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Jazz PU on P-Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bluesbarrister, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. I have a '63 Precision w/stock PU. In '72 I installed a stock Jazz PU in the bridge position. It's wired into the stock V and T pots, and is switchable with mini-toggles.

    The problem is - I've never used it because the J is much weaker than the P. As soon as I switch in the PJ combo, or worse yet, the J alone, the level drops way down.

    Other than add a pre-amp, any suggestions on how to level out the sound?

    I've searched this forum, but if there is a thread that deals with it, I missed it.
  2. How are the heights of the pups compared to each other? The J should be a fair bit closer to the strings than the P, just because of the differences in string movements means that the J 'sees' less movement which comes out as lower volume.

    There was a guy that stuck an old school P into a bass of his and it had a pretty hefty output, so much that he wants to reduce it. You could have something similar happening, its a stock J from a Jazz? Or just a generic J, possibly you've got a problem if the P is going to be really hot, the matching J will need to be just as hot, if not more so because of its position. I'm pretty SMASH knows his J's a little better than I.

    Otherwise you could stick a little trim pot inside the cavity that reduces the P output to match the J. Means you'll have the output from the J as your standard.

    And I'm spent, maybe someone else can pick up on something I missed.

    Josh D
  3. Get a higher output J pickup, such as a DiMarzio J, or the higher output Ultra Jazz.
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I think it has to do with the string vibration in a given position. You could switch the J and P pup and get the same result. Nature of the beast. Adding a preamp won't change the relationship, it will just be hotter all around. Pup change or pup height are your options to my knowledge, although you could probably wire a booster or capcitor to the J but it's not a factor that's driven manufacturers to compensate so there's probably a reason for that. The pup height you can play with and see what works. You may be able to get enough change to where the J will flavor the P to suit your needs. Sometimes it seems the best tone comes from you're volumes being wide open but most of that gets lost in the band anyway. But you can compensate some with boosting the gain on your amp. I just crank the amp to compensate. I don't remember whether you have a blend or two volumes, most people prefer volumes but I've noticed sometimes a blend pot does a better job of mixing the pups and pulling out better tones.
  5. Thanks. I don't have two volume pots, which is part of the problem. I might have to add one, or try the blend, as you suggest.
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I don't have a bass with two pups without either two volumes or blend so no experience there. You can get a stacked volume pot and you won't have to punch another hole - or just enlarge the switch pot but I'd go for the stacked volume to see if it's what you want first. You could also wire a blend or another volume leaving it outside of the bass and ground it to another put to check it out temporarily. I avoid making any permanent change to a bass unless indicated. And if for whatever reason you want to put the switch back in the enlarge hole later, you can cut a piece of tubing that fits in a way it's snug to the switch but fills the gap of the hole - works real well.

    Guitarelectronics has a wiring diagram for Fenders that addresses the volume drop. It's listed under trick wiring or something similar so you'll recognize it when you see it.
  7. I think that's the way I'm going to go. I was looking at a Seymour Duncan Hot Stacked Bridge J - any thoughts on that compared to the DiMz's?

    I'm gonna check out the DiMarzio's. Thanks.
  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I have a hotstack bridge with SPB-2 neck, decent sound but not a quiet combo. I know it's the pups and I've spent hours trying to shut them up with no luck. Also hotstack to me doesn't sound as much like a j pup as it looks.
  9. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Also, given equally hot pups, the neck will always be roughly twice the volume of the bridge. An active blend may address that but it's my understanding that an active blend was actually to balance out different output pups, like mixing active and passive.

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