replacement pickups with lots of growl

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Javy, Sep 18, 2000.

  1. Javy


    Sep 15, 2000
    I have a Yamaha BBN5, which is a middle-of-the-line 5-string bass with passive J-style pickups. It's a good bass for the money, but I don't like the sound very much; it's too smooth. What would be the best pickups to create a fat growl on the bottom end? I don't expect it to sound exactly like a Music Man Stingray 5 or whatever, but I think new pickups would really help. Any suggestions?
  2. shirky


    Apr 7, 2000
    Reading, PA, USA
    Howdy. Recently, I replaced the pickups in my Fender Precision (which had Fender Lace-Sensor) with Seymour Duncan Basslines. I love the Basslines, they sound great. They are a nice Fat sound, so I'm not sure that they'd meet your "Growl" criteria, but they made my Precision sound a whole lot better.

  3. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    I also like the Seymour Duncan Basslines pickups. I have a set of "Hot Jazz" pickups in my Fender Jazz. Check the Bass Player mag site for a great shoot-out article on replacement J-bass pickups.

  4. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    And a reminder: Fender J pickups are NOT of equal length -- the bridge PU is slightly longer. Some mfr's sell exact replacement sets, and some sell a pair of identical PU's. I believe that some sell BOTH types. Just check out your bass and then check the replacement dimensions before you buy.



    Sep 10, 2000
    hey craig H do you know what issue of bass player magazine has the J-bass pickup info thingy? do you have a link?
  6. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    To find the J-Bass Replacement Pickup Shootout, go to, click on "Gear" in the boxes at the top, then scroll down to "J Replacement Pickup Shootout." It is very informative! :)



    Sep 10, 2000
  8. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    My Ken Smith BSR4M (Ken Smith Soap Bars) is a growl machine. I'm not sure you could buy them, but I did read somewhere that Ken uses ceramic specifically for the growl. So you may at least want to shoot for a ceramic, rather than an alnico-based pickup.
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I have a set of EMG Selects in my Hamer, I like them, gives the bass good solid bottom end with just the right amount of growl.
  10. JerryH


    Dec 13, 1999
    Helsinki, Finland
    Howdy fellow bottom dwellers,

    I was trying to get the "max growl" outta my JBs. They have however the max JB growl, but wanted something more in the deep mid range. So I did not want to customise them and bought one Squier 5er ProTone that is able to produce the "max growl" and gonna modify that instead!
    IMHO the only way to do it is to find the bas(s)is for your sound first and that is (yes, you 've guessed it) your bass with the characteristics you want like the growl. Mr T. Sheldon once corrected my path and said something like, "You can't go always against your instrument's specs and characteristics just by modifying it with strings (yes, I do count them too) or pups". It is more or less first the material of the instrument that counts in this case! Try it out first acoustic if it has the sound close you're looking for then do the modification needed, but hey - "Let's be careful out there!"
  11. If you like the sound of a Stingray, you could even put the Musicman Humbucker on there. I know that John Turner had his 8 string made with that pickup. You could make the hole size correct and put one in there.
  12. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Nice discussion and definitely a nice article there, but I figured I'd use this thread for a more specific (but related!) purpose.

    It's rather simple. I like... no, LOVE the sound I get from my Fender J-Bass. However, I get very bad problems with interference-related hums. Is there any pickup set I can get that has the same kind of sound as the factory J-Bass setup but without the interference problems and maybe with a little bit higher quality tone (as long as I'm busy, right?). The DiMarzio pickups from the article sounds like what I'm looking for, but I'm not sure. Also, are those pickups reviewed in the article the combination J/P setup like factory Fenders or just Js? I don't think they really specified...

    If they are just Js, then what would be a good complimentary Precision pickup to match the sound on the Fender pickups?
  13. IanthePez


    May 29, 2000
    I am also considering getting new p'ups for my fender jazz and I was looking at the DiMarzio ones too since they are a good price and have had good reviews. Anyone own any of these and want to share?

  14. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Ugh. I wished I didn't have to do this, but...

    To the top.

    Please don't hurt me.
  15. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    If you want the same fender j-bass sound maybe you should try fender replacement pups. The BP review has a set of Fender vintage shop pups in it. new fenders also come with "noiseless" pickups; you might try those.
  16. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Hmm... my Fender IS new (1999) and the pickups still have lots of problems with electromagnetic interference. Actually, I saw a set of Fender "Custom Shop" 60s J-Bass pickups for EXACTLY the right price for me at GuitarTrader. Has anybody used these pickups? Are they "the real deal", as GuitarTrader claims?
  17. I put a set of Dimarzio DP123 J split-coils in my Mexican Jazz. Love them. Fits my fat 70's sound. No hum even with only one pickup turned on. I picked up a Korean Squier Jazz last week at a pawn shop that plays like a dream, but I think I'm gonna put Seymour Duncan Classic Stack stacked humbuckers for a little variety and so I can compare the Dimarzio's to the Seymour Duncan's.

    The Dimarzio's are split coil, so they are actually like a P pickup laid end to end in a J package. The Seymour Duncan's are stacked humbuckers in a J package.

  18. MrFortuneCookie had a good idea with using a Duncan Musicman pup, here's another. What about TWO of them, one in each current pup position. If you cant do the routing necessary, any luthier can do it for you. Add the Duncan 2 or 3 band eq with slap contour, and you've got one helluva mean machine! Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh!!!!!