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Pickups in Squier VM

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pigpen1, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    Hear me out before you call me crazy. I love the pickups in my Squier VM V. I like them more than than the custom shop 60's pickups that are in my Am Standard and American special. They just seem to have a thicker sound, stronger fundamental, and don't have that "open" sound that the CS pickups have. They hotter and fatter sounding too.

    I'd buy them and put them in the other basses but I can't find them for sale on Fender's site. I'd even settle for the pickups form the MIM models, but can't find those either. Anyone know of a close copy?

    Honestly over all, I feel like the Squier is not that far off from my MIA fenders. It plays better than the MIA Special and almost as good as the Am Std. Action is just as low and plays easier than either of the other two in some ways. I know I'll get a lot of grief for that, but its true.
  2. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    I do, too. The Vintage Modified pickups, in general, are a real hidden gem in the budget bass world. The ones in my Squier Vintage Modified Precision P/J are right up there with the VM Jazz bass pickups, which sound exceptional in their own right.
  3. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    Agreed. I think they are great pickups period.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  4. Do they say Duncan on them?
    I found the Duncan-designed ones sound great!
    Rickter, Aqualung60 and pudgychef like this.
  5. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    Mine do not.
  6. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    I think the Jazz bass pickups do say Duncan Designed on them. The ones in my Squire Precision P/J don't, and the J actually is kinda built like a Dimarzio with the screw heads for polepieces.
    Yahboy likes this.
  7. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    They used to, but now the VM pickups are all "designed by Fender" with no branding on them.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  8. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    Anyone know of similar sound replacement pickups?
  9. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    The pickups that came in my late-2014 VMJV sound OK, but in comparison to real-deal Duncan’s, are horrible.
    Mine are very bright, need to roll tone off by 75% to cut out that zing. They’re also hella-noisy. My SJ5-3 (QP) pickups I replaced them with sound like hum-cancelling pickups by contrast.

    Also, the windings are very sloppy. There are sections up near the top-side bobbins that are loose and flapping in the wind. Maybe I got a bad set that was built the day-after Chinese New Year...
  10. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    As said above, the first years of the VM line had Duncan design pickups, when the contract ran out, Fender switched to "Fender Designed" pickups. Some prefer the Duncan design, others the Fender.

    I have a VM fretless Jazz and a VM Jaguar PJ (passive) that both have the "Duncan Designed" in them. I find the P to be excellent, the J's not so much, they are a little thin sounding (IMO).

    I found the DiMarzio Model J to be better then the J's, but I can't really tell a difference between the DD P and the DM P.

    I think the best place to source eiither of these pickups (duncan or Fender design) is to keep an eye on the classifieds and similar. Plenty of people swapped them out. In fact, maybe a post in the Wanted section would be a good place to start.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  11. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    I have had a few Basses with the DD pickups and though they sound good I find them very low output and I have never been able to bond with them
    Wfrance3 likes this.
  12. I have a VM with Duncan’s Designed pickups and I prefer these pickups to the newer fender designed but that is just one guys opinion.
  13. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    Here are photos of my Fender Designed pickups...: :crying:



  14. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Why don't you try searching ebay for damaged squiers? As long as the electronics are intact I'm sure you could get the bass for cheap and just take em out.
    Mastermold likes this.
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Thank God, it's been at least a couple of days without a thread extolling the virtues of Squiers. :D
  16. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I am pretty sure I have a set I pulled from a 2013 Squier VM fretless in my box o' pickups. You can have them for cheap, if you want them. Just fire me a PM I put a seymour Duncan SBP-2 in the bass and I would never go back. I happen to think the stock p/u's lack any real character and are just really hot to make up for their lack of tone/definition. I was never wow'd by the Duncan Design ones either. As they say, different strokes.
  17. blacktocomm


    Feb 19, 2013
    I had a Squier Jaguar with DD pickups and would agree with this assessment. I loved the sound of them, especially with flats, but they were definitely lower output than my other P/J basses.
  18. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    You can get MIM and MIA (actually made in Mexico believe it or not) pickups from:
    Bass Parts Resource: Jazz V Bass Pickups

    Bass Jazz V Pickups
  19. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    I think really mo overall all goal, is a little more modern sound. Stronger fundamental, and less of an open sound than the 'vintage' CS 60's pickups. Lots of people have tried to talk me into Model J or real Duncan pickups it seams. Also though about Aguilar 4j-hot too. Something to think about. I guess.
  20. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    I get the humor, but not looking at the name on the headstock, my VM V plays WAY better than my American Special Jazz. I hate to say it, but its true.

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