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Nasally Sounding J's - What do I need?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Groover, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I have a '91 Fender Jazz body with stock pots and pickups, but I'm not very satisfied with the sound. The whole reason I added the Jazz bass to my collection was to get that Nasally sound (like on some 70's songs) but I can't seem to nail it with this bass.

    I know that the 70's fender Jazz basses have the pickup located closer to the bridge, I think 1/4" back... Is the spacing the problem in my case?

    Is there a certain pickup I can use on the bridge side to get that sound?

    I've read through tons of pickup threads today, but I couldn't find anything along these lines.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. scuba steve

    scuba steve

    Dec 28, 2005
    Hillsboro, Tx
    get some basslines or other high quality pickups(emg, barts, ect). these better pups will have much better definition, clarity, and response than your average standard mexican pups(what im assuming you have).
  3. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Thanks Steve. Do you know if any of those would be better than another you listed?

    The bass body and pickups are MIA and sound's OK, but just not that nasally sound I'm after.
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    There are lots of good single coils out there: fralins, aeros, basslines, and sadowskys would top my list.

    But you may just need to back off the volume on your neck pickup 1/8" of a turn from center.

    Also, you may be wanting to hear the sound of an ash body instead of alder, in which case swapping pickups won't help.
  5. indykrap


    Nov 6, 2004
    This is a really, really dumb question, but you've tried backing off on the neck pickup, right? Playing near the bridge and only having it on with my Geddy Lee gets that nasal tone that i think is what you meant.
  6. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Like indykrap said- try to rely more on the bridge pickup, and play off the bridge pickup more. If from there you still can't get what you want there's a slew of J pick ups that claim they can do what you want.
    Nordstrand, Suhr, Bartolini top my list. I currently use Bartolini 9K's with a Demeter onboard preamp. By adjusting the volume and play, and my picking position I can get a bunch of tones I never thought i could get. I also have an ash body, which is another thing I think you're looking for (just guessing here, i allways asscioate ash with the 70's).

    Also strings would play a decent role in this- are you useing rounds, flats, half wounds, or whatever else you can imagine.
  7. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Thanks again for the suggestions.

    Yes, I'm soloing the bridge pickup. I'm also using Dean Marley Blue Steels 45-105 (rounds), and a '75 maple P-neck

    The reason I asked this question is because I also have some Jazz Bass Specials that are P/J, and when I solo the J on those, I get the nasally tone - Those Jazz Bass specials have the J spaced like the 70's Jazz bodies (and geddy), which is closer to the bridge.

    The difference other than the spacing (that I can tell) between my MIA Jazz and the MIJ Jazz bass special, are also the pots and a 3-way selector switch. The MIJ p-J comes with 500K and the MIA JJ comes with 250K's

    As a test, I pulled the electronics from the Jazz bass special and plopped-em in (literally, I had wires hanging out) in the MIA jazz, and still couldn't get that tone.

    An Ash body I'm sure plays a big role in this versus having an Alder. The Jazz bass specials have Basswood bodies (very soft) though :confused:

    This is not a real big deal. I can get the nasally sound from the Specials, but it's a just little weak. Was hoping for a stronger nasal sound with a true JJ Jazz.
  8. indykrap


    Nov 6, 2004
    I just noticed today, playing right over the bridge pickup and giving a bit of boost to the low mids really brings that nasal tone out and makes it bigger, if you've got a parametric or graphic eq on your amp, boost the 500hz a good bit.
  9. This is the sound that makes me wonder if my J-bass has a cold:eyebrow:
  10. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings
    you can change all the pups you want... you would never get "that" sound (at least if I understand you correctly):

    '70 pup placement is the answer!

    I've been looking for that sound for a long time and finally, after going through several pups, I understood!
    The bridge pup closer to the bridge give you that "nasally", midrangy sound.

    'nice nite

    (IMO, IME .......and so on!)
  11. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Sounds to me that I may just need that pickup spacing. I'm goint to try indycrap's eq setting tonight and see what comes out.

    Thanks again.