Upgrading my Fender Jazz MIM

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by CultParadox, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. Hey everyone

    I am considering making some modifications to my '95/'96 Fender Jazz MIM. I play both rock and jazz, using only my fingers and slap. I love the Jazz sound.

    I would love to know what everyone thinks about my idea. Any opinions or suggestions would be very much appreciated. Here's what I'm thinking of getting:

    Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Pickups: would these yield a nice slap tone?

    Gotoh 201 Bridge: is it worthwhile replacing the bridge?

    Schaller BML Tuners: is it worthwile replacing the tuners? Would I have to modify the headstock?

    Fender Curved Nickel Nut

    Since I live in remote South Africa, I would like to order everything in one shipment from Warmoth.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    I upgraded my first bass, a mid nineties MIM Jazz.
    I happened to use a set of Bartolini Dual Coil Passives and a BadA** II Bridge.
    The Barts made a huge difference, but I think due to the quality difference of the pickups. I can't comment on your choice, but almost any serious pickup would be better than the mid nineties stock ones. I think the stock variety have gotten a little better since, but not much.
    The new bridge added a lot more weight and only a little more sustain. In the end, I did not think it was worth it, and put the stock bridge back and sold the BadA** bridge.
    I think I found that except for the pickup improvement, I would leave the stock components alone unless they are broken or wearing.
    Good luck.
  3. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    If you are going to use traditional J pickups with a mid nineties MIM, you will have to do a little routing of the bridge pickup cavity. In the mid nineties, they use the same size (neck) pickup for both neck and bridge. The standard Jazz bridge pickup is a little longer than the neck pickup.
    I did this with a dremel tool. Not that hard. But it was something I was not expecting until I got all the parts together.
    I don't know if you would find really good quality pickups made to fit the old MIM fender bass configuration. I think they have changed the sizing of the new MIMs.
  4. Thanks for all the advice!

    All right, so it looks like a pickup upgrade would be the way to go for me. Off I go to Pickups...
  5. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Hey there, my 2000 MIM fretted jazz, and 2002 MIM fretless jazz have two of the mods you are thinking about; Gotoh 201 bridges, and BML tuners.

    The fretted jazz got a new bridge, because the old one turned green! It did function well though. But I thought hey, for 23 bucks, what the heck? The tuners were pretty decent, but again, the BML's were cheap enough, so I said why not?
    My choice of pickups for this bass were DiMarzio Ultrajazz. Since you do slap, you may want to consider those.

    The fretless was a little different. The tuners were so sloppy, I had no choice but to change them. As for the bridge-I didn't have that bass for one week, before the A saddle just dropped all the way down on gigs. The Fender dealer wouldn't do anything about it. They claimed that was just the way is was, so put crazy glue on it. Why should I crazy glue a brand new bass? So again, I got the Gotoh 201. No problems.
    My choice of pickups here were DiMarzio Model J's. I'm not so sure you would like them for slapping, but then again, maybe you would. You know, if you are thinking about Antiquity II P/U's, you may want to look into a Nordstrand set. I have a Nordie P/J set, and I love it!

    As for hardware though, I have a 1999 MIM Pbass Deluxe. While those tuners are not the greatest, they do seem better than those on many later model MIM Fenders I've played, so I probably won't change them. It seems that after the year 2000, the hardware seemed to really get cheap IMHO. Simce you have a 1995, you probably won't need to make those changes, inless you really want to. :hyper:
  6. Great stuff!

    Ok, I'm sold on the DiMarzio Ultrajazzes. I just checked my dimensions and it does indeed look like I should get two neck pickups.

    I'm thinking of getting them from BestBassGear.com now. Does anyone have any idea what I can expect shipping-wise? The postal service here is DISGUSTING, so I think UPS is the way to go. Thoughts?
  7. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Do what I do and simply pop the cover off of the dimarzio and put the coils in the MIM covers. The length of the coils are the same, it the covers that are different. If the pole pieces are off a bit or a little too small simply file or drill them out.


  8. bino

    bino Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    My next upgrade will be better hands.