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upgrade on MIM fender jazz ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by number three, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. number three

    number three

    Aug 29, 2002
    Looking for advice/tips. Thinking of putting new pickups on MIM fender jazz. I am attempting to make the hiss/hum noise go away. I use a sansamp bass driver for my pre amp and I understand that these will amplify any noise you already have. Certinly true in my case. Its not creating noise, I can hear the same thing without it just not as loud. I'm wondering if this is the right solution (new pickups).

    sympton 1 - buzz increases if your not touching the strings

    symptom 2 - buzz increases or decreases depending which direction your facing and the angle you stand relative to the floor. I can almost get it totaly quiet if I'm bent halfway over facing east on a full moon. This makes recording very interesting.

    I figure just getting new PU's is the way to go BUT

    I also hear that most on most jazz basses the neck and bridge positions are different sizes and the same size on the MIM's. Mine are both 3 5/8" wide.
    I was leaning toward the dimarzio ultra jazz. Are these different sizes? If so am I looking at having to break out a router or something? Can someone put, say, two neck PU's in if there the right size? Or is this a no-no. Whatever's the quietest and doesn't break my wallet.
    Thanks for any advice.
  2. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    I put DiMarzio Ultra Jazz into my MIM jazz bass and didn't need a router. A chisel is fine, or you can even use a knife. I used a file. I only had to file off about a milimeter from each side for the bridge pickup to fit in. That reduced all the hum when I was playing the bass. As soon as I took my hands off the strings it got noisy again. To eliminate that you have to shield the control cavity. I used copper tape I got from Warmoth. I shielded the control cavity and the pickup holes as well. Now, with the shielding and the hum canceling pickups my bass is totally quiet, whether I'm touching the strings or not.
  3. 1964


    Mar 26, 2002
    Too Close To Hell
    Bill Lawrence J-45's, and Bill offers a set for pre-2001 MIM Std sizing too.
  4. number three

    number three

    Aug 29, 2002
    I got an email the other day from dimarzio. He said one could use two neck positions. It wouldn't effect hum canceling or anything.
  5. 1964


    Mar 26, 2002
    Too Close To Hell
    ...One could, but that's not optimal from a pickup balance/blend/output perspective. IMO, there's no point paying out relatively large amounts of money to end up with a second rate outcome.
  6. I just loaded DiMarzio DP123's (Model J's) in my MIM Jazz Bass tonight. I was lucky enough not to need a router -- but the bridge pickup was a VERY tight fit. Still able to adjust the height, though. I was lucky.

    I like the sound a lot better, as well. No hum -- the bass is completely silent when not being played. But I shielded the cavity completely, and star-grounded the whole shebang. I had done that with the standard pups, but they hummed anyway. No more. Tone is finally there. It growls, it finally has some bottom, and the tone control is finally meaningful. A major improvement. Not as big an improvement as the Duncan Quarter Pounder made in my MIM P-Bass, but surely worth the effort and modest expense. Another eBay find -- thanks, lurkerx!
  7. The 2001 and newer MIM Jazz basses now use standard sized pickup routing. The after market pickups will drop right in without modification of the wood.

    Interesting point from DiMarzio. I would have thought that the bridge and neck would be wound as North-going / South-going. Evidently not, if they are interchangeable. DiMarzio gets the hum cancelling by using bi-lateral coils on each pickup, and evidently not from the combination of two pickups reverse wound.

    I have a set of Model J to install on my MIM J (2001) fretless... I just need to light a fire under my butt and get it done. I'm looking forward to these as a replacement for the MIM stock pickups. I also have a J-Retro that is going in at the same time.
  8. JeremyBender


    Oct 22, 2001
    Just to help light that fire, I also put a J-Retro in my 2001 MIM fretless, and it's just amazing. Too difficult for me to describe how awesome the sound is. Plus the tonal range is seemlingly endless. I used Bassline SJB-2 pickups, but I know stock pickups benefit from a J-Retro as well. You are going to love the end result.
  9. I went to my practice space today for rehearsal, and tried the Model J's in the little Hartke B60. They were too strong for the passive input; the distortion was awful, but they sounded good -- not great -- in the active input. My G-K 400RB has much better front-end headroom, and sounded spectacular with these pickups.

    Just another example, I suppose, of how all this stuff reacts as a system. I guess I need the occasional reminder of that. Also, please note: I did NOT have that problem with the Quarter Pounder in my P-Bass. The passive input in the Hartke handled that just fine, and sounded worlds better.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Dimarzio Ultra Jazz are killer pickups. Deep lows, and crisp highs. Like said above, you don't need to modify the bass to put them in. They are really great sounding.
  11. number three

    number three

    Aug 29, 2002
    What do people think about the difference from dimarzio ultra jazz to the 123's. I usually play between really overdriven to clean and heavy. Either one of these more versitile than the other? ( I have fretts now but am leaning more and more to going back to fretless at some point in the near future.) Or might there be something else out there for about a hundred bucks?

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