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Hum Cancelling vs Traditional Single Coils

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Alexander, Nov 1, 2004.


  1. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I have a fairly new MIA Jazz bass with stock pickups and have been soloing the neck pickup and dialing the bridge pickup back (or cutting it out altogether sometimes). So, I'm obviously dealing with the 60 cycle hum thing, which sends shudders down our soundman's spine...

    I love the jazz bass sound, but have considered putting a set of hum-cancelling pickups in to eliminate this problem. My question is how drastically would it change the tone? I talked with Mike Lull just now and he recommended Lindy Fralin hum-cancelling pickups. He admits they change the tone somewhat, but says they are so close to the single coils that most people could not tell the difference (although he could hear the difference himself). Would you JBass players recommend going hum-cancelling or just going with a really top notch single coil (like SD AntiquityII or Vintage SBJ-1, etc)
    and living with the 60 cycle hum? As I was searching older threads, I saw the reviews of these and others (from SMASH) and seems like there are benefits to going this route as well.
     
  2. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Montana
    I have a Fralin split J in the bridge position of my HRP. I love it. When I talked with Lindy he too said there is a slight difference, but they're as close as possible. He said many actually prefer the sound. I'm one of those people.
     
  3. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Cool - so, you just replaced the bridge pickup? Why just out of curiosity?

    How would you describe the sound? I'm looking for warm, clear and punchy with big low end (aren't we all) ;)
     
  4. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Montana
    No, I replaced the front with a stock wound Fralin P. (The HRP is a P/J in case anyone was wondering.)

    I'd say your description comes pretty close, but I'd add "old school". These do have a vintage vibe, not a modern one. The thing is with Lindy, if you call and talk with him he will custom wind.

    I will say with the OME I never used the bridge either favored or soloed. Now I do both.

    I'd say this has a smoother top end than the stock OME pups.

     
  5. I've had great luck with Duncan vintage stacked humbuckers in my J-Basses. They sound great and sound men love them.
     
  6. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Bill Lawrence J-45 pickups are dead quiet and sound great. They may be a little too 'hi-fi' for some folks though.
     
  7. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the clarification, Rod. I was thinking a trad j-bass configuration. I am looking for more old-school vibe, so I like what I hear so far. I agree - I would not favor or solo the bridge, either with the stock pups. Not musical at all to me...
     
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    If you like the sound of the current pups, I would instead recommend that you shield all of the cavities (be sure to connect the shielding to ground). Even hum cancelling pups can hum without proper shielding. I find that shielding does a better job of eliminating hum without significantly altering the tone.
     
  9. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Montana
    BTW, I would characterize the bottom end as solid, not over emphasized.
     
  10. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    Hi,
    Nordstrand NJSE :D

    Mo'
     
  11. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Montana
    I have heard very favorable comments on the Nordstrands. I've also heard they sound very similar to Fralin. They are both great guys. I'd say you can't go wrong with either pup IMHO.