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Pups to tame an overly bright jazz bass.....

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MarkM13, Jan 9, 2019.


  1. MarkM13

    MarkM13

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Greetings,

    I recently picked up a b-stock Cort GB74jj so i could have a four string back in my stable. There's a lot to like about it but it is really bright. First thing I did was change the strings form the original D'Dario NPS round wounds to my string of choice, EB Cobalt flats. These are a bright flat but darker than many rounds. Still too bright. Tried an old set of DR low riders, better. But, the pops when slapping could still kill a small insect at 10 yards ;-). Finally settled on a set of GHS ground wounds ironically known as "Brite Flats" . I'm not a fan of old school dead feeling flats so I didn't go down that road.

    Next lowered the pickup hight. Did help a bit.

    I'm thinking it's time to address the pickups themselves. Other threads on bright basses often mentioned the Dimarzio Model J as darker mid & bass heavy pups that could help. Lots of folks seem to agree. Others consistently mentioned are Fralins and Delanos. But, since they are going into a $500 bass I'm trying to keep the cost under $150/pr. Others that were often mentioned but folks had mixed feelings on were the SD Quarter Pounders and Bartolini Split Coil Jazz set.

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
    fhm555 and Pbassmanca like this.
  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Bartolini makes some dark sounding pickups.
    I found Duncan hot wind jazz to be wooly too
     
    Marley's Ghost and Aqualung60 like this.
  3. saabfender

    saabfender

    Jan 10, 2018
    Indianapolis
    How about some 250k pots and five dollar Sprague capacitor? I'd start there.
     
  4. Turn the treble cut knob on the instrument counterclockwise.
     
  5. MarkM13

    MarkM13

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Has an Aguilar pre which uses 250k pots
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  6. saabfender

    saabfender

    Jan 10, 2018
    Indianapolis
    I pop that thing out of there and try it without. Could be the issue.
     
    rogypop and alanloomis1980 like this.
  7. voided3

    voided3 Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Perhaps try some LaBella LTFs. They are old school in sound, but low tension. Compared to TI flats, they are a fair bit darker.
     
    Yahboy and gebass6 like this.
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    ???

    Active preamps typically use 25k or 50k pots for the EQ controls, not 250k.

    And while we’re on the topic, you’re not diming all of those preamp knobs, are you?
     
    saabfender likes this.
  9. MarkM13

    MarkM13

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Oops, my bad. As far as the EQ goes: Treble = off Mid = -5 Bass + 9
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  10. jeffb28451

    jeffb28451 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Leland NC
    For Gods sake, don’t start w the pickups. There are many good ones, but strings, pu height, preamp caps, tone knob tapers and other stuff is cheaper and easier. Well, strings can get costly, but not if you start out w some idea of what you’re doing.
     
    gebass6, sing-modulator, IPA and 2 others like this.
  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Then I second @saabfender ’s suggestion: bypass the preamp and see how those pickups sound passive. Then you know what you’re working with.
     
    bdplaid, Aqualung60 and craigie like this.
  12. MarkM13

    MarkM13

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    A per the original post:
    • Strings: Yup, settled on the 4th set I tried
    • PU height: yup, tried it, helped a bit
    Preamp caps: This I'm new to. Have just started to learn about it. A link to explanations of the concept and wiring diagrams would be most welcome.

    Tone knob tapers: I have no idea what that is, but I do know I don't have a tone knob.

    I like the idea of a capacitor mod. but really know nothing about it.....little help?
    M
     
  13. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    Just have a new cap soldered in, a high treble bleed should help and its a 5 minute job.
    Rock on.
     
  14. MarkM13

    MarkM13

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    I'd rather do it myself. I can solder and read a wiring diagram. Any idea where I could find one?
     
  15. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    There's that thing called "EQ" on most amplifiers.
     
    packhowitzer and Camarillo like this.
  16. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    Find one what? Wiring diagram or Cap? If cap, then start here but there are endless places to get one...
    Capacitors - Best Bass Gear
    Good luck. Rock on.
     
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Can you tell us a little bit about the rest of your setup?

    As you can tell, some of us are confused.

    If I walk up to a bass and a rig..... ANY bass and rig.... and upon noodling around find way too much treble..... I can think of a dozen ways to tame the highs without swapping pickups.

    Are you trying to keep your amp settings the same as you use with other basses?

    Is there a tweeter control on your cab?

    How is the EQ on your amp set?
     
  18. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I have my stage amp for small venues, my DI setup, my rehearsal hall rig, my bedroom rig: the same bass sounds completely different through each of them. Turn down the treble on the amp and/or the tweeters in the cabs. That said, I did tone down a maple-bodied J-bass with the DiMarzio Model J pickups, more to get grind, but the treble truncation is there. The end-to-end coils increase mids, and you can screw down the polepieces to below the top of the cover to minimize articulation transients.
     
    br1qbat likes this.
  19. packhowitzer and Bodeanly like this.
  20. Changing pickups would make very little difference. The amp/cab setup will make the biggest difference here outside of string choice.
     
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