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Pickup replacements for a Skyline Joe Osborn 5

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by stretchcat, Mar 25, 2005.


  1. First of all, I have read all of the shootouts, searched this forum and all over the web before posting this.

    I have a Lakland Skyline JO 5 with a J-Retro preamp. I bought this bass from another TB'er a few weeks back and got an outstanding deal. I'm thrilled with the feel and unplugged resonance of this bass, but it seems to be lacking punch from the bridge pickup. It's also a very bright bass which is probably attributed to the ash body, maple neck, underwound Fralin pickups, and the pre-amp. The 35" scale makes it kind of nasel-ish sounding on the D and G strings. Since I already have a 4 string Warmoth (ash/maple) bass with Seymour Duncan single coils, I do not need to attempt to duplicate that sound with the Lakland nor do I want to copy a Marcus type sound either because I can get that quality from my other bass w/ EQ. I would like to be able to get more punch and growl from the bridge pickup and darken the bass a bit. I would still like it to retain J bass qualities at the same time. The pickups should have a humcancelling design. I'm looking for something with modern jazz/fusion characteristics that isn't necessarily slanted towards slapping.

    Bartolini 59 J1 - These seem like the pickups that I am looking for, but I recently played a Pedulla J2 at GC that sounded like cardboard. It was a very dead sounding bass that sounded nothing like a J. However, it had been there a long time and the strings were very dead. This bass made me nervous about Barts.

    Seymour Duncan SJB-5 - I don't know much about these pickups, but they could be an option. I like my other Seymour Duncans.

    Dimarzio Ultra Jazz - I have a feeling that these are too scooped.

    Sadowsky Humcancelling - Might be a better fit.

    I hope all this makes sense and sorry if I rambled.
     
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Unfortunately, your options are limited. There is no one standard for 5 string J routes.
    The JO5 uses the large Fender route (4.13" bridge, 3.98" neck).
    For these routes, Bart do the 57J replacements, as you said the Barts do have a somewhat muted high end. Nordstrand do the NJ5F replacements in that size also. I'm sure other mfrs might custom wind you some sets, but I can't think of any other off the shelf sets to fit your bass. The SD's, Sadowsky and Ultra Jazz will not fit your bass.

    However, having played a JO5 with the Fralins I actually really liked the sound. Since you have a J-Retro preamp, have you tried boosting low mids to get a bit more punch?
     
  3. Thanks for your reply, David. I am leaning towards the Bartolini's because I want something that is humcancelling. I hadn't really thought about the sizes though. I guess I assumed that they did not use the Fender 5 route. Based on your experience with the Bartolini J pickups and having played a JO5, do you think that my bass will still sound like a J bass with the Barts? I can live with the muted high end. Maybe I should try to find another J style bass to try out that has Barts to see if I like them.
     
  4. Eggman

    Eggman

    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    Try removing the j-retro and dialing up the gain pot of the weaker pickup.
     
  5. I actually have played around with those pots on the J-Retro and I found that it's not so much of an output issue as a brightness issue and that is why I was interested in the Bartolinis. Thanks for the reply.
     
  6. OK.....when I adjusted the trim pots last, I really just slightly bumped the bridge pickup up a little. Well, I opened it again and discovered that both trim pots were all the way down when I got it (feeling kind of stupid now) and the bridge was slightly boosted from where I had adjusted it. This time I boosted both of them considerably and it seems to have helped. Part of my issue with the brightness might have to do with the fact that I also have DR Low Riders installed (they were the only string that GC had that would fit the Lakland's long scale). I think that I will order some nicklewound strings from Lakland soon and I will hold off on buying new pickups for now. Thanks again for the responses.