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suggestions please??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by KwanzaaLizard, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. I'm thinking about putting a J-Retro in my MIM with the Fender Noiseless Pickups. I wanna know advantages, how much will it change the sound, is it worth it? I'm lookin' for more versatility and to put some life into it
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    too many unaccountable variables to say. Personally I would change the pups first and see what it does since 1) they cost less than the retro 2) that may be all the change you need and 3) you won't know what difference the pups made and what difference the retro made if you change both at the same time.

    I assume you've found the Fender noiseless/retro combination appealing in some bass to be looking in that direction. Regardless of the printed description, I personally didn't find the Fender Noiseless pups to be "lively." They had a blantant presence to the tone but it was more a problem in terms of finger transfer when trebled up at all and not what I would call lively. They were versatile in the sense they worked to P and J toned tunes.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I found the original Fender Noiseless J pickups to be extremely, ho-hum. Really not extraordinary in any way.

    If quiet is a big deal to you, the Bill Lawrence J45 is a great pickup. Very round full, very clear. You do have to play with the tone cap's though. No big thing but they need a bit more hi end cut that traditional J pickups. I went from the trad .047 mfd to a .1 mfd and they really improved. Like most any custom pickup there is usually a wait. My experience with Lawrence is that it has always been worth the wait.

    If quiet is less of a deal, then my currrent favorite J pickup is the Aero type 1. Truly marvelous. Mine were a pull from a Lakland Darryl Jones. Just great. Love 'em! Very punchy but with an otherwise vintage character. On the strength of those, I dropped a PJ set into my Rumblefish. and rumble it does!

    Now the J-Retro is a fine pre. Very powerful and flexible. If I were going to drop in a J Retro, I'd sign for the full-meal-deal and swap the pickups as well. Lawrences through the JR could be amazing.

    I have one active J. Bart 9J's in a MIA Deluxe. That combination works really well. The Bart's are not really punchy though. Kind a naturally compressed. Typical Bart sound. I find that on that bass, for the most part my EQ stay's close to flat, sometimes a little hi roll off. I use the blend control as a tone control more often than not. In a live environment, I pretty much set one basic tone and use slight variations thereof. I really don't want to go screwing up the mix with excessive bass that wasn't present during the sound check. So I get a little less use from the pre than I thought I might. Recording wise that bass does really well though and it is very quiet so in problematic rooms (noise-wise) that one get's the call frequently.

    To sum that up...

    1 - get a pickup that you really like.
    2 - Then think about the pre and how you'll use it's features.
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    the mention of caps is a good point. You can drastically alter tone by varying the cap sizes. They're cheap and easy to replace and would be worth experimentation with your existing pups before buying pups. You many not need to buy anything else. Never had MIM pups but I know Smash likes them.

    At any rate, having a variety of unused caps laying around would be a plus if you're going to be dinking with basses.
  5. what do you mean by caps? and yeah I like the sound of the noiseless, I'd just like more control over them. I haven't got a ton of money right now, so I dunno if I could do BOTH, but I'll look up the Lawrences...
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Caps - capacitors. By lowering the cap value you can brighten your tone (in your case) or increse the value and darken tone. Caps are a couple bucks a piece and you can pick up a mix of 5 or so for about $10.

    Even radio shack handles them. I bought a mixed pack when I was in their once but there are different ways of rating caps and the RS caps weren't in MFD (of course nobody there had a clue) and I haven't bothered to look up a cross reference chart and figure exactly what they are. There are such charts on the net.