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Can 5-string go vintage?


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Hey everybody! I really am looking into vintage Fender's, but have grown so attached to my 5-string that I really don't have the heart to go back to 4. So I could buy a newer 5 string body and replace the pickups, but how many vintage 5-string pickups am I going to find?! Is there any way, say for a J-bass, to stagger the two pickups to cover all 5 strings and is this a feasible answer to the problem? Would P-bass pickups be much easier to customize in this way?



"I should not walk, so that a child may live!.....That's what it does!!"

-Master Shake

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SJ5-67-70 & SJ5-70/74 passive single coils


application Traditional single coil pickup for 5-string. Excellent for country, pop, blues, and classic rock


description This pickup captures the tone, feel and articulation of a great "62 Jazz Bass. We adjusted the coil geometry and winding configuration to compensate for the different nature of extended range instruments. It's now possible to capture the subtle characteristics of traditional “J-tone” all the way down to the low “B.” Includes logo cover.


complete setup Calibrated neck and bridge set. Comes in two popular string spacings: 67 mm neck with 70 mm bridge, and 70 mm neck with 74 mm bridge. Neck pickup cover is same size as bridge cover. Often used together with STC-2 or -3 Tone Circuits for optimal tonal contro

basses The 67/70 version is a direct retrofit for Fender® Jazz V basses. The 70/74 fits many popular 5-string basses. Check the dimensions on the website.

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I'm not too keen on your ideas concerning staggering or altering vintage 4-string p'ups will work.


The Duncans that RHINO_ROB recommends are a good choice. I would also heartily recommend Nordstrand 5-string traditional single coils:


Nordstrand NJ5 or NJ5F - click me!


Carey Nordstrand's jazz style p'ups are killer. I've tried 'em and liked 'em.


Also, Lindy Fralin makes great vintage-like jazz pickups. There are Fralin 5-string single coils for jazz basses.


Fralin bass pickups - click me!


For a 60s Fender J bass vibe, I'd recommend you look into 5-string jazz basses with alder bodies, maple necks, and rosewood fingerboards. Go with passive electronics and go with a current pickup manufacturer who does "vintage" style 5-string single coil J pickups.


It might also be worth looking into what "vintage" pickups Fender is producing these days as well.


Good luck.





PS: I'm expecting to be in Columbia SC a few times this coming year for work. If I'm ever going to have some free time, what music shops might you recommend I visit? Also, I'd be happy to catch up w/ you in person some time to talk bass if you want.



Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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