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MusicMan Humbucker in a J bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by 4StringLoser, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Now, some background info.

    yesterday, I was in my local music shop, I enquired about a number of things (strings, a few books etc.) and then finally picked a few basses to try, I thought I'd try the Squier CV 51 P, an Ibanez art-core bass and then I saw it : A Stingray 4 (Blue Pearl, Maple Neck, Single Humbucker) .

    I sat myself down, and the action was far too low (for me at least.)
    Once that was dealt with, I started noodling away and it just felt fantastic. I continued on like that for an hour or so, being amazed at this american beauty and that I found something that felt better than my current bass, that felt like home till now.
    The sound was heaven, just the tone I've been looking for.

    I finally put down the beauty and asked about the price, and my heart dropped into my lap.


    The store owner has got to know me, so he did offer £100 off but it's still way too much for me.

    I know that ain't much compared to some Boo-Teeks, but to put it lightly, thats about 12 times what's free in my bank account right now :bawl:

    Now, then sorry about that, but I got carried away...

    So onto the title question, broken in to mini-questions :

    > Is it possible?
    > How would I wire this into a standard J control Plate?
    > any thoughts on how it would sound?
    > The dimensions of a MM Humbucker ?

    I'm refinishing my bass right now, so if I'm going to Mod my bass, I'll want to do it soon, The Routed cavity for my neck position single coil is almost large enough for a MM 'bucker so minimal work would be required.

    ANY help would be brilliant.
    Cheers in advance,
  2. mro


    Jul 12, 2006
    Its not the neck route you want to modify. Its more toward the bridge. The MM pickup is in the sweet spot as they say. Measure distance from MM pickup center to bridge saddles. Take that measurement to your jazz. Thats the location you want. seymour duncan make a MM pickup. Good luck.
  3. lil nelson

    lil nelson

    Oct 19, 2010
    Dremel tools makes and attachment that turns the tool into a router. Its easy to use and small enough it wont get away from you. I used it to install a Gotoh double battery box on the rear of my Toby. Good Luck and keep us posted cause Im considering that same pickup route for an old PJ bass of mine
  4. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Do you want to add one and keep the two Jazz pickups? Or do this?


    Or even this:


    If you were going to add one, it would probably take up most of the space between the two pickups, but it would fit.

    I've done quite a number of these. It sounds like a cross between a Stingray and a Jazz bass.

    The dimensions are 48mm x 101mm (1.9" x 3.98")
  5. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    In general, buckers are fat and full w/a deeper/richer spectrum tonally. Mix that w/a focused nasally P and you get a really cool articulate and deep nasally tone. (or the choice of either one soloed) With a J, you get a similar but more refined blend (like blends of rich coffee!) I dig the P or J w/a MM bucker blend for full tonal variation related to those types of pu's. Best of both (of Leo's) worlds. Have fun experimenting! :bassist:
  6. I know SX occasionally has a J/MM setup in a Jazz bass body... those are pretty sweet and I've told myself I'd love to try it - unfortunately the bank account issue is not exclusive to you.
  7. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
  8. Sorry to rain on your parade, but no. A lot of the stingray tone is in the preamp. And the pickup is special, its not an ordinary humbucker- it has very specific electrical properties, meant to work together with the special preamp. If you want that sound, you will have to pay for it.
  9. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Never measure by the bridge saddles! They move depending on intonation.

    You go by the inside(fretboard side) of the nut, or from the center of the 12th fret.
  10. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    This is true. The pickup is a fairly low impedance pickup, both coils in parallel is 2k. The preamp has a very distinctive tone also. I have my version of the 2-band MM preamp in an Ibanez bass with my Neo Jazzbuckers, and it gets some of that Stingray vibe, even with different pickups.

    The basses in the photos I posted had Basslines MM pickups and preamps.
  11. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    As others have noted, it's really the MM humbucker interacting with the pre-amp that gives the Stingray it's distinctive sound. I have not heard much praise for the MM wired up passive.

    The good news is that Seymour Duncan makes a nice set with the pickup and the preamp for about $200 USD. You can probably fit all the electronics in a J-bass, but if you look closely at SGD Lutherie's pictures, you can see that he needed to move the output jack off the control plate to make room for all the electronics and knobs. Then, of course, you would also need to route some space in the bass for a battery compartment.

    And then there's the issue of the sweet spot. I know that on a P-bass, the "sweet spot" for the P pickup overlaps a bit with the "sweet spot" for the MM pickup. I am not sure about on a J, but I suspect that the MM would impede into one of the Js or the other. You could place the MM where one of the J's already is, but then it would sound more like J-bass with a different pickup than it would a Stingray.

    Two options, I'd say. Scour eBay for a used Ray that you can afford to have shipped to the UK, or check into the Asian-made Ray 34, which I have heard good things about:

    Sterling by Music Man Ray34 Electric Bass Guitar: Shop Bass & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend

    The Ray 34 should be about half the price of the American model. I'm always sorry to hear how insanely expensive American gear is in the UK and Europe. If it makes you feel any better, we pay insanely inflated prices for Orange amps and German Hofners.
  12. This is what I was thinking, albeit with the position of the pups switched,but ,from what people are saying, this wouldn't be too good?

    Again, I don't think I could even afford the pre-amp from a Ray :bawl:

    doing it as above would save on custom cutting my pick-guard, though.


    Thanks for all your help guys, I think I'm gonna wait till I've had a chance to play my bass again for a while to try this, but I will post a new thread for the refinish ;)
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Ask Stu Hamm: ;)

  14. That's the placement I want, down to a tee.

    Here's my bass ( well, not mine, but my model.)

    13um_b04_u0. Uploaded at ImageFra.me

    terribly shopped to show the planned humbucker & where I would want it, just about.

    under the Neck Jazz Pup , the cavity is VERY large and would probably need very little work to get it to fit.

    I'm refinishing it to Seafoam Green/Black PG so If I get that humbucker in there before I buy the PG it would save me some time/effort/money ;)

    How would I go about wiring it?

    total newbie to electronics :bag:
  15. You are looking to replace the neck pickup? No no no. Not only won't you have the correct preamp, but the placement of the pickup is all wrong. It needs to go a bit forward of where the bridge pickup is. I think you should forget this plan.
  16. If you want a J/MM combo, get a Brubaker Brute.. Just check the Brubaker Brute club or ask TRichardsBass..
  17. Thanks for the suggestion, but...
    If I had that kind of money to play with, I would buy a Ray34CA without hesitation & this whole thread wouldn't exist :meh:

    This is basically about me being a Scrooge and trying to find a way to achieve what I want without spending more than £50 :bag:

    Thanks anyway though, they do look awesome :smug:
  18. You've got me on the lack of Preamp, to be fair, but
    As SGD pointed out, Stu Hamm's Washburn has this style of Pickup arrangement, so I see no reason why it can't work well?
  19. a neck pickup humbucker will NOT sound like a musicman bass, trust me, I'm not raining on your parae but pickup placement is REALLY important for the tone you're looking for. My suggestion would be to route out between the bass pickups and squeeze on in there, it will fit and I have one routed this way and it sound great, tight, focused and snappy then wire it passive with a volue for each pickup and a master tone, use a stackked pot and you don't have to alter the control plate.

    Putting a humbucker in the neck position can sound great, I've done it before and it's a lovely fat smooth tone but it sounds a lot more like a Pbass than a stingray believe me, save yourself the disappointment and the pickguard cutting and route it between the jazz pickups and wire it in series, a lot of tones in one bass if you do this
  20. Shop used for one of them OR a Schecter Stargazer-4? That's one way.. but then your £50 probably won't cover that either. Haha. It was just a suggestion if you were looking for a new bass or something. :bassist:

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