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I'm looking into upgrading the pups on my MIM Fender jazz...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by purpletornado, May 5, 2010.


  1. purpletornado

    purpletornado

    Aug 5, 2009
    I've been checking out DiMarzio (DP 149), EMG (JHZ) and Fenders (both straight replacements and vintage sets). I was wondering if anyone had any input, advice, opinions about a good brand to use? I don't really play out at ll, mostly just at home for my own enjoyment and on occasion I play with a guitarist friend of mine but nothing too serious. FWIW I prefer to use flats on my J bass, if that helps.

    Edit: and I'd like to keep things passive.
     
  2. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    Honestly, unless there is something fundamentally wrong or missing with the tone that you are getting from the stock pickups, I'd suggest just leaving them alone. I say this as someone who has changed out everything on my MIM jazz except the body and neck. It becomes a large expense for something that you cannot sell off for any kind of profit later on. (not the reason that I still have my MIM, but it's something to consider)

    That being said, I would try some other basses from the stores or bassist friends that are similar to yours and see what the difference of tonality is. It's much easier than trying to buy pickups sound unheard (as opposed to sight unseen) and then put them in and be largely disappointed. (However, I am also guilty of this as I purchased a set of Stan Hinesley Split J pickups without knowing what they were. Admittedly, I was very impressed with the outcome as the bass is now much hotter output, and completely noiseless as the pickups are essentially a P-Bass pickup shoved under a J-Bass cover. This however may or may not be your outcome with the pickups that you decide to purchase)

    That all being said, some of the popular companies to look into would be: (in no particular order)
    Nordstrand
    Lollar
    DiMarzio
    Seymour Duncan
    Fender (American made or custom shop)
    Bartolini
    Lindy Fralin
    Stan Hinesley (of course I have to recommend these personally :p)
    I'm sure that there are many many more pickup manufacturers out there, but this should get you started on checking them all out. Also you should do some checking on the pickup cavities of your bass as both pickups may be slightly different sizes and you want to make sure that the pickups that you are purchasing will fit in without having to route anything.
     
    PawleeP likes this.
  3. purpletornado

    purpletornado

    Aug 5, 2009
    Interesting point about leaving things as is. The main reason I'm thinking of doing this is that I left my bass at a buddy's house, he was recovering from ahead injury, doctor said playing an instrument would help his brain heal and get his motor functions working. Long story short, his brother took it and left it out of its case in his damp basement and now there;s spots of corrosion on the poles. I don't really hear any loss of tone but I figures it'd be best to replace them. Am I off base on this? Will they be OK as is? Is there a way I could get the corrosion off of the poles? A little steel wool and some TLC perhaps?
     
  4. chunger

    chunger

    Jan 10, 2006
    Albany, CA
    Chunger basses by Studio 939
    I recently did some testing. . . my opinion is if there really isn't a specific problem or sound that you are going for, leave the stock MIM pickups in there. I had a distortion problem with stock SX pickups went searching for an answer. This testing was done for my basses for newbies project found in the "hardware/setup/repair" forum.

    Bass #3 Nordstrand NJ4
    Click here to download What's going on Bass 3 Nor.mp3


    Bass #3 Guitar Fetish GFS pro jazz
    Click here to download What's going on Bass 3 Fet.mp3


    Bass #3 Nordstrand NJ4SE
    Click here to download What's going on Bass 3 N Hot.mp3


    Bass #3 DiMarzio Model J
    Click here to download What's going on Bass 3 J.mp3


    Bass #5 Stock MIM Jazz
    Click here to download What's going on Bass 5 Fen.mp3

    Fantastic Voyage --> pickups in series (this may be a mod worth doing on the MIM jazz and low cost)

    bass #3 Nordstrand NJ4
    Click here to download Fantastic voyage Bass 3 NJ4.mp3

    Bass #3 GFS Jazz
    Click here to download Fantastic voyage Bass 3 Fet.mp3

    Bass #3 Nordstrand NJ4SE
    Click here to download Fantastic voyage Bass3 SE 4.mp3

    Bass #3 DiMarzio Model J
    Click here to download Fantastic voyage Bass 3 JAY.mp3


    Bass #5 Fender MIM
    Click here to download Fantastic voyage Bass 5 4-3.mp3


    Come on Come Over bridge pickup only tone wide open

    Bass #3 GFS pro jazz
    Click here to download Come on come over Bass3 GFS.mp3>

    Bass #3 Nordstrand NJ4SE
    Click here to download Come on come over Bass3 NJ4.mp3

    Bass #3 DiMarzio Model J
    Click here to download Come on come over Bass3 J.mp3

    Bass #5 Fender MIM
    Click here to download Come on come over Bass 5 4-.mp3
     
  5. purpletornado

    purpletornado

    Aug 5, 2009
    The MIM wired in series on Fantastic Voyage sound really great. What all if involved with this kind of mod?
     
  6. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    Check your MIM pickups and see if they're the same size or not. Apparently there was a series of years where both pickups in MIM Jazz basses were the exact same size. If that's the case with your bass then the majority of replacement pickups won't fit without modifying the body (because with most replacement pickup "sets" the bridge pickup is slightly larger).
     
  7. purpletornado

    purpletornado

    Aug 5, 2009
    Will do. Will the size difference be in the length or the width of the pups?
     
  8. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    The bigger of the two. The one that's in the 3 3/4" range.
     
  9. purpletornado

    purpletornado

    Aug 5, 2009
    At first look it appears that the bridge pup may be the longer one. After all this I may just leave things as is since there doesn't really seem to be any issues sound-wise.
     
  10. PawleeP

    PawleeP

    Oct 8, 2012
    3 5/8 for bridge.. just grind with a dremel and a small wood chisel (the cavity) out a little to fit.. place the new pickup on there and trace it out first.. p
     

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