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Frequently Asked Questions

Basses

The 5 string Sadowsky MetroExpress Basses typically weigh around 9lbs.

Bridges

While string spacing matters as the size of the bridge changes, the difference in weight is roughly 5 ounces on a 4 string Hipshot A Style Bass Bridge. 

The Sire V7 basses (and possibly other 5 string basses from Sire) use a mounting pattern that is the same as Fender has used on some Squire 5 strings.   

Here is what the screw mounting pattern looks like modeled on a Hipshot Kickass Mounting Style 2:
 

Hipshot Kickass 5 String Bass Bridge Mounting Style 2 Dimensional Chart



The above measurements that are highlighted pink correspond to the center to center measurements from one screw hole to the adjacent screw hole.
.606" = 15.4mm
.706" = 17.9mm
 

Hipshot's Kickass Bridge with Mounting Pattern 2 is a great choice for retrofitting on a Sire V7 Bass.  The bridge has moveable saddles to dial in string spacing.  It is a high mass bridge that is also= attractive. It does not support string through body mounting.

Pickups

T stands for Treble, B stands for Bass. 

 

They do not have to be put as Bartolini originally assigns (T for Bridge, and B for Neck). Bartolini has wound the T pickup to have slightly more output to compensate for less string movement in the Bridge position. 

 

Each pickup is also compensated slightly for its position, so the T is a little less trebly, and the B is a little less bass-y. You can swap them to have a more pronounced difference between the two positions.

The Sterling Stingray 5 String typically takes the OLP shape. This is the long shape WITH screw ears. The spacing matters here. If there is a big chunk of space on the ends, then it is likely 15.5mm spacing.

 

Check the dimensions on your bass to be sure.

 

This diagram (from Nordstrand Audio) shows the dimensions for this pickup

 

9.5” - This suits most Fender J’s except for the vintage and Flea models.

 

The Sire V7 basses take a size that is commonly known as the Fender American Standard 5 String size. 

 

The pickups are roughly:

 

Bridge Pickup ~4.12” (~104.6mm)
Neck Pickup ~4.00” (101.5mm)

 

As always, check your bass.  Manufacturers change dimensions on occasion.

String spacing measured at the pickup location location on the body is:

 

Bridge is 18mm (if measuring from the B to E = 72mm)

Neck is 17mm (if measuring from the B to E = 68mm)

 

*Note, this is not string spacing measured at the bridge, it is the string spacing measured at the pickup.

Both the stock pickups and Bartolini's MM pickups use a black/green/red/white 4 conductor cable.  

Just swap the red for the black wires to wire a Bartolini pickup into the Sterling Stingray system.

The SMB-4A (70s style) is warmer, with less mid range, more scooped…has decent top end presence.  

 

The SMB-4D (90s style) has more mids, less low end warmth resulting in a punchier tone.  

 

They are two fairly distinct pickups where Duncan is trying to capture the changes in MM pickups between the 70s and the 90s.

The Warwick RockBass Corvette 5 string uses two Jazz Bass pickups that are typically thought of as 4 string bridge length.  In the shop, we call them a Long/Long.   

 

Both pickups are  roughly 3.73" (94mm) in length.

 

On our website, this link shows the Jazz Bass® pickups available in a Long/Long configuration:

Jazz Bass® Pickups for 5 String Bass

The Lakland 55-60 J bass takes a pickup size that is the same as Fender's American Standard® size.

 

Fender American Standard: ~4.1" (104mm) X 3.9" (99mm)

 

We stock more than a dozen different pickups that fit this shape. 

 

Check them out: 5 String Jazz Bass® pickups that fir the Fender American Standard Shape

The Ibanez Mikro Basses use normal precision pickup, but and standard jazz bridge position pickup. 

Any stock PJ set will match this configuration.

Click here for our PJ pickups for 4 String Bass 

Here are some of the options:
 
 
Bartolini - They have recognized this as a necessary option.  
 
We can get other versions of their pickups in a long/long version….but build time can vary.  We usually check with Bartolini to see if they have the item on the shelf and ready to go.
 
 
Delano - Will make do any Jazz pickup set in their line up as a Long/Long, aka Bridge normal size, Neck in bridge size.  We get various custom configurations from them pretty regularly for customers as they are very able to do customized pickups within normal lead times.  1 month-ish.
 
Nordstrand - Will often do custom pickups, but delivery time can be a few months depending on their production schedule.
 
 
The remainder of the manufacturers tend not to be interested in doing custom stuff.
 

Unfortunately, Ernie Ball has chosen to go with a new MM pickup shape on recent models.  This shape has no replacements as of the writing of this FAQ (Summer '24).

The pickup looks similar in that it has 2 screw ears on the bass side and a single screw ear on the treble side, however, the overall pickup length is not the same as the two existing shapes that have the 2 by 1 screw pattern.  Bartolini will likely be introducing a pickup for this shape in the coming years.

Preamps

There is a slight 3-4 dB lift in the lows (fundamental range) and highs (presence/sizzle range).  Most players really enjoy this small contouring in their tone.

Background: The larger size has been somewhat standardized (Aguilar, Nordstrand…) for quite awhile. It is actually the hole size that has been in jazz bass plates going back many years. The hole sizes in basses are not consistent and in a couple sizes, as the bass manufacturers buy whatever inexpensive pots that they can get cheap unfortunately. Many imports use the small ones, but US manufacturers usually use the larger size.

 

At any rate, it is fairly common to need to enlarge the holes to get pots to retrofit.

 

These two couple videos use two different techniques that show how to enlarge potentiometer holes:

 

https://youtu.be/I3AhFfragdY?t=41

https://youtu.be/bKNAkTWC4xA

 

The only preamp we sell that has the smaller 7mm potentiometer shaft is from Delano.

Nope, the Fender N3 Bass Pickups are a passive pickup, and there should be no compatibility issues.

There are 3 bass preamps that are very well suited Jazz Bass® Deluxe basses:

 

J Retro Deluxe - https://fatbasstone.com/products/john-east-j-retro-deluxe-bass-preamp-for-jazz-bass-deluxe?variant=40267212685475

 

Sadowsky - https://fatbasstone.com/products/sadowsky-onboard-bass-preamp?variant=43932940402927

 

Lusithand - https://fatbasstone.com/products/lusithand-800jp-jazzplate-4-band-preamp-for-jazz-bass-deluxe%C2%AE?variant=44123617034479

 

All include knobs and plate…and are meant to be reasonably easy installation.

 

The big difference between these is all in the bands.

 

J Retro Deluxe is a three band with a variable mid range and passive tone - but, in passive mode you can select only bridge or bridge/neck at equal.
Volume/Blend Stack -- Treble/Bass Stack -- Mid/Frequency Stack -- Passive Tone -- Active/Passive Switch -- Pickup Switch

 

Sadowsky is a two band with boost only on the treble and bass, but also has a passive tone.
Master Volume - Balance -- Vintage Tone Control (Push-Pull) -- Treble/Bass Stack

 

Lusithand is a four band that has mid separate mid controls for lo and hi mids.
Volume - Blend - Treble/Bass Stack - Lo Mid/Hi Mid Stack - Contour Switch - Passive 3 Way Tone Switch - Active/Passive Switch

 

Additionally - The J Retro Deluxe has a built in contour that gives a little lift to the bass and treble. The Lusithand also has contouring, but it is something that can be turned on or off via a switch.

The bushing size refers to the largest diameter part of the potentiometer that inserts through the mounting hole. This is the part of the shaft where nuts and washers are attached.

 

 

The sizes for Bartolini's Potentiometers are as follows:

Volume PushPull - 7mm

Blend Pot - 8mm

Treb 8mm

Mid - 3/8”

Bass - 8mm

 

Check out 2 Band Bartolini Bass Preamps

Check out 3 Band Bartolini Bass Preamps

Yes, all John East bass preamps are sold with knobs included. 

 

Concentric pots have a upper shaft diameter or 6mm and a lower shaft diameter of 8mm.  

 

The single pots (non-concentric) have a shaft diameter or 6mm.

Yes, this is possible.  You can even bypass the blend pot completely.

 

There are 3 wires at the blend potentiometer: 2 white and a black on the solderless connecter.

  • Cut this connector off, connect the white wires and input from your pickup together.
  • The black is for pickup ground (-)