Way too much hum with my PJ configuration

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Quasbo, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. Quasbo


    Jul 15, 2005
    I have a 1989 Fender Jazz Special, PJ configuration, all stock. It's fretless, with a Precision body, though it's labelled as a Jazz from the factory. I love the bass, but when I include the J pickup in the mix, I get a great deal of hum. I've taken it to two repair shops and they insist there's nothing wrong with the wiring, nor the pickups, nor the instrument itself. It's just the old 60-cycle hum, they say.

    Does anyone have any ideas for eliminating it, other than playing forever on only the P pickup setting? I play in a church choir where there's lots of quiet time, so even the least hum can't be tolerated. I thought of replacing the J pickup with a Fender Noiseless. Any ideas, suggestions, rants, raves? Thanks much.
  2. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    You could always switch out the stock J p/u for a Nordstrand NJ4SE - it's a humcancelling p/u with internals similar to what a P p/u is like.

    If you chose to replace it with another p/u and want to eliminate the 60Hz hum, be sure to get something other than a single coil type p/u.

  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I've had high end basses with the same ol 60 cycle hum. I've also been told it's normal. I can't and refuse to deal with it. I only buy basses now that don't have it. I think some people can just take it in stride, and some of us can't. Tried shielding, tried taking it to different pros and repair people. No 60 cycle hum for me, uh uhh, mmmm... no.
  4. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Unfortunately, it sounds like the jazz pickup in the bridge is just a standard single coil, which will invariable give you problems with noise and 60 cycle hum in a P/J combo. An easy and very effective way to eliminate that problem (and give you the flexability to use either or both pickups in any combo you choose) is to add a hum-canceling jazz pickup to the bridge position (either split or stacked coil). This way, both pickups will always be "hum-canceling" and you can solo each or use them in any combo without noise or 60 cycle hum...assuming that the pickups are quality pickups to begin with.

    I've worked with several TBers who have has similar problems and have outfitted them with a set of P/J pickups with a split-coil jazz in the bridge position. There are a number of very good pickups available that will resolve your problem for you. The key is to find a pickup or set of pickups that work for you tonally AND that features a bridge pickup that is hum-canceling. ;)
  5. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Could you list a couple P/J pickups with a split-coil jazz that we could use as a starting point.

  6. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Actually...the commercial user policy probably prohibits me from doing so, but Rodent had a pretty good idea a few posts above! ;) :D
  7. Quasbo


    Jul 15, 2005
    You're right -- I'm certain my J pickup is a single-coil. One guy above recommended the Nordstrand NJ4SE -- I've just done some reading online and it sounds pretty good -- I was thinking too about the Fender Noiseless J pickup -- do you know anything about it?

    Thanks to everyone for your advice!
  8. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Check your PMs for a bit more info on that pickup model and brand.
  9. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    The DiMarzio Model P/J set is humbucking.
    Sadowsky Humcancelling P/J set.
    Fender Noiseless P/J set.
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    bartolini make a p/j set also
    the aforementioned nordstrand npj4se p/j set
  11. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    the best quiet vintage Fender J tone I've got so far is out of an SD classic stack - significantly more appealing to me than their Antiquity II's. There's a review in Dimento's J experiment.