Jazz bass wired in series

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Beardsley, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Beardsley


    Sep 5, 2016
    I'm looking to wire my jazz bass in series to get a little more thickness and oomph out of my pickups. I'm guessing by wiring in series, the two pickups essentially become one, defeating on of the volume knobs (both knobs on full). Only problem is, i'm not a fan of the jazz tone with both pickups full open, i usually keep the bridge pickup about 50-75%. Is there anything that can be done to remedy this?
  2. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    The 2 pickups in series won't sound much like the both pickups full on wired in parallel, so chances are you'd like it anyway.

    I can say wiring my 5 string Ibanez Mikro's 2 J pickups in series changed the tone drastically, from something I really didn't like to something that sounded no short of amazing and didn't have much in common with the tone I got from any combination of the 2 pickups wired in parallel.

    One way to adjust the balance between the 2 pickups when wired in series is adjusting the pickup height though, but in my experience the best results when wired in series is still obtained by keeping the 2 pickups relatively balanced with each other.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
    ZB5, EatS1stBassist, onosson and 3 others like this.
  3. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    Probably, but I don't know.

    Try it in regular series and see if you like it. Just because you like the pickups a certain way when they're in parallel doesn't mean that you'll like it when in series. The neck alone, and both in series are my favorite sounds from a JB. Both combined as a HB is a completely different sound than both single coils in parallel.

    You're right about losing one volume control in series.
  4. Get a push/pull pot and wire it so you can run it series or parallel. Thats what I do to my jazzes and PJ's.
  5. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    Warning: push/pull pots may require deepening of the control cavity, but it's worth the trouble if you can do it.
    Volker Kirstein and Gothic like this.
  6. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I found that jazz in series didn’t really sound like jazz parallel with Pickups full on. It was its own thing; big and beefy. (Great at home, but I ended up selling the bass, the tone was a little muddy for my taste live.)

    series/parallel switch or push-pull seems smart, then you have both. You could also lower the bridge pickup away from the strings to make it less present in the mix. I’ve also found plucking up towards the neck can make just as much difference in warming the tone as tweaking pickup levels. (To a degree, of course)
    EatS1stBassist and Ggaa like this.
  7. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Is the process the same on a PJ? Just connect one pickup’s ground to the other’s lead? I succeeded on the jazz in series but when I tried on my PJ I got a hum. Could have been another spot entirely, but even on a few tries I couldn’t ferret out the problem
  8. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    It's the same, yes.

    Personally though, unlike 2 series wired J pickups, I found the combination of a P and J in series way too boomy, dark and muddy for my taste, some seems to like it though.

    The J's in series on the other hand seems like just the perfect combination for me, much prefer it to them wired in parallel, and even liked it better than a traditionally wired P/J, which until I tried the J's wired in series was my favorite pickup configuration.

    I guess me wiring the 2 series J pickups directly to the output jack socket of my bass helped with getting more high frequency content though, which might have given me a more balanced result than if I had put a cab and a tone pot between it, like you traditionally would, as wiring pickups in series not only give more output volume and more low end and mids but also tend to subdue the high frequencies some.
  9. You have to flip the hot and ground on one of the pickups in a PJ.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  10. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Oh, right, you are correct.

    Sorry, for claiming otherwise, contributing to spreading false information.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  11. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    This. It's not really the same as backing off one of the pickups, but it'll help warm up the sound a bit.

    Jazz bass wired in series does sound great, but can get a bit muddy if you already have hot pickups to start with. +1 adding a push/pull switch to be able to go back and forth.
  12. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    This is true, yes.
  13. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    First off, have you ever heard a Jazz Bass wired in series? If not, I'd listen to some youtube first or something.

    You should be able to series wire up your J with a blend pot so that you can blend and have the bridge pickup dominant.

    As we start mixing off one pickup or the other, we loose the hum cancelling on the J Bass.

    Didn't Fender make a J Bass (and P bass too) about 10 or 15 yeas ago with some kind of parallel/series pot and/or switch. Called an S-1 switch or something?

    Genuine Fender 250k Split Shaft S-1 Guitar/Bass Switching Pot, 006-1256-049 885978546749 | eBay
  14. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    JKos, Gothic, fig and 4 others like this.
  15. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    bassdude51 likes this.
  16. Jazz pickups are winded to run in parallel, both conected in series would result in a very high resistence, output, not clear sound.
    In a humbucker, the two coils are wired in series but not winded as a J pickup
    HolmeBass likes this.
  17. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Remember that a DiMarzio Model J pickup is a split-coil pickup: two coils in each pickup housing, one for the E-A strings, and one for the D-G strings. The pickup comes as a 4-conductor, so any number of wiring possibilities may be utilized. In "standard" wiring, with the coils on each pickup wired in series, each pickup is a ballsier version of a J pickup. Because of this, series/parallel wiring to both pickups is not necessary with a pair of Dimarzio Model J pickups.
    basmansam and TonyP- like this.
  18. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    The drawing is valid with or w/o DiMarzios.

    The comments that you can't have independent volume controls are incorrect.
    If you want the highs back in a series setup, just roll back the volume on the neck pickup.
    JKos and PawleeP like this.
  19. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    I have done this to all my Alinco pickup basses but 1.

    I love the sound.
    Spidey2112, jgroh and JohnArnson like this.
  20. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Not really.

    Traditionally and typically a J pickup will have much lower resistance than your typical humbucker pickup, and wiring 2 typical J pickups in series will typically not result in much higher resistance than that of a typical humbucker pickup.

    In any case the sheer amount of people who like their J pickups wired in series, and even the existence of double J pickups wired in series, ought to speak for it self and debunk your claims, regardless of weather or not there is any truth to them from a technical point of view.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 25, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.