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Jazz Bass 60's/70's pickup spacing, what is the difference and what do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassman_al, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. 60's pickup spacing

    101 vote(s)
  2. 70's pickup spacing

    92 vote(s)
  3. like them both equally

    74 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. I know, a lot of these kinds of thread, but I wanted my own in case I decide to derail it. Please weigh in with your vote and why you like one over the other. I just got my first 70's spacing bass. I like it a lot, but don't prefer it over the 60's that I have. they both sound nice to me. I'll see if I still feel that way after I gig it. Thanks everyone!
  2. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    No preference; I do not favor one over the other. I am equally comfortable on both.

    However, play a Gibson EBO and then play a Smith bass and let me know about those pup locations...
  3. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    I generally prefer the 60s (music, designs, the general vibe...), so that's what i chose :)

    Honestly, I never heard the difference between the pickup locations... Maybe it's because I do not care. A jazz bass is a jazz bass and if it's good, it's good :)
  4. Both sound great, but I prefer the 70's spacing. A 70's spaced bridge pup provides such a growly barky bite that just kills for fingerstyle funk. You can make 70's spacing sound like 60's spacing by blending the to pups, but you can get 60's spacing to sound like 70's bridge spacing.
  5. SJan3


    Dec 8, 2010
    Well, I prefer 60's spacing because I find the bridge pup to be far enough away from the bridge to still allow a reasonably comfortable placement as a thumb anchor. Also, in my opinion, the strings are too tight in the 70's position for finger playing when your thumb is mounted on the bridge pup. 70's may "bark" a tad more but at the expense of low end.
    Leo knew what he was doing the 1st time. Never heard a 70's bass that I'd call "warm" sounding. 60's on the other hand..
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  6. JP Morin

    JP Morin

    Mar 15, 2011
    70's because it has a better trebly-high-mids response, which I prefer, just a bit more alive tone IMO...
    lowdownthump likes this.
  7. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010

    But which is better for a PJ??

  8. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    Voted '60s but like them both.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  9. pbass888

    pbass888 Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    74 jazz growls like no other. and ive played a few jazzes...
    lowdownthump likes this.
  10. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    I tend to lean to the '70s spacing. My '72 Jazz has a punch I never found in other jazz basses. I also went with the '70s spacing on my Sadowsky Fretless.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  11. great start to this thread. Thanks guys!. Close voting!
  12. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    Like two great flavours of ice cream, how can you choose?
    lowdownthump likes this.
  13. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    If you emphasize or solo the bridge pickup on a JJ or PJ, I think 60s would be better to void sounding thin.

    If you emphasize the neck pickup on a JJ or PJ, it could go either way, depending on the sound you prefer.
  14. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    In theory the 70s spacing should have a little more bite, but the differences are pretty subtle and tend to get swamped by the sum of all the other variables that affect each bass. I've played examples of both types that really worked well for me and plenty of others that just didn't seem to do it, for whatever reason.
    MobileHolmes likes this.
  15. mindwell


    Aug 17, 2006
    Wichita, KS
    +1 to that. My '74 Jazz (alder/rosewood) and its back pickup...wow. And a mere 8 lbs!
    lowdownthump likes this.
  16. '70's spacing for funk,
    '60's spacing for rock.
    lowdownthump and trothwell like this.
  17. To me, the differences between the two are massive. Maybe not in a really thick mix but who cares about that anyway :p? Right now I prefer 60s but I'd be happy to find a 70s spaced jazz that makes me change my mind. My biggest fear is sounding like Marcus Miller and 70s jazzes seem to have that tone almost built in.
  18. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    I've actually have two of each! And they each have their own character in terms of tone. The LPB Fender and '59 Burst Sadowsky have the 70's spacing while the other two have the 60's spacing.

    lowdownthump and Oldschool94 like this.
  19. amazingly even voting so far. Anyone else care to chime in? I won't bump this thread myself anymore since I have over 100 votes. thanks to all who contributed to the thread!
  20. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Bump. Interesting thread.

    I bought my first Jazz with 70 spacing this summer. It was a MIM (Antigua) and I didn't like the tone. Too much overtone in the high mids. NOT warm, and can't use the bridge pickup alone, way too mid (for my personnal taste). Thought it was the mex pickups that sounded thin. Nothing on that bass reminded me the AM vintage 62 I've had a few years ago. That was one of my favortie bass ever!

    Bought this P-Bass Pro 2012 a few days ago, which is a PJ setup with 70's spacing. Same sound I don't like in the high-mid range. Same color as my previous mex JBass. Replaced the pickup by the new Super 55. Better, but still remain that color that I don't like in the highs... I conclude I don't like the 70 spacing... at all!!

    60 for me!!!
    Bassdirty and lidesnowi like this.
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