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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Upgrade pickups for Jazzbass Special ?

wurlitzer99

Milan

May 21st, 2017 04:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a '87 black Jazzbass Special which I love, but I feel it could use better pickups. I mainly play rock and new waves, and like warm, round vintage sound, with some brightness or high midrange I'd say...

What would you recommend for it ?

Are the stock one mediocre Japanese PUs ?

Thanks.

Rick Knight
Contributing Member
**********
********

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
May 21st, 2017 09:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Does yours have active or passive pickups? I'm not familiar with this model but just read on another site that they were made both ways. At one time, I asked my tech about replacing the active pickups in a P Lyte from that era, but he said there would be an issue of some sort because of the way it was made. I decided not to do it and don't remember what the issue was.

mroulier
Contributing Member
**********

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
May 22nd, 2017 08:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have an '86 JB Special with the original MIJ Pickups. They have oversized pole pieces, hi-output and a great mid-rangey "growl"...although technically I always played with the Jazz pup off! Check the picture below. If you don't have those, then they're either 'later' MIJ pups and I can't vouch for them, or they were replaced at some point.

As for new ones, I'd probably go Duncan Quarter Pounders, because they would actually look like they belong there!

Jazz Bass Special Body close up

mroulier
Contributing Member
**********

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
May 22nd, 2017 08:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

And I forgot to add, those should have the much loved or loathed "TBX" pickup tone control. I always moved mine toward the 'full bass' side. If your tone control acts like a regular 1-10 tone and doesn't have a center detent at "5", it's not a TBX. That may help figure out if everything was replaced or not.

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
May 22nd, 2017 06:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

mroulier, your pickups almost look like Quarter Pounders

mroulier
Contributing Member
**********

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
May 23rd, 2017 06:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"mroulier, your pickups almost look like Quarter Pounders".
Yup...but they're the stock ones. I have 3 MIJ's from that era that all have the oversized pole pieces:
The JB Special above from '86.
P-Bass Contemporary, also an '86. This one doesn't have the TBX.
And P-Bass "Boxer" with 2 sets of P-Bass pickups.

The only one I'm missing is the '535', the P-J with the angled pups.
Actually make that 2...I forgot the all black Jazz.

Fender Japan brochure.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
**********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
May 23rd, 2017 06:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My deceased girlfriend played one (I just gave it away). We put different pickups in, but kept coming back to the stock ones.

They are great pickups.

(BTW, I gave it to a former guitar student. She started with me when she was 6. She is 14 now and wanted a bass.)

mroulier
Contributing Member
**********

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
May 23rd, 2017 09:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

...And spelunking on Ebay DOES pay off!
Here's the "later" Jazz Bass Special...87-88??
Seller is mis-informed to say this is an 85-86, those all had "E" serial #'s.
Big cost saving changes include:
No more high output pickups.
No more black headstock and/or neck.
Loss of cloverleaf tuners.
Loss of toggle switch.
VTT in a different spot and the output jack is on top of the body instead of on the side.

So not sure if this is what OP has...It's possible??

And kudos to Steve for giving his bass away to a worthwhile student!

Ebay JB special version #2

littleuch
Contributing Member
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*****

Florida

May 23rd, 2017 10:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So this model has a combination P/J pickup config?

I'm very happy with the Duncan Apollo pickups in my Jazz bass, but that only offers a 50% suggestion.

dg27

Long Island City, NY

May 24th, 2017 11:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have an '84 JBS, which I bought new and used for several years. I was never happy with the pickups, which sounded dead to me and eventually replaced them with SD Hot for P/J.

I was NEVER even remotely a fan of the TBX circuit and replaced it with a blend knob.

I also had a pickguard made and replaced the bridge with a Gotoh 201B and the tuners with Schallers. The pickguard vendor (Pickguardian) also made me a matching control plate for the back.

If I were to replace the pickups today I would use DiMarzio Model P and Model J.

'84 Fender Jazz Bass Special

(This message was last edited by dg27 at 01:14 PM, May 24th, 2017)

wurlitzer99

Milan

May 31st, 2017 01:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, mine is same as yours, with the TBX (notch on "5") control I believe, mroulier...

I played it today via a Roland Jazzchorus with 4x12" cabinet and actually like the sound of it...

I wonder how Custom Shop 60s reissue PUs would sound in it (should get 2 sets, the P one and the J one).

wurlitzer99

Milan

May 31st, 2017 02:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

btw any idea where I can get the original knobs, or at least the black buttons with the "f" logo, that are placed on top of these buttons ?

mroulier
Contributing Member
**********

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
Jun 1st, 2017 10:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"btw any idea where I can get the original knobs, or at least the black buttons with the "f" logo, that are placed on top of these buttons ?"

Scramble on Ebay.
For a while, Allparts sold a copycat black rubber knurled knob without the F logo. But it matched from a distance....and then they stopped selling them before I could buy a bunch! Even Fender stuck black metal dome knobs on the MIM Duff McKagan JBS reissue from a few years back.

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Upgrade pickups for Jazzbass Special ?




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