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Help me choose my 70's Jazz pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gotfunk21, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. gotfunk21

    gotfunk21 Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2005
    Portland, OR
    I've read through Smash's Jazz pickup review, and it's great, but it doesn't include all of the pickups I'm considering right now. If you don't mind... Can we play the "I'll tell you what I want, and what I'm considering, and you let me know what your thoughts are" game? :( Please? :D Thanks team!

    I really want some 70's style pickups that have some serious "clack and grind" to them. Clear, deep, focused, woody, punchy, tight, still musical, aggressive notes. I'm not sure if a "scooped" pickup will get me there, or more of a Mids pickup will. I'd like it to warm up a bit depending on my right hand technique. Something that's very responsive to how I attack the strings. Hotter output is nice too.

    Pickups I'm considering are: Nordstrand nj4 70's wind, Aguilar 4j-70, Aero Type I, Fender 75 Reissue.

    My Marcus Miller jazz bass is the closest thing I've found to 'my sound' so far. It's got a nice, woody clack and grind with solid lows, bright highs and responsive attack. It always sounds quick, bright and snappy, even with old strings. There are things I don't like about the MM though, otherwise I'd just keep that one. I'm not trying to replace the pickups in the MM, I'm trying to decide which pickups I may want in a new build that will net me a similar sound. I mainly play finger style rock, funk and pop over the neck pickup if that helps. And I like straight passive pickups, no preamp. I always bypass the preamp on the MM.

    Here's a couple YouTube clips of some tones that I like with similar styles that I play.

    Just wondering if there's something out there similar to my MM, but "better" with what I'm looking for. I'm open to other options, but based on my searches and reviews I've read, these are the most likely candidates I think. Thoughts? Thanks for hearing me out.
  2. randysmojo


    Jan 14, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Although I have yet to try them, I hear really good things about the Aguilar 70's pu's.
  3. I can't stress my love for my NJ4 70's winds enough. Can't go wrong with them.
  4. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    The new SGD alnico! I just got the SGD alnico Jazz neck pup to go with my SGD MM bridge pup that is wired in single coil but the MM coil is in the 70's bridge pup location. Anyway, he winds his new pups to the 70's jazz specs. Years ago I routed for a MM Seymour Duncan pup in my USA Schecter Jazz :( and Ive been trying to get back to the Jazz tone ever since! So far Im real happy with 70's tone Im getting out of my Schecter jazz now!
  5. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Pondering the same question. Lots of love on TB for NJ4-70s for sure.

    My main objection to the Fender stock pups on my MIJ jazz is the hum. Output could be hotter. The tone is great. Nice full bottom and mids. Grindy when abused.

    So, guys, is there a compelling advantage to hum-canceling pups? How about DiMarzio DP123 Series J for around $100 new?? And Aguilar just debuted a humbucking version of their '70s pickups...though I doubt I could justify the cost.

    Appreciate any insights.

  6. Highpost


    Feb 14, 2011
    ny. nyc
    Is the Aguilar humbucker PU a 70's sound? I didn't know that
  7. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I dont care for the nordstrand pickups. they seem to have a harsh abrasiveness yet scooped sound to them. IMO.....
    When i had them in one of my boutique basses the engineer would ask me to leave it on the stand and use my other bass. When i put the duncans back in there they liked it again
    The 75 Reissue pups that you asked about are cool and will sound like a Fender. as will the Alleva Coppolo. They sound more like vintage Fender which is bright yet smooth up top without a harshness of the Nords..
  8. gotfunk21

    gotfunk21 Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2005
    Portland, OR
    That's interesting that you find the nords harsh and "scooped" because reading this thread I got the impression that the nords were warmer, and the aggies were more scooped. Ugh. These are the reasons that everyone always says, "just go play it and see if you like it" ... not that I mind having an excuse to buy 4 sets of pickups just to try them all out. I know all these pickups are well liked for various reasons by large portions of the bass playing community. Mostly, I'm wondering which pickups will get me closest to the tone I'm describing. If you've played any of these pickups, and think it will get the tone I'm looking for, please let me know. And vice versa. I don't think Duncan 1/4 pounders will get me there, for example. So they're off my list. For the sound I want, which pickups should I go with?
  9. NelsonNelson


    Sep 25, 2011
    J-45 by Wilde Pickups.
  10. gotfunk21

    gotfunk21 Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Oh no! I'm trying to NARROW down my options, not EXPAND them! ;) I know there's a lot of love for Bill Lawrence's pickups too. I'll check them out, thanks.
  11. NelsonNelson


    Sep 25, 2011
    lol, that's what TB is for! Although not bass...this video is just amazing at displaying Bill's pickup clarity and sound:

    There are a few bass videos online of his pickups but I don't think they really show the great sound too well. Maybe someone has posted one on here... **edit** fast forward in that video to about 2 and a half minutes to hear the guitar and not the rambling of his voice.

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