Help Needed: Fender Custom Shop 60's vs. Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazz Bass Pick ups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mondo2501, Jul 9, 2020.


  1. Fender Custom Shop 60's

  2. Seymour Duncan Antiquity II

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  1. mondo2501

    mondo2501

    Jul 28, 2018
    Philippines
    Hi All,

    After 3 years of keeping my Fender MIM Standard Jazz Bass, I've finally decided to swap out the pickups and start modding it. I've already changed out the pickguard to a tort and I really dig the look. I also picked up a Hipshot Kickass bridge coming in a few weeks. I'm trying to decide between the Fender CS 60s or the Seymour Duncan Antiquity II's.

    The original plan was for this to a setup similar to Joe Dart (Vulfpeck).. MIM JB+Badass II bridge+Seymour Duncan Antiquity II, but then I heard stuff about the SD AII's that said it wasn't distinguishable from the stock ceramic MIM pick ups and I got discouraged a bit. Those comments were from 3-5 years ago though, maybe someone could chime in with an updated comment?

    Then a few months ago (before quarantine) I was able to try a Fender American Standard Jazz Bass from a friend at a gig and I was blown away by how warm and round the pick ups sounded through the same amp we shared during that gig night. I was told that this line was already replaced by the new Professional Series and they have this new V-Mod pickups -which were ok too. But I kinda liked the American Standard pickups better. That's when I also learned that the AM Std used CS 60's which they're selling now as a set to be retrofitted into MIA's or MIM's. Got me excited, and now confused which ones should I go for?

    I'm looking for a tone that has fat lows but also good mid emphasis (just like Joe Dart). On one hand, it's a published fact that Joe uses SD's but then again, I've never played these before and it's a bit scary to take a chance. On the other hand, I have had experience with the Fender pickups (I was only told those were the CS 60s), but if I settle for them I might be missing out on a better choice. I know I might sound a little too entitled, or I'm making such a big deal of this -you're right and I probably am, but that's mostly because I have access to more experienced bass players like the ones in this community. It's important for me to get this right first time coz it's virtually impossible for me to have something returned or replaced once shipped to my country. Also, these things aren't cheap. lol So, this decision, albeit trivial is a bit scary for someone who is as inexperienced as myself with these things. Anyway, enough TLDR drama.. appreciate any inputs folks. Thanks a bunch!

    PS: below is a picture of what I'm working with. It's a MIM bought last 2017. Fender Standard Jazz Bass.

    IMG_0853.jpg
     
  2. P Cheen

    P Cheen Chelsea Blue is the colour! Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    While I chose the Antiquity II, it’s a no-brainer that their higher price tag (compared to regular production Duncans) does not make them better. I’d be just as happy with the SD SJB-1 set.
    That being said I think you’ll find better value with the CS60s, and I have heard excellent things about that set.

    I highly recommend the Jazz Bass pickup comparison that The Bass Channel has put up. Made me want the SJB-1 more!

    Don’t underestimate those ceramic MIM pickups– they’re actually great!
     
    mondo2501 likes this.
  3. mondo2501

    mondo2501

    Jul 28, 2018
    Philippines
    Yes I know which video you're referring to, that was awesome. I didn't realize how big the difference was between the SJB-1 vs the Quarter Pounds were. So cool. Hmm.. fair point about the Antiquity II's they certainly are pricier, even with the new 'set' offer where they take off $9 from the price tag if you choose to buy bridge and neck together.

    About the ceramic pick-ups, yeah these babies have served me well over the past 3 years. I think I'm ready to try something new, like alnico 5 magnets. I have a P Bass which has alnico pickups and I've always envied how bell-like and full they sound. At times I would wish my jazz bass had a similar quality -although I am aware of the basic differences between p and j pickups. It wouldn't make sense to compare alnicos in a precision vs alnicos in a jazz bass. Thanks for the inputs.
     
  4. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    The people making those statements probably need their hearing checked. ;)

    The CS 60s and SD AIIs are both really good sets, and are probably more similar than different. I don’t think you can go wrong either way.
     
    _jaxon5 likes this.
  5. Gregy

    Gregy

    Sep 21, 2017
    What's up neighbor! Your story is so similar to mine. I've been playing my MIM Standard Jazz for about 3 years, and recently I tried MIA American Standard with CS 60s (it was on sale $1300 at the local store) and it was like wow. Now I'm also considering to switch my standard pickups to the CS 60s. It's a long way to receive it in Asia Pacific (I live in Taiwan), but hopefully it will be worth it.
     
    mondo2501 likes this.
  6. P Cheen

    P Cheen Chelsea Blue is the colour! Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    See if you can snag a deal on either the CS60 or the Antiquity II! I know there’s a set of Antiquity IIs on the American ebay site going for $150. Not sure about the CS60.

    I actually just got myself out of this hole, I had a Fender Highway 1 Jazz that sounded too mellow so I wanted to upgrade the pickups. Decided to get a 70’s wind Jazz Bass set... It all fell through when I got bad GAS and bought a Lakland 44-60. I hear good things about the USA-made Lakland pickups, but if I end up not liking ‘em then i’m back on the pickup hunt!
     
    mondo2501 likes this.
  7. mondo2501

    mondo2501

    Jul 28, 2018
    Philippines
    Hey! So glad to hear from an asian neighbor.. so hard to ship stuff from the US right? Like making the wrong choice hurts double (or triple) coz we can't just march up to the store and demand service. huhu Hope things are better there compared to here in the Philippines. The lockdown is affecting availability of logistics and deliveries but thankfully I have a freight forwarding service that's still 100% operational from California to Manila.
     
    JrII and PawleeP like this.
  8. mondo2501

    mondo2501

    Jul 28, 2018
    Philippines
    Ever since our country went on lockdown, I've been GASing really bad.. haha but thankfully I've been able to keep my head on straight and focused on this Jazz Bass upgrade project. But man, it's sooo hard to focus. hahaha Thanks for the tip. I'll check out the Lakland. In case the Fender CS or SD AII's don't scratch the itch, I'll consider this.

    The SD AII's are currently being sold as a set for $189 on Amazon and Sweetwater. I'll check out eBay and Reverb too. The CS 60's are sold as a set by default, they're at $159.99, but I heard a fellow Filipino bass player scored them on Amazon for $84, maybe during a 4th of July promo.. Damn, I missed that opportunity but I'll keep a look out for a good deal between the two.
     
  9. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    My vote went to the Antiquity 2’s. I have em in my jazz bass and they’re not going anywhere. I’ve tried jazz basses with the custom shop 60’s pickups, and while they are similar, I preferred the Antiquity 2’s.
     
    JrII and mondo2501 like this.
  10. mondo2501

    mondo2501

    Jul 28, 2018
    Philippines
    Couple of questions:

    1.) Which of the two was louder?
    2.) What made you prefer the SD AII's more?

    Thanks!
     
  11. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    1. I can’t remember which was louder, but I leave volume to the amp, not the pickups.
    2. I chose the Ant II’s because they sounded just like a mid 60’s jazz bass.
     
    mondo2501 likes this.
  12. mondo2501

    mondo2501

    Jul 28, 2018
    Philippines
    Good point on both counts. :p

    I asked about which is louder because here the PH, players don't normally bring their own amps. Most of the time, if not all the time, you will find yourself using different amps each night so it's hard to rely on the amp's capability to provide you with enough volume. Would be nice to get an additional bump in volume just so you have that tiny bit insurance and not rely on a boost pedal that you might not always bring to every gig. Anyway, no problem, thanks for sharing! :)
     
  13. mondo2501

    mondo2501

    Jul 28, 2018
    Philippines
    I just want to update this thread. I finally made a choice and got the SD AII’s. I put them on this morning on my Fender MIM JB and the difference was significant. First time I played I noticed right away that it was louder, punchier, and felt like it had its own compression happening (don’t know if that’s just a placebo effect). Now I can play with full tone on and not get this tinny harshness I used to get from the stock ceramic pickups. It’s like my JB was reborn. So excited to play it live. Hopefully soon after the pandemic. For now, I’m very happy with my choice. Thanks a lot for me everyone who commented.
     
    DCCat, Slater and Joshua like this.
  14. 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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