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Modified J-Bass Pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by FrankyFrosty, Sep 16, 2019.


  1. FrankyFrosty

    FrankyFrosty

    Sep 9, 2019
    Current Employer - Frosty Ice Cream (Boston, MA) - non-music related
    Hello All,

    Looks like I caught me a mystery fish... I picked up this Jazz Bass a few weeks ago for a pretty good price (up front disclaimer, I am pretty new to playing and the talk bass forum here). I intended to upgrade some parts and mess around with the sound on this one, as I have a bone stock Jazz as well that I intend to leave that way.

    Anyway, I got some Seymour Dunk Quarter Pounders and today, as I was pulling out the old pickups, I noticed some interesting changes that I didn’t see in any wiring diagrams. First off, it looks like the original owner (I’m the third owner) added magnets to the bottoms of the pickups. Secondly, he/she added what look like ground wires to the lines going from the pickups to the pots. Lastly, and maybe most interestingly, those grounds didn’t go anywhere that would obviously conduct electricity - just into the body behind the pickups. That makes me think either the guy had no idea what he was doing, or he added conductive paint to the inside of the pickup housing’s.

    I admittedly have no idea what I’m doing, so I bend my knee to the great TalkBass Oracle and defer to the collective wisdom on this one. Anyone know if these are just modded stock Fender pickups? Any benefit to those grounds? I was going to use copper shielding on the housing anyway.

    Edit: I tested the resistance on the inside of the housing, and nothing I could find in the pickup housing carries any current, so I think conductive paint can be ruled out.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  2. Tedward

    Tedward Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    southern california
    The pickup looks normal. The magnets are ceramic and two are used for this type of pickup. The little star washer should have been screwed to the inside of the control cavity. Shielding paint was used and the ground wires were grounded to the shielding paint this way. Is it a Squier bass?

    Tedward
     
    FrankyFrosty likes this.
  3. FrankyFrosty

    FrankyFrosty

    Sep 9, 2019
    Current Employer - Frosty Ice Cream (Boston, MA) - non-music related

    No, it’s a MIM Fender. I tested the resistance of the paint in the cavity and there was no current, so maybe at one point it was shielding paint - but no longer. It also has the characteristic MIM barcode inside the neck pickup and a routing hole under the pick-guard by where thumb-rests are sometimes installed (consistent with the serial number). I just shielded the pickup and control cavity and installed some new pickups and it sounds great.

    Someone who owned it before me did some custom work to it. It has had two owners and I believe the first owner was the one who modified it. It came with a Leo Quan Badass 2 that the second owner thought was a stock part, so from what I could gather he wasn’t very knowledgeable about the instrument.
     
  4. Tedward

    Tedward Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    southern california
    Yeah, I've seen those pickups in MIM's before. Glad it sounds good for you.

    Tedward
     
    FrankyFrosty likes this.
  5. FrankyFrosty

    FrankyFrosty

    Sep 9, 2019
    Current Employer - Frosty Ice Cream (Boston, MA) - non-music related
    Thank you for the info! Much appreciated!
     
  6. 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.

     
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