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Opinions needed: Lollar Jazz Bass Style Pickup Set

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ryan Mohr, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Right now I have Fender CS '60s pickups in my Fender Classic '60s Jazz Bass. I am very pleased with the tone, very warm and growly.

    However, the bass has a 7.25" fingerboard radius so the A and D strings are weaker in output. The poles on the CS '60s are all raised, but not staggered. In fact, the poles on the E string are raised the farthest. I think that pickups with staggered pole pieces, meaning flush on E and G but raised on A and D, would compensate for the round radius and provide me with better string-to-string balance.

    I seached around a bit, and I found that the Lollars and Lindy Fralins are the only makers that offer staggered pole pieces in their Jazz pickups. For my tonal preference, the Lindy Fralins seem a little too bright and high-mid present, but the Lollars seem to fit my tonal preference exactly.

    I found this post: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showpost.php?p=6818745&postcount=2 This post almost sold me on the pickups, but I would like to hear more opinions.
  2. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
  3. basadam


    Nov 29, 2005
    Interesting that you mention Lollar and staggered pole pieces. Have you read his views about this?: http://www.lollarguitars.com/flat-vs-staggered-pole-pickups.shtml

    I don't have experience with his J pickups but I'm using Lollar P pickups in two of my basses and they are very very good. Judging by the sound I'm hearing out of my basses and the J bass samples in his website, I wouldn't hesitate to order a pair. But the pics there doesn't show staggered pole pieces to my eyes.

    Note that Nordstrand is also making J pickups for 7.25" necks: http://www.bestbassgear.com/nordstrand-pickups.htm#nordstrand4j
  4. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    No I have not seen that article, that is very interesting. I have heard several times that Jason's J pickups are staggered.

    Thanks for the opinion, it's between Lollars and Nordstrands for me.

    No I didn't see that, thanks. The problem is that is only for the SV set, and I want singles. They are also $290, and my budget is around the $160 price point that Lollars and NJ4s are at.
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    When I put nordstrands in a sadowsky UV70, I found them to be unbalanced in exactly the way you're describing. So don't use those unless you get a custom set designed for low radius. You should probably contact whomever you're going to get them from and let them know about your radius.
  6. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    I just A/B a Nash 63-J-Bass with a 2000 Fender Custom Shop Jazz.

    Both were very nice.

    Th Nash was lighter in weight.

    The big surprise was the pickups.

    The Fender sounded like a reissue Jazz. (Fender pickups)

    The Nash with Lollar pickups, to me, blew the Fender away for warm,
    vintage, tone.
    They were smoother, very quiet, sweeter sounding.

    The Fender was about $500.00 more.
    But I would buy the Nash, based on tone.
  7. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    im sure carey would have no problem making a set of singles with radiused poles.
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    could you describe a little more what sweeter sounding is to you? if i was describing pickups, id say antiquity 2's are smoother and sweeter sounding in the highs compared to reissue fender pickups because of the extended highs and not as present low highs/high mids. my version of sweeter wouldnt be something the op was looking for.
  9. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks, maybe I will contact Carey about a set of NJ4s for 7.25" radius. BestBassGear has a set of NJ4SVs for the vintage radius, but none of the NJ4s.
  10. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks for the opinion, that sounds exactly what I'm looking for. Here's another opinion from TB'er lambro that is similar to yours:

  11. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    So now it's Lollar vs. Nordstrand...
  12. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Ryan, I'd ask the Lollar folks if they can do the same in making a custom staggered set. We have similar preferences in tone, and to my ears, the Lollars sound right up your alley.
  13. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I'm thinking about it, but the Nordstrands are also right up my alley. :smug:

    I'm not gonna change the pickups for awhile because I love the sound of this bass, I'm just too darn picky with tone... :p
    madjazzbass and Lemon like this.
  14. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    bump, I'm interested if anyone has tried both the NJ4s and the Lollars. After a long seach, I think it is down to these two sets.
  15. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I just received confirmation from Lollar that the poles are staggered, and some explanation too:

  16. Well...I bought a custom jazz with Nordie NJ4SV's installed. Not the NJ4's but somewhat close. While I liked em the first word that came to mind was "polite". I bought a set of Lollar Jazz and installed em. These seem to have a little more edge but not overly so. Also a touch rounder whereas the Nordies seemed very flat if that makes sense.

    The lows on the Lollar are again rounder/mid focus and the Nordies a touch deeper.

    I found that the Lollars cut better for my personal situation.

    Oh and the center (a & d)coils on the Lollar are raised significantly more that the Nordie which are almost flat.
  17. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    Lollars are warmer, rounder, smoother than most jazz pups. Vintage if you need a label. Raised A and D pole pieces. I've tried all the pups mentioned and the Lollars fit my tone choice the best. He uses Alnico 5 magnets that have been reduced to 70% for a smoother sound. Fralin uses Alnico 5 as well but at 100% resulting in a more aggressive and brighter sound. Lollars hands down.
    madjazzbass likes this.
  18. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Sounds like my kind of pickup, but it seems like the NJ4s have all these characteristics as well.

    What do you mean by 70% and 100%?
  19. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    The magnetic charge of the pole pieces. Most vintage pick ups loose a percentage of their magnetic field as they age so they sound warmer and smoother. Fralins which are at 100% sound, to my ears, harsh and raw. I hope this helps.

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