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Souping up a MIM Jazz Deluxe V

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by PaulYeah, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. PaulYeah


    Mar 1, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    I've got a late model MIM Fender Jazz Deluxe 5-string. I'm thinking about upgrading it with DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups, an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp and a Badass Bridge. I would like your educated opinions on whether this instrument is worth upgrading, or whether I should just save up for a higher-end instrument. I only spent $600 on the bass on ebay, but I'm thinking with a professional setup and these upgrades, I can be really happy with it.


  2. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    If the neck is straight and the body is resonant, that's all you need to worry about.
    A lot of people buy Mexican Fenders and customize them.
  3. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    I don't believe the UltraJazz pickups will fit the Fender without modification.

    The noiseless Fender pickups are fine pickups IIRC.
    Doesn't the MIM Active Dleuxe have the same electronics package as the MIA basses?

    I wouldn't bother upgrading a MIM Jazz 5 deluxe due to resale value. You likely will lose money on re-sale like it is, upgrading probably wouldn't net you more than what you've already paid. Sorry for the news.

    It's not to say that you don't have a fine bass, but if you ever sell, and most of us eventually do.....

  4. PaulYeah


    Mar 1, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    I honestly hadn't thought much about the resale value. I suppose the bottom line is that I'd better be willing to stick with this instrument for a long time. If I ever do get my dream bass (probably a Warwick Thumb 5), this Jazz could make a pretty good backup instrument, I think. And if I do get any local studio gigs, it probably doesn't hurt to have a Fender bass either way.

    I googled and found a thread that suggests the MIA instruments have better pickups and electronics than the MIM. A few people in the thread recommend upgrading the pickups and bridge. I may never see a return on this investment, but that's ok.

  5. PaulYeah


    Mar 1, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    I also read that the MIM Jazz takes two neck pickups as replacements since both of the original pickups are the same size?
  6. Only the current line of MIM Deluxe have the same pickups as the MIAs. If i'm not wrong your MIM pickups are those with just a single pole piece per string. Right?
  7. PaulYeah


    Mar 1, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    That is correct. These have one pole piece per string.

  8. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    WOO HOO! Someone who actually plays his bass instead of collecting it. Way to go.:)
    Mod away.:bassist:
    I'd start with strings 1st. Unless you're going to make the changes all at once. I'm giving a set of DR black beauties the ol' college try. (even though I'm long out of college):)
    Then try the other things, and don't forget to shield everything.
  9. PaulYeah


    Mar 1, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    I've read a few threads where people suggest that the modification to install the Ultra Jazz bridge pickup is pretty simple, only filing a millimeter at the most from either end of the pickup slot in the body, so I'll go ahead and get the standard bridge/neck set, since I'm having a professional install all the goodies!

  10. PaulYeah


    Mar 1, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    Well after reading all of the responses in this thread as well as all of the reading I've done on TalkBass, I've got my Ultra Jazz 5's, Aggie OBP-3 and Bad Ass V on order! :hyper: I've decided to hire professional help and I realized I don't know how to find somebody I can trust that won't charge me an arm and a leg. I found a local shop called Dallas Guitar Repair. Their prices were a little higher than I expected, but I really have no basis for what any of this should cost. On the other hand, the guy has an amazing client list, which makes me think he's got a great reputation.

    Anyway, here's the complete list of everything I want done:

    Install pickups
    Install pre-amp
    Install bridge
    Shielding of pickup and electronics cavities
    Star grounding
    Set up of instrument

    What should I expect to pay to have all of this done? What are some tips for negotiating what this will cost? Should I ask for a discount since I'm getting so much work done?

    Thanks for all of the help, I never would have attempted anything like this without you guys and gals!

  11. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Here's the interesting thing. With the deluxes, it starts in the MIA. That's electronics and pickups. THen, when there is a revision, the old stuff goes to the MIM's. I used to have the single pole piece pickups in my MIA (from 97), then when the noiseless came along, the MIM's got them. Now, the MIM's have noiseless, and the MIA's have a little different permutation of the Noiselss series. Personall, I would mod away. A bass is made for playing. The MIM's are not known for resal value anyways. I upgraded my MIA (pickups only). I have DiMarzios in it, and they sound fantabulous with the original preamp. This is MY bass, and I don't want to part with it. So I upgraded it and molded it into that bass for me.
  12. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I have one of those with the fender noiseless pickups in it. I like the bass a lot but found the tone a little bland. Also I never used the midrange control--I found that if i wanted a mid-cut sound it was better to boost bass and treble, and if I wanted mid boost cutting bass and treble worked better.

    Bought a set of Bartolini 57CBJDs and an aguilar OPB-2. The barts I just did not like--they had a harsh yet character-less sound, hard to describe. They stayed in for one gig and were out the next day. I put the fender noiseless back in and they sound great through the aggie preamp--much more "alive" and varied. The OPB-2 is very well voiced--the treble cut is great. The bass boost is EXTREMELY powerful and a little goes a very long way. I have the passive switch and it'ss very hard to ehar a difference begtween the preamp set flat and the preamp bypassed

    My conclusion is that the "problem" with the MIM deluxe--at least the version I had--was the fender preamp. It seemed to be loading the pickups and compressing them in a way that made them bland. It was ok, just not interesting. Getting that preamp out of the chain really opened up the sound.