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J-Pickup Wiring question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Stephanheimer, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Stephanheimer


    Feb 15, 2009
    I have a Jazz bass with 2 older (early 80's) Dimarzio Model J pickups (4 conductor wiring) that I am going to rewire. I am trying to resolve some noise problems and want to add some switching capability for different tones and i'm looking for some advice.

    Noise issue: when I take my hands off the bass it immediately gets noisier. I have tried to fix this by adding sheilding in the control and pickup cavities and improving the ground to bridge. I have checked conductivity and confirmed that the shielding and ground wiring is ok. The pots in there are cheap and I am replacing them with high quality CTS parts which I hope will help.

    Question 1: Anything I should be looking for or doing to eliminate the noise?

    Wiring: Currently the bass is wired like a standard jazz bass (2 Vol, 1 tone) with the Red wire from each pickup acting as the hot and the black and white wires connected to each other. I want to wire it so I can switch from series to parallel operation. I purchased 2 regular CTS pots and a pot with a push/pull switch (CTS EP-5585-000). From my understanding I can use this switch to change the relationship of the 2 pickups from series to parallel but after doing further research I guess that the Model J pickup is itself humbucking and each pickup can be wired to it’s own push/pull switch to change from series to parallel.

    Question 2: Since the pickups are humbucking will switching them from series to parallel produce a big difference in sound?

    Question 3: Can I use the push/pull pot as a tone pot or does it have to be in a particular position (i.e. neck volume, bridge volume etc).

    Question 4: Am I better off to put push/pull pots in all 3 positions for more tonal variety?

    Question 5: What is the orientation of the Model J? Is it humbucking like a P-bass pick
  2. Make sure there is continuity between the pickup cavity shielding & the sleeve side of the output jack.
    Here is a good tutorial on shielding a Jazz bass:

    Jazz Shielding Pictorial (Big Images Warning)


    A push/pull can go almost anywhere (except in a dual gang position, like balance), but if you want each pickup to do series/parallel it would make sense for the volume pot of each pickup to be the series/parallel switch for that pickup.

    Here is a paper by DiMarzio about wiring up their pickups.


    There is a phase switch diagram, but I don't really think it would be very useful. Otherwise, I can't think of what to use the 3rd push/pull for.

    The Model J are humbuckers, so I am surprised you're having trouble with noise.

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