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Help me make my MIA Fender Jazz sound great!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by u84six, Jun 11, 2012.


  1. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    US
    I bought this bass back in '92' brand new. It's probably my most used bass, because I love the look, love the weight, and love the feel of the neck. The one and only thing I don't like about it is the sound! I've tried all sorts of strings; rounds and flat from various manufacturers. I have run it through different pro amps and pa systems. I own other basses where I'm really happy with their sound (e.g stock MIA P, RIC 4003), so I know I'm not too picky. How can I make this thing sound way better?
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    put better pickups in it and it'll rock.

    let's see, '92 is before the birth of the american standard basses, right? is this a "boner bass", with the big upper horn and extra frets?
     
  3. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    US
  4. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    US
    Which jazz pickups are better than Fender's? I don't know too much about replacement pickups.
     
  5. Barca_bass

    Barca_bass

    May 22, 2011
    Better is a subjective term, but Lindy Fralin gets mentioned on here a lot. http://www.fralinpickups.com/bass.asp
     
  6. Mykk

    Mykk

    Aug 22, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    On my '98 MIA Fender Jazz I use EMG actives with a BQ-A running 18v. The best decision I ever made.

    I just recently installed Duncan Quarter Pounders in my 5-string Jazz. I am really pleased with how they changed the voicing of that bass, but it doesn't sing and sizzle quite like my EMG's.
     
  7. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Until you discover and articulate what "way better" means to you, this is not enough information.
     
  8. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    The first thing I would do is change strings. Check
    The second thing I would do is check the tone pots and tone cap. If the tone cap is not .047uf with at least a J rating, change it out for an Orange drop tone cap. Also if the tone pots are not the large style USA made CTS 250ohm pots, change them out too.

    It's not the the pots and tone caps used back then are bad, it's just that the tolerances are too wide. (less expensive = more profit)

    If those two changes don't help, then look into changing out the pickups for some Fender Custom shop or reissue pickups.

    You could also go online and listen to some sound clips and decide what tone you are looking for. I would check out Nordstrand, Seymour Duncan, Aguilar, Bartolini, EMG SDG, Rio Grande, Lace, Tesla, just to name a few. There are many, many more.

    Good luck.
     
  9. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    Well that is exactly the problem, is it not? I had exactly your problem with my MIM Jazz deluxe V. Loved it all but tone was always Meh. What to do?

    Well obviously new pickups are the answer. And that's the problem, pickup tone is a subjective thing. One person's killer tone is another person's not so hot! And pickups are expensive enough you can't go trying them all! So you can ask TB, but again, what THEY like might not be what YOU like.

    Well, in my case I narrowed it down a bit. First off, I wanted to get rid of single coil hum, so that cut it back to hum-cancelling pickups. And I knew the ones in the bass weren't it (Fender "Noiseless") From another bass I knew that Carvin stacked coil jazz pickups weren't it either. That still left quite a few. So lets face it, you really have NO choice but to get everyone's opinion, listen to some pickup sample tracks, and finally just hold your nose and jump in! Then it's sink or swim. If you are wrong, you'll have to try to sell the pickups and buy something else to try.

    In my case Listening to samples and advice on TB I was between Fender SCN and Nordstrands. The SCNs were cheaper (but much harder to get as the 5ers were discontinued) but I went with them anyway. And I got lucky! :hyper: That bass just came alive in my hands! I could not be happier!

    So what can I say? Do you feel lucky?
     
  10. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    US
    Ok, what I look for in tone is deep, tight, with punch. Not gritty, growly, and tinny. I have a P bass, so I've got the real deep tone covered. I just feel like the J has a very weak output. Definitely too weak for pop music, which I play. Syco_bass gave some good recommendations. It could be the old pots. Thanks for the advice!
     
  11. Mykk

    Mykk

    Aug 22, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    I am all about deep dark tone, boomy lows. Which would make you think I would be a P player.... but, there is something about the J bass and it's growl that I love and the way it cuts through a mix and adds the perfect amount of grit.

    On my passive basses, both my VM-J5 and P copy (with musicman bridge), I use .1uf tone caps. The VM-J has 500k pots and the P/MM has 250k.

    perhaps try changing tone caps to get the dark sound your after
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com

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