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HWY1 Jazz - Keep pickups or upgrade to Pure Vintage '74?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by scyzoryk, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. scyzoryk


    Jan 12, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    I found a '03 Highway 1 Jazz in Daphne Blue, one of my favorite colors, and the previous owner didn't take great care of it. Apart from replacing the nut, I wanted to swap the pickups to give me as aggressive of a bass I could get, and after tons of research here on TB, I've been led to consider the Pure Vintage '74 pickups as what I'm looking for.

    The stock pickups on a Highway 1 seem to be "standard vintage" pickups, a proprietary design just for the Highway One models, but I just don't know how different or similar they would be to the Pure Vintage '74s.

    Has anyone:

    1) Upgraded the pickups on a Highway 1 Jazz
    2) Upgraded to the Pure Vintage '74 pickups

    ...and can share their thoughts?

  2. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    1. Yes. Those pickups are the same as the American Standards of that era, pretty bland. I went with Nordstrand.
    2. Also yes(different bass), I didn't think these were particularly aggressive. Are you looking for more bottom, more upper mid grind, more high end snap?
  3. scyzoryk


    Jan 12, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    Ah, didn't realize #1. Thanks!

    I'm looking for something snarly and funky, like the opening line in "Slave - Just a Touch of Love". Most of my favorite recordings are 70's funk and they all seem to have this iconic sound (which I'm sure is ash/maple, 70's spacing jazzes, but I'd like to get as close as possible). I also own a Sadowsky UV70 with Nordstrand 70's Single Coils that I love dearly, but I find it too polite.

    I was tempted by the Aguilar jazz pickups for a while, but something I read made me veer away from them. They're also almost 3x the price of the '74s.

    I think I'm trying to nail the tone in this video: the Finger Funk 60's/70's tone:

  4. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    The Fender PV ‘74s are probably wound a little hotter than whatever comes in the HW1, so they should be a little more aggressive.
  5. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I’ve nothing to add other than that the PV74s are great pickups - I had them in my actual ‘74 for a while before I had the originals rewound (broken coil), and they sounded very much like the originals. Given that each real ‘74 pickup set was probably a little different, I think they did a great job of capturing the vibe.

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