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Zone bass pickup swap?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JAL, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. JAL


    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Hey pup experts. Own a mexi zone bass (4 string), and want to try something different. It buzzes like crazy and the tone just doesnt measure up to the acoustic sound. What would you guys recomend to replace the J and P?
  2. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    What kind of buzz, electronic noise or fret buzz? If it's the former, your electronics/wiring/cable might be faulty; if the latter, it probably just needs a good setup.

    Also, what kind of tone are you looking for that's different from the stock tone? That will give folks a base point for recommendations.

    You might find it better to change out the preamp than the pickups, because IMO that's frequently the main weakness in inexpensive and mid-priced active basses. Do the math: good aftermarket pres start at about 40% of the cost of that bass!

    Considering that, I was mightily impressed with the MIM Zone when I played one a few months ago.
  3. Not The Norm

    Not The Norm

    Jun 27, 2005
    Oddly enough, I have the same bass and just finished up (except for adding another battery) last night. I put in EMG PJ's. The problem with them is that they require 25K pots, and your bass now has 250K pots. The sound with the stock pre-amp sucked. So, I used one of the 25K pots that came with the pickups, and got a 25K blend pot, and another 25K mini pot from guitarelectronics.com. I took all of the existing pre-amp out - I never like the way it sounded, and didn't want any boost - I just used it to turn down the treble anyway. So I have master volume, blend, one tone control, and 2 dummy knobs still sitting there.

    I played it through my practice amp (Behringer 600) last night and it sounded killer. I did have to move the J pickup a bit closer to the strings to balance the volume between the P and the J pickups. My main rig is at my guitar players house. Can't wait to hear that.

    So, if you go with EMG's you will need to do something about the pre-amp. Or go with another brand (which I've never tried). Or replace all the pots like I did.
  4. JAL


    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    It setup prettymuch perfect; so its electronic noise. Maybe poorly shielded? For a made in mexi, the quality of its been outstanding, so maybe the slipped up OUT of sight? ;-)
    Im looking for a dark, punchy, powerful tone out of the P, and a crisp, midrangy J. Right now, the J is waayyy to zingy and lacks any tone (even set up right by my tech), and the P is muddy and just doesnt sound like a P pickup should.
  5. I used to have the MIM Zone bass. The buzz I had was related to the Bridge pickup only. Try Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups.
  6. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    For that tone, I'd recommend a Lindy Fralin P/J combination, which includes a linear humbucking J. It's expensive though.

    I just received a Seymour Duncan Hot for P-bass, which supposedly provides a "warm, fat, and punchy" tone and might be good for you along with a Hot Stack J.
  7. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I just replaced the stock P pickup on my Zone with a Nordstrand NP4 and it sounds amazing. I'll replace the J pickup with a Nordstrand when I get a little money, but I mostly use just the P pickup anyway. It sounds very vintage P, a major improvement over the stock pickup, which was ok but didn't have any real character. I would definately recommend one for your Zone if you are still looking for that tone.

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