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Where to put a mudbucker in a Jazz bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Lurker, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    For some time now I've been toying with the idea of putting a mudbucker in a jazz bass. Yes, I am in my right mind. Some of this is because of Mel Shacher, yeah, but a guy I used to know had one and it worked pretty well and he used it for everything from reggae to punk.

    I have a cheap but decent Jazz body and scarfed an Artec EBO-style pickup off Ebay last year, and I would put a Pbass neck on.

    Main concerns are:

    1) where to set the pickup? There seem to be two general locations-- up by the end of the neck, like Billy Sheehan, Jeff Ament, and Dough Rauch, and replacing the neck J-pickup, like Shacher and Berry Oakley with the Hagstrom pickup in the Tractor bass. Either one is going to have its good and bad points.




    2) what other adjustments should I plan for? E.g. how much should I worry about string spacing over the pole pieces? I'm not picky about string spacing, so if I get a Schaller roller bridge I could probably fix a lot at the bridge end, but the neck end might be trickier.

    3) What do you think about making the mudbucker work with a jazz pickup? The jazz is probably going to be overwhelmed, signal-wise, but are there any snags I should look out for with the different impedance ratings and so on? Should I keep the standard v/v/t controls or go for something else?

    I know there's a couple of people on TB who have done this, so I'm curious to see what you think.
  2. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    I am a twit.... I just followed a link and realized I posted almost the same thing five years ago.......I never got around to building the thing then. :help:
  3. vxjoe


    Sep 22, 2013
    Decide whose the you like best. That will help decide placement. You may want to change the vol pot for the mudbucker. My favorite tone came from Grand Funk red album. Check YouTube for the magic.
  4. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    What fantastic timing. Here's a thread from last week with a great pic of the ideal placement for me :)


    I'd say put it up by the neck. You still get your classic J tones but you've got the mudbucker on standby as and when required for an additional range of sounds. If you ever change your mind just stick a new scratchplate on there and nobody's the wiser.

    The next question is how to wire it in. The easiest route (excuse the pun) would be V-V-V-T and move the output jack to the side. This is how I set it up when I did the same thing about twenty years ago. However, I'm currently building a bass with J-P-J configuration and what I've decided to do with this one is run the neck J and the P into a three-way mini switch first. I'm using all EMGs with a EMG BTS preamp, so I'll run the output of the mini switch into the preamp blend pot, which I'll be able to blend to taste with the bridge J. It'll be vol-blend-bass-treble with the output jack around the side. If you stay passive and run the neck J and the mudbucker into a three way switch you could keep the traditional V-V-T or even vol-blend-tone and keep your routing for the switch under the scratchplate too without having to move your output jack.

    Whichever way you choose, it's a great mod to do, very usable :D
  5. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    By the neck should get you the best mud.

    At least so says a guy with an EB-3 copy with a mudbucker copy in the neck position.
  6. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    I have an EB-3 clone myself (an old lawsuit Aria) and am down with the mud...but for this I think i'm hoping to get more towards Shacher's "Fender with serious indigestion" sound...
  7. jbednarski

    jbednarski Supporting Member

    May 31, 2010
    Chicago area
    Berry's tone was far from mud because of the Hagstrom pickup. Between that and the Gibson they are two very different sounds.
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.