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New Aguilar AG 5J-60 Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jazz3625tonic, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. jazz3625tonic

    jazz3625tonic Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    I recently pulled the stock Lindy Fralin pickups out of my Lakland Skyline JO 5 and replaced them with a new stack pot set up and the Aguilar AG 5J-60 pup's. I sold the Fralins here in the forums and have had a few PM's asking about the new Pickups.... so, here is my reply to those folks. I thought posting my response here would help others who might be interested in these new Pickups. Please keep in mind that tone is subjective and my reply is just MHO.

    "Hi, I thought the Lindy Fralin pups were good but I just wanted more of a vintage Jazz bass tone. I'm so happy I did. They are "not" hotter than the Fralins and not modern/hi-fi either. I also installed a stacked pot set up that I got from here: http://www.onlymusicusa.com/1960_JAZZ_BASS.html Check it out. I know some people say the stack pot set up is no good because of either one of the tone pots affecting the tone of the other pup.... and this is true if you don't use resistors like this set up has. I was also told with the resistors allowing the tone pots to work independently from each other you lose a bit of output from the pickups. And this is true also, but I can tell you that the loss of output is not bad (to me anyway) and I just have to turn up the vol knob on the amp a bit more. Now, having said all that I can tell you I got exactly the tone that I was hearing in my head. Exactly how I thought a vintage Jazz was supposed to sound like. Warm thick lows, very nice punchy mids and very nice on top. Not brittle at all. The tone still cuts very good. I am very happy with the new Aguilars and the new stacked pot set up. I know the sound these days is modern/slap type tone and that's all well and good but it's not how I play and I'm addicted to the vintage Jazz Bass tone that I think has gotten lost with all the Victor Wooten wanna-be's over the last 10 years or so. As far as I'm concerned Aguilar nailed it!"

  2. Viscus


    Oct 31, 2007
    Thanks for the review! It's just what I wanted to know.
    Could you post some sound samples (neck/bridge/blend)? I'm curious how it sounds with a stack pot set.
  3. jazz3625tonic

    jazz3625tonic Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    I have no way to post samples right now. I just got moved down here to Texas and with the holidays..... well, you know the rest. Maybe after new years I can get something posted.

  4. One2Millions


    Feb 26, 2010
    THANK YOU!!!! I've been debating on getting these for a few months and couldn't find a good review. You actually made the point I was looking for because all I can ever find are reviews of people playing (and attempting) to play slap. For real though, thanks a lot
  5. jazz3625tonic

    jazz3625tonic Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    I agree. While "almost" all reviews on Jazz Basses and Jazz bass pup's it all seems to be about the slap/modern tone, which is all good but it seems like everyone has forgotten about true vintage Jazz bass tone.... which is to bad really. :(

    However, I like Ed Friedland's reviews. He always seems to include fingerstyle with the tone pot turn down in his reviews. All the other reviews seem to be all about the tone knobs cranked wide (up full) open. :confused:
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Just to be pedantic, but the stacked pots would have changed the tone of the Fralins in a similar way. Since you changed two things at the same time it makes it harder to pin down which caused what affect on the tone.

    But the stacked pots make the tone darker and warmer over all due to the extra loading on the pickups.

    But Jazz basses were always bright. That was the whole idea. Most vintage recordings are P basses. I'm not sure why people think that vintage Jazz basses are fat and warm. Leo was on a trend to make the basses brighter, and that continued with MM and G&L. That also why he switched from the stacked pots to the standard setup.
  7. jazz3625tonic

    jazz3625tonic Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2003

    I thank you for your pedantic response. I bought the JO 5 from a TB member here and although it was a Skyline model the person I bought it from received the bass from yet someone else and he bought it and sold it to me the way he received it... with a stack pot set up. I'm not sure who did the stack pot job but it was amateur at best but it was functional. I ordered the Aguilars and when I received them I installed them with the original stack pots that came with the bass and from that first time is when I noticed the difference in the Fralins and the Aguilars and the Aguilars had a bit less output but were in fact a bit deeper than the Fralins along with being smoother on the top end but I was not satisfied with the poor stack pot set up either, and I remember seeing the stack pot set up from "onlymusic" so I ordered it sight unseen and installed it upon receiving it.
    Having said that, the output of the Aguilars was reduced a bit more (again) after installing the new stack pot setup and I will say they warmed up (darker) a bit more too but I don't think I would have gotten to this point and time as far as the tone being right where I like it had I not got the Aguilars first, and it did remind me of a real vintage 61' jazz that I played some years back and it too was much different tone wise than today's Jazz basses. Now I must also add that when I speak of thick, warm tone I am not referring to a P bass type tone, just warmer and smoother than the more modern Jazz's being built by corporate and private builder these days. And while Jazz basses are inherently brighter than a P bass, IMHO the Jazz basses from 60 to 61 do sound warmer, smoother thicker, (so to speak) than today's Jazz basses. I think this is my longest post ever!....... but maybe I should have been this pedantic in my OP to avoid misinterpretation.
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    And I agree the Fralins sound different. They have a harder sounding midrange.

    I didn't know if you had tried them with the stacks, so thanks for clarifying. :) I was curious about the results.
  9. atauntaun


    Sep 14, 2008
    Alameda, CA
    Endorser Jule Amps Monique
    What did you think about the quality of the wiring harness? I'm thinking about picking one up, but the site is a not very informative.
  10. Relicjazz


    Jul 24, 2006
    What do you mean by "harder sounding midrange"? Sound wise or volume wise?

  11. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    The Fralins' high mids and low treble area are more pronounced than almost any pickup I've ever played. The result is quite "vintage" and good for rock, and great blended with soft and warm alder/rosewood jazz basses.

    I think that's what he's saying.

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