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Jazz bass wiring modification

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Andy Daventry, Feb 18, 2000.

  1. I have just modified my Jazz bass. Basically, jazz bass pickups are wired in parallel, which contributes to the distinctive sound of the think. Series wiring, on the other hand, gives a punchier, bassier sound and higher output. The disadvantage of series wiring of jazz bass pickups is that..it doesn't really sound like a jazz bass any more. It is less flexible, you can't play the pickups off against each other, and so on.

    But there are times when I want a more P bass like punch. So what I have done (and I am sure that others have done this before, but since I worked it out for myself I feel quite proud of it!) is install a push/pull pot for the tone control, and wired it so that I get parallel wiring in one position, and series in the other. I gigged with my modified J for the first time last night and it was wonderful. Parallel position gave me the sound I needed for the Sultans of Swing style numbers, and series the punch I need when our rhythm player puts down his guitar and we play harder rock in power trio + singer format. No more switching basses for these numbers.

    It's a dead easy mod to do if you can solder. Basically you need an on/on push/pull pot (equal to an on/on two position miniswitch) with six tabs. If you number the six tabs:

    1 2

    3 4

    5 6

    Then you solder the live wire from the bridge PU to 3, solder a jump between 3 and 2, solder the ground wire from the neck PU to 4, connect 5 to the middle tab on the bridge PU pot, and 6 to ground.

    So you get the series connection when tabs 1 and 2 are switched in, and the parallel connection when 5 and 6 are switched in.

    If anyone else tries this, or has tried it, let me know what happened.

  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Andy-I got the schematics to this mod in an old GUITAR PLAYER mag & a BASS GUITAR book(from GPI); I have a bass with a Basslines Music Man-style PUp w/ a toggle switch that allows series or parallel...BIG difference in output with the series wiring selected!(original Music Man basses were also parallel)-I can only imagine what it does for a Jazz...sounds "cool"!
  3. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Hey Andy,
    I am a first time poster after having some registration problems.I appreciated your mod and diagram,it's one I have looked for but not found,so I printed it and put it in my file of tweaks and mods.
    In a similar vein,I have a Mexi I just put S-D classic stacks in.They are a good pickup and are a lot more classic J sounding than I thought a stack would be.I have taken some inspiration from the Roscoe Beck model and am going to put a series/parallel switch on each pickup.At this time,I am thinking of going with a DPDT on on like you used for just series/parallel.However I believe the Roscoe uses a DPDT on on on which give a single coil option as well.This way,a person can use the two pickups in any combination he wants,for even MORE versatility. Still, I am not sure with my bass I am going to go this way because you need a really beefy double coil to get a good result from a coil cut,otherwise it sounds really thin and wimpy.There ain't no way those monsters on the Roscoe are going to sound wimpy, even cut ! At any rate,I hope this post you have started develops into a good thread.Maybe someone has tried a three way switch on stacks. No matter what,I would not be surprised to see a lot of players take inspiration from the Roscoe Beck and get even more versatility out of their conventional J's.Let's see what happens.
    BTW,for those who want to experiment with this stuff,The Wiring 101 series with Mike Lindskold on the Stew Mac site give wiring color codes for individual pickup manufactures,as well as various switch wiring configurations.

    RED J biggrin.
  4. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    This is the thread I was talking about in my previous thread. (Jazz Bass Modification)

  5. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC

    :confused: :confused:

    Hi, Andy...

    I'm trying to do the same mod you've done but i'm really confused... Could you post some diagram so I can understand it better???

    Thank you.
  6. I agree, a diagram would do wonders here...

    The simplest thing would be to have the pull switch combined with the tone control of the Jazz, dont you think?

    Anyway.. a diagram would help out a lot! '

  7. I want a diagram, too. This sounds like fun.
  8. punchmaster


    Sep 5, 2006
    So in the end you will still have the 3 functioning knobs? Mine is wired in series now, so I only have the 2 functioning knobs. Will the pot from :http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electro...pots/3/Potentiometers_and_Push-Pull_Pots.html work? which Ohm value do you perfer with the stock fender pickups?
  9. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Wow! this thread was started 6 years ago!

    To answer your question- when in parallel, all three knobs will work- when in series, the pickups act as one big pickup and only one volume knob will work. That pot is exactly what you need, as far as 500K vs. 250k- 250k will cut some of your highs even when it is on all the way, but these are the stock Fender value I believe. I personally use 500k, as they allow more high end output when turned all the way up. I believe that the different values change the resonant frequency of a pickup to some degree as well, I once did a search and found a graph that showed the change- I believe it was on the Stewart Macdonald website actually.

    Karl Zickrick
  10. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you have the original 3rd knob, the value may be printed on the back side also, but you can use different values than the original for a little different sound!
  11. punchmaster


    Sep 5, 2006
    Ok, Thank you guys for your help. Im going to purchace that pot. As soon as i get a bigger order so taht the shipping is worth it. Thanks again!
  12. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Oh yeah- if you are using one of the pots you have now as a volume pot for one pickup, you want to make sure that the volume pot for the other pickup is the same value. If they are not the same, one pickup will probably be louder and sound much different than the other!

    Karl Zickrick
  13. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    The circuit should work fine as described above
  14. Hey fellas, has anyone got an idiots wiring diagram for the Jazz series/parallel circuit (S-1, I guess) talked about here?

  15. Yell out if you need any other info, can digital photo the guts if it's any help. Mines an 06 MIA s1 and the switch is great. Can understand why you would like to add it. :)

    View attachment 61324

  16. Fantastic idea!!!
    I'm very new to bass, having played guitar for a long time before... and I have done my fair share of wiring modifications to guitars... but I never thought of doing anything to my bass (J-type).

    I'll be getting new pickups for my bass soon, and I'll take the opportunity to do some rewiring.
    Actually, I'll probably also change the normal config of 2 volumes and 1 tone to a single master volume and single master tone, and make the third a blend pot... so to one side I get thebridge, to the other the neck... and all different combinations in between. It seems easier than the standard method...
  17. A follow-up to my initial question (thanks mlowe)...

    I bought a pre-wired series/parallel assembly (the JSP) from Andy Rothstein (www.guitar-mod.com) a few months ago and it is superb. His craftmanship is fantastic and his after sales service even better.

    After I'd fitted it, I asked him for a stiffer volume/switch pot, and he changed it free of charge (including US-UK postage). A lot easier than trying to get an S-1 switch out of Fender and soldering tiny connections yourself...
  18. UndeadGladiator


    Jan 7, 2008
    Does anyone know if this mod translates to p-basses very well?

    I've been itching to try this on my P.

  19. q998


    Apr 8, 2003

    S1 on (single pickup) Precision basses is generally held to be a waste of time.

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