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j/j vs mm/j basses, what's the difference?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cigi, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    I've posted a thread a few days ago about my quest for a new bass.

    In the beginning my favorite was the DJ skyline, but now I've played a sandberg california J/J this weekend and it blew me away. Easiest playing bass I've ever played. And sounded great.

    I'm thinking about ordering one, but I'm not sure if I should go with the J/J configuration or with the MM/J. Can anyone tell the difference in sound, or maybe even better, post soundclips?


  2. I've only had one J/MM bass. It was a Carvin and not an actual Musicman so the sound it produces is bound to be different but in my experience J pups have much more growl and punch whereas the MM pup had more low end presence. I definitely like J pups more.
  3. if you have a MM pickup setup with a switch such that you can run it in single-coil mode, there is no reason, with the right MM pickup, you can't get it to emulate a good single-coil sound.

    in other words, a good J/MM like a Lakie 55-02 should be able to do the Jazz thing AND the Music Man thing pretty darn close.

    Hence, J/MM should equal more versatility.

    Finding an MM to match a J so that you can get good hum-cancelling in J/single-coil mode however, well, that's doable and has been done by custom winders, but hasn't been done, yet, AFAIK, on a production level.
  4. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    Thanks for the replies.

    I liked the JJ I've played a lot. They were delano J's with big polepieces like a mm p/u.

    If they tend to have more growl and punch than I'll definately go with the JJ.
  5. either you didn't read my post, or you didn't understand it.

    allow me to paraphrase...

    J/MM with the MM in single-coil mode is essentially the same as JJ
  6. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    I did read and understand your post, but I believe the Sandberg California don't come with a single coil/humbucker switch. I'll check it out.

    I think I'm going with the JJ anyway. I always liked the JJ sound, but never had experience with MM/J thats why I asked. But I think I'm not going to change a winning team.

    Thanks for the advice though!

    Edit: I've checked it out and they do have a split swith. Hmmm that changes things. I can have even more options, however, I prefer the look of a JJ better.


  7. you'd better check it out...according to the sandberg website, the california JM DOES come with a PU split...
  8. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008
    I have the J/MM version and can confirm that with the MM switched to single coil it sounds the same as the JJ.

    The MM pickup does beef up the sound though so you would be wise to try one first before you discount it in favour of the JJ model.

    I never play mine now in single coil mode, the MM pickup is THAT good!!!

    The passive mode is superb as well, it tends to boost the mids a bit and is probably closest to the Jazz sound you're going to get on a Sandberg.
  9. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    Hey Baker,

    I'm glad someone answered who has this particular bass.

    Is there a possibility that you can post soundclips of the mm pu splitted and normal?

    The main reason why I wouldn't chose the MM/J now is because I like the look of it less than the J/J, but maybe that's a stupid reason.

    I was allso wondering, are there root holes under the pickguard? Can you take it off?
  10. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008
    Hi Cigi,

    I'll see what I can do about getting some soundclips posted.

    Yes, the J/MM configuration doesn't appear to as aesthetically attractive to some people as the JJ configuration, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder as the saying goes, and I love the look of it and in fact the light colour of the body emphasises it (please have a look at my photos on Club Sandberg here on the Forum).

    I'll have a peek under the pickguard as well for you and report back!
  11. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006

    I've looked at your sandberg, that's a very cool bass!

    I'm still doubting though, I love the look of a JJ.

    In one of your post regarding to the sandberg you say that it doesn't have a woody tone like a fender jazz, what do you mean by that?
  12. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008
    I can't coment on the new 2008 USA Standard Range but Fender P's and J's have always had what is traditionally known as a "woody" tone, which is bordering on a nasal tone.

    Sandbergs don't have this, even in Passive mode they have a brighter and more 'modern' type of sound.

    It's hard to describe really, you need to go down to the music store and do a direct comparison between a Fender and a Sandberg and you'll see what I mean.

    It really depends what sort of sound you're after, as I've mentioned in one of my postings on the Club Sandberg in my opinion the Sandberg is a superior bass to Fender however it doesn't stop me still wanting to buy a Fender Jazz, it has its own definitive sound which is different to a Sandberg.

    The Fender is such a classic bass that every bass player should have a P Bass and a J Bass in their arsenal!
  13. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    I think I kind of understand.

    I've played a new fender mia jazz last a week before the sandberg.

    In terms of "objective" quality the sandberg was better than the fender IMO, but idd had a different tone.

    I still thought that the sandberg jj I played at store in passive mode didn't have very modern tone. It wasn't vintage vintage, but not modern modern... I hope you kind of understand what I mean... :eyebrow:
  14. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I'm currently attempting to find 'the best of both' by converting a J/MM bass into a J/JJ bass with the 2 JJ's being selectable either/or, or both in series.
  15. SurrenderMonkey


    Aug 18, 2006
    Delano makes an hybrid J/MM pickup, called, well, 'The Hybrid' :)

  16. JJ is far more edgy! Clips are coming soon.
  17. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    Super, thanks!

    This weekend I'm going to a store that has all the basses I'm considering. Lakland skyline DJ, Fender MIA 08 Jazz and sandberg basses.

    I will learn a lot more there and maybe who knows... bring one back with me!

    I'l keep you informed.

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