Weather Report Pickups for Active Fretless Fender

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lujon, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. Lujon


    May 29, 2020
    Hi there, I have a mim Fender Jazz body with Allparts ebony neck, and Audere active controls. It sounds really good right now with the stock pickups, but I’m wondering if it would sound even better with something higher quality.

    I’ll be honest that I do love Jaco’s sound, I love the work of many fretless players but his tone is what I’m after. I noticed Seymour Duncan offers a set of Weather Report pickups based on Jaco’s specs.

    What I don’t know is:
    1) if they would be appropriate to use with an active bass
    2) if they would really change the tone enough to be worth it
    3) if the supposed microphonics some describe would be an issue?

    Thanks for any info, and I’m very open to advice on other pickups suggestions.
  2. Lujon


    May 29, 2020
    Btw I know- tone’s in the fingers, and I’ll never be Jaco :laugh:
    Peter Torning likes this.
  3. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I didn't know that this pickup set was a thing or (if Sweetwater's ad-copy, excerpted below, is to be believed) that the pickups in Jaco's bass were custom jobs, wound (correction: designed) by Seymour Duncan:

    ...And the pickups in Jaco's infamous Bass of Doom? Custom-designed by Seymour Duncan himself. Several years ago, Seymour found his design notes on the Jaco pickups and went to work, perfecting and refining. The Custom Shop Weather Report Jazz Bass Pickup Set is a vintage Alnico 5 hot-wind design with pronounced harmonic overtones and extreme responsiveness to your playing technique. Whether you're plucking, raking, or executing pinch harmonics, you'll find the Weather Report Jazz Bass Pickup Set nails Jaco's signature punchy, fat growl to a tee...

    Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Weather Report Jazz Bass Pickup Set Features:
    Jazz Bass pickup set, middle and bridge position
    Works brilliantly in fretted as well as fretless basses
    Handcrafted in the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop
    Alnico 5 magnets
    Wax cloth hookup cable
    Vintage hot wind, no wax potting
    DC Resistance: 8.7K, 9.6K
    Black, no logo for authentic vintage look
    As to your questions, I'm afraid that I can't be of any direct assistance, but the following thoughts come to mind:

    Apart from having Jaco at the helm and the pickups he used, the strings, the amp, the wood, and the construction of the bass will influence the tone.

    As for using an active pre vs. running passive, depending on your preamp, you might not have a passive tone control -- a treble control won't roll off the highs or interact with the pickups in the same way and you won't have as much treble loss with most active circuits.

    That said, most passive pickups seem, in my limited experience, to work pretty well with or without a preamp. Is your Audere pre one of those that lets you dial in low, medium, or high impedance? You can approximate a passive circuit with that, if it does.

    While I'm thinking about the Audere stuff, he makes (or made) a hum-canceling thing to be used with single coils -- supposed not to compromise the tone the way split-coils can (and has to be wound differently for different pickups). Might be worth inquiring about with the maker.

    The pickups do sound intriguing. I'd be interested to hear them in a bass (and to hear your impressions if you do install them).
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021