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Seymour vs nord vs fender vs aguilar ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by PeaveyPlayer, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Looking for a pickup for my jazz bass

    I'm looking for the classic jazz bass time

    I'm looking at the vintage 60s wind nordstrand or aguilar

    Fender custom shop 60s

    The alnico v Seymour antiquitys
    Or the jaco set

    Possibly lindy fralin

    Can someone shed some light on the which one would be closest?
  2. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
  3. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    I think they would all be good. *Shrugs*. Beyond a certain price point the actual quality of pickups can't really be stacked up or ranked; simply they do different things and you make a decision based on what they purportedly do.

    I think part of the issue is that you are looking at pickups that reproduce the '60s originals, and there really wasn't too much going on with those. They used magnet A, wire B, wound to a DC resistance of C, used flatwork made from D, and maybe some pickups came out hotter or more scatter-wound than others. Really though they are the most basic magnetic pickup design going, with a handful of components (literally) and a very simple spec.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  4. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    Don't self bump after 4 hours man. ;)

    There's a sticky about J pickups. A bit of playing around with the search function will help you too. especially given that your question is general enough to be phrased as "I want that vintage [time period] Fender tone." I'm sure you'll get an answer or two here from people who know. Some might not though. If your needs were more peculiar, that might spur more of a reply.

    J pups are probably the most discussed type of pickup on this forum, at least that's my impression as a denizen of this TB subforum for a long long time now. There are several threads out there with your info, just ripe for the taking.

    My vote: The Fender Custom Shop 60s set.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  5. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    How about D'marzio Area J set ?
  6. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy... Supporting Member

    Arcane pickups, Klein Pickups....
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  7. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Well, I am sort of biased, but do dig the Antiquity Jazz and Vintage Jazz pickups.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  8. blmartin2215


    Feb 14, 2006
    I have a Lakland US classic Jazz built to 60's specs and put Aguilar AG 4J 60's in it and it sounds great. It has enough high end bite if you need it to slap and not wish you had active pickups but retains a round warm fundamental. It has "that" sound when the bridge pickup is soloed with the tone rolled back. (very warm vintage Fender Jazz ala Jaco). It does everything well. For the money $149 they are great. I prefer single coils but they also make hum canceling but are more expensive and to me don't sound as warm as these.
  9. UmamiBass


    Apr 14, 2014
    Columbus, OH
    Ok, I'm gonna give this a shot. I've played multiple sets of Nordstrand pickup, Fralin, and Fenders.

    Nordstrand tend to be really muscular sounding due to the way that they wind the wire. They do the classic thing, but sound like they've been cleaned up a bit and tend to be just a touch more compressed sounding that handwound pickups like Fralin. They have a very present bottom end that and don't seem to have any particular part of the the frequency spectrum overly accentuated.

    Fralin can sound a bit spongy to my ears but are also very cool. I think they're a bit more old school sounding than Nordstrand. While both are flavored of classic, these sounded a bitmore rounded off and had lower output. To give you some context, I have Fralins in a Mike Lull J bass and had Nordstrands in a Fender AVRI. The Lull bass tended to eat up some of the high end, but I found that when I tried these same pickups in a Fender Custom Shop, they became harsh sounding and a bit thinner. I think Mike Lull knew what he was doing when he matched the winds to the bass they were installed in.

    I think the Fender pickups are good from what I've played. I've tried a few custom shop basses loaded with them. They don't have a particular identifiable character to make them sound like they have a signature of their own, but they definitely sound just like really good single coils.

    A couple things to remember, if you want a more consistent sounding modern take on "classic", then Nordstrand may be what you want(I think Aguilar sound kind of similar for a little less $). Fralin gives 3 winding options for their pickups which give you different flavors on their mojo. Fender just sound like really good Fenders. To throw one more pickup in the mix, Aero type 1 have really great tone also that give you a really muscular vintage type tone with a really responsive feel also.
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I have Nordie single coil 70's wind pickups in my jazz. Love them. To my ears, Fender pickups suck eggs. I'm also a big fan of EMG's (not on your list). I have Aggie Super Doubles (sorry not j pups but basically a super size j pickup). They sound amazing.
  11. UmamiBass


    Apr 14, 2014
    Columbus, OH
    I've used the 70's wind Nordstrand on a AVRI 75 Jazz Bass. Really good pickups, but definitely a different vibe than their 60's winds. The 70's are brash and will cut through pretty well, but they have a very different attack. In my experience, the 70's are great for slapping, but don't have as full of a vibe for finger style. They sound KILLER with any kind of overdrive/distortion.

    60's winds tend to be better all around type of pickups. The Fender Custom Shop pickups are not anythign like the production pickups out there. EMG's use a very different magnet structure and they don't wind their pickups in the traditional sense. I don't mind them, but they're not classic sounding at all. I'd have to agree with DWBass on them probably not being what you want.

    Another pickup you might want to consider is Curtis Novak's jazz bass. He has a stellar reputation. I'm about to order some noise cancelling jazz pickups for a Fender Custom Shop Custom Classic Jazz Bass.
  12. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings
    Nordstrand can also custom wind any of their pickups ... and more :D
    Pbassmanca and PeaveyPlayer like this.
  13. mbasile

    mbasile Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Have you listened to/watched Aguilar’s Jazz Bass pickup demo video? While it obviously won’t cover all of the pickups you’re asking about, you can at least hear the Aguilar ones.

    LoveThatBass likes this.
  14. This video is one of the reasons I bought the Aguilar but the dual coil noiseless. A good single coil pickup I bought is the Aero Type 1
  15. blmartin2215


    Feb 14, 2006
    I think you are splitting hairs as all of these sound good. I have a USA Lakland 4460 and put in Aguilar AG 4j 60's (single coils). To me they nail that "alder body with a rosewood board" Fender Jazz tone. It has a little quack with the tone rolled all the way up if you dig in but has a killer Jaco tone with bridge soloed and tone rolled off. I have played Lindy's and honestly I've never sat a Fender Jazz down new or vintage and thaought, "if these had better pickups it would sound better." I can attest the Aguilars have a nice output, warm round bottom and just enough quack when you dig in to get most jobs done. They are a little cheaper than the Nordy's too.
  16. blmartin2215


    Feb 14, 2006
    Furthermore, I can tell a difference in tone with single coils to hum canceling no matter who (Nordy, Aggie, etc) say they make theirs so good you can't tell. I can tell. Plus they cost more than single coils. I prefer the clarity of the single coil but that's just me. :)
  17. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    When I had an American Elite Jazz, I replaced the really good Fender N4 pups with the Nord 70s wind pups. It took the tone to that next level that I was missing with the N4s.

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