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Jazz bass replacement pickups for fat rock tone?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by reverend-x, May 16, 2004.

  1. reverend-x


    May 16, 2004
    I'm after a set of replacement pickups for my jazz bass (copy) that will give me the punchiest rock tone possible, because the stock pickups sound dead have almost no punch or low end. I don't have a massive budget, but I'm interested in a set of Dimarzio Ultra Jazz DP149's and EMG actives.

    If anyone has any advice I'd really appreciate it, my bands going into the studio next month so I need a tone that'll sound awesome on tape as well as live.

  2. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    a lot of people bash em, but I put a set of MEC Jazz pickups in my SX and love it. Find someone with a Warwick that is upgrading their pickups and see if they'd sell you the MEC.

    Of course YMMV, but I like em.
  3. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    If you want more of a midrange hump, go with the DiMarzio Model J's. I put those in my 2002 MIM fretless, and switched to D'adarrio XL roundwounds. This bass growls now like nobody's business.

    If you want more of a scooped midrange (but not too much)go with the Ultra jazz pickups. I use those on my 2000 MIM fretted jazz. Major improvement. On this bass, I have them wired to two push/pull volume pots, which lets you go between series, and parallel operation. In series, it sounds very Stingray-ish IMHO. In parallel, very much the jazz bass sound, only better.

    Model J's can be wired that way too BTW. Email Dimarzio-they will send the diagrams within minutes.

    Best place to get them? Brian at www.bestbassgear.com

    Great guy, great prices, great service. Can't go wrong there IMO. :hyper:
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I haven't tried the DiMarzio's, but they seem to have a pretty good reputation. I currently have Lace Sensors in my Essex Jazz copy, and I'm surprised at how agressive they can sound. I've read some fairly tepid reviews of the Laces, so I'm pleasantly surprised. They seem to have a stronger attack than a lot of J pups, and since I'm more of a P guy, that's good with me. I don't think they're very vintage-y, but I'm not after a vintage Jazz tone anyway. You can sometimes find them pretty cheap on ebay.

    I like the EMG-P, but the last bass I played that had EMG-J's in it seemed too "polite" to me.
  5. reverend-x


    May 16, 2004
    Hmm now I've decided on Dimarzio but i'm at a loss wether to go for the model J's or the Ultrajazz.. I've heard that the Model J's give a nice ugly growly tone (sounds like what I'd need for my style of rock playing although I may sometimes need a more versitile sound), but does noticeablely sacrifice the low end? Plus which pickup has the hotter output?
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Another vote for DiMarzio Model J pickups. I was'nt impressed with their tone when I had them in my fretless Jazz , I guess they were'nt bright enough, but they sound really good in my fretted Jazz.
  7. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Rev, as far as output goes, I don't notice any difference between the EMG's in my fretless and the Model J's in my fretted. IMO The Model J's have a really nice bottom end, aggressive midrange, and enough high end without sound too hi-fi. I have'nt compared them to the Ultra Jazz set, which by DiMarzio's specs have more high end and slightly more output.

    - Best regards, A.P.
  8. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    From the descriptions of the UJ's and Model J's from the Dimarzio website, it looks like you should go with the Model J's. Here's what they say:

    Model J:
    "DiMarzio Model J's keep the crunchy, focused sound of the traditional Fender Jazz Bass tone while boosting gain and response. This additional presence translates into a bigger sound with improved attack and bite; great for highly articulated finger or pick-style playing where quick response is needed. The DiMarzio Model J pickup's sensitivity and deep tone are also the perfect complement to the warm character of fretless basses. Double-stop glissandos and delicate violin-style vibrato speak with a classic, woody voice simply by backing off slightly on the tone controls."

    "DiMarzio's Ultra Jazz pickup is just what its name implies: more of everything you want from a Jazz Bass replacement pickup.....lots more. It's fat, it's funky, it's big, and it's hum canceling. The Ultra Jazz is available individually in neck and bridge models, and as a matched set."

    You can go here for sound clips of each of these pickups: Dimarzio Sound Clips.

    Good luck!
  9. Stocks are 8k impedance
    I put Fender Vintage Noiseless (12.5K impedance).
    These things rock! Very good lows, mids, smooth highs, clarity and excellent output level. My MIA Jazz has an S-1 switch for putting the pickups in Series mode (25K total impedance). I will let your mind wonder on that one!
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I wouldn't focus on 'hot'. I would focus on clear. I would focus on 'punch'. You use the channel strip to fatten things up in the studio. Better to start with a nice clear signal and use the EQ to fatten things up a bit...

    Bill Lawrence J45's or Duncan Antiquities which are the modern day replacement of the SJB pup's would be a nice choice for clear and punchy. The BL's are extremely quiet and are my current fav.
  11. The Fender Vintage Noiseless, while having more signal exibit more clarity and fatness than the stocks. Not more growl.
  12. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    You like those things, eh? I wish I had gotten a chance to use them before I sold them to you! Anyways, I'm glad you are enjoying them.