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Single jazz pickup in “sweet spot”?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Orestes Chouchoulas, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. I like the shape and neck of a jazz bass, but also the simplicity of a P bass. I like the sound of both. (I don't much care for the sound of soap bars.)

    I have been thinking about building / commissioning a custom bass.

    One of the features I would like this bass to have is a single J style (noiseless) pickup, positioned somewhere in between the standard neck and bridge positions. I quite enjoy the sound of a soloed neck pickup on a jazz, and I imagine that something closer to the bridge will be a little more trebly and nasal, which would be great! I imagine something a bit like the drawing on the bottom here:

    Screenshot 2020-04-18 at 10.20.57.png

    Has anyone heard of / seen such a thing? I am curious in particular about how it sounds.
    Bassaga, tubatodd and jamro217 like this.
  2. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Not heard of that. But, as an experiment, you might get a P, and wire in a series/parallel mod which would give you a true P tone and an approximation of a J pup at the same position.

    I have done this to 2 of my P basses and 1 PJ and it adds quite a bit of tonal range.
    Orestes Chouchoulas likes this.
  3. Oh, interesting. I suppose by the same token it might sound similar to a ’51 P. Or a Bronco?!
    themarshall, TN WOODMAN and jamro217 like this.
  4. Yahboy likes this.
  5. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
  6. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Moving the neck pickup toward the bridge more will definitely tame some of the pillowy tone J neck pickups can have. I think it is a terrific idea, and I’m sure it will sound great. Warmoth can easily handle the job.
  7. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    Section 204
    FWIW, the L-1000 has the pickup pretty much in the P sweet spot, and has a single coil mode that uses the bridge-side coil, so right around the spot you’re talking about. Yeah, the MFD pickup is its own thing, but the single coil mode on the L-1000 is great.
  8. not that anyone takes what I say seriously...But...

    the L1000 MFD (same position as the L2000/2500 neck pickup) while in Split-coil OMG mode (need the .1mF cap!!!) has the best non-P P-tone I have ever heard. Thick, raspy, and growly.
    I have modified my L2500 to be able to switch between inner and outer coils of each pickup, and the bridge coil of the neck pickup does seem to have a tad more bite to it. May not be perceptible in a full-band situation.

    I noticed the same thing with my HH-modified Jazz bass. More bite on the bridge-coil of the neck pickup.

    I positioned the neck pickup where the neck coil is exactly where the J pickup was...just so happens that these positions are exactly where the L2xxx pickups are placed. So this bass kind of does sound like a smoother, less aggressive L2500. I wired the pickups in Parallel with a choice of either coil split independently.
  9. TideSwing


    Oct 31, 2014
    Las Vegas
    Nice and highly recommend checking one out. This was my favorite setting when I had my '81 L1K.
  10. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    A true single coil without any type of opposite / reverse wound second coil might be noisier than acceptable. There are plenty of single coils that actually have two coils, or a dummy coil on the bottom side to cancel hum . I don’t have one, but I’ve read they work well to “buck the hum”, and still sound like a single coil.
    Orestes Chouchoulas likes this.
  11. What would really be interesting is a J with the two pups moved closer together. The neck in the sweet spot and the bridge in the '60's position.
    David McIntire likes this.
  12. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    The original G&L SB1 was designed along those lines...picture "borrowed" from an old listing here on TB

  13. 2F/2F


    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Bass rolloff knob with a pickup at the standard pickup position will give you something very similar, and more versatility. Single pickup in the standard neck pickup location, with PTB controls.
  14. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    One thing to keep in mind when discussing "sweet spots" is that the bass that arguably makes the most hay about having a pickup in the sweet spot (Sting Ray) has a pretty robust active eq baked in (when the controls are at noon, the preamp is far from "flat") to undo the mid emphasis that placing the pickup in that spot gives you.

    I'd argue that's evidence that the "sweet" spot is a bit more sour than most people think it is.

    I built a bass with a MM pickup in the "sweet spot", and not having a preamp/eq onboard, it wasn't that great of a sound.
  15. mexicanyella


    Feb 16, 2015
    Troy, MO
    OC, I experimented with pickups and fore/aft placement under the strings on a P-type bass with an enlarged pickup rout. What I found is that P-bass tone comes from where the pickup is “reading” the strings. After a few experiments that sounded worse than stock, I installed a Strat-type single coil, slanted so that the bass side of the pickup was located where the bass end of a split P pickup would be, and likewise for the treble side. So the installed Strat-type pickup had a “forward” slant in the P “sweet spot.”

    The pickup had less output than a split P but sounded great. Great in the familiar, comfortable “yep, that’s about what a P-bass should sound like” kind of way. The basic character was retained despite the less powerful winding.

    So I think a J pickup in the P sweet spot will probably sound P-bass-like...particularly if you forward-slant it to mimic the P-bass pole piece locations.
    Orestes Chouchoulas likes this.
  16. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Just buy a P bass already.

  17. xaosbass


    Feb 15, 2008
    Try a dimarzio model j or,...... a Duncan Apollo jazz pickup maybe. Not true single coils but got a bunch of the sound of them. Just sayin,......
  18. Jackcrow

    Jackcrow Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    North Dakota
    I think you are meaning that you want a single jazz pickup in the “music man” sweet spot, which I think perfectly splits the difference between standard jazz pickup placement. For factory basses, a G&L Kiloton would get you very close to what you’re talking about. Pickup in the MM sweet spot, but not a single coil jazz pickup (although I think it has single coil mode).

    Warmoth I’m sure would do a J pickup rout in that spot also. I built a bass on a similar concept with a warmoth body recently. I like the tighter low end and extra mids of that pickup placement.

  19. rzero


    Apr 21, 2014
    Isn't a jazz neck pickup already in the P spot?
    Bassdirty and 4StringDave like this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 12, 2021

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