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Squier VM 77 Jazz wiring - changing pots rather than pups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by don21480, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. don21480


    Mar 17, 2006
    Love my VM '77 Jazz from a looks, weight and playability perspective but the pups are harsh for me. Too boomy sometimes and too bright sometimes for my taste - I was going to replace the pups and thought maybe changing the pots from the stock 500k to 250k would warm things us a bit - any reason not to use 250k pots with Squier pickups? Will it help?
  2. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    Change the pots! It will bring less brightness.
    There is no reason why 250ks should be wrong. A matter of taste - and 250ks are more common on JBs.

    If this ain't enough, what about the strings? Other brand? Halfrounds?
  3. don21480


    Mar 17, 2006
    the strings are great flatwounds and the pups are a little lower than spec so i'm gonna do the pots and see what happens!
  4. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Don, please share your findings ... I have contemplated the same a couple times, but just haven't gotten around to it ... my 250K pots are full size, so I would probably need to dremel a bit to get them in there ...
  5. don21480


    Mar 17, 2006
    OK - here is what happened today:

    purchased 250k pots and talked to my parts/fender authorized repair guy.
    he suggested I not reuse the cheap flat brown capacitor which was marked 2A503J (.05uF)
    and use a much larger tube shaped orange capacitor marked 473J (.047uF)

    I also purchased a set of Fender Vintage J Bass pickups part numbers 0020908000 for the bridge and 0020906000 for the neck @$79.98 for the pair, cloth wire, raised beveled pole pieces. I checked them with a meter and they were 6.2 neck and 6.9 bridge.

    Got home and decided to pull a fender wiring diagram for my bass - Squier VM '77 Jazz - to my surprise there was not one on the website. OK. Pulled one for a Squier VM 70's J Bass and one for a Fender RI Jazz bass for reference.

    Went to the work bench and pulled the control plate and son of a gun - the pots were 250k alpha pots and the pickups were cloth wire. The existing pups were flat top pole pieces that were noticeably larger than the new pickups. Desoldered them and checked them on the meter 8.1 neck and 8.9 bridge. Swapped out the cap and the pups but noticed something different in the wiring. The existing setup was that the cap was set to ground from the middle #2 lug and the wire from the jack and to the bridge volume pot were on the #3 lug. Both the Fender and the Squier wiring diagrams show the cap grounded to the 3d lug and the other 2 wires on the middle lug. I pulled a Seymour Duncan wiring diagram for a Jazz bass and it was shown the way mine was wired so I left it that way. I don't know enough about electronics to understand how that might affect tone.

    After she was wired back up I did a test run - wow - huge difference. The tone was warm and the neck pup had a vintage p bass like tone and the bridge pup had some growl and funk and the tone control really changed the tone. While the neck was full on or just before full on I felt like turning up the bridge pup was almost like a funk knob for the neck pickup tone. Both pups sound like I wanted on their own and together they add the dimension I was looking for. The boominess and aggressiveness of the stock pups was gone - I really like the tone now!