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What's the latest on noiseless Jazz Bass pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gimmeagig, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Hi,
    A friend of mine made me pull out my 74 Jazz after only having played my Moon 5 string for about a year and a half.Now I'm all screwed up!
    I forgot how much I love the Jazz(it has the maple neck and a sadowski onboard preamp and of course a badass bridge and sounds exactly like Marcus Miller's Bass, which is the tone I like).Only thing is the pickups are single coils.The neck is original as far as I can tell and the bridge is a vintage style seymour I think.
    I stopped playing the bass because I used to pick up a lot of noise in some of the places I played.The soundman in the church where i played really did not like it.I usually had to stand in a direction that I did not like to be in just to get it quiet. I did all the shielding possible to the bass yet no real difference.
    My Moon JB5 has the DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups on it.They were the best quiet pickups at the time I bought the bass.It sounds really good but the Jazz sounds just a little bit better.Maybe I should change the pickups in the Moon?I do want to start playing the Jazz again.
    My question:If I want to keep the 74 Jazz sounding as it is but without the noise, what would be my best choice of pickup? I'm somewhat hesitant to mess with the 74 I don't want to ruin the tonal character but I heard there are new pickups on the market that are quiet like my ultras but even better sounding.Is that true?What's the latest on humcancelling Jazz Bass pickups?
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Roxy, check your PM's!
  4. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Lawrence J-45's are very quiet and retain their single-coil'ness. You would have to mess with the tone cap a bit to get just what you're looking for I suspect. Bill Lawrence pretty much recommends that for any of his pickups you start with one cap and try a number of different values before setling in on the one you'll keeep. Interesting process. I wanted a little more top end roll-off as I like a warm more or less vintage sort of tone. So out came the stock .047 and in went a .1mfb voila - smoother highs. Still nice and clear just a little more restrained and a better range of treble available at the tone pot.
  5. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Try Lindy Fralin Split Jazz, which are linear humbuckers, but preserve almost all the vintage single coil tone. Supposedly the highs are rolled off a little compared to his true single coils, but compared to the stock Fenders there's little if any difference. And there's zero hum. I've been very happy with them.
  6. I think the JB sound great with that limmited noise and that is why they still make the bass today with that noise. I have the 78 JB and the noise doesn't bother my gigs at all.
    I saw people chaging the pups, adding the pre stuff like that but they still not too happy with the result.
  7. Marcus is still playing with single coils after all these years there must be a reason but he also does not have anybody get in his face about his noise because he is Marcus Miller.I used to play in a church where my 74 Jazz with singlecoils would have been perfect but I just could not get it quiet and the soundguy was really happy when I stopped bringing it in.
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Shielding should help - I know you said you've tried this, but it might be worth you having a look at the Jazz shielding tutorial in this forum to see if you get any more ideas. Most people seem to say that if you shield correctly even SC Jazz pickups can be pretty quiet.

    If you do decide to change pickups, Carey Nordstrand has some excellent hum cancelling models for Jazz. I have NJ4SEs in one bass and they sound great, but perhaps not ideal for the traditional J tone, a bit too "modern". Carey also makes the NJ4SV which are hum-cancelling and said to be very close in tone to his NJ4 single coil pickups. Haven't tried these yet myself, planning on doing so soon when I get a bass to put them in (that will make it my fourth Jazz... oh dear....).

    Any UK TBers got a Geddy in good nick they want to part with?
  9. I'll give Carey at Nordstrand a call.Seems interesting.
  10. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I just became a dealer for Nordstrand and will have both noiseless jazz models and his single coils in hand very shortly. I should be able to do a good comparison between them and some other good single coils as well other noiselesss models such as the Duncan Stacks and DiMarzio Ultra's. They are supposed to sound pretty good though. I'll try to post something here when I get that done.
  11. Great, I can't wait to hear what you think.I have a set of Basslines passive stacks that I'm going to put into my Moon to see if that brings me closer to the sound of my 74 Jazz.The Ultras sound good on the higher notes but in the low range I seem to lose a lot of the overtones that make the Jazz so interesting sounding.Almost lik e the low mids are so strong that they mask all the complexities tah a Jazz should have in the lower range.
  12. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Yeah, I know what you mean. The Ultra's have a nice warm full tone to my ears but seem a bit sterile maybe? I'm really not sure what causes that ...

    Which Stacks do you have, Classic or Hot's? I like the "Hot's" pretty well as they have some of that more agressive tone to them.
  13. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I've got a set of Marcus Miller pups and I've found them preferable for a vintage Fender tone - used to have two sets. I personally have preferred them over any similar pup I've checked out for that tone (Fender noiseless, Antiquities, Frailins, Ultras, whatever). The model J's I like equally well but a different tone. Almost invariably, anything that removes hum I've found takes noticeable quality tone with it. You just have to set your priorities with where you want to be.

    However, the outstanding compromise I've run across for the MM pups hands down is the SD classic stacks. They were so close to the Millers I kept that I thought they were closer than the second set of MM's - and that's close.
  14. I did not know there were Marcus Miller pickups.
    The basslines I've got are SJB-5 which are supposed to be a little bit lower output and are designed to work with preamps.I talked to someone at Seymour and he said they are like classic Jazz Bass pickups without the hum.I'll find out next week.
  15. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    oops, skimming again. I see it's not an MM but sounds like Miller.

    To my knowledge, the pups used in the MM basses are vintage Fenders. That's what I've been told and have no reason to think otherwise. The MM pups I've had, came out of MM basses and I've never had a set of titled Vintage Fenders for a comparison.

    At any rate, it's highly improbable Miller uses stock pups and I really wouldn't know Millers sound if I heard it. So you may want to scratch my previous post.
  16. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I looked it up in the Fender specs, this is correct ...
  17. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    You might also check out the Bartolini Classic Stacks. I have them in two basses at the moment and they have really proven themselves to be versatile. I am not a great slapper but if I can get a decent salp sound out of them on my ash-bodied Read J, then they have to be OK :smug: I also have them in a fretless J that used to have UJs in it, and the Barts are bigger and warmer sounding, without being "dull".
  18. Even though their products are good,I've been staying away from bartolini.They have the worst customer service.Ever tried to get someone on the phone at Bartolini?
  19. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I've had the same experience trying to call and get some info, but on the other hand, I've had no problems with Barts and can't imagine there ever being one, unless it was already bad at purchase time.
    Anyone else had problems with them?
  20. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    most people don't buy from Bart they buy from bestbassgear or whoever and they can probably answer any questions you have and are the ones to deal with regarding complaints.

    Barts, EMG's, and pretty much any of the epoxied pups are basically impervious and indestructable. You see Hi-A's on ebay all the time - and those were Barts before there were even called Barts. I never actually heard of a Bart or active EMG not working.

    But yeh, you call Bart and you've taken a low probability shot. I got through in 1 of about 3 attempts. Don't think I've ever had a call returned. No big deal. Don't think they've got an email. My kind of folks.