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peteb

Jazz Bass pickups

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I have a Fender MIJ (passive) jazz bass, which plays nicely and looks great but has rather underpowered pickups. I am thinking of having a bit of search on eBay for some secondhand pickups to beef it up a bit. This won’t be a bass that I gig a lot, so I don’t want to spend too much (maybe somewhere between £50 and £100) and I’m in no great rush, so I can wait to see what comes up. For reference, I like the sound of Bartolinis but I’m not too keen on Quarterpounders, nor am I too bothered about an ultra-authentic vintage sound.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I should be looking out for??

 

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Ive never heard of Bartolini Quarter pounders. I guess you mean Seymore Duncans.  Just go for the Bartolini Original Jazz pickups. They won't dissapoint. I have them in my Sei Jazz and they smoke many others like Nordstrand etc imo.. Just make sure the size is correct for each cavity. 

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1 minute ago, bubinga5 said:

Ive never heard of Bartolini Quarter pounders. I guess you mean Seymore Duncans.  Just go for the Bartolini Original Jazz pickups. They won't dissapoint. I have them in my Sei Jazz and they smoke many others like Nordstrand etc imo.. Just make sure the size is correct for each cavity. 

Yes, obviously I meant Seymour Duncan Quarterpounders. I know what Bartolinis sound like (I have them in a couple of other basses) but I'm looking for a few alternative choices that may hopefully come up for a bargain on eBay! 

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36 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

Aguilar 60s model.

sound brilliant. And come up used on eBay occasionally too.

I put a set of Aguilar 70s and a Kiogon loom in a Squire VM70s Jazz and was really pleased with result.

If I was looking to mod anything else I'd certainly look at Aguilar first.

Edited by Cato

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I've just put a set of Bartolini B-Axis p/ups into my Sandberg Cali TT and am very much enjoying the results.

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MIJ Jazz Basses are worth spending a bit of money on. Seek out a secondhand pair of the best pickups you can get, and you’ll probably end up playing it more than you think. I put a pair of Nordstrands and a J-Retro into my medium-scale Jazz, and it is such a killer banger now. 

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Buy a secondhand John East J-Retro and forget about the pickups. Let the J-Retro pre amp do all the work.

Just slot the loaded control plate into your bass. No soldering. All connected up in 15 mins.

Trust me, your bass will sound epic.

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5 minutes ago, gjones said:

Buy a secondhand John East J-Retro and forget about the pickups. Let the J-Retro pre amp do all the work.

Just slot the loaded control plate into your bass. No soldering. All connected up in 15 mins.

Trust me, your bass will sound epic.

That’s interesting gjones, do you just connect the pups to the pre amp 

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10 minutes ago, gjones said:

Buy a secondhand John East J-Retro and forget about the pickups. Let the J-Retro pre amp do all the work.

Just slot the loaded control plate into your bass. No soldering. All connected up in 15 mins.

Trust me, your bass will sound epic.

I used to have one in a jazz bass I owned before! To be honest I found it a bit too much - you have to be very careful with the eq, especially the bass control. I handed it to someone once at a jam session (an excellent pro player) and he wanted a bit more bass so he turned up the bass control on the guitar. He nearly blew the speakers out of the cab...! I prefer the something like the Tri-Logic Bass Preamp like I have in my Xotic jazz, which I find a bit more musical / easier to use. 

I'm going to keep the MIJ bass passive and just get some hotter pickups. I don't really want to spend too much on it as it is only gonna be my jam session / travel / really rough venues bass...! 

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Check out the DiMarzio model J PUPs. Split coils, so humbucking,  passive, punchy with a great range of tones. I've found them to be a great all round upgrade. 

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10 hours ago, therealting said:

Alternatively, get a Sadowsky preamp DI, which will also make all your other basses sound amazing too. 

The MXR is cheaper, smaller, and has a mid control.

 

The bass & treble controls are the same freq as the Sadowsky

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27 minutes ago, SurroundedByManatees said:

I've used tone rider pickups in a 75 jazz, which sounded great. Those are pretty cheap new (around 50 for a set).

Sounds interesting. What's their output like?? 

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I haven't compared them with other j sets, but I would say moderate output. I remember them as being full and musical sounding in my bass. I do not have the bass anymore. 

I still have a set of unused tone rider pickups though. They'll make a great upgrade for a future purchase ;). 

 

Edited by SurroundedByManatees
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I’ve always been a DiMarzio fan for any pickup, they always sound great and their customer support is outstanding. However, my more recent basses have Delanos fitted and Reinhard at Delano goes above and beyond any service I’ve received from any other company. I’m using HE M2s in both my JJ and MM style basses as I love how clear and articulate they sound, but they take overdrive really well. Other styles are available of course.

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16 hours ago, gjones said:

Buy a secondhand John East J-Retro and forget about the pickups. Let the J-Retro pre amp do all the work.

Just slot the loaded control plate into your bass. No soldering. All connected up in 15 mins.

Trust me, your bass will sound epic.

Putting in a great preamp with bad pickups is the wrong way around for me. The pickups are the first contact for a good sound. A good preamp will compliment the good pickups.

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Try alan dingwall guitars on facebook.he recently rewound the neck pickup on my 75 jazz and its excellent.his attention to detail is superb

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If you want power, get a set of Alan Entwistle JBXN. Very punchy, supremely articulate and at around £42, not ludicrously expensive. I love mine.

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11 hours ago, fretmeister said:

The MXR is cheaper, smaller, and has a mid control.

 

The bass & treble controls are the same freq as the Sadowsky

Interesting, which MXR is that? The frequencies are just one part of the equation. I actually don’t use my Sadowsky DI much any more since getting a Noble, which supposedly has very similar frequency points but sounds and feels very different. 

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22 hours ago, peteb said:

I used to have one in a jazz bass I owned before! To be honest I found it a bit too much - you have to be very careful with the eq, especially the bass control. I handed it to someone once at a jam session (an excellent pro player) and he wanted a bit more bass so he turned up the bass control on the guitar. He nearly blew the speakers out of the cab...! I prefer the something like the Tri-Logic Bass Preamp like I have in my Xotic jazz, which I find a bit more musical / easier to use. 

I'm going to keep the MIJ bass passive and just get some hotter pickups. I don't really want to spend too much on it as it is only gonna be my jam session / travel / really rough venues bass...! 

The J-Retro takes a bit of getting used to. The mistake most people make is running the bass at the halfway detent - on the J-Retro, the bass is boost only, so flat is actually with the bass rolled all the way off. 

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