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Jazz Bass Help!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Neil.com, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. I recently American Fender Jazz Bass. I got it second hand and it was made in'96. This is wierd but when you turn either one of the pickups down and leave the other pickup at full volume there's a buzz, but when both volumes are up it goes away. I'm finding it hard to get a decent tone aswell (any suggestions?) so I'm thinking the pickups could have been changed to cheaper pickups. Is there anyway of knowing if the pickups are original? Any help would be appreciated I'm pretty annoyed! :scowl:
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Welcome to the world of single coil pickups.

    When you're running both at the same voume they're hum cancelling. When one is soloed more than the other, you get hum.

    You can try to shield it better than it is (fender's aren't all that well shielded) or you can change out the pickups for something that's hum-cancelling by itself.
  3. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    That's what I remember about my J, about twenty years ago!! I thought the newer MIA stuff was supposed to be less noisy but I am no expert to say the least. Stay tuned...someone will have the answers. I just used to align myself with my amp so I made the least amount of buzz possible.... :rollno:
  4. doublemuff216


    Jun 14, 2004
    Astoria NY
    i'm about to invest in a MIA (wednesday) transparent orange...maple fretboard...so gorgeous...anywho...is this a problem i can expect with the new MIA's or will the S1 take care of that little issue? I'm a jazz bass guy and i havent had that problem with my actives (noisless pups are wonderful) but i've been searching for a more...well, um, passive bass so i figured MIA was the only way...
  5. toad


    Jun 26, 2002
    That's the nature of the classic single coil Fender Jazz bass. It's normal. If it really bothers you, as BurningSkies says, you can change it out for hum-cancelling pickups but it will change the sound.
  6. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I don't even notice the hum on my Jazz. If I try to hear it, I might. But I do have a general hum sound when I raise the treble/or presence to the max on my SABDDI along with drive up too, and when the volume is up. But I never do that anyways.
  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    As has been said earlier in this thread, 60-cycle hum is a fact of life with single coil pickups. I leave both volumes wide open at all times and adjust volume at the amp. Treble can be rolled off with the treble knob, tone can be adjusted at the amp and tweaked by adjusting pickup height.
  8. It's just part of the Fender "charm". But don't worry you really won't notice it when you play, or you'll learn to block out that particular freq.
  9. I fixed this (minor) problem on my Darryl Jones by wiring in a series/parallel switch. It really hasn't left series since then. It sounds better and has no hum. If you're interested, there are at least thirty threads on the topic on these boards. This is what the S1 switch does on new MIA Fenders.
  10. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Yes, it's intrinsic to SC pickups, but to a very variable degree. My MIM Jazz suffered badly from this. You could change to hum cancelling pickups (that's what I did), but also shielding the bass properly may almost eliminate the problem. My Ric 4003 has the standard Ric SC pickups and is almost as quiet as my other basses with humbucking pickups.

    So, your choices are.... live with it (easy enough if you don't often use the pickups soloed), shield the bass (and keep the SC sound) or swap out the pickups for hum cancelling. A good compromise between the last two may be Carey Nordstrand's new NJ4SV pickups - these are hum cancelling pickups that are designed to be as close as possible to the vintage Jazz sound. Haven't tried them myself yet, but knowing how good his other pickups are they're certainly worth finding out about.
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    You will have the same problem when the pickups are in parallel (S-1 not engaged), and will need to have the pickups at the same volume to avoid the hum.

    With the S-1 engaged the two pickups are essentially wired into a series humbucker with widely spaced coils, and there's never any hum. But this disables the bridge pickup's volume, so you can't vary the tone by independently adjusting the pickups.

    I've had an S-1 Jazz since they were released, and it's a fantastic bass, but I became tired of the single coil hum. I suspect better shielding would have helped, but I got some Lindy Fralin Split Jazz pickups (linear humbuckers) instead, and thus far I think they're fantastic. No hum at all, and they sound great.
  12. doublemuff216


    Jun 14, 2004
    Astoria NY
    Thank you!!
  13. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    i didn't find that. I have an 03 j and i get 0 hum. btw, i have that same finish neck combo, i f-ing love it with all of my heart.
  14. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Exactly. My Zons have SC's, but they're so well shielded, it' usually not a big problem.


    In my case, I have a set of the DiMarzio Model J's (DP123 set) in my Geddy, and while they might not sound quite as vintage as the Nordies (don't know), they did a fantastic job of maintaining great tone and losing the hum (they're humbucking, drop in no muss no fuss pickups).
  15. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    oh man i have the dp123's in my fretless i freakin love them, they have a really velvety tone

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