Jazz Bass Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MysteryBox, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. MysteryBox


    Feb 28, 2005
    Howdy everyone

    I am currently not satisfied with the Sound coming from my 2003 American Standard Jazz Bass with a Maple Fingerboard. With just the Standard Pickups i feel they are lacking Bass and the Oomph i'm looking for.

    So what should i do? I have been looking in to putting the Pickups in Series which might solve some of my Problems. But more or less i'm looking for New Pickups. What do you think are the most Bassiest Pickups for the Jazz. I was interested in a review i read stating that the Dimarzio Model J's are the most Humbucker and Bass pickups he's ever played but just listening to a Recordings from davidmwilson those sound almost as Nasally as the one i have right now (little less and little bit better sounding) but the Ultra J's sound really nice.

    Maybe there is more options i'm not thinking of and maybe having really Bassy Pickups wouldn't require the whole wiring in Series (though i really want to) or the wiring in series might be all i need.
  2. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Before you go out and buy pickups, try to wire it in series mode.
    It´s a real simple mod and no problem reversing it.

    If you are not satisfied, you can for example take a look at the Pickups FAQ here at the top of this forum and read all the J-pickup reviews here.

    Lots of good info there.
  3. My Main Bass is a 72 Maple fingerboard Fender Jazz.I bought it 26 years ago and was unhappy with the original fender pickups(no tops in the bottom 2 strings and no bottoms in the top 2 strings, very uneven soundwise to play with) and tried both passive Bartolini's and DiMarzio's. The Bartolinis were fine if you wanted a traditional sound but with even tone accross the fingerboard. The DiMarzios I didnt like as they coloured the sound too much and were quite dirty. (I always think that if you start with a clean straight sound then you can always add as much dirt as you like but if you start dirty you havent got much room to move). For over 20 years now I have had Active EMG's in this bass and it just sounds fantastic. I have recorded heaps with it and love it live. Sound guys complement it and other players often comment about its consistent tone and output accross the full range of the fingerboard. I know ts a nice bass but I attribute most of the comments recieved to having great pickups that are able to get that natural good sound out. I must add that I did play around with a set of Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders and liked the sound but again this is quite a specific sound. I was impressed with Seymours overall range and variation of pickups but the EMG's are by far my personal choice. I play mainly Rock and Blues with a little Country and Jazz sometimes. My bass is run through a bi-Amp system powered by a Pereaux 5000B 900w MosFet amp. I use a 15" EV 400w bottom speaker and a 12"300w EV top speaker, an EV crossover set to cross at 250hz. And finaly a TC Electronic PreAmp with 4 band parametric. I am about to lose the TC and replace it with an Ampeg SVP-Pro Series tube Preamp to get more presence and warmth. I spent years trying diferent effects but no longer bother unless its in a studio. Live Im able to get a huge range of sounds simply by blending the outputs of both my pickups and using the tone control on the bass. I never find bottom end an issue.
    I hope this info is usefull to you.

  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    +1! USA Fender pickups are very high quality! Don't take them for granted, try series mode.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Perhaps a preamp like a J-Retro will offer more flexibility too.
  6. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    +1 on series.

    Going to a bigger sounding pickup in the normal wiring scheme won't make as big a difference in sound as series wiring on what you have. I had been shopping for P basses untill I tried this mod. My USA jazz is now hard wired series as well. P bass oomph and simplicity with the jazz ergonomics. I will definitely be buying a push/pull switching pot so I can switch back and forth but for now it's fine this way.