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Which Jazz pickup sounds most like a precision pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by HEADLE, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. I have done search after search trying to answer this question and can't to save my life. I am going to replace the pickups in my SX jazz and I want the neck to sound like a p-bass and I'm going to route the bridge area for a Stingray style pup and install active electronics. So which single Jazz style will produce the most authentic Precision sound?

  2. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Short version: None.

    Slightly longer version: Go to the Pickups FAQ and take a look at all the J-pup reviews. You might get something that kinda leans toward a P-pup sound, but it will never be close.

    Different version: If you want a P-sound, buy a P-bass.
  3. basadam


    Nov 29, 2005
    You won't get the same sound but a humbucking J pup will be closer (as opposed to a single-coil). Almost any reputable brand makes humbucking J pups.
  4. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Check out the Dimarzio model J's. I am no authority, but I like them. Search this forum for Dimarzio and you'll find some more info.
  5. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    The Model J's made my Carvin sound a little more like a P, but then I got a P, and that was the end of that!

    So the P got a Quarter Pound, and now it sounds more like a P than a P.
  6. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    I fail to see how that's possible.
  7. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    As long as you are routing the bass, rout for a P pickup. Jazz style pickups have tall skinny coils, while the P bass has short wide coils. This gives it a totally different tone. Fatter and hollow sounding.

    You can make a J pickup thick and bassy, but that's not really what a P bass sounds like.

    Also the P pickup is a humbucker that sounds like a single coil.
  8. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I know it is impossible but I have made the same switch in my late 70s P. It, to me, sounds better than any P I've played, including my original 62 that I bought new.

    I also had a DiMarzio P pickup in it for a while. It was a bit too thin and harsh to my ears.

    This is personal opinion, of course, but I'm satisfied.
  9. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    Fender Vintage Noiseless wired in series with some TI Jazz Flats come close when played near the neck. As stated before, no jazz pickup will sound just like a P. A P is all about placement of the 2 pickups on the body in realation to the bridge and the neck and wired in series.
  10. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    Aero makes a pickup the say is like a P in a J shape.

    But as others have pointed out the P PUP, wiring, and placement from bridge is different and you will never be able to truly duplicate the sound with a J PUP.
  11. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I feel a slit coil will work very well, sure it may not be exact but it's good enough for me.

    Listen to these clips. Go to http://www.celinder.com/ and click references > soundroom. All the clips with a 3 at the end are neck pickups on a J but I'm not sure what kind. See if that's close enough for you.

    I have a pair of Barden slit coil prototypes and the neck soloed sounds very much like a P.
  12. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Well it's wired in series, but that's not what makes a P sound like a P. Nor is it the placement. You can put a J pickup in the P location and it won't sound like a P. You can also put a P pickup in the Jazz bridge location, and they sound very different. You don't get that percussive burp from the P in the bridge position. It's rounder and smoother sounding. The P has two coils, but it's not two pickups. Two pickups such as you would find on a Jazz bass both pickup the same strings, so they alter the tone of one another. The two P units never pickup the same strings. if you make a big single coil shaped like a P (such as some old Guild basses had) it would still sound like a P pickup... only not hum canceling.

    The Precision pickup has a very shallow coil, and is wider than the Jazz pickup. Also the length of the coil is obviously shorter. This is what makes the P sound like a P. There's also a different amount of wire wound on each pickup, and having two smaller coils, as opposed to one larger coil changes the tone as well.

    Another example is the difference in tone between a Strat pickup and a Jazzmaster. You can see the obvious difference in the shape and size of the pickups. The Strat has tall skinny coils, and the Jazzmaster has short squat coils. The Jazzmaster pickups are very similar to P bass pickups, and get that fatter hollow tone.

    So the bottom line is it's the shape of the pickup that makes the sound.

    Wiring two J pickups in series only gives them more bottom and less top... but that's not really what a P bass sounds like... that's just one sound you can get from a P bass with the tone turned down. Listen to John Wetton on any of the King Crimson albums he played on (such as the 1973 "Larks' Tongues In Aspic," "Red" from '73, and "Starless And Bible Black" from '74)... that's what a P bass sounds like!

    In the 60's and 70's (and even 80's) not many people played Jazz Basses... most of the recordings you hear are P basses, and they don't all have that thick dub tone. The Jazz bass craze just started recently. Personally I'm sick of hearing Jazz Basses and SVT's... no one has an original sound any more! :rollno:
  13. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    It's deeper, and louder, but sounds like a P. That's how.

    DavidRavenMoon, thank you for the explanation.
  14. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm sick of Jazz basses myself, particularly when the bridge pickup is soloed. Really been done to death. I find it annoying when the bass sticks out in front all the time like a solo instrument. It's distracting. That's my personal opinion. Many others don't agree with me.

    Of course, you could say the P sound has been done to death also. But to me it's much more musical and a warmer, friendlier sound (usually) You can eq any pickup to sound bad.
  15. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Mandatory Disclaimer - There is no P but P.
    However, DiMarzio Model J in neck position soloed on my Jazz gives all P meat I would imagine to get from any J bass I had in hand.
  16. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004

    I think I said it will come close is the key here. Other things involved as mentioned above will get you CLOSE.

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