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help with my bass pickups

punk bass man
Posts: 60
I have a shine jazz bass i think its in the shines original series of basses but anyway i was wondering because i like the weight and size of the bass if i could just buy new higher quality pick ups to put in the bass instead of the ones that are already in .I was wondering what pickups would fit cheers guys
Posts: 1499
It isn't hard to swap out pickups so long as you know how to wield a soldering iron correctly.

The thing to do is look at the size specs for the replacement pickups you are wanting, then measure what you have in it now and see if the replacements would fit. You'll want to length, width, AND height (meaning you'll have to pop them out). Or you can remove the pickups from the body, and measure the dimensions of the cut out the pickups fit into.

To my knowledge, jazz pickups have a standardized foot print (shape) though heights vary a bit. I once put new EMG JHz pickups in a bass - length and width was fine, but they were taller than what came out. Ended up too close to the strings. I had to take them back out, and route the pickup cavity deeper to get them to fit correctly.

I have used and really like the Fender Super 55 split coil jazz pickups. I have also heard good things about Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders, though I've not used them. I am not so impressed by the Fender N3 Noiseless stacked coil pickups. Cheers.
Posts: 3139
I too have heard good things about the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders, and they come complete with fitting instructions to make life easy and while you have the soldering iron out why not experiment with some different strength capacitors to alter the tone, if I'm right the Jazz has a .002Mfu, caps are only penny's but can make a big difference, when Leo built the Broadcaster he fitted a big capacitor in it to give a heavy bass tone, just until he invented the Precision Bass, by the time the Broadcaster became the Telecaster he fitted a weaker cap. I'm a huge fan of upgrading cheaper guitars, it's a great way to get a good axe on a budget
How much are you looking at for semour duncan quarter pounders or the fender super 55 split coil jazz pickups ?? And what is the thing with the caps how do i change them ?? Cheers guys
Posts: 1499
You'll want to visit your local music store for availability and prices, or look at online retailers that serve your (N. Ireland?) area. I'm on a different continent, so can't help you there.

I don't know Shine basses, but in looking at bass forum postings, they seem to be well regarded. Are you sure you need to replace the pickups, or are you just thinking it might be a good idea?

The capacitors in my jazz basses, and in the jazz bass wiring diagrams I have seen, are .047 microfarad (sometimes shown as .05 on wiring diagrams). Orange Drop is a good brand. I use them. You can check on availability and prices when looking into the pickups.

I would have a look at what is in your bass before deciding to put in something else. I don't know that I would swap one .047 cap for another just for the fun of it - not unless I was gutting it and putting in new pots along with the pickups.

It is not terribly difficult to overheat and damage things when soldering. If possible, have someone who has done it before help you. Tin (melt solder onto) the things you want to solder together before trying to solder them. Use a very thin rosin core solder wire that melts at relatively low heat. Don't let things wiggle as the solder is cooling and setting. Don't touch anything (insulated wires for example) with the hot soldering iron that you aren't soldering. It isn't very hard, but you do need to do it well or you will end up with poor, noisy connections and fried components.
You may also want to consider buying eutectic (63%Sn/37%Pb) solder. It melts at a lower temperature than the more commonly used 60%Sn/40%Pb; specifically 183C/361.7F vs. 188C/370F. Additionally, it is truly eutectic, meaning it goes directly from liquid to solid as it cools with no (or extremely minimal) plastic stage. The lower melting point helps to protect sensitive components and PCBs from heat damage during the soldering process, while the rapid setting-up time minimizes cold joints.
Posts: 3139
Caps of different values give a different tone
yeah there is a guy in town who has fixed stuff for me before so I will go to him yeah I think maybe gutting it all out and putting all new higher quality kit in it .I want the fender p bass knobs that click and stay in place.

cheers I checked out those pickups they are pretty top notch .My bass needs the pj pickup setup with the two p bass ones and the j bass pickup .so were do the caps go ??
Posts: 3139
When you open it up you will see the cap on the tone pot, solder it off and solder a different one one.
Posts: 1499
Good wiring diagrams here:
(scroll down to the bottom of the page for bass wiring diagrams)

Passive PJ wiring diagram here:

You or the fellow who helps you will want to understand this diagram before you do anything.

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