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What year did the J-bass bridge pickup move?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pickles, Apr 26, 2006.


  1. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    From "60's" position to "70s"?

    Man my new Sadowsky UV70 is sweet. 70's, baby.
     
  2. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ironically, I THINK it was actually '69, but I'd like to hear an authoritative answer from someone who knows for sure. :)

    Also, I believe the current positioning is somewhere between the "60's" and "70's" position, and I'd like to know when that happened. My guess is early 80's.
     
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Interesting! I figured it couldn't have been '70 on the nose.
     
  4. tkozal

    tkozal

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    I just read this in the Fender Bass Book last night, they even had a neat graphic comparing the positions, but the book is at home, I'm not, and my brain is shot. It has been discussed here, maybe on a thread about 75 Jazz RI. MIA is right, MIJ is the old like 62 position, IIRC.
     
  5. Wow, I didn't know this was the case - 3 different positions used on the same instrument.

    If anything, this should be a good example of why fretting(!) over pup placement is a waste of time. If Fender has found that any of 3 positions - with small differences - is suitable for the instrument, then builders like myself don't need to split hairs in arguing one place is better than the others. Sounds like all three work well and I bet "in-between" locations would do the same.
     
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    They all work, but they all sound different.... hence the 'fretting':)
     
  7. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1!!

    I got rid of a '62 reissue mainly because I just could not get it to growl like one with 70's pickup placement... even with different pickups. I totally disagree that pickup placement doesn't matter. If that's perceived as the message here, I think that's a misinterpretation of what's being said. IMHO.
     
  8. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    The Fender Bass book, p59: "Also unique to the early '70's, the bridge pickup was located closer to the bridge...the wider spacing introduced in about 1970 or 1971...In 1982 the narrow location (i.e., the original spacing) returned to the vintage reissues." It appears that the natural finish '75 reissue JB has the pickup in the "closer to the bridge" position.
     
  9. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    This is very interesting. I thought the new placement was different, not simply a return to the original. Oh well. :)
     
  10. Gyoon

    Gyoon

    Nov 12, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    I know this is an old post, but . . . Can someone actually measure their early 60's style jazz bass and quote the measurement in inches? I'm thinking about adding a bridge pickup to my Warmoth P-bass with a Gotoh vintage style bridge. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that the size of the bridge plate matches the vintage Fender-style bridge.

    Also, is it just me or do Sadowsky basses always seem like the bridge pickup is way far forward? He must be doing something right, though . . .

    If any Sadowsky users would care to measure the pickup placement, that would be of much help to me. I'm pretty sure that Sadowskys are fitted with the exact same bridge as the one I have on my instrument.
     
  11. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well, my two oldest Jazz Basses measure from pickup poles to pickup poles; one is 3.6" the other is 4.0" (yes inches).

    For the rest of the thread, 1970 was the target year for the wider 4.0" spacing.
    My very late (Nov?) '69 Jazz has a 4.0" spacing, which is so far one of two of the earliest wide spacings I've seen.
     
  12. i prefer the 70's spacing because the bridge pickup doesn't interfere with my plucking hand as much and lowering the pickup weakens its output... i know it's a marginal difference, but it's huge for me. it's all about the feel and the differences in tone are less important to me.
     
  13. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Ah, but they all sound different! I like it with the bridge pickup as close to the bridge as possible for a really "tight" sound. My Hohner's bridge humbucker is ridiculously close to the bridge and gets an amazing tone when ran solo.
     
  14. no, i just couldn't think of a good name when i created my talkbass profile...
     
  15. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Hey Joshua ... just read that other thread. The USA cruises have the bridge pickup in the exact '60s J-bass position, but the neck pickup is pulled back toward the bridge about 1/2" inch. I think its part of why I like them so much, less boom more punch, almost a little more like a PJ.
     
  16. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Theres always a chance I'm wrong on that ... but unless they also moved the neck pickup in the '70s ... I measured by holding it up to other J-basses (sadowsky and geddy) fingerboard to fingerboard.
     
  17. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    This is a good way to eyeball it to see if it's generally '70s or '60s (and current) placement. However, if someone needs a number (say a Luthier looking to "match" it), the best way to actually measure it is from the fingerboard side of the nut to the center of the pole pieces.

    What I found most interesting in my research on this a while back is that, except for the Geddy signature model, the Japanese reissues (such as the MIJ/CIJ '75 reissues) do NOT use the correct placement, so they don't growl properly for a '70s J. Good for folks that want those block inlays but a more classic tone, bad for folks really wanting a faithful '70s style J.
     
  18. joshua,

    thanks for the pic of rollie fingers complete with his iconic handlebar moustache - could be a bass player...
     
  19. Soma666

    Soma666

    Aug 27, 2006
    ok guys, i measured mthe placement on my two jazz basses and came up with an interesting fact. on my MIM 2005 jazz, the neck pickups is further away fromt he bridge as teh neck pickup on my CIJ 75 re-issue... only by a like 2 centimetres or something small like that, but the bridge pickups are in hte same spots in relation to the bridge
     
  20. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    As I recall, the neck pickup is the same on both, but the bridge pickup is like 1/2" closer to the bridge, right?
     

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