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Very Bright MIM Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MagicMan_841, Mar 25, 2009.


  1. Hey everyone,

    I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the electronics section... Guess it would go in both, eh.

    Right, so I have this MIM Jazz Bass that I really like -- low action, good feel. My main bass is a MM Sterling, and the MIM feels just as good.

    But it sounds like cr*p. It's very, very bright. Like always on some sort of slap mode (it sounds awesome when I slap...) The pickups even pick the sound of the straplocks rocking in their housings! Pickups are stock, custom electronics by me V/B/T : with all 250K pots and full shielding and a 0.047 uF cap on the tone pot. It's strung with Hybrid Slinkys. It has a ****** eBay bridge on... might be part of the problem.

    Is it the normal sound for a Jazz, and I've gotten used to my Sterling? :bassist:
     
  2. olistorck

    olistorck

    Sep 16, 2007
    oviedo,spain
    Sterling has a lot more mids. Swap the Jazz pickups for Fralins or Nordstrands and you´ll never look back.
     
  3. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Play the Jazz without an amp. Is it too bright and twangy there? If so, the parts of the sound you don't like are inherent in the woods and the hardware, especially the neck, the bridge, and the body in that order. A cheap fix is to try other strings. It's possible that new pickups will help, but my experience tells me otherwise if the natural acoustic sound is too bright.

    But if it sounds fine unamplified (that means that it has a good balance across the sonic spectrum and there aren't annoying frequencies jarring your ears), then try different PUPs, different settings on the amp, etc.

    jte
     
  4. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Try a set of GHS Boomers.

    If its the BdAssII bridge (filter caught that I guess), usually people comment that it makes the sound darker and that the stock Fender bridge has more mids so it doesn't sound like that
    should be the problem.

    JTE's unamplified sound check gets a +1.
     
  5. Thanks for the help guys;

    I play it without an amp all the time, it sounds right to me. The amp I run it into is a B2-RE head running with 2 ampeg 4x10s. Maybe my amp settings are to blame, but I can get a decent sound out of it with the Sterling.

    I'll try new strings, and try to find a decent bridge and maybe a set of pups from the classified. Nordstrands look like awesome pups, but at 200+$ a set new, I'd rather save up for another higher-end bass.

    and if all that fails, I'll just accept that I have what I have is a bass that feels good but sounds bad and sell it to a kid starting out :p
     
  6. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    My MIJ Geddy has Seymour Duncan Antiquity II pups, they
    retail for about 65 bucks each and sound great. That is my
    main squeeze right now. Consider those. I have another GL
    with Fralin Split coils that cost twice as much and I am hard
    pressed to hear an improvement.
     
  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    When you use a blend pot rather than 2 volumes, the pickup loading changes and it gets more trebly. When you want a darker sound on a stock passive Jazz, you set the two volumes at about 75-80% and the sound is darker. This is regardless of the setting of the tone control. That's the only reason I haven't changed my controls to V/B/T and left them stock.
     
  8. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Hmm, so the loading of the additional pot INCREASES the highs instead of attenuating them? That's weird as I've not heard that on my own basses with V/B/T. It's been a long time since I had it set up with passive controls, but it seems counter-intuitive.

    jte
     
  9. idoru

    idoru

    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    A quick note: the pinging noises you get from the straplocks can often be fixed by stuffing some foam in the pickup cavities. I had to do this for my Warwick Thumb, so it's not just a thing cheap instruments do :)

    c-
     
  10. Thanks dude. I'll try that.

    --

    As for the pots, this bass was previously wired with a series/parrallel switch and 2 250K pots (volume/tone), and it had the same treble problem. Is it any worst now? Couldn't really tell you.
     
  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    It's not the pot loading the circuit. It's that the two pickups load each other when wired for VVT. Doesn't work the same way with a blend control (VBT).
     
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Sorry, but that's wrong. Look at the schematic for the blend pot if it's done right. It's exactly the same as having two volume controls.

    3284625829_ba5bc22451. The only thing is a V/B/T adds an additional volume pot into the mix.

    jte
     
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    So where do you set the blend pot to get the equivalent loading of 75% of each pickup simultaneously? That's a different load condition than 75% of one pot and 25% of the other, and therein lies the problem.
     
  14. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Ah, I hadn't considered that. See, I'd I'd just turn the master volume down to 75% with the blend pot centered. And there's the difference in the loading. But, practically, it doesn't really apply. I've never found any pots that are precise enough to be able to turn two pots down and get exactly 75% on both of them.

    jte
     
  15. I used the diagram on Seymour Duncan's webpage to wire the bass.

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/images/support/schematics/jazz_bass_blend.jpg

    I played amplified yesterday and tried lowering the volume on the bass (and increasing on the amp) with some results. If I'm careful enough when plucking I can get decent sounds out of it... I guess the Jazz bass isn't a bass you can go all out on like the Sterling which I can pluck as hard as I want and still sounds good.
     
  16. A Jazz is different, not better or worse than your MM, just different.
    The two single coil pups like a different approach, that's all. Listen to Rush to see that 'going all out' is definitely on the menu.
    And it is very common to run them with the volumes reduced to about 70-80% of max, with the tone pot reduced to about 50% as well. This helps fatten up the sound, usually a lot.
    I was an active HH bass guy forever. Took some time to get what I heard others get from a Jazz, but worth the effort. I'll never go back, there's a lot of tone in a Jazz.
     
  17. I'd change the EQ on the amp...................................

    :bag:
     
  18. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Yah. it's a moot point really. Just that a lot of Jazz players recognise that sweet spot when both Volumes are at about 75% (rotation-wise, not perceived volume). However, you can't get that same sweet spot with a blend control.

    But, each to his own taste. I put back VVT after trying blend for a while. Of course it's different with an active bass.
     
  19. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, being a 30+ year Precsion and StingRay player, I find that using two volume controls to be a PIA on stage. That's why every 2-PUP bass I've had has wound up with a blend pot. Maybe if the volume controls were arranged phsyically like they are on a Gibson guitar (e.g. an ES-335 or a Les Paul) where you can grab both knobs with the side of your little finger and roll them both at the same time it might work for me- but I use a volume pedal most of the time when playing those bass-like instruments with those six skinny strings....

    jte
     
  20. IME the closer the pickups are to the strings the more treble is enhanced. As a quick fix I would try lowering the pickups(though this will also lower the overall output and require higher amp volume). I also replace the caps with .087 to .1 inorder to allow more treble roll-off. Both of these mods might help Magicman. I also would suggest replacing the ceramic stock pickups with alnico V pickups if the other mods don't do the trick.
     

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