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Why is it so difficult to buy a set of jazz pickups that are the same size?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jamestown94west, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. I have what appears to be the great white buffalo of jazz basses. Both pickups are the same size. I have dimarzio dp123's in it right now, and they're both middle pickups because the bridge pickup didn't fit.
    I also own two warwicks, which both have jazz pickups, and on both basses, both pickups are the same size.

    I'm irked because just from looking around on the web, it appears I'll have to buy two pickups individually, which costs more.

    I know the Warwick has to be at least somewhat common.

    Does anyone offer a set of jazz pickups in matching sizes?
  2. BassGuyFL

    BassGuyFL Formerly known as RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    Sounds like you have an older model MIM jazz I have one too. I know that Bartolini makes a set specifically for those basses they are a bit pricy though it's called the 9J1 S/SB set.
    I believe EMG makes some as well but I'm not positive.
  3. You need to find a set meant for MiM Jazzes. I can't remember off-hand if that's neck or bridge sized, however.

    Jazz pickups are different in length and pole piece spacing because of the tapered neck on a Jazz bass.
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Feel your pain, brother! My Spector NS2J has two short pickups, it's impossible to buy a set of 2 short pickups.

    I ended up with DiMarzio Ultra Jazz which cost about the same individually as they do in a set.
  5. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    The primary reason people swapped those same sized pickups out was because they were the same polarity, in other words, they didn't humcancel. This was standard on MIM J's before 2002.

    I can speak from personal experience on this. Install a regular set of after market pickups. All you have to do is chisel out about 2mm of wood from both sides of the cavity. Get a sharp, narrow wood chisel, the kind with a handle, that fits the width of the cavity. You'll be essentially scraping the ends of the cavity. This isn't "hammer and chisel." It's very easy. And not a special order.
  6. allanhearn


    Apr 22, 2004
    Have your bass routed to fit the larger pickups.
  7. The spacing of the mounting nubs is usually different, so a full rerouting is required.
  8. +1

    The pickup route on my bass wasn't right by a long shot. Much easier to throw two middle pickups in it and roll with it.

    I'm actually looking for pickups for my warwick thumb 5, not my jazz. I have considered putting matching pickups in my jazz for aesthetic reasons (one dimarzio is cream the other black), but they sound so good, and the mismatched look gives it character.

    I just mentioned my jazz bass first because it was the first bass I ever ran into this problem with. Then, lately, as I've been watching the classifieds for some new jazz pickups, I keep running into fellow tb'ers who aren't familiar with the same size jazz pickup phenomenon.

    I see all these great jazz pickups for sale in the classifieds, and it drives me nuts because out of all three basses hanging on my wall, none of those pickups I'm looking at will fit.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    You could always talk to one of the thousand custom pickup winders. They could make what you want in the blink of an eye. Even the big guys have Custom Shops. It never hurts to ask.
  10. Right. This is how most people get pickups if they don't have a bass with routes for the standard pickup housings. Custom pickups are better than mass produced pickups, anyway, because you can get what you want. (Assuming the winder is skilled.) The price difference is not significant, either, in many cases.
  11. The price difference between a good deal in the tb classifieds, and a boutique or custom shop special order is going to be quite significant though. That's where I'm at. I think I'm just going to keep waiting until I can do something like this though. I really like the Joe Bardens, but I keep thinking that having some custom Lollars, or Fralins, would be pretty sweet. I've spoke with Curtis Novak a couple times too, I've already thought about contacting him again about this.

    Thanks for all the help guys! I had no idea this jazz was an old mim. Its a parts build, and I was told it was an fender mij from a reissue of some sort.

    If anyone sees this and has some pickups for sale that'll fit my Warwick thumb, shoot me a pm!
  12. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Bartolini sells a pair of matched, same-size jazz pickups.

  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    on a jazz, the pickups are supposed to be different sizes so that the magnets will line up with the strings.

    rather than hunting for oddball pickups to match the oddball routing, i'd just mod the jazz bass to take normal pickups and be done with it.

    (a 'wick is a different matter, it would be worth custom-ordering to fit it.)
  14. I don't have alignment issues with the pickups on my bass. I did have issues with string balance when I first put the dimarzios in, but the individually adjustable pole pieces and some extra foam nipped that in the bud.

    I'm looking into that set of Barts right now!
  15. What do you think of the ultra jazz? I've thought about trying them, after being so impressed with the model j.
  16. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Not true! I make 2 short and 2 long sets, and I'm sure other pickup makers would make them too. All you have to do is ask. EMG also makes an MJ Set where they are the same size.

    The reason it's not common is that most Jazz basses use a long and short pickups.

    My '97 Ibanez 5 string uses two long pickups.
  17. dave2


    Feb 10, 2007
    Is your Warwick a Thumb 5 string? Thumb 5er's have two J style pickups that are bridge size. I bought 2 active EMG L-J pickups to replace my MEC pickups but I never did the project. If these EMGs will fit your bass I might sell them to you. PM me if interested.

  18. I just put a set of Bartolini pickups in my MIM bass and I love them! Much more balanced response from low to high. I'm glad I discovered the pickup size since not all pickup sets fit them. I got them from Best Bass Gear during their sale for a great price and I'm very happy with them! If you get a set, make sure that they specify that they're the same size and meant for the MIM J basses.
  19. You have a pm!
  20. DSkellington


    Feb 25, 2020
    I approached epic custom shop and it just turned into a hassle. So I haven't bothered, but the hum is driving me bats.

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