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More fat out of a J bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fenderbassabuse, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. At this point in time, my MIM jazz has duncan hots in it. Not the stacked, but the regular single coils. When recorded, it sounds fantastic, warm and fairly fat. I want to make it even fatter, so it fills the track out, but I still want to be able to slap well on it and keep some of the growl. would I be looking at new pups again? could I get away with wiring in a new cap? What would be the correct route to go down to achieve this?

    In a word, I'm looking for a "vintage" tone. (think 70's)

    Many thanks
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Try series wiring...easiest way to fatten up a J. This what the "S-1" switch on new American Series J basses does.
  3. Cool, thanks guys. Seeing as I'm skint at the moment, I think I'll scrape the money together to try and swap out the cap, as wiring diagrams give me a headache...

    EDIT: I looked at the wiring diagram, and the cap has ".05 MFD" written on it. What does this mean?
  4. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    All you need is a J-retro.
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Amen brutha....I have one in mine, and it is a-ma-zing!

  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    0.05 uf or microfarads. A 0.047uf would probably do.
  7. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The fattest sounding J bass I've ever played had a set of EMG-JV pickups and EMG 2 band active EQ. Granted it was also a Hamer USA Cruise 2tek ... so it was a nice bass to begin with ... but those JVs have a really thick/fat sound.

    Another possible "quick fix" would be a sadowsky outboard preamp.
  8. You should really try the series mod, it makes a HUGE difference and if you want fatter, it most certainly is fatter.

  9. It will definately suffice. You will not be able to sonically tell the difference between the two. Caps vary +/- 5-10 percent anyway.
  10. Looks like I'll be swapping the cap out and maybe then a series mod. Is the series mod difficult?
  11. StoneCorey


    Dec 25, 2003
    I also have a MIM jazz and I put fender custom shop 60's pick ups in man was a diiference alot more output, so more vintage fat grr sound
  12. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Outboard preamps are another alternative, such as the Aguilar or Sadowsky. You can select that bridge pickup and then boost the bass on the preamp. It really fattens the sound. I went on the same mission you're on, about five years ago and found the outboard pre worked beautifully.

    Compared to the J-retro? I haven't had the pleasure of trying it to comment.
  13. I have been tempted to save up for an aguilar pre, so I think I might have to do that. Now I just need to locate one......
  14. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Any good studio with a comprehensive array of good equipment can fatten your sound right up. Between EQ'ing, compressors, expanders, octavers, on and on, any experienced tech can make mountain out of a mole hill!! I wouldn't start throwing money and hardware at a bass just to sound good in the studio, especialy if you like the tone otherwise. Have a serious talk with your engineer; It's ok to go elsewere too...


  15. For what you want I suggest the Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups.
    12K ohms D.C. Resistance
    4.5 Henrys inductively

    Big, rich, fat, bold clean or growl depending on settings.
    This in combination with S-1 make a very versatile sounding bass.
  16. Thanks guys, I think I'll give some of those mods a try.
  17. Today, I put the stock pickups back into the bass, and WOW. The stock MIM's smoke the duncans; the stock pups are so much fatter and musical sounding, and warmer too, just what I was looking for. I think I now know what I'm gonna leave in there.....
  18. yea i had that happen to me, ive tried a bunch of seymour duncan basslines pickups (various j replacements) my stock pickups were quieter and better sounding. but get a set of bartolinis and that will blow anything out of the water. if you want to do the series mod with your stock pickups, either hard wired or on a switch, its pretty simple. basically hot from the bridge pickups goes to ground of the neck pickup. think of it like a humbucker.
  19. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    I don't mean to go off on a tangent in your thread, but I found myself in a similar situation last year, and instead of changing PUs, I added a preamp into the mix. It did the job nicely.

    I was doing a recording session that called for an early 1970s old school bass tone. I used a Fender MIJ Jazz and a MIM P-Bass, both with SD Basslines Hot PUs. The DIed signal into the board was fairly fat, but I was still looking for a fatter warmer tone. I decided to run my basses through the 12ax7 driven preamp of my Eden Wt-550. Although the DIs on some amp heads can be noisey, I didn't receive any complaints from the engineer. Bassically, I ran my bass through the preamp and out the DI, post EQ. I got the fatter tone that I was looking for by boosting the bass, rolling off some highs, and leaving everything else flat.

    :eyebrow: :D :eyebrow: