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Upgrade pickups for Affinity 5-string Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jason weatherby, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    Just picked up a new Fender Affinity 5-string Jazz bass for $159 (Yeah!) for potential worship team use. The roundwound strings that came on it from Fender are just TERRIBLE and will be replaced ASAP with Fender 9050-5M flatwounds. Next likely step will be to upgrade the pickups. Anyone know if the stock Fender Affinity 5-string pups are the same pups as the MIM 5-string Jazz pups? Are "Guitar Jones" pups any good? Any suggestions on good or "best" pups to upgrade this bass? General thoughts?
  2. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    Fender changed its flatwound prodram some years ago?
    I still have the old Fender 090 flatwounds on my 4 string Squier Standard Jazzbass.
    I wanted to turn it into a Reggae - Motown machine ...

    I wouldn't change the PUs on my Squier Std. JB.
    The Squier PUs sound good to me - and at least the standards have 8 seperate magnets!

    So: First try the flatwounds and then think about changing the PUs ...
    What you should change is the jack of the bass. Buy a Switchcraft or Neutrik 1/4" jack. It has a much better quality ...
  3. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    Yes and Thanks! Will definitely try with the new flatwounds when they arrive prior to making any other change. I can tell already that I'm not going to be happy with the quality of the finish on the back of the Affinity neck, my '57 RI P being the reference point. Will have to re-finish it or get a better feeling neck. Suggestions or general thoughts on the Affinity neck roughness and solutions?
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Squier Affinity Jazz 5 has one of the nicest necks that I have ever played.

    I concur with Cadfael regarding the pickups. They are pretty darn good. You'd have to go with something like Nordstrand, Lollar, Bartolini etc which will be somewhat expensive to hear any real improvement and even then I wouldn't guarantee it.
  5. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    Hi Jason,

    from my two Squier basses (Standard JB 2005, VM Fretless 2008) I concur with jallenbass ...
    Wonderful necks!

    BUT ...
    You only have your bass for a very short time!
    The finish / feeling will change during the next weeks!!!
    In the early beginning it is a bit "sandy" / "wooden". In two or three weeks it should be / feel like a waxed neck! A wonderfull silk mat / semi gloss feeling!

    The neck of my 28 y.o. Rockinger Telecaster (comparable to Warmoth in the USA) has the same feeling. So, give both of you a bit of time! You will regret "doing something" too early!

    I would only change three things ...
    1) strings
    2) jack
    3) security locks
  6. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    I bought Fender MIA 2013 Jazz pick ups, harness, the lot for $129 on ebay and it fitted my Affinity 5 perfectly.

    Wonderful bass with the best neck I have found on a 5 at any price.
  7. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    YES as Cadfeal said: "sandy" / "wooden" that is EXACTLY how I would describe the feel of the back of the neck. So, yes, will give it some time to break-in. My comparo to the ~$1,500 '57 RI neck is a tough comparo Vs a $159 bass, granted. And Aussie Player, that is also an upgrade that looks very interesting to me, but, I am going to take the advice here and get to know this new bass some, once I get real strings on it before doing anything else. If if sounds good and plays well we'll leave it well enough alone.
    I do think a Maple neck would look awesome.......!
  8. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    I work in a company which sells scanning electron microscopes ...
    I had the chance to study some bass strings in the SEM (after cleaning them in ultra sonic bath). Even after this bath the strings looked impressive. Skin, salt +++

    Your fingers will do the fine polishing to the neck and act like finest sand paper!
    After the work is done, you will have a great neck! Don't try it with sand paper!!! Give it some time. I heard many times that the Squier necks have no gloss at all. They have! Otherwise the maple would become grey and ugly. But the finish is really like a waxed natural feeling.
  9. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    Appears to me my example has no gloss at all. Will give it some time. THANKS!
  10. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    You are not alone with this statement! ;)

    Yes; give it sone time!
    I have a bass with non-glossed neck - and there you can see how grey and ugly a non glossed neck looks after some time. Your Affininty will feel the same after some time - but it won't look the same as there is gloss on the neck.

    The only care your neck needs is some oil for the rosewood from time to time.
  11. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    I have an Affinity Jazz 5 string as well. I personally like the stock pickups way better than Fender stock pups. If I were to change mine I'd probably put Dimarzio Ultra Jazz pups in it. I use Dogal flats and I put a Hipshot bridge on mine and it's sweet! I take it on tour to Europe and other places where I'm concerned with theft.
  12. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    New strings have shipped ! Waiting for Godot.....
  13. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    My affinity 5 was a beast with Duncan singles and 500k pots
  14. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    Got the Fender SS Flatwounds installed last night and much happier now. Getting used to the neck too. Like it more the more I play it!
  15. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    No the pickups in a Mexican Fender are different than Fender Squire. You can use ultra-fine steel wool on the back of the neck and get instant gratification. DON'T get the steel wool near the pickups, better to tape over the pickups until this project is complete.

    The Squire platlform is the same spec as Fender American, Mexican, therefore many different pickup changes are open and available to you.

    Instantly your Squire will sound like a $1500 instrument by making this change. Seymour Duncan, Nordstrand Fender and Aguilar or EMG J5 will fit and sound great in that bass.

    Change the input jack as thats a substandard part in your bass.

    Experiment and have fun.
  16. Billy K

    Billy K

    Nov 5, 2009
    North Bay Marin
    I used 350 600 1300 wet dry on the neck and I learned this on TB a brown paper bag.It has enough grit as say 2000 grit.Well it is free and what the heck so I tried it and damn there is something to it.My neck is glassie. It is maple I wonder if a finnish will stick now that the pours are so tight or closed
  17. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    You could also use "Never Dull" which is used for motorbike and car chrome polishing ...
    But your fingers will do this job in a short time! And afterwards you know that it was not done artificial but by your own fingers - and you have the "extra polishing" where you always play. Will not look like a road worn - but you know it was you ...
  18. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    With Fender flatwounds on it I am REALLY liking this bass now! My teenage son that plays drums and guitar finally picked it up last night and gave it a try..... He thinks is it WAYCOOL ! Says I should "PLAY THIS ONE DAD!" in my classic rock band in place of my '57 RI, not just for worship music...

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