how much of a problem is the hum from a J? /J reccomendations?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by steamboat, May 28, 2001.

  1. (disclaimer.. this is a long one, but I hope you read it.....
    yes, I have read the J shootout and done a bit of reading here)

    Well, I've gotten to thinking about adding a jazz pickup at the bridge to my Peavey Fury. (the bass is a P copy with a poplar body, maple neck and fingerboard)

    This bass is my first, bought it used about a year and a half ago for $150. Even after getting a fretless Stingray 5, I still use this bass a bit.. it's definitely not neglected. I've played better necks, better sounding basses, and certainly better looking basses.. but the Fury still feels like home to me. The playability and sound are definitely not indicative of how much I payed for it, and I have a certain connection to it. I've thought about getting another 4 string (or a fretted 5), but I'd have to shell out a decent amount of money to get something superior enough in my mind to justify me setting aside a bass that already does the job.

    Right now the bass gives a fingerstyle tone that seems to sit nicely in my band.. I don't think it leaves too much to be desired as far as Pbass rock tones go. The slap tone could use some improvement. I'd also like to add a bit of variety, clarity.. (to be more esoteric.. I'd like to add some slice and growl to it). I don't need huge output but I don't want a wimpy pickup either.

    I'll be keeping the P pickup that I have for now. I'll have to get a new set of passive electronics (that's one thing I am pretty clueless on).

    Now my questions (finally :) ) :

    If I go with a straight single coil J, how badly will I have to worry about the hum? What can I do to prevent this (or how much will I have to pay someone to help me prevent it :))? The wiring in this bass is probably it's weakspot right now. I'd imagine getting that taken care of when I add a pickup would be a good idea.

    Give me some shameless plugs for your favorite J pickups. The Fender Custom Shop 60s pickup seems like it might be what I want.. but I don't know about how it might hum paired up with with the Peavey P pickup that I have. A lot of people around here seem to like the humbucking Dimarzios, and they seemed to go over well in the Bassplayer shootout, but I don't know if they are for me. It just seems like Dimarzio appeals more to the superheavy rock or the shredder kind of crowd. When I hear the name Dimarzio it brings to mind stuff like super distortion pickups, Steve Vai, and Billy Sheehan... don't get me wrong... I can dig some of the stuff that Vai does as well as some more traditional heavy rock.. but it's not where I am musically. Of course, for all I know, they might do a fine job of what I want.

    I don't know if it helps much listing off J bass players that I am really into, as they are diverse and run a wide range of sought after tones, but I really like the J sounds of John Paul Jones, Marcus Miller, Rob Deleo of the Stone Temple Pilots, and Tim C. of the band formerly known as Rage Against the Machine.

    Thanks a lot if you've taken the time to read all of my rambling, and thanks even more if you respond. Anything is welcome. You'd think that as a mechanical engineering major.. my writing would be a bit more concise. ;)
  2. One thing I will say is that you should preapre to be disappointed. You mau well get a mismatch between a single coil bridge pup and a humbucking P style. I would recommend a Humbucker. Perhaps a Seymour Duncan Classic stack, or one of the Dimarzios.
  3. By mismatch do you mean vastly different outputs or having pickups that just don't sound right at all when used together?

    Maybe I should go all out and get a matched PJ set?
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    What Andy may be referring to is the same reason I didn't mix an SD Basslines with a Bartolini on a custom.

    There are no standards for polarity and phasing, and the impedances may be different. So, you may end up with an addition that has no low end and sounds sort of harsh. The wires could be reversed but there's no standard for how the wires are color coded.

    If you have 2 passives wired in series, that can sound very good. One pup's signal passes through the other and their capacitances/resistances/etc actually combine and give a powerful sound.....BUT, controlling their individual volumes can be a problem :rolleyes:

    The only way to get rid of single coil hum is a humbucker, unless you have the two pups acting as a giant humbucker, (like the Fender Jazz), because they are polarized and coil-phased opposite. Bartolini makes a J design, the 9J, which is actually a split coil, hum canceling design.