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Replacement Pickups for Fretless Jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bterwill, Nov 21, 2000.

  1. bterwill


    Aug 16, 2000
    I have a Japanese Fender fretless jazz which has aefully noisy pickups that I am looking to replace. Does anybody have any suggestions for jazz replacements? I read through the Bass Player J-Pickup shootout and didn't really see a whole lot specific for fretless basses.

    Right now I am looking at the Bartolini 9WJ4 pickups, which are a quadracoil design and would be pretty quiet. Basically what I am looking for is something that will be quiet and give a good vintage fretless sound. Thanks.
  2. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    I have a fretless Jazz that came with Lindy Frailens (I'm guessing the spelling). Anyway I like them but I cant say how they compare to other replacements PUs out there. These are passive but high energy. Yes they sound good.

    While you are at it, you may want to look into alternate wiring diagrams. Perhaps it was a dream, but I think you can set up a switch so that they can go series to parallel or something like that. As I recall the EMG web site had a few wiring diagrams on it.

    Good luck!
  3. Hey bterwill, I'm looking for the exact same pickups,
    the Bartolini quadracoils.I went to the Bartolini site,
    they listed a certain store in Manhattan as their NYC
    retailer, I e-mailed them, but, they never e-mailed me
    back.Poor business sense.Let me know if you replace yours
    with anything good.I don't want to keep ripping the guitar
    apart every month with different pickups, but most people
    suggest Bartolini.The DiMarzio ultra jazz is a little
    easier to get, but, as I said I only want to do this once.
    I have a Mexican Fretless, and the humming is driving me
    crazy.If I replace mine first, I'll let you know.
    I recently bought a boss flanger; Whoa! If you've never tried one with fretless, do it! It compliments the sound
    like butter on corn on the cob.

    Jazz it up!
  4. I played some exotic bass (well it looked pretty normal.. the price was definitely exotic.. supposedly made out of 500 year old birchwood that didn't rot because it was in the bottom of lake superior or something.. whatever) that had a Seymour Duncan PJ setup on it.. and they sounded pretty damn good. I liked how the J sounded when soloed, but I thought it was even better with a touch of the P. I'd imagine that 2 SD J's together would be a great setup. I'm not exactly what make of SD's they were.. probably the active lightning rods.
  5. I love the Dimarzio DP123 ($100 a pair, split coil humbucking). I plan on getting the Seymour Duncan Classic Jazz Stack pickups for my Squier if I ever get the dough ($150 for a pair, stacked humbucking).

  6. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    I have a set of Dimarzio Model Js in my fretted MIM Jazz. I think they would be very well suited to fretless; it's a very warm pickup, especially if you replace the stock Fender tone capacitor with something different. I can't remember offhand what cap value I have in there; I went to Radio Shack, bought a handful of different caps, and tried different ones until I got the sound I liked.

    Also, Seymour Duncan makes a set of J pickups specifically for fretless. I think they're called Foundation Fretless or something to that effect.

    If you end up going for the Barts, tell us how you like 'em. I'm getting a fretless MIM Jazz soon, and I want to try something different this time...

  7. BazzMonkey


    Aug 25, 2000
    I had a fretless mex jazz that I replaced the pickups with the specially designed pickups specifically for fretless (by seymour) and the thing sounded TOTALLY AWESOME, I love that extra high it gives to it to kinda even out the sound and not make it sound SO mellowed out.

    But those are some killer pickups, they kinda emphisize the fretless slapping noise better than most other J PUPS (for fretless). I could get fairly close to Les Claypools sound, just need a tad more low and it would be identical
  8. I have got the Classic Jazz Stack in my J-bass. Very nice pickups, 60's tone without hum.
    BTW these pickups are of low-to-medium output, I have to set input gain on my Trace GP12 preamp on 7.5 to 8.
    You could also add a preamp to your bass to bring things up to level though. US$ 150 for the pair is less than what I paid for them (US $ 162) here in the Netherlands. If I had to buy them now they would cost me US $ 193!

  9. I ended up getting another pair of Dimarzio DP123's for $80 off eBay for my Squier Jazz. I'm waiting on them to arrive. I just couldn't bring myself to put on $150 pickups on a $150 bass. :D


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