single pickup to sound like fender jazz - how close can i get?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by pcake, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i'm not looking for a drop-in pickup - i'm looking specifically to get as close to a jazz bass as possible with a bronco (this part was added later)

    and doesn't matter if it's a humbucker, rail or noiseless single coil, but i'd like to get close to the sound of a jazz bass tone when it has both pickups all the way up with just one pickup. i'd be putting it in a bronco, btw.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
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  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Is that a Strat shape pickup on a Bronco? If so, my first thought to avoid routing would be a dual rail Strat pickup wired in parallel.
    No matter what you do, one or two coils in one spot will probably only go so far towards approximating two coils spaced far apart.
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  3. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Not even close.

    The distance of the two pickups involved negates any chance that a single pickup in a single location will emulate the Jazz bass tone.
  4. In the strict sense it's not possible since a single pickup is only sensing the string at one point and the 2 pickup sound is sensing at 2 points and combining them which creates comb-filtering (a kind of phase cancellation) that causes that cool punchy mid-scoop sound jazz basses are famous for.

    That said something with dual coils and Alnico pole pieces (Aguilar Super Double, Duncan NYC, etc.) would be about as close as you could hope for. Just make sure you get the neck pickup version so the pole pieces aren't too far apart.
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  5. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    I'm pretty sure these guys make a few drop in replacements for Music Master bass (Bronco is same size??). They are killer pick ups at a very reasonable price. $85 - $100 for the Music Master. I would email and discuss your needs.

    Per their web page:
    "Bass Guitar Pick-ups:
    Made to order, we can build you a handwound P-Bass or just about
    any other style bass pickup you desire".

    Sentell Pickups bass guitar pickups
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  6. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    not worried about routing.

    i'm aware that i could drop in a strat pickup, but it wouldn't sound at all like a jazz.

    thanks - i'll drop 'em an email.
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  7. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  8. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
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  9. I think one of the NYC Style double-Jazz pickups (in a soapbar case) would do it as long as it's mounted towards the neck - which would be the case on the Bronco. You'd likely have to experiment with the wiring to figure out if series or parallel works best, but I'd bet it would be parallel that would sound most like a jazz bass if you were stuck with one pickup in that position.

    Something like this: Delano DJC Double Jazz - Best Bass Gear
    or this:
    RARE! Vintage Schaller Double-J (JJ) quad-coil jazz bass humbucker 1984 Kramer Duke black pickup | ERGOTONE STUDIOS GEAR DISPENSARY | Reverb

    That Duke/Alien pickup is one I'm familiar with. It's a polite sounding pickup if towards the bridge, but since you're mounting it towards the neck, it should be more tone-ful.
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  10. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    The characteristic sound of a Jazz bass with both pickups on is due to comb filtering caused by the physical separation of the two pickups. I just don't think you'll really get that out of a single-pickup bass. Maybe you could work out a passive mid scoop circuit of some sort that might help get you there, but it won't really be the same.
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  11. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Why not route for two Jazz Bass pickups and get exactly what you’re looking for? :)
  12. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    looks like that's the way i'm going at this point. will it matter that the pole pieces will be way off since the bronco is a short scale?
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  13. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    I love my hotrails pickup in my Bronco. I use it for the Fender with flats thing so it is more like a P than a J. I think a good option is to turn down the mids on the amp to get that scooped both PU jazz thing.
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  14. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    i believe two strat-style single coils will sound remarkably similar to two jazz-style single coils, if their voicing is similar. the compressed sound of a jazz needs two pickups to do it. good luck!
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  15. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    You could use a single coil pickup with a bar magnet, rather than individual pole pieces, and avoid that issue all together.
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  16. Kelly robinson

    Kelly robinson

    Dec 30, 2014
    Some jazz pickup sets come in different lengths - the neck being shorter than the bridge one . For my SX Jazz short scale I just bought two of the shorter neck pickups so the poles line up better . ... Kelly
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  17. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Gonna be really tough. The two pups is what gives you the highs (bridge) and lows (neck). That's a big reason the P is so mid heavy.
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  18. Along with the inherent electrical side effects of running two pickups at once.

    you can replicate the electrical stuff, but yea you can't replicate the physical distancing between the pickups without actual pickups.

    I actually would say that a humbucker with the right preamp might be able to sort of get you close, in the way a stingray sorta sounds a bit like a jazz, at times, in the right settings.
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  19. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    The most influential factor in how a bass sounds is the comb filtering imposed by the position of the pickup(s) - that's a much stronger influence than changing pickups. The filter they impose is also different on every string - If you want the mid scoop of 2 jazz pickups, there is no filter that you can use on the bass's output signal that can mimic what the two pickups in those positions do.
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  20. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    People will tell you it won't matter (theoretically) but try bending an upper fret on a J-bass and hear for yourself how the tone will not only get lower in volume but also change in timbre when the string is pulled outside the pole piece.

    Strat rail pickups may seem like the obvious solution for Broncos but personally I have never been happy with the sound I've gotten from guitar pickups for bass. After trying lots of different pickups in my Bronco I ended up with a single coil Bronco/Musicmaster replacement from The Creamery. Great pickups! Two of these wired as a J-bass would give you the scooped, comb filtered sound you are looking for. They're not exactly J-bass pickups but probably as close as you're gonna get to a J-bass with a Bronco IMO. And probably close enough for that "both pickups at full" tone. They are blade pickups btw so spacing for the bridge pickup should (hopefully) not be a problem.

    The size is the same as the stock Strat sized Bronco pickup so it would save you the trouble of making a J-sized hole in your pickguard. You would still need to route for the bridge pickup of course.

    Curtis Novak makes a Musicmaster replacement too but it's not a blade pickup so spacing at the bridge may be a problem. Expensive but I'm sure it's very, very nice!

    And like others have said: You will need two pickups for that sound. It's physically impossible to get that sound from one pickup.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
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