How to determine which pickup is which on Jazz Bass??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by sfbass, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. sfbass


    Jun 25, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I posted earlier but realized I have one more question:

    I have an early 1970-ish Jazz Bass and am planning to put the original pickups back in. (I'm not the original owner of the bass so I'm assuming these are in fact the original pickups.)

    So, my question is: Is there a way to tell which is the bridge pickup and which is the neck? Looking at the two pickups I have here, there apear to be two main differences:

    The top and bottom plates of one is more beige in color (maybe a hint of green), and the wire wrapping is distinctly pinkish-red in color.

    The top and bottom plates of the other is darker, more of an army greenish with a little brown, and the wire wrapping is more black in color, but I have a funny feeling it's red underneath. I don't know if it's dirty or corroded, but it does look like the wiring is possibly the same as the other pickup underneath, but again, it's more black on the surface.

    I was always under the impression that the neck pickup was a smidge narrower in width than the bridge one on a Jazz bass, but these two appear identical. Again, I'm not the original owner. I do know the previous guy replaced one of the pickups with a Schecter, but I'm pretty darn sure these are both Fenders...they're really identical in design and materials.

    Sorry for the wordiness but if you can help I'd really appreciate it.

  2. the bridge pickups is going to be half an inch bigger
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    well, not quite that much. bridge should be 3.73", neck should be about 3.62"
  4. stroy05

    stroy05 Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Fodera Basses, Noble Amps, Aguilar Amps, JHAudio Inears
    You can always measure the distance between the pole pieces. So measure from the E string to the G string. do the same on both. the one with the longer measurement should be the bridge pickup.
  5. sfbass


    Jun 25, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks for everyone's time and help. However, I measured both pickups and they're pretty identical.

    The distance between the outermost edge of the outer pole pieces is 2-11/16", and the black plastic housing pieces are also identical at 3-5/8".

    Again, I'm not the original owner so there's always the chance that these are both bridge or both neck pickups, but I really don't know.

    If there's any other way to figure things out please let me know.

    Thanks again.