Lollar Jazz Bass 5 string pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by paskisti, Aug 5, 2021.

  1. paskisti


    Jan 20, 2005
    I ended up changing pickups to my Fender AM Pro II jazz bass because V-Mod II wasn't what I was experienced earlier with my jazz basses. I don't have many options here in Northern Europe for 5 string Fender compatible non-humbucking pickups: only SD quarter pounders or Lollar jazz bass. I decided to go for Lollars for more classic sound and look. My other bass references in this text are Squier VM V (no-name pickups) and Fender AM standard jazz 5 string 2008.

    Issues with V-Mod II pickups and how Lollars are comparable (Studio environment without amp):
    • Lack of usable low end: B string was lifeless and thin. Lollars have good bottom end for B string without being boomy.
    • Lack of output: When using DG B7K v2 I needed to boost attack switch to get grind and crisp (gain didn't do the same thing and I was in pretty high setting already) and grunt switch to get back missing bottom. Normally it is enough to keep switches in "flat" and "raw" positions. It means that general output of pickups is lower and good low end is missing. Lollars restored all this.
    • Mids and harmonics were good in V-mod II. Lollars were similar.
    • String to string balance was bad with V-Mod II: too quiet B string and when turning bass higher in the mix, other strings were too loud. Pickup height adjustment didn't help here. Lollars had this correct immediately.
    It was bit weird to adjust pickup height with raised pole pieces and I used ruler to see that strings are even to each pole piece and then fine tuned by ear. Notice that height needs to be measured from pole piece to string, not from pickup cover to string or you end up center pole too close to A string. Pole piece is sticking out about 2mm, while E and D are 1mm. B and G are even with pickup cover.

    Lollars feel very solid and materials are high quality. Sound is what I expect to be in Jazz Bass. String balance is very good and B string did not jump out at all, it was even and perfectly balanced with others.
    • Compared to my Squier VM V no-name pickups they are fuller and richer, when Squier were bit hollow and lacking some harmonics. Bottom end was pretty much the same.
    • Compared to 2008 AM Jazz V (pickups not getting much love here) Lollars are bit more concentrated in low end and has similar attack. 2008 AM jazz has not very good string balance and rest of the strings are quieter than B. I always thought that reason was our drop-A tuning, but that's not true -> it is the pickups of my bass. Lollars really shine in here. 2008 had rich harmonics and Lollars are the same.
    Conclusion: I like sound of Lollars more that what I have had in earlier basses. These fit perfectly to low tuned metal with reasonable distortion where I need good "low-low" mids and rich harmonics for grind - and boomy bass frequencies not so much. Bass in the mix sounds good and E-G strings are no more buried (AM jazz 2008), or jumping too loud (V-Mods). I also tested raw DI sound but I'm not too used to direct sound and it don't tell me very much, except the anemic and compressed low end of V-Mod II. Raw DI sound was used for string to string balance adjustment and pickup balance/height fine tune testing.

    P.S. I have tested all the above with amp and cab too but they are in a way masking the truth :).
    Jefenator likes this.
  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Good call. IME Lollar = search over. :bassist:
  3. Gosh .. ‘60s Lollars are one of the best option available looking for passive JB pickups .. non wonder you’re satisfied
    madjazzbass likes this.