Noisy J pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JeffreyG, May 20, 2002.

  1. Are J pickups supposed to be reversed wound so that when both pickups are active they cancel out the hum? I thought this was the case but my MIM jazz hums like hell at moderate to high volumes. At first I thougt it was the flourescent lights but when I got it home and cranked it I found the same hum. If I replace the pickups with Duncans that are reversed wound will that take care of it or is there something else going on? Does anyone know if the Fender J replacements are reversed wound for hum cancelling? I did replace the pickgaurd but the original doesn't seem to have any shielding that the replacement doesn't. I also replaced the bridge with a Badass II, I don't think it is the ground but I will check that as well. Any help or advice would help, it's frustrating to have such a noisy bass.
  2. Yes, MIM J basses hum.

    All the MIM J basses have the same part number single coil pickup in both neck and bridge position. This means they are identical, and both wound the same direction. They cannot operate as a hum-cancelling pair, because both are wound the same direction. Hum cancelling is different than humbucking pickups.

    The 2001 and newer are supposed to have better pickups. The parts catalog for the improved model shows a different part number, but still the same part number for both neck and bridge.

    Chris Kinman from Kinman Pickups has this quote for testing phase:

    My thought is just replace the pickups and be done with it. I bought a 2001 model MIM J fretless, and ordered a set of DiMarzio Model J at the same time. I have no intention of keeping the MIM pickups, and will replace them as soon as the DiMarzios arrive from MF. The Model J are humbucking designs with bi-lateral (side-by-side) coils. Each is a humbucker when solo or combined with the other. The Model J is also 4-wire, so they can be wired to a Series/Parallel mini toggle switch, same as my RB5.

    Shielding will help too.
  3. I'm just going to offer my useless input of the fact that my MIM Jazz has never hummed once. Not with the stock pickups, not with the replacements. And they are not hum-cancelling stacks. They don't even hum when one is turned down.

    Just thought I'd add that.
  4. Thanks for the input. I do remember hearing that the MIM J has the same pickup in both positions. I noticed that both pups are the same length, which is not the case on most J's. Thank you for confirming my suspicion. I will replace them, does any one know if the fender replacements are hum cancelling? I know that many of the Basslines are, due to being reverse wound from each other. I don't want a stacked or side humbucker as I am looking for the single coil sound. Nomadic is it possible your MIM J is a post 2001 one model? If it is I would bet that the bridge pup is slightly larger than the neck.
  5. Read the BP magazine shootout on J pickups.

    Link to BP J Pickup Shootout

    I digested all of this and went with the DiMarzio Model J because they are single coil, bi-lateral (side by side) humbuckers. The Duncans and Fender single coils are hum cancelling when both pickups are on, but they hum when solo'ed.

    My spreadsheet has all the BP information and comments, plus I have a numeric comparison of the Duncan and DiMarzio pickups from data I got from their web sites.
  6. My MIM-P has a 2000 serial number, but it is a 2001 model with the metal knobs and better wood.

    The improved J got away from the plastic Strat knobs, and the bridge pickup is 0.1" wider than the neck pickup.
  7. 1964


    Mar 26, 2002
    Too Close To Hell
  8. bgavin said...

    All the MIM J basses have the same part number single coil pickup in both neck and bridge position.

    My 2001 MIM Active Jazz bass has a reverse-wound pickup in the neck position.

    Well it did until I replaced them with barts :D
  9. I just received my 2001 MIM J fretless last night, and fired it up. It has very effective hum cancelling when both pickups are full on. When either is solo'ed, the hum comes back, which is expected.

    The bridge pickup is 0.125" wider than the neck pickup also. It is obvious the Fender upgraded MIM parts catalog is wrong, as these are two different pickups.

    Both of mine are coming out and being replaced by a matched set of DiMarzio Model J humbuckers.
  10. My MIM Jazz was made in November 1999, and both pickups are the same size and hum unless the bass is exactly parallel with the front of the amp. It doesn't matter if both pups are on full or one is soloed; the hum is constant. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Mike J.
  11. yeah, i have. i think my mim's from 95. i shielded the cavities (all of them). it helped a bit, but the hum's still there......
  12. The pre-2001 J basses will always hum because both pickups are wound the same direction.
  13. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    That was the case with my bass. A lot of guitars have a certain direction that they like to be in. That's the way it is with my dad's strat and my former guitarist's danelectro, both of which had single-coils. When I recorded with my MIM bass I had to face a certain direction the whole time.

    The MIM pickups are weak all around. Weak output, fair tone, and they buzz like a mother. I had no qualms putting Barts in. Nomadic Herder, you're one lucky SOB if your MIM is behaving that well.

    PS- If you want to hear some REAL hum, put on the nylon tapewound strings. You essentially lose your ground, therefore giving you ground hum AND the standard MIM hum. It's humtastic! Made me regret my decision not to get the P.