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Swaping bridge pickup to MM-style on Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Tony G, Jan 24, 2006.


  1. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    I have a work in progress customized 70's reissue jazz bass (the japan model from the mid 90's I think). I have swapped out the pickups to bartolini's and had a cavity routed in the back for a bartolini 5-band active eq and battery cavity. I am pretty happy with it right now, but I am thinking of taking it one step further and replacing the bridge pickup with a bartolini MM style pickup. I know lakland does this with great success, but I'm wondering if it will be successful on my bass. First, will it fit with the pickguard still on it? Also, is there an special wiring for this PU that would be different then just wiring the J-PU that I have, or would it be a direct electrical swap?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    anybody?
     
  3. BassJunkie730

    BassJunkie730

    Feb 3, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Sadly the pickup slightly obstructs the part of the pickguard that is near the contorl plate - so you will have to take a little chunk out of your guard to use it.

    The MM pickup is a simple wiring feat, just decide if you want the pickup's coils in series (wire accordingly) - parallel(wire accordingly) or both (in which case you'll need a Pot with a DPDT switch on the back - a push-pull pot). the Bart pickups should come with wiring diagrams. If not - guitarelectronics.com has a pretty comprehensive wiring guide.

    Hope that helps.

    ~M
     
  4. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Yup, that helps. Thanks!
     
  5. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Has anyone done this before? I am really interested in doing this...

    This is the bass that I'm thinking of doing it to:

    [​IMG]

    If I decide to go ahead and do this, should I place the MM pickup using the the centerpoint of the existing pickup as the centerpoint for the MM pickup, or should I line the Bottom of the MM pickup iwith the bottom of the existing pickup?
     
  6. klocwerk

    klocwerk

    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    Bottom -> bottom will give you a location closer to the usual MM p'up location, aka. the sweet spot. You won't quite hit it, but you'll be closer.
     
  7. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY

    I'm kind of going for more of a Lakland style setup, having the single coil bartolini still in the neck position, but having the MM style bartolini in the bridge position. Do you still recommend the positioning you mentioned even with this info?
     
  8. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    XG,

    Keeping your question in a single thread is better than multiple identical questions in multiple forum groups. You may wish to clean up one of your threads ....

    All the best,

    R

    p.s. I'll repost my reply from the Luthier forum here so you can clean that one away ...
     
  9. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    You mean something like this?

    [​IMG]

    On mine, I have the MM p/u roughly in the traditional location - centered about 13-3/4" from the 12th fret ... the common placement of a J bridge p/u is roughly 14-5/8" from the 12th fret.

    For the upgrade to utilize the existing hole, route the larger cavity by utilizing the tangents between the rear two p/u mounting tabs to form your rear p/u edge so that all of the removed wood will be towards the neck. In doing this, you'll provide a clean outline for the new p/u, be within 1/16" of the traditional MM route location, and have one of the coils in roughly the traditional J location.

    Then when wiring it up with a series/single/parallel switch, utilize the bridge coil for your single coil option - this way you'll maintain that J p/u sound when running just the one coil.

    All the best,

    R
     
  10. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Thanks Rodent. I appreciate all the help. Is it necessary to wire it with the series/single/parallel switch, or can I just wire it solid in series or parallel? What are the benefits of each?
     
  11. xbradx

    xbradx

    Oct 25, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    i did this with a fender marcus miller last year with great results. i used the jazz bridge pickup route for the bridge coil of the musicman pickup. with the '70's pickup spacing on the marcus, it put the MM pickup about a 1/4" or so closer to the bridge than the traditional "sweetspot", so it didn't sound great solo, but with the MM switched to series(i had a series/single/parallel switch for the MM) along with the neck pickup it sounded great. but i'd recommend either a fender noiseless neck pu, or something similar like a duncan stacked jazz or similar jazz-sized humbucker to reduce noise. if you're bridge pickup has the "normal" modern spacing(ie. farther from the bridge) it should put the MM pickup very close to the "sweetspot", but as mentioned before, you'll have to take out a small chunk of the pickguard at the bottom, neck-side corner of the pickup to fit, but since you're routing the bass anyway, a tiny chunk of pickguard isn't a big deal.
    i was thinking about doing this again with my SX '75c since it worked so well with my marcus, but i admit i got a bit overzealous when the j/mm setup worked so well, that i decided to go for a full-on musicman sabre mod and the neck pu routing didn't work out so well so i had to toss the body:crying: . this time i may hold off and just pick up a warmoth j/mm body to slap my marcus neck onto:bassist:
     
  12. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Thanks for the info xbradx!!!
     
  13. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    xbradx, do you have any pics of that bass? I would be interested to see it.
     
  14. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    yes, I would very much like to see that bass too.
     
  15. xbradx

    xbradx

    Oct 25, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    [​IMG]

    unfortunately, this is the only decent pic i've got of that bass with that pickup setup, only one where i'm facing the crowd anyway. that's taken from a show at the Emerson in Indy the night their shoddy wiring fried my first Kustom Groovebass:crying: :mad:
    i had pic of the bass just on it's stand i took immediately after performing the router surgery, but it looks like it got deleted somehow.
     
  16. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    You might also consider a Kent Armstrong MM style.

    [​IMG]

    set up with a 3 way this pickup is a tone monster. jmho
     
  17. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    I have decided to go ahead and do this. However, I'm not sure how to wire it up. I think I want to go with the three position switch but I have no idea what to do. With the jazz bass pickup, there is only two wires and isn't a problem to hook up, but I have no idea about the bartolini musicman style pu.
     
  18. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Any ideas on wiring this thing?
     
  19. xbradx

    xbradx

    Oct 25, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    wire it up series/single/parallel with a 3-way switch. don't know about the barts, but on the marcus, i had to reverse the b/w wires on the neck pickup to keep the pickups in phase when used together. you might have to experiment a bit with both the neck pickup and the toggle for the MM if you go for the series/single/parallel to decide which coil you want to use for the single coil mode. honestly, since the MM pickup was out of the sweetspot, i pretty much just left the switch set for series along with the neck pickup for the darker sound it gave me.
     
  20. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666