Split coil humbuckers

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Split coil humbuckers

Postby jglunt2112 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:19 pm

I didn't know where to post this, but I picked this category because it would be a project that would require either modding a bass radically or building one from spare parts and winding your own pickups. A friend of mine and I have been discussing the problem of jazz bass hum. A P-bass doesn't do that because of the split coil humbucker. My friend is a guitar player who owns a couple G&L Comanches. He loves them because of their great tone and no hum. They have split-coil humbuckers. Why has nobody (as far as I know) ever designed a jazz bass with two split coil humbuckers? I don't mean a pair of P-bass-size humbuckers or those little Fender Mustang style pickups. I'm talking about pickups the same look and size as a jazz bass pickups (windings, magnetic design, etc.), but split and wired in humbucker mode. I believe such a bass would provide the jazz bass sound without the hum. I have neither the expertise nor the equipment to accomplish this, so it's strictly an idea on my part. Maybe it could be the next incarnation of a JB. Any ideas? Maybe one of you knows why this has never been done. Or maybe it has been done and I just haven't seen it, but you have. :?: ...Jim
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Re: Split coil humbuckers

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:36 pm

jglunt2112 wrote:Why has nobody (as far as I know) ever designed a jazz bass with two split coil humbuckers? I don't mean a pair of P-bass-size humbuckers or those little Fender Mustang style pickups. I'm talking about pickups the same look and size as a jazz bass pickups (windings, magnetic design, etc.), but split and wired in humbucker mode.


That would be the G&L MJ series. Split Jazz-size pickups. Preamp required because the pickups are, by necessity, lightly wound. The MJ series isn't available right now, but I've heard rumblings.

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Re: Split coil humbuckers

Postby jglunt2112 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:34 pm

Very nice. I'll keep that in mind. I just saw one of these MJ-4s selling used at musiciansfriend.com, for anyone who's interested. I am currently bass rich and cash poor...I've been in worse positions. And BTW, I have no affiliation with the aforementioned company. What I had in mind would be single coil offset pickups, like the offset pickup of an LB100, only in a jazz size and with the jazz windings. As an example, kind of like half way between the LB00 split coil humbucker and the split coil humbuckers on the Comanche guitar. They would retain all of the JB single coil sound without the hum when played on just one pickup. Plus, there'd be no cancellation or dropout of the middle strings like in the split coil jazz pickups that are currently made as drop-ins. And I don't think there would be any need to make it an active bass with these pickups. There I go, thinking again. Mama told me to cut that out..Jim
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Re: Split coil humbuckers

Postby Ken Baker » Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:20 pm

You mean like this?

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Re: Split coil humbuckers

Postby jglunt2112 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:46 pm

Yes, that's exactly what I mean...almost. I'm thinking of slimmer split coil pickups. Each section would be the same width (and windings) as a regular JB or JB-2 pickup. They would be offset humbuckers like the pickup on the pictured bass, only slimmer than the one in the photo, and there would be two of them placed in the same positions that jazz bass pickups are normally placed. Think of the Espada guitar, only a bass instead...and alnico pickups instead...and the pickups moved into jazz bass positions. No hum. No dropout on the A or D string. Classic jazz bass sound. Regular jazz bass controls--V-V-T. And it would be set up to look like a jazz bass with the pickguard and the chrome metal plate for the controls. It could even be called the Espada bass. They might even offer it with either alnico or MFD pickups...the "Espada A" or the "Espada M". Hey, a guy can dream, can't he? Actually, my little Tribute JB-2 doesn't hum much--not at all when the pickups are evenly balanced, of course. And the pickups on it really do kick ass. It's great for live work, but maybe a little noisy for studio work (which I seldom do anymore)...Jim
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Re: Split coil humbuckers

Postby bigtone23 » Mon May 03, 2021 10:08 am

The Mustang bass pickup is right along those lines-like the Comanche pickup. Small format split coil.
Otherwise, pickups like the Dimarzio Model J are two coils wired up in a traditional looking J pickup for hum cancelling.
The trick with unique format pickups is that they don't have the universal appeal and application of more standard designs. Even the Mustang Bass pickup is rarely seen outside of a Mustang bass, just like the Comanche pickup.
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Re: Split coil humbuckers

Postby jglunt2112 » Mon May 03, 2021 11:40 am

In my (feeble) mind, what I am picturing is kind of a cross between a Mustang pickup and a P-bass pickup. Simply put, they'd be mini-Pbass pickups shrunk down to jazz bass size, and there'd be two of them on the bass as if it were a regular jazz bass. That would eliminate the dropout that I'm told the current split-coil jazz drop-ins have and the hum of the regular single coils. Plus it would still sound like a jazz bass (I think). It's just an exercise of my imagination. I have neither the equipment, the space, the expertise, nor the time to build such a bass, but I believe it would be a good idea. Thanks to all of you for indulging me. Maybe someone can take this idea and put wings to it..Jim
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