Jazz Bass parallel/series option is sweet!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, May 28, 2004.

  1. I recently acquired an American Jazz Bass with a Badass 2 bridge, Moses graphite neck, and Dimarzio Ultra Jazz Pickups. the pups are double coil Jazzes with four wires. I took it to Mike Lull Guitars to have them do the wiring for me. It now has a master volume, master tone, and a pan pot. The volume is a push/pull switching the neck from parallel to series, and the tone does the same thing for the bridge pup. I now have a Jazz that can sound like a two pickup P-Bass! Neck pup soloed and in series it sounds like a P-Bass, and if you pan to the middle I get that great P/J sound. In the middle with both in series and it sounds like a two pup P! I like having it in the middle, with the neck in parallel and the bridge in series - it sounds nice and thick, but with great articulation.

    Anybody else try this? How did you like it?
  2. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm not sure I understand...an individual UltraJazz in series (i.e. the 2 halves of the pickup wired in series) sounds like a regular Jazz pickup, albeit with the UltraJazz's own flavor. If you wired the 2 coils within the single pickup in parallel, that would make the pickup's tone considerably "thinner". Even in series, an individual UltraJazz doesn't really sound like a P-pickup (it sounds like a Jazz)... am I understanding your description correctly?

    My main 4-string is an early-70s Jazz with UltraJazzes. Each pickup individually is wired in series, but I also have the (separate) option of running both pups together in either parallel (i.e. normal Jazz wiring) or in series. Make sense? When both pups are run together in series, THAT should (and does) sound somewhat like a P-bass. You may wanna look into this mod.

    That said, I've thought about having my tech wire in 2 additional mini-toggles that would enable me to run each individual pickup in either series or parallel, mainly for the scenario you described above: one pickup in series and the other in parallel. But... the instrument is so dang versatile as it is, I haven't had a pressing need for this additional complexity.
  3. Actually, when I first got the the bass each of the pickups were wired in parallel (I think). As they were they sounded just like a normal Jazz (though better because of the Dimarzios). Now, when I pull out the volume pot the volume of the neck pup is increased considerably and the tone gets fatter, which sounds like a P-Bass to my ears. Unfortunately I don't understand exactly how it all works, but my understanding is that a P-Bass pup is two individual pickups wired in series to each other. When I pull out the volume pot on my Jazz I have two individual pickups together in the neck pup that are now wired in series. It doesn't sound just
    like a P-Bass, but close enough that I don't feel like I need to buy one.