Pickup match for Apollo JB neck pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BogoEN, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. BogoEN


    Mar 17, 2021
    Hi there,
    I’m new here, and new to the bass. I acquired a Squier VM Fretless bass a few years ago for a good price, but the former owner had put puzzlingly thin strings on it and the Duncan Designed p’ups are a bit lacking imho. I realized I wanted a modern tone (thick, deep, detailed) but with that warm midrange that suits those frequencies in the inspiration for this bass (Jaco).
    I listened to a ton of sound samples and really came to love the low end and detail of the SD JB Apollo pickups. The one caveat being the set leaves midrange to be desired. But I liked it enough that I went ahead and purchased the neck pickup, as that’s the pickup that shines in this set for what I want.
    Because it’s a humbucker, I realize any standard single coil in the bridge will place steady 60 cycle hum in my signal. However it is that vintage jazz bass midrange I’m after, along with that gritty detail single coils provide.
    Does anyone have suggestions for a bridge pickup that may fit the sound I’m searching for? And preferably relatively balanced with the Apollo neck p’up. If there’s simply no way to nail that vintage bridge tone With humbuckers I am considering a concentric pot with tone to minimize hum from the pickup individually.
    I know that’s a lot, but would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions more seasoned players might have :).
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    My first pick would be a Lindy Fralin split-coil, but Fralins can be a little pricey. A more budget friendly option might be a Dimarzio DP248 Area J.
  3. Thud Staff

    Thud Staff

    Jan 2, 2017
    Houston TX
    I highly recommend the Duncan “Hot Stack”. Will give you that burp and mid range you want. The Apollo’s are a bit mild, but are great as a split coil alternative; meaning the hot stack complements it well.
  4. I have Apollo’s and I have no problem getting bridge pickup burp and growl....
    The set, with both pickups on, seems to have a bit more midrange than my Fender single coils do.
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Why not the Apollo Bridge pickup? But if that's not what you're after, the DiMarzio Ultra Jazz is the same split-coil design, very clean, and has a mid scoop that will play well with the Apollo.
  6. BogoEN


    Mar 17, 2021
    Thank you! I sent them a message to inquire, it looks like it might be a great fit!

    Great! I’ll check it out.

    Interesting, I heard lots of bite and low end growl, almost like a P, but the mids seem a bit tamed to me. It could be a balance issue where, because of the increased low end, the mids seem less pronounced, especially on a fretless with roundwounds like mine.
    Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll definitely take a listen!
    Thanks for all your input! I’m hoping I can decide in the next couple of days and will get back to you as soon as I drop my pick in.
    Slater likes this.
  7. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Remember, if you mix makes of pickups, each manufacturer has its own color coding of the wires. You may have to do some experimentation to see which of the four leads of one of the pickups will function as the hot, coil link, and ground. When I paired a Dimarzio Ultra Jazz with a Rickenbacker HB-1 in my custom P-style fanned fret bass, I had to try all the permutations before I came up with which wire on the U-J functioned in both electrical and magnetic phase with the HB-1 to retain humbucking and not have signal dropout from anything being out of phase.
    BogoEN likes this.
  8. BogoEN


    Mar 17, 2021
    I was wondering about this, thanks for mentioning. I was originally even thinking of doing a coil tap in the bridge but have backed off of this idea because of potential phase issues. I rewired a Jazzmaster from scratch and it’s such a pain when the hum comes in or the output is lower than it should be. Turned out back then one of the magnet poles was bad and it was not a user error issue, but I had no way to test for that and a luthier ended up diagnosing the problem.
  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    OTOH, on my cheap short scale gig bass I take to Mexico, I put a Nordstrand Mustang under P-covers and a Seymour Duncan neck version "Stack 5" in the J-bridge position. They play wonderfully together, using each manufacturer's designated "hot" lead to each pickup's respective volume control, wired conventional V-V-T. So after the frustration with my P-style fan fret, it was nice to get a break on the short scale.
    BogoEN likes this.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 17, 2021

Share This Page