpaul Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    Bonaire, GA
    The fact that if I’m going to dive in and switch pups, I’d like to not have to do it again. I’m not an expert with a solder gun, but I can manage. Don’t want to do more work than necessary. So I’m just asking for some experienced advice to make a game plan.
  4. P Cheen

    P Cheen Not good enough for a parametric mid control… Supporting Member

    There’s always a set of Pure Vintage ‘74 for less than retail! I know there’s a set going for $103 on ebay.
  5. dopejohnpaul

    dopejohnpaul Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    Bonaire, GA
    I already have the stock set of PV pups. I’m just looking to get some experienced opinions on them before I go through with a whole pickup swap only to not like them.
  6. P Cheen

    P Cheen Not good enough for a parametric mid control… Supporting Member

    My bad! If you ask me i’d go for that and not the EMGs. I heard it on the Bass Channel on youtube (the one where they modded up a Squier) and it didn’t sound as good as the marketing blurb set it out to be. IMO.
  7. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I love Fender Jazz Basses. So do you. Whew, glad that's out of the way....

    But the reason you're asking (I'm a mind reader) is that you aren't in love with Fender pickups even though you love Fender basses. Most Fender bass owners don't like to discuss that fact openly. They're not bad pickups, but they also aren't the best. And to be honest, if they were the best and you didn't want to replace them there wouldn't be over 200 brands of drop in Jazz pickups. Simple to evaluate that in the market. It's basic demand over supply.

    EMG makes really warm Jazz pickups. Definitely a step up. But if you want the Jazz sound but "more" of the growl, basically a much higher performance version of the sound you like you should look at Fralin or Lollar.
    _jaxon5 likes this.
  8. Don’t have direct experience with the PV ‘74 but I do have a set of PV ‘64 pickups on my AO ‘60s J-bass and I can tell you that there’s no passive EMG pickup, or pickups made by other manufacturers, that I may think of installing in that bass as a replacement as they will, at best, sound equivalent to the stock ones (I’m thinking now about Lollars or Klein).
    So, if it was up to me, I would immediately put the PV ‘74 pickups back onto your bass (the 60 cycles hum that can is generated by the PV ‘64 pickups is very low, almost undetectable, so, in my case, this will definitely not be a factor leading me to look for different pickups).
  9. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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