Following the success of the Precision bass, Leo Fender concentrated on developing a new bass guitar with a fresh look, sound, and style.
The Jazz bass first appeared in 1960. It had a slightly different body shape, neck, and two single coil pickups, producing a brighter, more midrange-heavy sound.
It was an instant success, as musicians of all genres began to use them. We don’t have enough room for a list of bass players who have played this fantastic instrument, but it would be a list that would respect the Jazz bass’s quality and playing style.
But do you want to alter your bass pickups to alter the sound? If so, here are the top Jazz Bass pickups on the market.
1. EMG JVX Black Bass Pickup Set
Choosing to replace pickups is one thing; fitting them is another. EMG has made it very simple for you if you want to make the change yourself. EMG provides a “solder-less install system,” which makes life easier. It includes everything required for a quick and seamless transition.
If you want to keep a little of your Jazz sound, the JVX pickups are worth considering.
Priced at the high end, but a quality purchase that will not disappoint.
These pickups are only compatible with 4-string basses.
You want to replace your Jazz’s pickups but are concerned about losing “that” sound. EMG’s JVX pickups may alleviate your worries.
It is a new model with new technology, but they are determined to keep the original sounds.
Why Would You Wish to Do Away With Such a Classic Sound?
EMG makes high-quality active pickups, and these are an example. They are a traditional single coil pickup, but the hum that was so common in the past has been eliminated.
They create a great percussive feel that will appeal to Jazz bass fans while retaining all of the power of the originals.
There is little need for adjustments because the bass and treble settings are perfect. The signature mids are still present, ensuring that the Jazz sound is still discernible. The lows are very deep, and the highs can be adjusted to be quite sharp.
Of course, the active status of the pickups helps with this because there is less signal loss than with passive pickups.
- The design incorporates some retro jazz sounds.
- Installation is simple.
- Powerful at the top and bottom, but the mids remain dominant.
- When compared to other similar pickups, they are pretty pricey.
2. Lindy Fralin Jazz Bass Pickup Set for 4 Strings
It is only possible to describe what Lindy Fralin created as a direct replacement for the stock Fender pickups on your Jazz bass.
They are crisp and clear, with plenty of mid-tone, just like the originals. The bottom end is precise and not overly boomy, while the top end sparkles with life.
However, if you are looking for a replica, you will not find it. The pickups are excellent, but recreating the original sound is difficult, though they come close. They have that percussive Fender sound, which is very clean and balanced.
These pickups perform well in the crucial midsection. They can be smooth and refined, but push them too hard, and they will growl.
They could growl at you if you were lucky enough to remember or own an early 1960s Jazz bass. It’s unclear whether Leo’s ‘deluxe’ bass was designed to do so, but it could.
Because of its versatility and gutsy sound, this guitar has opened up a new market for jazz musicians. Many of today’s rock musicians own or use it. This pickup has done an excellent job of capturing that sound.
These pickups are intended for Jazz owners who want a similar sound to what they already have. That is what you will get. Due to the passive nature of the pickups, it is possible to create sounds that, while not identical to the original, are very close.
Even though they are pretty expensive, they are well worth hearing.
It is only for a 4-string bass.
- Making that distinct jazz sound.
- The midrange sound has a rough edge.
- It’s pretty pricey.
3. Fender Custom Shop Jazz Bass Pickups from the 1960s
We must, of course, see what Fender has to offer in terms of Jazz bass pickups.
While some consider them the most important and influential guitar manufacturers of all time, they have had their ups and downs.
They have had times when their guitars and accessories, including pickups, fell short of the high standards they have set. It’s worth looking at what they’ve produced for their Jazz.
The pickups used in Fender’s Vintage reissue Jazz bass series are the same as those used in the custom shop 60s.
Take some time to listen to that bass if you’re unfamiliar with it. The sound is simply stunning, complete, and punchy, with plenty of mids.
They’ve taken the basic pickup and slightly overwound it for a higher output, which gives a little more attack, especially in the mid-range. Formvar’s use of high-quality materials, such as Alnico magnets and magnetic wire, may have improved the sound of this iconic bass.
The vintage sound remains, but with this extra added, it provides one or two different sound options. But keep in mind, this is the Fender Jazz, so are there any changes in sound?
Why Would You Want to Do That?
- Fender got it right with this one. They made some minor tweaks but left the fundamentals alone.
- Fitting is simple because it is a straight swap.
- They are reasonably priced and provide good value.
- Only for 4-string basses.
- I kept the vintage sound and only added a little bit.
- Fitting is simple.
- A reasonable price.
- Some people may prefer more sound changes to have more options.
4. Set of DiMarzio Model J Bass Pickups
DiMarzio, a well-known player in the pickup world, has added a unique twist to the Jazz bass. It has the traditional warm sound, thumping bass, toppy highs, and delicious mids, but it has something different.
It is a humbucker pickup. More power across the frequency ranges and hum cancellation have given Jazz a new sound. The guitar’s vintage sound has replaced a powerful model with more sound variation options.
You can achieve a variety of sounds that single-coil pickups would not have allowed.
Some people adore their Jazz bass but wish it had more attack, options, and sounds. They like how it feels in their hands, but they want to it could do a little more.
DiMarzio has provided you with that option. While the vintage sound is mainly gone, a new sound has arrived that some will consider an improvement.
When driven hard through an Ampeg, it has a fat, punchy sound similar to a Fender Precision. The ‘new’ Jazz has many tonal options.
Some players will love the sounds now available, which are fierce at the top end and angry at times at the bottom.
If you’re looking for a small change, these pickups represent good value for money at a competitive price.
Only suitable for 4-string basses.
- The new pickup eliminates hum.
- Extra power and new tonal possibilities.
- Reasonably priced.
- Removes the vintage sound of an iconic bass guitar.
5. SJB3 Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Bridge Pickup by Seymour Duncan
Seymour Duncan created a new pickup for the Jazz’s bridge position. It’s a high-output single-coil pickup designed to produce a big sound with extra sustain.
This pickup will give you more power and make the sound more punchy. It was created for the bass guitarist who desires a big sound with many attacks.
Even though it is a single-coil pickup, the vintage Jazz sound is buried in its design.
This pickup would never be a carbon copy or an improvement over the original sound. It is its beast, and it does things its the way.
It will undoubtedly give your Jazz bass a new sound.
His pickup also ventures into uncharted territory and departs from the traditional sounds of this guitar and its traditions. Times and music change, and as styles shift, so make the demands for new ideas.
This pickup is intended to provide the Jazz bass player with new options. This product is probably not for you if you want a new bridge pickup to keep the instrument’s vintage feel.
However, if you want to give your guitar a new look, this is something worth considering.
The price is reasonable and will not break the bank.
Only for 4-string basses.
- Gives the Jazz bass a new sound.
- A powerful pickup with a big sound.
- A reasonable price.
- Moves away from the traditional Jazz bass sound.
Do You Want to Swap Out the Pickups on Your Jazz Bass?
Changing the pickups on your guitar may appear to be a straightforward task. That is correct, but the consequences of changing even one of them are enormous. It has the potential to completely alter the sound of what you have, what you are used to, and what your band is used to.
How will it affect not only your sound but also the sound of those with whom you are working?
It’s time to replace the pickups on your Jazz bass.
We recommend sitting down and asking yourself the question. Why do I want to switch out my pickups?
We’ll throw some observations into the mix here.
Is it because you believe your Jazz requires an upgrade? Keep the sound, but make it new and exciting. That is understandable and a good reason to look into new pickups.
Change the sound entirely, or perhaps add a humbucker, drastically altering the sound. That sound could have been the driving force behind your decision to purchase the guitar in the first place. That’s fine if that’s what you want.
We have gone over some of the options. All are excellent picks in their own right. Some take the traditional route, while others offer something new.
There are options for changing, but why?
We emphasize that point once more because it is critical. Changes may be precisely what you and your coworkers want, or they may not.
The pickups that have taken the traditional route have all captured, to varying degrees, the feeling and sound traditions of this guitar. They let the highs shine, and the lows thump, but they recognize the value of the mids. This guitar is famous for its sound.
Those who have gone in a different direction have attempted to add something to the sound.
There are some excellent picks available.
What Are the Best Jazz Pickups?
This guitar is a symbol for us. The second-most important modern bass guitar is it. Its instantly recognizable sound has been with us for nearly 60 years, and it continues to provide us with that Fender Jazz sound.
We would stick with traditional pickups if we had to change. Make every attempt to keep the vintage Jazz bass sound.