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Old 12-18-2013, 10:14 PM   #1
NoTroll
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Bla-bla-bla the noob question to end all noob questions.

err im so sure this is a daft question but there is a fair bit of money riding on this and whats a bit more daftness gonna matter anyway.

im thinking of getting some new pickups for my bass

its this baby
http://sp.quebarato.com.br/sao-paul...es__2C295C.html

its very nice for the price i paid but im playing with an original band and we are getting to the point where we will be gigging soon and anyway so anyway i want to upgrade the pickups. iv been looking at these

http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Fender-Jazz-...=item5d474480fc

i mean they look like the same type of pickup but are they?? and are they worth the price or are there some better ones that you could recommend for my purposes? the songs i play are indie rock in the vein of the La's, Radiohead and the smiths that sort of thing.
Oh and also possibly a more noobish question, can the quality of the wiring and jack socket have any bearing on the sound of the instrument??

cheers and merry christmas dears.

Last edited by NoTroll : 12-18-2013 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:36 PM   #2
JKing138
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Why do you want to upgrade the pick-ups?
Most J-pups would fit though and yes the quality of wiring has an influence on the sound. You can hear bad wiring as there will be more hum, hiss and crackling in your signal, usually when you play with the tone and volume pots. Jazz basses usually have a small amount of is at high volumes though because of the passive single-coil pick-ups. Other reasons for added noise would be; bad cables, electronics are not properly shielded and dirty input jacks.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:49 PM   #3
FatalGear41
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Your question is not as "noob" as you think it is. Whether a set of Fender Jazz bass pickups will fit in a Jazz bass copy is an open question, as the people who copy these basses do not always take into account the fact that in some Jazz pickup sets, the bridge pickup is slightly longer than the neck pickup. Most Jazz copies use two pickups of the same size (the old "neck" pickup size), and many pickup makers realize this and they no longer make Jazz bass sets with two different-sized pickups. But then again, some of them still do.

The dimensions for that Fender Jazz set should be available on Fender's website. See if the bridge pickup is longer than the neck pickup. If it is, I would go with something else, since that Jazz bass copy probably has two pickups of the same size. It looks like a pretty cool bass, too.

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:15 AM   #4
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could someone who knows what they are doing make the hole a bit bigger to accommodate a slightly bigger pickup though?
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTroll
could someone who knows what they are doing make the hole a bit bigger to accommodate a slightly bigger pickup though?


Of course. but it might me more expensive than buying a new and better bass. That is what you have to consider when you "upgrade" a less expensive bass.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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I would still consider why you want to upgrade. What is it you are expecting?
Sometimes an upgrade won't achieve what you want. As you mentioned noiseless pick-ups, I thought you have an excess noise problem, In which case you could always buy a noise suppressor which would be cheaper, and useful if you ever wanted to use some fuzz.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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i mostly just want a higher quality of sound for recording purposes to be honest. if i was just playing live then what i have would be just fine but i want album 2 to be better made than album 1 in all regards so i am trying to upgrade everything as far as reasonably possible.

i am leaning towards taking a chance and buying the fender pickups and if they do not fit taking a file to the guitar and making them fit. very time consuming but im sure its possible.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:56 AM   #8
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The pick-ups are generally only a small part of the sound, especially when recording. I doubt that there would be a great difference in quality at the end.
Obviously you want the best quality to start with but after all the production and editing it could have virtually no effect on the sound.
In all honesty if the guy doing the production doesn't know what hes doing then he can make a 5000 fender sound like a 150 Chinese copy. But so can the bassist if they don't know how to the equipment.
Money is an issue, I presume, otherwise you would just go and buy a new Fender. So there are lots of other things you can do to get the most out of what you have.
Buying a good quality DI, for live and studio, will help much more IMHO maybe also a quality compressor, although the sound engineer will usually compress the signal anyway. I would suggest a Sansamp or MXR M-80, I have the MXR, but there are tons out there.
Knowing how to EQ, sounds easy but is often overlooked and misused, will also help. Bad EQing can ruin a potentially great bass tone.
I don't know your level or experience, so no offence intended, but judging by your question I would suggest you learn to use you equipment to its fullest.
Is it a home recorded album or pro studio?
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:43 AM   #9
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completely home recorded. so on that note i would love to hear what you think of my setup and if you could make some recommendations. i was told when purchasing some of the equipment that using my rig the sound would not be that great at all. and they were basically right but i put it down to my inabilities as a music producer + not being a perfectionist and desperately wanting to get my songs uploaded as soon as possible.
this time round though i intend to take my time and make a great album. anyway here is what i have been recording with


macbook with garageband
iconnex ikey-audio soundcard
one old tascam 4track tape recorder that has guitar, mic and phono inputs that i basically just use as a mixing desk. (i mix the songs very badly later on garageband)

i guess i should give an example of the finished product.



im aware that my voice is terrible. my mate will be singing this time around and he is fantastic.
the sound i want to go for is far from sonic perfection. i like a BIT of roughness in my recordings something like this



i am not expecting to be able to match this sort of sound because it was recorded in the early 90's in a studio by a whole sound engineering crew im guessing, but id love to sound a little closer to this.

heres an example of an earlier song i made actually used the bass off of a keyboard but i was happier with the final song anyway.



i have messed with garageband a fair bit to try and improve the sound of the guitars and whatnot for example using one of garagebands inbuilt "bass amps". but even on a good day
aside from the fact that the songs need a singer something feels missing.

i apologise for my bad english and grammar as i am english you see.

Last edited by NoTroll : 12-24-2013 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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If you are recording with Garageband sounds, pickups will really make no difference.

BTW, the first song you posted should start on an upbeat. Now it starts on the 1st beat and it doesn't sound good. The 1st beat should be the second beat so you are a quarter note off throughout the song. Just change the drums to start a quarter note later.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:02 PM   #11
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I haven't listened to the songs yet, I'll check them out later.
What bass amp are you using or are you going straight from bass to Tascam? Then is it the Tascam to GarageBand? Who else plays the instruments? What mics are you using? how do you record the drums and guitar?

From my experience of home recording, and I'm not a pro, but for bass find a DI (sansamp, MXR, etc) start with flat settings and adjust slightly to taste. Run the bass straight to the DI then into an XLR/USB interface into garage band.
I think you could find a XLR/USB interface fairly cheaply, shop around and buy second hand, this can also be used for a mic infront of the guitar amp.
For mics Shure SM57s are always fairly cheap and reliable. You could also use a clean DI and mic the amps simultaneously for both the guitar and bass, combining the two together.

Production wise a little compression on the bass helps, just make sure all the instruments are loud enough. If you don't know exactly what you are doing, then the less you do the better.
Make sure all the instruments are EQed correctly, bass sounds best with a roll off at about 40hz a slight bump at 250hz (this is the bass you hear) and again at 800 or 1500hz for clarity, slight roll off above 5khz (this is guitar range).
When EQing this is very general and there is no set rule, remember slight adjustments, so it sounds natural. Each instrument should sit in its own frequency range to help it to be heard and fill out the sound properly.

There are tons of pages in the UG forum and Talkbass on EQing and recording, I would suggest you search and start reading.
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTroll
err im so sure this is a daft question but there is a fair bit of money riding on this and whats a bit more daftness gonna matter anyway.

im thinking of getting some new pickups for my bass


I don't re-pickup basses. Since you're usually running DI anyway, there's a LOT more that can be done with EQ than can be done with a slightly different set of wire and magnets. And I'd really rather get a different bass than a new set of pickups for one I already own.

I recently picked up an old Bass Pod XT for about $80 and found a ton of serious differences in the bass amp/cab models in there. I have a very cheap passive-pickup P&J (Precision and Jazz bass pickups) four-string, and it sounds great. I've also got an active-pickup 1989 Carvin neck-through five-string (LB-75) that has a *really* wide range of goodies onboard. Total for the two basses was around $500.

And finally, I'm on the hunt for a Variax 705 bass (the five-string version). Both the 700 (four string) and the 705 model a bunch of different basses (including the P and J basses and even an acoustic bass or two). One of the very cool features for recording is that there's none of the RF type noise that you associate with single coils.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:12 PM   #13
NoTroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
If you are recording with Garageband sounds, pickups will really make no difference.

BTW, the first song you posted should start on an upbeat. Now it starts on the 1st beat and it doesn't sound good. The 1st beat should be the second beat so you are a quarter note off throughout the song. Just change the drums to start a quarter note later.


lol i was a drummer for 8 years or so before i took up songwriting in earnest. that drumbeat is misplaced deliberately because.....well i just felt like it, i was just experimenting. i was interested by the possibilites of using a drum loop as simply a timekeeper but not for the music to come into the rhythm in the traditional places. i completely understand that it isnt everyones cup of tea and a fellow in another band im in got quite irritated that i insisted the drums stay the way they are on the recording. i have tried this with a few songs with mixed results. it worked better with another song of mine.



anyway so basically the tascam is where all my inputs go. guitars, bass, drum machine, microphone (i use a sennheiser e818SII ) apparently a good multi purpose mic although i have nothing to compare it to. then i take the output from the tascam and feed it into the di which then goes into a usb port on the mac. i cant remember the details but someone informed me at the time that it was a terrible way of doing things and that the audio quality would be crap. i have so far not used amps for recording the guitars as i am quite happy using some of the built in amps that come with garageband. i have however started recording the acoustic guitar using a mic instead of the pickup.

Last edited by NoTroll : 12-24-2013 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:03 AM   #14
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The amp models on garage band are passable but it all adds to bringing the overall quality down. I would see about getting a decent XLR/usb which you can get a 4 track for less then 100, which will help out infinitly more then buying 100 pick-ups. The sennheiser should be good, they're usually quality mics.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:10 AM   #15
MaggaraMarine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTroll
lol i was a drummer for 8 years or so before i took up songwriting in earnest. that drumbeat is misplaced deliberately because.....well i just felt like it, i was just experimenting. i was interested by the possibilites of using a drum loop as simply a timekeeper but not for the music to come into the rhythm in the traditional places. i completely understand that it isnt everyones cup of tea and a fellow in another band im in got quite irritated that i insisted the drums stay the way they are on the recording. i have tried this with a few songs with mixed results. it worked better with another song of mine.



anyway so basically the tascam is where all my inputs go. guitars, bass, drum machine, microphone (i use a sennheiser e818SII ) apparently a good multi purpose mic although i have nothing to compare it to. then i take the output from the tascam and feed it into the di which then goes into a usb port on the mac. i cant remember the details but someone informed me at the time that it was a terrible way of doing things and that the audio quality would be crap. i have so far not used amps for recording the guitars as i am quite happy using some of the built in amps that come with garageband. i have however started recording the acoustic guitar using a mic instead of the pickup.

About misplacing the drumbeat... Now it sounds like you are clapping on the first and third beat (instead of 2nd and 4th beat) - the basic mistake everybody who doesn't know anything about popular music makes. It just destroys the groove. And I absolute hate that sound.

If it was an 8th off, it could sound more interesting. But a 4th off... Yeah, really not my cup of tea.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:07 PM   #16
NoTroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
About misplacing the drumbeat... Now it sounds like you are clapping on the first and third beat (instead of 2nd and 4th beat) - the basic mistake everybody who doesn't know anything about popular music makes. It just destroys the groove. And I absolute hate that sound.

If it was an 8th off, it could sound more interesting. But a 4th off... Yeah, really not my cup of tea.



the beat completely changes a little way into the song. im not sure if you got that far in...it was the later part that i was most proud of. the beginning beat sounds like it will continue for the entire song and then when the beat changes hopefully it catches the listener off guard.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:33 PM   #17
MaggaraMarine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTroll
the beat completely changes a little way into the song. im not sure if you got that far in...it was the later part that i was most proud of. the beginning beat sounds like it will continue for the entire song and then when the beat changes hopefully it catches the listener off guard.

OK, I didn't listen to the whole song, I just listened some parts of it.

But yeah, nothing wrong with the drum thing if it's done on purpose (I wasn't sure about it before you told me it was done on purpose). But as I said, it's just not my cup of tea.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:06 PM   #18
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Better spend you money on J-Retro active kit http://www.east-uk.com/ takes about 10 minutes to install.
I fitted one of these active kits to my 1965 Jazz bass.
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