Jazz Bass Pickup Question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bobbykokinos, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. I have 2 SX Jazz Basses and a MIM 5 String Jazz Bass with the same problems.

    When slapping, the E string is WAY WAY too poppy.. I lower down the pickup low enough to get rid of the pop and the output is greatly reduced. Is there a way to fix this? Are there any suggestions for replacements that will smooth it out a bit and make volume even across the strings?? (the SX are passive and the MIM is active).Someone suggested using a compressor?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Your problem has to do with the tyes of pickups likely used on both of those brands of basses. Inexpensive basses tend to use pickups with a ceramic magnet bar beneath non-magnetic polepieces. Traditional pickups have Alnico magnetic polepieces instead. MIM Fenders use the ceramic magnetic pickups, or at least they did in the ones I've worked on.

    Of the Fender and SX pickups I've used with those kinds of pickups, the sound has been consistent with what you describe. The lows are too big, the highs a bit too bright and the volume harder to keep even while playing. No matter how you adjust them, you'll find the same thing.

    A compressor is a bandaid solution and you'll still be stuck with tone problems.

    I'm working on an SX project now and rounded up a set of Fender Jazz pickups that somebody removed from an American Standard model. Any of the name-brand pickups (Duncan, Fender, etc.) will provide the tone and output evenness you're after. It's like getting a different instrument.

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