Roundest humbucker/split-coil J pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    Hey TBers,

    I have a passive, 4-string Warwick Corvette and I want to swap out the MEC single coil J pickups with the roundest sounding humbuckers or split-coils I can find.

    Ideally, I'd like something as close to the sound of a P pickup.

    Anyone have any recommendations?

  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    SGD Jazzbuckers, or another side by side humbucker wired in series would be ideal. I don't know of another one though.

    If you're put off by the wait ordering from SGD, they will be available at Best Bass Gear for immediate shipment very soon.
  3. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    I'd suggest emailing Pete Biltoft at He can custom wind you a set of J pickups that will do the job nicely. His prices are very reasonable, and you'll get your pickups in very short order (1-2 weeks has been typical for me).
  4. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    The sound of a P bass is dependent on the pickup placement. Thus, you will not get a true P bass sound out of your bass is if you are using both pickups since the pickup placement on a Corvette is that of a jazz bass. Therefore, regardless of the pickups you use, I would suggest just simply using the neck pickup instead of both or at least panning more towards the neck.
  5. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    Hmm, gotta say the numerous threads about the wait times for these, but I do like a lot. If it does happens, I may wait a bit to see how it goes. Thanks.

    According to my measurements, the neck pickup is in the same space as the EA string P pickup placement, and the bridge is in the 70's jazz pickup placement, best of both worlds - in my opinion of course.

    I would likely wire them in series, or put a series/parallel switch in there. I'd also adjust the pickup volume levels depending on the tone I'm going for. It is a fretless Corvette, so there will be times where I'd want to favor the bridge pickup. But I will soon have another fretless that will have single coils J's, so that one will likely be used when I'm going for less of a warm tone and more of a Jaco one.

    I have read very good things about DiMarzio Model J's. A lot of people recommend them for this purpose and the price doesn't bother me much. I'd prefer them if they didn't have exposed pole pieces though (like soap bars, or whatever).
  6. Ok, BUT IF you really want the Pbass sound you MUST understand that much of that tone comes from the wide, flat coils that only Pbass pickups possess. You just can't get that in a J shape. J pickups coils are tall and narrow. This is absolutely KEY to their tone. Ditto Pbass coils. Flat and wide coils. Again, KEY.
    Some will say you can get a Pbass tone running J pups in series. No. It's fat, but not even close.
  7. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    Hmm, I didn't realize wider pickups equaled a wider/rounder sound, but that does make sense. I really only thought location and single or split-coils mattered.

    Regardless though, I'm still trying to get as round of a tone as possible.

    Any further recommendations on the roundest-sounding J configuration pickups would be appreciated.
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    That's why you want a side by side humbucker like the Jazzbuckers :)
  9. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    I just googled them and have never seen them before. I heard a clip of them in series, and they sounded a bit warm but the bridge pickup had a lot of influence on the tone.

    Have you used these before, are they warmer/rounder than say DiMarzio's Model J's?
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    They are definitely warmer and rounded than Model J's. I've had the Jazzbuckers in my Brubaker and my Lakland. Keep in mind the Model J's are inline split coils, so the string sensing area is still narrow like a single coil.
  11. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    Yeah, that sounds right. Do you have an idea when will stock these?

    In the meantime, I'm going to look into them further
  12. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
  13. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    Hey Tyler, these certainly intrigue me. It says that they fit standard jazz pickups routings, but not from what I can see. Is there something else going on here that I don't know about?

    I should have mentioned earlier, that I do not want to do any routing. Thanks
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

  15. C130AVN

    C130AVN Stringed Tubist

    Apr 19, 2012
    Winnipeg, MB
    Dimarzio Model J, Fatter than my Mother in Law's a$$.
  16. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    Yeah, I don't think so either, looks more like an MM style pickup or something. Those Jazzbuckers are a perfect fit for my corvette.

    Any word when will start distributing them?
  17. RED J

    RED J Lol Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2000
    I haven't tried everything, but have come as close as I know how with Dimarzio model J's.
  18. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    This seems to be a very sensitive issue on Talkbass these days, and I hope I don't open up a can of worms here, but I just read numerous threads about SGD pickups, and to put it bluntly without adding my opinions, I do not wish to order those pickups.

    Looks like I'm looking at DiMarzio Model J's again. The SGD ND3-J4 "Jazzbuckers" seem like a great concept. Anyone know of something similar that fits in standard jazz pickup routes? or another pickup recommendation for that matter?
  19. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I'd wait until Best Bass Gear starts carrying them if you (understandably) don't want to order direct. They should have them in stock soon, but you might want to check with them as they would know better. I know SGD didn't want to announce the partnership until he had some stock ready, and he announced it a few weeks ago.
  20. LeifVernaculum


    Apr 15, 2013
    Stupid question. What's our definition of a round sound? Any YouTube/sound clip offerings for examples? Is round considered any less punchy in nature, or just anything with a thickness or fullness to it?