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Which pickups for 70's era maple Jazz?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cgworkman, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    I'm looking to upgrade to some active pickups on my 70's era, maple neck/fretboard Jazz bass. Anyone have any suggestions on which brand to consider? EMG, Sadowsky, Barts, SD's, etc? I was considering EMG's J set...

    I want to stick close to the "vinatge" sound - but at the same time I want to add to the instruments definition - i.e. more polished/modern, etc.

    :help: :help: :help: :help:

    Thanks in advance,
  2. I hear the Nordstrand J pickups are amazing, and Aero, Lindy Fralin, and Seymour Duncan Antiquities are other pickups that sound vintage. I'd bet they all add something to the vintage sound, and Smash reviewed many of these in his pickup showdown. Look for it in this forum for an idea.
  3. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Anyone ever use EMG's in their Jazz?

    When I think of EMG I don't think of a "Jazz" sound - but maybe I'm missing something...
  4. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    EMGs are not vintage at all.

    If you want vintage, I highly recommend Lindy Fralin. I can't think of a more vintage sounding pickup that is manufactured today.
  5. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    But what do you think EMG's would do for a Jazz?
  6. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Have you ever heard a bass with EMGs? EMGs are about as modern sounding as they get. You'll get a very clean sound.
  7. pjleo


    May 27, 2003
    del valley
    i have emg pick ups on a 74 jazz bass maple neck/fret board, ash body.
    installed aprox 1985.
    have always been happy with the sound.
    records very well direct into board.
    last year i tryed aero pick ups in this bass.
    liked them also, had a little more bottom.
    the emgs do seem to lack a little on the e string on that jazz bass.
    i have not been playing this bass lately due to the weight.
    mostly playing 72 p bass with emgs which i am also very happy with.
    good luck
  8. Generally, the consensus is that EMGs are hi-fi and modern sounding. They don't have some of the warmth the more vintagey pickups have, and instead have a bright, clean sound. However, it may not apply to all models of EMGs and I've heard great sounds come out of them.
  9. BassGuyNL


    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    I own a custom made jazz with maple neck, EMG jazz pickups (no polepieces) and an EMG pre-amp. It definitely sounds modern, but it also definitely sounds like a jazz! I can get the Jaco sound with the bridge PU singled but with a little bass boost from the pre-amp it just sounds so much fuller. I can also get the Marcus sound with both PUs on. Another great advantage: zero noise!

    When I play my Fender Marcus Miller Sig after playing the jazz with EMG's, it takes some time to start to like the noisy, more passive (even with preamp dialed in slightly) sound of the MM.

    I've also heard good results with EMG pickups through a Sadowsky outboard pre-amp.
  10. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Have you looked at the huge J-thread which is stickied here at the top of the forum?
  11. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    As people said,make it modern sounding. In the right bass, they sound great. In a naturally bright bass, IMO EMG J's make them unbearably bright . And I'm someone who loves articulate sounds.

    If you're dead set on EMG's, maybe try the EMG JV's? They have pole pieces and also don't have the same high end boost that the EMG J's have - so it sounds closer to vintage sound. But I still wouldn't say it's a vintage sound.
  12. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    You may want to look into Dimarzio UltraJazzes. I replaced the stock single-coils in my '71 Jazz (alder/maple) with these and really like 'em. No more single-coil hum when solo'ing pickups.