Guest review by Sam Radojcin
Sometime in late 2014, I ordered, waited for and purchased a bassist’s holy grail if you will – A Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V in Natural. It took its time arriving from the US. I think my remaining hair got greyer in the meaintime, but once this beauty arrived I was blown away. Amazing craftsmanship, a smooth neck, beautiful sustain and a great sound that I thought could not be beaten.
As beautiful and perfect as it was, I was offered an opportunity from the fine folks at Seymour Duncan to check out a set of their 5-String Quarter Pound for Jazz Bass pickups (see the Seymour Duncan bass pickup range here) to give them a road test and give my thoughts on their fine products. I was hesitant at first since I felt the bass was pretty perfect to begin with, but once these puppies went in, perfection was redefined.
Installation was relatively simple (thanks to my tech Ben – guitarist for Dragonsclaw and a proud Seymour Duncan player); followed the instructions, unsolder the original Fender N3 Noiseless pickups and solder the new ones onto the existing controls.
Out of the box, setting everything flat in passive mode, I got a nice warm punchy Jazz Bass sound that flowed with fingers and thundered with a pick, especially on the Low B which articulated quite nicely. Passive mode is cool, but if you have active controls, it’s like night and day.
Starting to play with the onboard controls, I flipped the Active switch, wound the pickup blend pot towards the Bridge and started to walk my fingers along the strings – emanating a healthy and bright clank that could be reminiscent of the classic Geddy Lee Jazz/Ricky sound. With a well chosen distortion thickly poured on, I was able to get a bit of that classic “Lemmy” attack and punch with some big meaty chords.
Rolling back to the neck in active mode gave me a fuller and thicker sound – think the bass sound on “Wake Up” by Mad Season and you can’t help but wanting to jam out for hours and hours and so on…
I found my personal sweet spot is putting the pickup pan right in the middle and just moving it a hair towards the neck. Beautiful!
The Quarter Pound for Jazz Bass could make the cheapest, nastiest pawn shop bass sound like a high-end US/custom bass with a very small investment and with the high end custom jobs, it only adds to the perfection.
Slap these pickups in, you won’t be disappointed!