Jazz bass replacement pickups -- what's hot??

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by jjsurma, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. jjsurma

    jjsurma Member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I got a great deal on a MIM jazz bass with a Badass II and now I want to go full monty with an upgraded set of pickups and a new pickguard and maybe pots too. I was looking at this loaded guard with 62 Custom Shops (yes I'm a lefty)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/191187949999?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    Is this a good deal? Is there something else I should consider? I'm looking for versatility and low noise and would love a few suggestions.

    Thanks!

    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
  2. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Member

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    The nice thing about replacing everything is that you can assemble your replacement guts while still being able to play your bass with its old guts.

    If you're looking for versatility and low noise, you probably should stay away from single coil pickups. There are tons of hum cancelling J pickups on the market. There are three main types (listed in my order of preference):

    Split-coil or dual inline coils (same thing)
    [​IMG]

    Parallel coils
    [​IMG]

    Stacked coils
    [​IMG]

    The thing about stacks is that since you have two coils sensing the same spot on the strings, it affects the tone, and it sounds less like a single coil than the other two. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but someone going for that single coil sound probably isn't going to want them on their bass.


    There are other types of J pickup replacements, FYI. Pickups like this take different approaches to pickup design than the standard wound coil + magnet. I don't have any experience with them, so I can't comment on how they sound, but they're out there.
    [​IMG]
     
    Pantone 333 likes this.
  3. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Member

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    For the split coil pickups, you can get a set of Fender Super 55 pickups on ebay for under $100, or a set of DiMarzio Ultra-Jazz pickups for under $120. There are many other options from many different companies, but those are probably your most economical options.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And just for the hell of it, here's a picture of my bass with three Fender Super 55s on it.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. devnulljp

    devnulljp Member

    Messages:
    1,560
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    The CS60s are great vintage sounding Jazz pickups.
    Can't go wrong there really. I pu a set in a 90s MIJ Jazz and it rocks.

    Fralins are good, Lollars are good.
    Aguilar if you want the hum cancelling thing. (I put a set of those in a fretless Warmoth jazz build and they sound as good as anything else I've tried.)
     
  5. olejason

    olejason Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,312
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Fralin, Lollar, Aguilar are the big three right now. People have mostly turned away from Barts.

    For preamps the big ones are Pope and Aguilar with the new Darkglass pre getting a lot of hype as well.
     
  6. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    The Fortress of Solitude
    I strongly recommend split-coil hum-cancelling pickups, unless you're the sort of guy who always leaves both pickups on 10.

    I've heard good things about Fender Super 55's and Aguilars, but I haven't actually heard them. I have the Lindy Fralin Split Coil Jazz pickups, which are considerably more expensive. They're fantastic. Great classic Jazz tone without the hum.
     
  7. rummy

    rummy Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    I went with the Aguilar 70s set, and I love them in my Jazz.
     
  8. Jay Ralston

    Jay Ralston Member

    Messages:
    131
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2014
    Location:
    Sterling, CO.
    I personally really like Nordstrand pickups. Especially for the Jazz bass. They make some great stuff.
     
  9. Gotham City Blues

    Gotham City Blues Member

    Messages:
    4,124
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    +1

    I've got his NJ4SV split coils sets in both my fretted and fretless Jazz basses. I like the beefy soloed bridge pickup and the neck pickup gets me into P-bass territory.
     
  10. PCR

    PCR Member

    Messages:
    253
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Phillyburb
    Before you buy a set of pickups, check to make sure that your new pickups will fit.

    I have a 2000-2001 MIM with two exact same size pickups. They are the length of the neck pickups on new Jazz bass. That means that buying a new set of pickups will not drop right in.

    I ended up having a local pickup winder wind me a set of RWP Jazz pickups on two neck bobbins. They sound much better than stock, and they are hum cancelling when both pickups are on.

    My suggestion to you is to look up the year of your MIM Jazz Bass and make sure you know what size pickups are on your bass before you order something that may not fit.

    Good luck.
     
  11. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    The Fortress of Solitude
    Good point, since the OP hasn't told us what year his MIM Jazz is.

    Other than sheer cheapness, I'm not sure why Fender originally made the MIM Jazz use two pickups of the same size, unlike any Jazz they'd ever made before. Fortunately, somewhere in the early 2000s (I'm not sure which year), they changed the MIM Jazz to use the same size pickups as the MIA Jazz, with the bridge pickup slightly longer than the neck pickup. My '06 has MIA-sized pickups.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  12. PCR

    PCR Member

    Messages:
    253
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Phillyburb
    Don't quote me on this, but I think the change in pickup size was made on the 2002 jazz bass: the year after my bass.
     
    mep likes this.
  13. Pantone 333

    Pantone 333 Member

    Messages:
    893
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    The Joe Barden Jazz Bass pickups look really cool. Anyone try them out? I think I've narrowed my choice down to those or the Nordstrand nj4sv.
     
  14. fretless

    fretless Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,179
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    Peanut City
    I'll second the recommendation for the Dimarzio Ultra Jazz set. A good mix of vintage and modern. Just KILLER under the radar pickups.
     
  15. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    The Fortress of Solitude
    Zexcoil now offers Jazz pickups too. I wish I had a good reason to try them, because I have Zexcoils in two of my Strats and I love them. But I only have one Jazz and it's already got the Fralin split-coil pickups, which, as I said above, I'm quite happy with.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
  16. PTS

    PTS Member

    Messages:
    409
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I recently got a MIM Jazz and was debating the whole pickup swap thing myself. After watching countless stock vs boutique comparison video/audio clips, I've decided to just stick with the MIM pups as they sound great. It's true that I don't have golden ears, but honestly didn't really hear (through high-end studio monitors) a big difference in the comparisons other than some are hotter than others. What's more, there's not a chance in hell that your live audience (assuming you play to an audience) would notice either. Save your money.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
  17. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Member

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    The OP was looking for low noise in a new set of pickups. From that I assume he is experiencing some noise with his current setup that he'd rather not have.

    Some people don't mind extra noise. I can't stand it. If eliminating noise means changing pickups, it is a worthy investment.
     
  18. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

    Messages:
    2,846
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I have ultra jazz in my MIJ Jazz, very nice. Still need to swap out for some 500K pots, but nice driving tone with enough highs for all practical purposes.
     
  19. BigDoug1053

    BigDoug1053 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,074
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    I replaced the stock pickups on my MIM Jazz Bass with Bartolinis. I believe they are parallel humbucking. Definitely improved the sound and now sounds more like a classic Jazz Bass.
     
  20. FFTT

    FFTT Member

    Messages:
    28,403
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    I haven't heard anyone complaining about the latest Fender CS pickups that come standard on the new American Standards. I'd probably go with Fralin vintage passive otherwise.

    I like mild passive pickups on a jazz so you hear more of the wood in the neck.
     

Share This Page