J-Pups for Tapewounds

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rufus.K, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. rufus.K

    rufus.K Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2015
    I'm looking for experiences, suggestions, theories , and such regarding selecting a set of J pickups for a bass that will interact well with nylon Tapewounds

    Not sure if there are or aren't any qualities or characteristics specific to a set of pups that will work any better than others with Tapewounds , so let's get something going.

    My situation is: I have a J that I love to death. it's an early 80''s Fender Japan E series. I've replaced the neck pup years ago with a no-name when the original died. I used to play quite aggressively and this bass sounded great. now I don't (mostly), and the breakup and tonality isn't suiting me any longer.
    I prefer the feel of this bass with Fender 9120 tapes. I like the way it wounds acoustically as well with these. alas, when I play plugged in I'm really not happy with it. it's both thin in the low end, and thE high strings aren't loud enough. the low strings are loud, just not deep. when I dig in, it sounds farty. I've tilted both pups every combination both intuitively and counter intuitively , and I'm just over it. it's similar with non Tapewounds , they just exacerbate my issue.
    I'm going to replace the pups anyway. I'd like to hear if anyone has any relevant theories or experience selecting J pups specifically for symbiotic use with tapewounderstand strings .
  2. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I personally believe that with tapes, you really need a bass that is extremely well shielded and buzz-free, and more than that, you need pickups that are extremely resistant to outside noise. I'm talking much more than usual. I think it's because your bridge is no longer grounded, but I feel like tapes can often make noise worse. I've found the new Seymour Duncan Apollo Jazz to be extremely noise-free, as are EMG or Bartolini which are extremely well shielded. Even your average noiseless pickups can suffer from enough interference that tapes will make them unusable for me.

    If you want nice and deep sounding, I personally would start with Bartolini pickups. Their Classic Bass Deep Tone pickups would work well. You could go single coil, or split coil for further noise rejection.
  3. rufus.K

    rufus.K Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2015
    I definately need to shield this bass when new pups go in. Ive toyed with some sort of wrist strap like clean rooms use to prevent static buildup to maintain ground... worked better as a belt clip... but i digress.

    Besides noise, is there anything else about the Barts, or SD's you think would make them tapewound soul mates?
  4. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Go with EMG actives. They have several sets of J-style pickups so you can choose your particular flavor. They don't use a bridge plate ground, so using nylon tapewound strings is not an issue. They have a greater than -100dB noise floor, so you don't necessarily have to have the cavity shielded.

    I use the soapbar version of the EMG JX in my 5-string party bass, and it does exactly what a J-bridge pickup should do.

    If you want even more guts, try an EMG-EXB control in the signal chain. It is a variable control that raises both bass and treble while dropping mids, so you get a vintage-to-modern or straight-to-slap contour control. Instead of a full EQ on my bass, I just have that one control that with the balance between neck and bridge pickups gets me everything I need for my party band that plays everything from '50's to today.
  5. rufus.K

    rufus.K Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2015
    Have you used them with tapewounds?
  6. 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.

    Jun 14, 2021

Share This Page