Pickup upgrade in a Geddy Lee

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ojthesimpson, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. ojthesimpson


    Jul 21, 2003
    Draper, UT
    I don't feel like I'm getting enough low end out of my Geddy Lee. I want to get more without losing the growly passive fender tone. Is my best bet going to be the American Made pick-ups or is there something else I should consider?
  2. HooBass


    May 27, 2003
    I'll be interested in the responses you get on this -- I have the same question (although it's not more bass that I'm after, just generally better, even growlier pickups). I'll wait and reply with my views later (which to date are all based on reading others' posts).

    Pardon the interruption!

  3. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
  4. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    I switched to DiMarzio Model J's in my J-bass and it was night and day. Way more lows/low mids and dead silent operation. These pups have guts!
  5. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    I'll second the Model J's by Dimarzio. I have them in my 2002 MIM fretless jazz, with D'addario XL strings. WOW!
    I love it.

    The ultra jazz pickups are great too, but have a bit less mids than the Model J's IMHO.

    But I would say probably the Model J's.
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I've heard of over a dozen people on this forum putting Model J's in their Geddy's and getting amazing results.
  7. HooBass


    May 27, 2003
    OK, now for my observations (of others' observations)...

    I, too, remembered a lot of folks mentioning the DiMarzio Model Js. Also, several people have mentioned adding a J-Retro pre-amp. A search of the old threads earlier today seemed to verify both of these memories.

    I like what I've heard about the Model J's, although I'd love to retain a more traditional look (the pole pieces are black and adjustable).

    Smash's review http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91384

  8. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    The Geddy Lee bass already has high quality USA made pickups. Your problem isn't pickup quality, it's preference. Those vintage-style pups on your bass aren't very lively. An onboard or stompbox preamp may bring those to life. Dimarzio Model J's would be a good choice for beefy low end. I love the Fender CS 60's, but they have more of a midrangy tone. I would recommend these to HooBass. Of course, your amp or cabinet choices could be to blame for your low end issues.

    Below is what's in your bass now. You could sell them for a decent price if you advertise them as what they are, which is not your common MIJ stock pup.

    Fender Original Jazz Bass Pickups

    These two pickups can be blended to create a variety of tones suitable for all styles of music. Fender reproduces the pickup that was introduced in the early 60's, the Original Jazz Bass Pickup. Made with flush mounted Alnico 5 magnets and enamel coated magnet wire, the Original Jazz Bass pickups deliver the low-end growl and up front midrange punch that makes this instrument so popular. Each pickup comes with a copper shield and black covers. OEM on the '62 American Vintage, Geddy Lee, and may Custom Shop Jazz Basses.
  9. HooBass


    May 27, 2003
    Brock -- Thanks! It's good to see the advert text about the PUPs to learn their quality. I believe I did see that a while ago (months before deciding to pursue a GL Jazz), but was thinking more recently that perhaps these were lower quality PUPs.

    Indeed I've actually liked (but not loved) what I've gotten out of these PUPs so far, but sensed they still weren't quite growly as I'd like.

    Oh, so many ways I could go with this quest for ultimate growl!

  10. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I have EMGs (US-made) and an EMG active pre in mine and it growls like a FOOL!!!! I recommend thusly.
  11. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    My advice would be to leave it stock and go out and buy an outboard preamp. I have both models of the Sadowsky preamps (beltclip and stomp box). I can dial in great tones. My fave being bridge pickup with boosted bass on the preamp. Talk about tone. That coupled with the boost from the preamp, makes for a very nice sounding setup.

    My MIJ bass was bought with EMG's, which I replaced with Custom Shop 60's. The combo of those new pups and the Sadowsky is very nice.
  12. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I also think this might be a good alternative..
  13. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    i had a GL for a while.

    i loved it just the way it was!!!

    why drive up the price on an already killer instrument?


  14. HooBass


    May 27, 2003
    OK, Sansamp it is! (else one of eighty other options I'll probably meander into between now and when I finally plunk down my money)

    Hope I'm not commandeering your thread, OJ!

    One thing that I'm now considering is something my guitar teacher/tech said last night re changing the pickups: "Hey, why not try it out -- You can always go back."

    Regardless, it's good to hear so many saying they think that spending zero money is an acceptable option -- I'll take a closer listen to my existing PUPs to really test how happy *I* am.