Problem with Fender American Vintage 64s jazz bass, please help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by skaine, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. skaine


    Dec 11, 2014
    Hi there,

    I got a Fender American Vintage 64s jazz bass couple of days ago. The problem is the output is really weak when compared with a standard jazz bass.

    I know those vintage pups has lower output around 7-7,5k ohms compared with modern ones, but i used to fit a custom shop 60s pickup on my other bass and it was much stronger.

    I have to turn on the volume more than i do for other basses and although the tone is good, it lacks the sustain and bass tones of a standard jazz bass. It gets quiet earlier than my other jazz bass, jsut like i dont have the full tone. Sounds like something missing.

    The shop keeper told me it is normal, but i couldnt be sure since i havent played a bass like this one before.

    Is that normal or should i look for a luthier?

    Thats my bass by the way.

    note: The SD antiquity 2 pickups you see on the picture are not installed by the way, i just keep them in the hard case.
  2. Sleeq


    Feb 13, 2008
    Maybe it's a setup problem... try to increase the pickup height and see if it makes a difference?
  3. skaine


    Dec 11, 2014
    Setup is ok, pickup height, neck adjustment, string replacement and string height, bridge setup are all correct.
  4. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    You'd expect vintage spec pickups to be somewhat tamer than modern pickups, but there's not a huge difference. Pop the plate, look for dry joints, damaged wire, etc. Consider even (temporarily) installing those SD's for comparison testing. It doesn't sound normal, so you're looking at ruling out problems. If the SD's are loud, then there's something up with the pickups or how they were wired. If the SD's are quiet too, then you may have a dodgy pot, etc.
  5. skaine


    Dec 11, 2014
    Yes sounds logical, i will do that, thanks for the advice.
  6. Midak


    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Inspect the control cavity for any visual damage of any kind and then check all the wiring - if everything seems normal, then do Doctor J's suggestion: install the Antiquity pickups for straight comparison. Then, tell us what happened. :)

    P.S.: Another Daphne Blue '64, congrats!
  7. Aqualung60


    Jun 19, 2013
    New Jersey
    Sweet Bass, hope you find the problem.
  8. bramhc

    bramhc Inactive

    Jan 31, 2014
    Correct me if I wrong. The vintage pickup has a low output. That's pretty obvious. But what makes it even lower is the fact that magnetic pole is getting weaker because of regular usage.

    From what I have a talk with a pickups luthiers, you could make a high output pickup sounds bright/clear by using a tall magnet pole. So my assumption is the Custom Shop 60s pickups use more taller magnet pole than an actual vintage pickups.
    skaine likes this.
  9. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I know some here will not agree with me but how does it sound unplugged (compared to your other jazz bass ). My jazz that took a lot of hunting and playing at different stores till I found the one I have. It sounds better unplugged compares to my other jazz basses I have. Unplugged you souls still be able too hear if the bass has early decay or has a good sustain and tone across the strings. You may need to find a quiet room but I'm telling you it works.
  10. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    This is why you should go back and correct mistakes before posting :)
  11. I suspect some extensive field testing is in order. I will provide this service at no charge to you and will absorb shipping costs myself but do to a backlog may not be able to return it in a very timely manner.
  12. skaine


    Dec 11, 2014
    Two more questions then,

    1- What kind of string would be better for this bass? I used fender pure nickels but i am not happy with them. I also dont want steel or flat strings at the moment.

    So which one is better ernie ball? daddario? or dunlop? i want to go with nickel strings to get warmer tones.

    2- If i install SD antiquity 2 pickups, do they change the tone character of this bass way too far?
  13. I prefer GHS Pressurewounds as they are a bit more mellow than a round and a lot more fret friendly but as to their composition, I'm not sure. You might like them.
  14. skaine


    Dec 11, 2014
    We dont have that many choices in turkey :) They carry ussually fender, rotosound, daddario, dunlop, ernieball and dean markley. Finding the size you want is also a problem, i prefer 105/45.
  15. bramhc

    bramhc Inactive

    Jan 31, 2014
    For n
    Just avoid Rotosound and Ernie Ball if you want warmer tone. I don't have any experience on the other string.
  16. Well Rotosound Swingbass is a pressurewound string that isn't too spanky, close to the GHS Pressurewounds. Can't you e-bay some?
  17. skaine


    Dec 11, 2014
    yes i can e-bay, if i cant find one here.
  18. No man should go through life without trying a set of GHS Pressurewounds, it's just wrong and tragic. Use the "start a conversation" feature to private message me with your mailing address there in Turkey and I will mail you a set of them. They are sized a little different, 103-44 I think, but you can't really tell and were probably 105-45 before being squished. Your fingers and frets will be happy and so will your ears.
    Osztertag2112, GregC and skaine like this.
  19. skaine


    Dec 11, 2014
    bigger sized strings eat the frets more? i wasnt aware of that.. they told me flats eat the frets more than roundwounds before.
  20. No...rounds are hard on your frets...Pressurewounds strings are smoother than a regular round as they go through press rollers as they are made. Semi rounds/ground rounds have material removed for a half round string. Flats have a higher tension and are maybe a little more work for your truss rod but I can't see how they would be worse for your frets than rounds. Pressurewounds are like the 3rd type string as they say in their ads lol.
    skaine likes this.

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