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no more 60cycle hum and full on growl on a jazz!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thehangingmist, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. i have a squier j but i know its the same case with almost every jazz bass with single coil pickups that the moment you turn down the neck pickup for that growly tone the 60cycle hum comes dancing around loud! i personally always loved that jaco'ish tone with full bridge pickup and almost nothing or very little from the neck pickup. for over a year i have been trying to figure out a way to do this. replacing the stock pickup with a noiseless bridge pickup was an option but i knew that they can never sound like the real single coil pickups!

    so i kept scratching my head.. even with the best shielding that inherent hum never goes away which is exaggerated whenever i turn on the preamp or the fuzz. the lightning just struck me an hour back! it is the simplest (and the best) idea i ever had! i just unscrewed the neck pickup out, removed out the foam and springs and screwed it back as low as i could :bassist:
    so bassically i just lowered the neck pickup's height so low that there is hardly (very little if at all) any output from it! so now both the volume knobs are on full so no more 60cycle sicko hum :bassist::bassist::bassist:

    of course its not a ground breaking development and neither i think i am the first one to think of it but am so goddamn happy that i had to share with ya all! :hyper::hyper::hyper::hyper:
    i think the output from the bass has gone down but i can crank it up at the preamp so no big deal for me! ;)
  2. come to think of it its the same concept at as that of the dummy coil under the pickguard of the musicman basses which cancels out the hum from the single coil pickup but on a jazz bass :D
  3. So you're basically only really using the bridge pickup? Isn't that a bit thin sounding? The neck pickup is the main part of jazz sound. I think I would have done it the other way around myself.
  4. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    My ongoing love/hate relationship with Jazz basses has been centered around the 60 cycle hum thing for years. I love being able to mix the pickups for different tones, but I truly cannot stand the hum that ensues. It usually makes me conclude that 2 pickups on a Jazz are pretty much a waste of time because you can't really use them unless you can tolerate that awful background noise...I can't.

    So it's always been full-on for both, or a P-bass :)

    Then I discovered this amazing little box from Electro-Harmonix, the Hum Debugger. I put one on my pedalboard and now whenever I play a Jazz I stomp that rascal...the hum just goes away and the tone is untouched as far as I can hear.

    It's not like a noise gate, doesn't suck out your highs or sustain, just sucks out the hum.

  5. it sounds a little thinner but i can eq some low end back and it really helps me cut through easily without loosing the bottom end significantly, i just love that bite!
  6. Clever. To take it a step further you could(maybe) remove the magnets from the neck pup-then you will have a true dummy coil with no output at all, but full hum cancelling ability.
  7. yep i know exactly what you mean about the 60c hum and jazz basses. your description of the hum debugger sounds really cool, are you very it sure it "de-bugs" all the nasty hum to the core? because i use my fuzz a lot and due to its insane gain even a tiny weeny little hum turns into a major BUZZ!
  8. a cool idea but i dont really know the insides of a pickup well and i sure do not want to ruin it, for i might just need the big fat neck pickup again some time in future :)
  9. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    I can't confirm that because I don't really use effects any more. My board has a tuner, EQ pedal, limiter, the Hum Debugger, and an Aguilar Tone Hammer preamp...nothing like a fuzz, overdrive, chorus, etc that really cranks up the gain.

    But I use the tone hammer to EQ the Jazz signal before going to the amp, so I can blend the pickups with an emphasis on the bridge pup, and then dial back in the low end and volume with the tone hammer. That means it's getting a pretty big signal bump from the hammer and the debugger still tames it.
  10. sounds good to me! am happy for but i am going to keep the hum debugger in my to-buy list of pedals
  11. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    And here I thought I was the only person on earth who favors the neck pickup on a Jazz! ;) I know most folks like to favor the bridge pup, but not me. I'll favor the bridge on certain songs, but for the most part, I have the neck dimed and the bridge backed off about 20%.
  12. i liked a fair bit of the neck pickup as long as i was playing only on 10's, i just got a bigass 15 and you should know what happened!
  13. That dummy pickup trick has been on my fretless basses for a long time (20 plus years) suggested by Ted Newman Jones as an adaptation from Leo Fender's original Esquire guitar design which had a pickup under the pickguard by the neck. I also find that by having that pickup sitting directly on the body it gets a bit of almost acoustic resonance very nice for fretless.
  14. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw

    I've done the opposite of the OP, sinking the bridge pickup into the body in favor of the neck pickup. I found it still introduced some nasal snarl I didn't want so I eventually just turned off the bridge pickup and later just left it out of a build altogether.
  15. JoeyZ


    May 9, 2005
    When I was in the midst of modding my MIM, I was told that I really only need the neck Pup since thats where the "Jazz Tone" is most prevalent. As it turns out, I don't really like the neck Pup. I like that thin snappy tone from the Bridge with maybe a little neck dialed in.
    I'm dealing with quite a bit of buzzing, even from the "noisless" pickups im using.
    The cavities aren't shielded, but neither are they on my Ibby and that doesn't buzz..
  16. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    The OP's idea is a clever one, and it certainly works as long as both vol pots one on full. However, I prefer my split-coil Fralins. Every setting and tone is equally free of hum. This opens up the tone pallet in noise sensitive situations.

    What good are single coils if your sound engineer is having a heart attack due to hum? :bag:
  17. +1 to Dr. Jim!!

    Fralin and Nordstrand split coils come so close to that single coil sound that most ears can't tell the difference, especially in a mix. I would also bet that the slight EQ you need to bring back the growl is way less than what you would need to make up for a nearly non-existing neck pup.

    My recording background has taught me that extreme EQ usually has unpleasant side effects (phase shift, artifacts, etc.) and will make you crazy when trying to get the instrument to sit properly in a mix.

    I have used singles, Fralin and Nordy splits and I record a lot. For my money, the splits win hands down every time because the noise bothers me so much.

    Again, just my .02 but I would try splits and see if you really miss any growl.

    Cheers, M
  18. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Yup, I switched to Bartolini 9J split-coil 'buckers years ago.
  19. BTW,

    I have tried the Fender Noiseless pups on my passive basses and I think they sound a bit "anemic" compared to the Nordys or Fralins. They do sound great on my active Victor Bailey, probably due to the tone shaping of the pre.
  20. BassBob185


    Oct 25, 2007
    Rocking Chair
    I've played many a Jazz and never experienced the hum using any pickup/knob configuration.

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