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How much would new pickups improve the sound of my MIA Fender Jazz?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I have an MIA Fender Jazz which has their "American Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups". Now, I'm sure that replacing the pickups on a MIM Jazz with Dimarzio UJ's or Bartolini or Fralin's would improve the sound because the MIM pups are straight up crap. What kind of sound/tone improvement can I expect by replacing the "American Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups" in my MIA with some of the above mentioned after-market replacements?

    The bass is alder with a maple/rosewood neck. The bridge is string-through. I have a J-Retro installed.

  2. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
  3. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    What's wrong with the ones you have that you need an improvement? What exactly are you trying to get?
  4. I put Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups in my MIA Jazz.
    Made a vast improvement in sound.

    First it has higher output with 12.5K coils vs. stock 8k.
    Second it is Totally noiseless
    Third it has better low end, better mids, increased clarity and smooth highs.

    It made my Jazz sound much more expensive. They are drop in replacements for an MIA Fender Jazz.
  5. Alla


    Sep 25, 2000
    I have DiMarzio model J ...
    One Word ...
    Low end low end low end.
  6. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    Tons of GROWL!!! I have them in my Geddy Lee and love them. ;)
  7. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I have a MIA jazz with Fralins. I decided to try the Fralins to see what the difference was going to be. Well the Fralins cleaned up the low end and made it more usable, It cleaned up the high end allowing the highs to sparkle. Now I must say that nothing at all was wrong with the stock pups making me want to make this change, I just wanted to try these pups after reading so much about them. I choose this particular bass because it's an ash bodied maple necked bass. This bass is my staple jazz and go to bass to use when I'm not sure what to bring, It does it all! :)
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Itsort of depends on where you want to take your tone and what the rest of your rig looks like. The MIA J pup's are a decent mid-range pup, nothing special but nothing really wrong with them.

    My two fav's are the Duncan SJB-1 which is a very vintage, old school kind of pup. As you have a JR pre. I'd have to assume that you aren't looking for 'old school' though. The other is the Bill Lawrence J45. A little more modern sounding in that they are very, very clear and hum-free. Probably a great match with the JR pre. The only PITA with BL pup's ois the wait. They are build to order so you have to wait but the build quality is very high...
  9. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Almost exactly my experience, except that I knew I wanted to clean up the low end by switching to Fralins. I also wanted to eliminate the single coil hum, so I got Fralin's Split Jazz linear humbuckers. They provide a classic Jazz tone, but without the hum. The output is a little higher than stock, and they provide noticeably greater clarity. I have a bright bass (maple fretboard), so the slight roll off in the treble with the Split Jazz isn't a problem at all. I'm not sure I've even noticed it. (And yes, my Jazz with Fralins is my go to bass too.)

    But I don't think the stock pickups were terrible by any means. In fact, I might get an MIM fretless Jazz and use them there.
  10. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    There's nothing really wrong with the stock pups other than the noise. They sound good, but I wonder if I could replace them with something that sounds great. I sure don't want to go too modern - I just want versatile. As it is, with a string-through bridge it isn't really a vintage Jazz Bass and won't have a truly vintage sound (though I'm sure it will be close). The vintage noiseless pups sound good to me. I'm afraid that the UJ's will be too boomy and scooped, but I could alter any scooped sound with the J-Retro.

    Thanks for the ideas and for responding to my question!
  11. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    I ripped the MIM's out and installed Duncan Antiquity II's. Really delivers that 60's growl and tone if that's what you're after. No flies on Fralin's either.
  12. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    Hi all,
    Sorry to revive such an old thread, but I have something to add. I bought a 2005 American Fender Jazz 3 days ago. I got a good deal on it, so I went ahead and got it. I expected to replace the pups as soon as I got it because the factory pups in my '97 Deluxe Jazz really sounded undefined and the bass definitely benefitted from the Antiquity IIs I put in it.

    Anyway, the point is that I played it in the shop, and I thought it sounded good, but I wasn't completely sold since it's always a 'your bass, your setup' kind of thing. I took it home and plugged it into my Walkabout Scout with Mesa 2x10 extention and THEY SOUND GREAT! I can tell that they aren't as tight in the low end as my Precision with Fralin's, but they really sound good. I'm so impressed. I know there's a lot of trash talking about MIA Fenders vs. Price and that sort of thing, but I am a very happy camper and that's enough for me.

    I already had the money for the pickup replacement set aside, but the factory ones sound good enough for me to just play them for now. Way to go Fender!


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