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Jazz Bass Pickups for the Early 60's Vintage Sound

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by number six, May 4, 2015.

  1. I just spent hours investigating pickups to put in my Jazz bass to give me a vintage 60's sound.

    Fralin Jazz pups appear to be the most expensive and are highly rated.
    Lollars get a good mention.

    Nobody seems to have a bad word about SD SJB-1's which are less expensive.
    In at the same price as SD's are the Fender Pure Vintage '64's.

    Fender CS 60's and other SD models seem to be more modern, hi-fi or hotted-up.
    At the bottom we have Fender Originals which seem to be less powerful than the rest.

    As my bass isn't expensive at all, I have decided to go for the SD SJB-1's.
    Not sure what the bass will sound like as it's a bit of a distressed Frankenstein.

    And then it dawned on me . . . .

    Being an old bloke, I remember in the early 60's we played with strange shaped picks mostly.
    Nobody slapped. So 'vintage 60's sound' and slapping in the same sentence is an oxymoron.
    Also, the hardware was left on so we didn't play over the pickups.
    Hence, someone playing fingerstyle above the pickups is not authentic either.

    I can remember after 1965 Fender's were crap IMO.
    I sold my '66 Jazz because it didn't sound like a Fender.
    70's Fenders were awful so I settled on a '77 Stingray.

    I might forget about vintage 60's now and just play.
    I'm sure the SJB-1's will be fine.
    Dennis Davis likes this.
  2. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    SJB-1's will likely fill the bill. In the early 60's they used Alnico II magnets. These provided a sweet tone but not quite as clear note definition as Alnico V's. Still I loved the tone.
  3. Funny you should mention this. I was playing Fender basses from around 1965 on up and began to be disappointed in the quality around 1970 with my second Precision bass. I liked the Jazz bass I bought around 1974 was a beautiful ash body and rosewood blocked neck but, still there was something vaguely unsatisfying about it that I could never quite put my finger on. Fender basses in the 1970's went down hill from there and continued to flounder into the 1980's at least. I am sure the company learned from those years and now we have better instruments today, partly made possible by the replacement parts businesses that sprang during that era. I cringe when I see the misplaced reverence and bloated prices for some of these older instruments but, it is always a different thing having been there.

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