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jazz pickup replacement: dimarzio vs. duncan?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by narcopolo, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    hi! i have a passive 4 string mexican jazz. i want a more vintage tone, but with less hum.
    i'm looking for opinions as to whether i should get dimarzio's or duncans.
  2. garrett21


    Sep 12, 2005
    Ankara, Turkey
    hi. i've also asked nearly the same question :)
    i think i will install dimarzio ultrajazz set.. i think it is good for advanced mid tones but i'm not sure.. i am also looking for help :)
  3. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    hopefully someone will come along and solve our problems . . .
  4. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    The Ultra Jazz are very good pickups IMHO if you like a full warm sound with a nice even EQ which to me equates to vintage tone. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone and there are tons of them out there.

    If you prefer a little more edgy tone with more pop then consider the Duncan Hot Stacks. They have a little more top end and growl to my ears.
  5. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    i was actually looking at the Model J by dimarzio (us opposed to the ultra J)
  6. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
  7. I have used Duncan vintage stacked humbucking Jazz Bass pickups on a couple of my instruments and I loved them...so did the recording engineers and sound techs I worked with.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I've used Duncan SJB-1's for years. Nice pickup. Tradiional J though so while it is a step up in tone, you still have the noise to factor in when one pickup is solo'd. I really like the Aero Type 1's as well. Currently I'm running them in a PJ set installed in a Rumblefish. I simply love the tone - I can deal with the noise, which really isn't that bad in most of the places I go. I have a noise gate in my live rig which I set for a very low threshold so I no noise in between songs period.

    For quiet. The Bill Lawrence J45 is amazing. Check out his website. One note. You will want to use a .1 mfd tone cap with the Lawrences as they tend to be a bit bright. A .2 might get you into vintage territory but the .1 worked for me.

    The Lawrence is not particularly vintage sounding, they are very full and very clear. Very punchy. Really a nice sounding pickup.

    While you have the bass open, Stew-Mac shielding paint would be a good idea and double check the ground to the bridge. Always the weak link for MIM Fenders...

    I've tried a lot of pickup set's in the recent past and most of the noiseless pickups I've come across are very *modern* sounding and seem to be very hot. Not what I'm looking or in a J. If I want that, I can pickup a G&L.
  9. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I would look into the Duncan Antiquity 2's.
  10. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Read Smash's massive J pickup test here:


    For hum-free vintage tone, it's tough to beat Lindy Fralin's Split Jazz. I have them, and they're excellent, but they're also very expensive. To deliver noise-free vintage tone at lower cost, I'd try Seymour Duncan's Classic Stack. I've had excellent experiences with other Duncan pickups (SPB-2 Hot for P-bass, and some humbuckers in a Strat), which always seem to work as advertised. The DiMarzio Model J gets rave reviews everywhere, but it's not a vintage J tone. It's heavier and more aggressive, which is great, but maybe not what you're looking for.
  11. Both are good, but after narrowing it down to Fralin's or SD Antiquity II's, I went with the Duncans. Solid 60's growl. Improved my Classic '60's MIM by miles.
  12. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    darn - just when i had pretty much decided on the dimarzio's.
    aight, well i hate to say this, buti think it's going to end up coming down to cost . . .
  13. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    or at least it was . . . before i saw smash's reviews.
    now it looks like it's down to either the nj4's or the ultrajazz.
    and the decision will be made by how fat my next paycheck is.
    thanks for the great advice, everyone!
  14. garrett21


    Sep 12, 2005
    Ankara, Turkey
    narcopolo.. wait for "my" comment on ultrajazz pickups:) hopefully i will have my guitar back today.. and i will write my comments on those pickups here..
  15. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    thanks for being my guinea pig.