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In a total bass quandary.!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bubinga5, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    Ive always been a fan of Jazz basses. I own a Suhr Custom Classic Jazz bass. I previously owned a 5594 deluxe. The 5594 had huge bottom end. The Suhr is a Jazz bass so take from that you will. I hate to say this but I'm really not getting what I need in the low end from the Suhr. Thing is i don't need a 5 string anymore, but I can't find a 4494 used and the new prices from Lakland are way out there. Im presuming the bigger bottom end comes from that MM pickup.? If anyone has a 4494 deluxe im all ears.
  2. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    It’s possible but that really hasn’t been my experience . MM pickups seem to bring out the mids .

    Jazz pickups seem to be more mid scooped with singing highs and thunderous low end.
    Is your Suhr Jazz ash / maple?
    One Way and wizard65 like this.
  3. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    Ash Maple.
  4. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    The thunderous low end has never been my experience with jazz basses. Maybe other ears may differ. Mid scooped may be the pre or eq setting. Im getting neither. The 5594 was both of those.
    rockdoc11 and sonojono like this.
  5. Jazz4Me

    Jazz4Me Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2018
    Central Illinois
    What about a 44-14 in the classic series? Or a Skyline 44-02? Same hardware and electronics as the 44-94.
    SoulDeluxe likes this.
  6. I had a Stingray for 18 years, and it was midrange-city. I actually started hating it’s tone, couldn’t tame that midrange and boosting the bass made it boomy with midrange. I eventually sold it and fell in love with Jazz basses. Especially Jazz basses with preamps...
    I know your Suhr has a preamp, and you say it doesn’t give out enough @$$.
    But I just installed an old Pensa/Suhr boost-only 2-band preamp into one of my Jazz V’s ...and Oh my F’n god! It has so much thunderous low end....I installed an active/passive switch, but I don’t think it will see any action. It stays in Active mode all the time.

    Getting back to your original thread from a few weeks ago, regarding preamp replacement for your Jazz...you have thought about the Sadowsky preamp, which I believe is also boost-only. Why not give that a shot? One with a VTC in it. I feel that with a boost-only preamp, it’s only natural to have a passive tone control.
    Or an Aguilar OBP-1 set up the same way
    Either Vol/Vol/Tone/treble-bass stack or
    Vol/Blend/Tone/treble-bass stack.
  7. I have never played a Suhr Jazz Bass. But the preamp replacement is worth consideration. I stopped playing P Basses to use John East's J-Retro 01 drop in preamp. I absolutely loved it gigging regularly for 5 years. I've put one in a '99 Warwick Thumb 5 NT, a Hamer Cruise Bass 5 (not the drop in) and had one ready for a project that I aborted and sold the preamp.

    But, if your done with the Jazz Bass. Perhaps take a test drive on the new Sting Ray 5 Special. It'z nize!
    This is a BFR not the more common Bass with the pickguard and roasted Maple neck with the oil/wax finish.
    tommyr01, Steve88 and Peter Torning like this.
  8. SoulDeluxe


    May 15, 2018
    Yes im thinking a Sadowsky pre. Ive actually got a brand new one. Ive just got to get around to installing it. Im curious as to how much of a difference it will make.?
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  9. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I'm not familiar with Suhr basses but from photos it looks like the 5594 has a much massier bridge than the J. The bridge can make quite a difference imo.
  10. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Yes, certain basses have a natural low - end that is huge.... Once you have that, you miss it in other instruments.

    Have you considered the (more affordable) Lakland Skyline 44-02?
  11. Going from a string through the body 5 string and 35" scale super Jazz Bass to a "vintage" style, IINM top loading 4 string 34" scale Jazz Bass has its trade offs, ya know.

    Just the scale length is enough to alter how you hear the other strings on the Bass. John Suhr has been putting out great Basses for some time. You may find a 35" scale 4 string is more your bag. I have seen a few like that from Lakland, but not many. In fact, I still remember CME had a couple used Basses at the same time. One was an Alder/Rosewood in Black/Chrome with the single Bartolini MM pickup. I missed grabbing it. I think it was a 45-76, IIRC.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  12. Steve88


    Mar 27, 2014
    Macedon, NY
    I have the same tonal differences between my Roadworn Jazz and my Lakland 5594. The 5594 has a very full sound, with lots of meat in the low end. If I play them back to back with no EQ changes, the Jazz bass sounds a little thin in comparison. The Jazz bass has a different overall character though, so I take both basses for what they do well. Whenever I feel like my Jazz needs a little more "meat", I run it though my SGFX Beta with the gain turned down and the tone up.

    On a side note...the pickguardless look is fantastic on the Stingray 5. So much better than half the body being covered in plastic. That should be more a common option.
    PhatBottomBass1 likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    IME, a J bass pickup configuration has more low end than a P and a MM if they were all passive (in fact the MM has the least amount of bass). Of course w/ an active MM, you can get a ton of bass, and it's not a fair comparison.
    One Way and lowdownthump like this.
  14. oldskoolskatedad


    May 18, 2014
    +1 for giving a Sadowsky preamp a try. I have one in my Fender Marcus Miller and couldn't be more impressed with the improvement. Having an unused hole in the pickguard after installing the Sadowsky I installed a series/parallel switch and wow! A Jazz in series is really massive
    Groove Doctor and Jefenator like this.
  15. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Can't really expect a passive bass to match what an active bass did. So your options as I see them are:
    • Learn to use the passive design for its strengths & get the sound you want from the amp, or:
    • Add an onboard preamp to the bass
    Fortunately, there are numerous solutions available for a standard J layout - especially if you are open to relocating the output jack to the side. (Outboard could also be an option.)
    Another long shot might be the pickups. I'm sure the Suhrs are swell, but people's reactions are subjective and there are many, many variations one can try in the standard J shape.
  16. Have you tried raising the pickups closer to the strings? Will sound bigger, but too close & it’ll sound ‘off’.
  17. Hey @bubinga5

    my two basses at the moment are a Sadowsky metro jazz and a Lakland 55-94 with Bart pups and a John east unipre in it.

    I think I remember your 5594 was similar Bart pups ... my 2p is that the sound of that Lakland with those pups is, by design, a lot beefier and fatter than a jazz type (and even though you are being suggested a Sadowsky preamp - the Sadowsky obviously has one and In my opinion doesn’t get close)

    The difference was something I was playing with this week. My amp has a red light that glows brighter if it’s hit with a harder signal - adjusting the gain so it was about the same - the Lakland sounded way way louder - it had a massive low mid thing going on with loads of harmonics. The Sadowsky by comparison sounded clean and clear and way quieter - even though it wasn’t.

    you put a wanted ad on basschat for a 44-94? That might be the best bet (or even a 55-94 again!)
    bubinga5 likes this.
  18. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    Doesn't your amp have EQ?
    JRA likes this.
  19. The sad pre will bring the beef.

    Probably also enhance the deeper lows.

    get installin’
  20. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    I’ve never been able to get thunderous lows from that wood combo . Maybe you need alder and single coils or even soap bars.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 4, 2021

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