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The great disappearing Jazz pickups!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BAG, Oct 24, 2018.


  1. I had the first properly loud jam I've had in many years the other week so i took my main three basses. Despite the amp supplied in the jam room looking quite old and worn i was quickly able to get a great sound out of my Bill Lawrence P46 and flats equipped Franken P bass.

    After a couple of songs i plugged in my Ltd 8-string with soapbars pickups and active pre which absolutely roared.

    Then i tried my Fretless Jazz which has a Squier 70's jazz body and pickups. A couple of bars into the song and I could barely hear it. I gradually took the volume from 2 o'clock round to about 5 o'clock and it was still completely buried in the mix. I jacked up the gain a bit too and it was barely audible and i didn't want to take the chance of pushing the amp too far. Now, I'm sure with a bit of time i could eq the amp to get a decent tone but then it would require a complete change for the other two basses. Is there any pickups that could compete with the P and the Soapbars without having to radically change the settings or is this just what you have to deal with in a Jazz with single coils?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  2. RadioactiveGuy4

    RadioactiveGuy4 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    New Orleans
    When you used the jazz bass did you have both pickups on full Volume?
     
    Jewce likes this.
  3. I tried both at 100%, all bridge and all neck. It just disappeared.
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  4. RadioactiveGuy4

    RadioactiveGuy4 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    New Orleans
    When you have both Pickups at 100% that can actually cause the mids to drop out which is how you get buried in a mix. When that issue comes up try backing off one of the pickups. Usually that is enough to make you pop back in the mix.

    If that does not fix the problem then it might be time to look into some pickups but at least this is a free solution to try first.
     
    Jewce, Davbassdude, Winoman and 4 others like this.
  5. Let me be clearer as i can see how my previous reply could be misinterpreted....... i started with both pickups at 100%.... i then tried just the bridge at 100% and the neck at 0% and also tried the neck at 100% with the bridge at 0%. Still buried......
     
  6. RadioactiveGuy4

    RadioactiveGuy4 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    New Orleans
    That's what I through you had done. What I'm suggesting is that you try running one pickup at 100% and the other at 75% at the same time. Usually that helps make you sit better in the mix. Its not a for sure fix but its the easiest and cheapest thing to try before getting new pickups.

    I'm not saying that getting new pickups is wrong. Squier's are not known for having the greatest pickups ever but when talking about Jazz type pickups in general its known that having both picks at 100% can lead to a drop in the mids which can lead to getting lost in the mix. This is why I prefer a blend knob instead of dual volume controls as it makes it easier to get the sound I need to sit in the mix well. YMMV
     
  7. I run a seymour duncan quarter pounder in the neck position soloed, works for me. Although a precision bass is my goto bass these days.
     
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  8. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA
    You could go with the Wilde J45s if switching pickups is your idea of a good time.

    RadioactiveGuy4's advice is where I'd go first, however. Further, maybe moving the pickups closer to the strings might be an interesting experiment.
     
  9. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Another thing you could try is getting an EQ pedal or external preamp and bumping the mids a bit. It makes a huge difference.
     
  10. do you use the active/passive input/switch?
    Its 10db of difference
     
  11. fjbass78

    fjbass78

    Jun 21, 2007
    Indiana
    Do you remember what the amp was? You mentioned that you had to turn up the gain. I need to turn up my gain with my Jbass too, but once i set it properly, the volume knob is the same as my P bass.
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  12. I’ll second what RG4 said. Try the bridge at full and start rolling the neck pup off until you get more definition.
     
  13. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource

    Dec 28, 2012
    OP should know these guys are pretty well mid scooped. In a live mix they can be dark sounding though I have heard the area J's are closer to expectations for a jazz bass.
     
  14. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    It's almost impossible to suggest a "fix" without hearing the instruments and the mix involved, how you had adjusted your eq, etc. There's so many factors that could go into this and the primary solution involves using your ears, not (computer) keyboards.
     
    saabfender likes this.
  15. It's kind of a compromise if you want more output.
    Here's DiMarzio's own for the Ultra Jazz:
    upload_2018-10-25_16-55-29.

    Here's the one for Area J:
    upload_2018-10-25_16-56-19.

    The output of the Area J is considerably less.

    The Ultra-Jazz sound like Precision pickups, because they are split-coil design.

    Something else you could do, to avoid changing pickups, is:

    Wire the pickups in series!
    Contrary to popular belief, you can have independent volumes with series wiring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    Flooflox and SirMjac28 like this.
  16. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  17. While the difference in tone would be pretty obvious, I've never heard of a Jazz 'disappearing' in a mix where a PBass happily thumping along... Are you sure is the pickups and not other electronics? (Pots, wiring, jack making poor contact, even a bad instrument cord)??

    Just my $0.02

    Diego
     
  18. Hounddog409

    Hounddog409

    Oct 27, 2015
    ohio
    Those stock PU are pretty weak.

    I never have a problem with my Jazz equipped with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pickups.
    No comparison with the stock fenders.
     
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  19. I think it's because it's a Squier, the electronics are pretty sad on those.

    This is another good point, and worth investigation

    Yeah, my # 1 is a Ri jazz, for 30 years now, disappear it does not. And for over ten years it's worn flats (TIs).

    Yeah
     
    diegom likes this.

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