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S1 switch on Fender American Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by blackba, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. blackba


    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    I have a friend's American Jazz bass in for repair, the neck pickup is not working. That got me curious about the S1 switch, so I looked it up to see what it does.

    My question is, how valuable is the S1 switch, is having the option of having both pickups in series useful?

    I have a Fender MIJ Geddy Lee Jazz and I could easily add a push pull pot to the tone pot, to get the functionality of the S1 switch. I may have to do this to my friend's bass if he wants that feature and it ends up being the switch/pot that is the issue.
  2. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    the real question is: is having the pickups in SERIES useful? :-D
    (IMO it's not, but others may like it)

  3. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I dislike the S1 switch myself. The claim was that the S1 switch would get you the tone of a Jazz and a Precision in one bass. If I want my Jazz to sound like a P-bass, I just solo the neck pickup...sounds like a lot more like a P-bass than having two Jazz pickups wired in series IMO.

    I wouldn't avoid a Fender simply because of the S1 switch, I have played some very nice Jazz and P basses that were equipped with it. But, as for the function of the switch itself, I find it virtually useless. I would take this opportunity to remove the S! switch and wire your bass with a standard VVT setup. YMMV.
  4. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    I certainly like having the series sound available as an option.
  5. blackba


    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    After checking out the American Jazz bass, the neck pickup was reading open. So my friend is order Dimarzio Area J pickups, so I will have to wait to hear the series S1 switch. First time I have ever had a pickup go bad. Once the Dimarzio's get here, I am going to open up the neck pickup if I can and try to find where its open. My friend didn't like the stock pickups much anyways.
  6. blackba


    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    Got the Dimarzio Area J pickups installed, love the lack of hum. Bass still sounds muddy, with all controls full on, its like my Geddy Lee with both volumes up and the tone all the way rolled off. I think the strings are dead, hopefully I can borrow it again when my friend restrings it to better evaluate the pickups.

    Anyway, played around with the S1 series switch and loved it. I don't think its a tone I would use often, but its nice to have the versatility. I think that running the neck pickup by itself still sounds more like a P-bass than using both pickups in a series wiring. Running the pickups in series made it sound much more authoritative, more toward active territory.
  7. BrenBass


    Apr 4, 2011
    Its personal taste I'm sure, but I have always added a 'henry switch' (series/parallel switch) to my basses with 2 PU's.
    I love the sound and I particularly love the look on the guitarists face when I bring it in for his solo.
    I have a Musicman Sabre which had a phase switch, I replaced it with a Henry switch and never looked back!:hyper:
  8. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    eh, I own a 2006 MIA Jazz. the S-1 did nothing for me. I put in an Audere. I'm much happier now.
  9. I've ripped it off every bass it ever came w/. didn't dig it, and as others have mentioned, it isn't the best constructed pot.

    I actually left it on my JV due to laziness and it broke fairly quickly...
  10. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Same here...

    - georgestrings
  11. Mofo-Kang


    Aug 26, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    They're awesome, aren't they? I put one in my Geddy, and I love it enough that I got a second for my Warmoth fretless. :)
  12. A lot of people seem to dislike the S-1 switch, but a series/parallel mod seems to be a VERY popular mod here on TB.

    I say, if you've got a Jazz with an S-1, you're in good shape.
  13. DTF


    Feb 14, 2010
    Its great on a jazz IMHO, I could see not wanting one on a precision , but on a jazz it sounds great to me .
  14. speeves


    Apr 18, 2008
    Old thread, but I agree. I mostly play with the S1 switch engaged. I like it :)
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I traded for a 2006 Fender Jazz. First thing I did was get rid of that horrid S-1 switch! I have a P-Bass if I need that sound.
  16. The "S1" is the best sound a jazz bass can make.
  17. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    While having the series/parallel option on a Jazz bass can be very useful ('though it won't make a Jazz sound like a Precision), the WAY Fender executed the S-1 switch seemed to be a real problem. It required a proprietary knob and switch set up and it seemed flimsy and hence prone to failure on the ones I played. A regular push/pull switch built into a pot makes more sense, or even a small toggle switch.

  18. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin

    I removed the audere from my MIA Jazz. I was going to re-install the original plate and electronics. apparently, I or the wife tossed it when cleaning.

    So I ordered a replacement non S-1 plate and controls. Which is ok, as that S-1 switch would stick all the time anyway.

    The electronics I purchased for the Jazz came with a .022 capacitor. Anyone know where I can get a .047 where the shipping won't cost more than the item?

    Tried my local Radio Shack, they just stared blankly at me. Told me maybe they could order it but weren't sure. Obviously, the days of Radio Shack dealing in electronic parts a thing of the past?
  19. Fry's should be able to sell you a .047 cap in a variety of materials.
  20. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    and funnily enough, that was the only value of Radio Shack.. i dont know why they are still in business