15 Best Jazz Bass Pickups in 2021 (All Price Ranges)

Are you interested in upgrading the pickups on your jazz bass? Are you bored of the sound of the stock pickups that arrived in your Fender or Squier? Are you seeking something with a little more bang and thump? Something a little higher-tech, with less noise, and with great clarity, punch, and sustain? Do you know if you want active or passive pickups?

Some of the Best Jazz Bass Pickups

What about ceramic or Alnico magnets? Or are you looking for a piezo transducer pickup for your upright jazz explorations? No matter your tonal pursuit, in this article we will help you find the best jazz bass pickups for your needs!

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. Lindy Fralin 4 String Jazz Bass Pickup Set (Best Overall)Lindy Fralin 4 String Jazz Bass Pickup SetActive or Passive: Passive
Magnets: Alnico 5
$190Read Full Review Below
2. Bartolini Original Bass Series 4 In-Line Pickups (Best Boutique Pickups)Bartolini Original Bass Series 4-String J Bass Dual In-Line Pickups Long/Short SetActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Ceramic Ferrite
$160Read Full Review Below
3. Lace Sensor Man O' War Jazz Bass Pickup Set (Best Fender Replacement)Lace Sensor Man O' War Jazz Bass pickup setActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Barium Ferrite
$175Read Full Review Below
4. Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazz Bass Pickup (Best Vintage Tone)Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazz Bass PickupActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Alnico 5
$100Read Full Review Below
5. Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Set (Highest Output)Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass SetActive or Passive: Passive
Magnets: Alnico 5
$130Read Full Review Below
6. DiMarzio DP149 Ultra Jazz Bass Pickup Set (Best Ceramic Pickups)DiMarzio DP149 Ultra Jazz Bass Pickup SetActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Alnico 5 and Ceramic
$140Read Full Review Below
7. The Realist Copperhead Transducer Pickup For Bass (Best Piezo)The Realist Copperhead Transducer Pickup For BassActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Piezo
$190Read Full Review Below
8. Northern Lutherie LLC Blueberry Pi (Best Budget Piezo)Northern Lutherie LLC - Blueberry PiActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Piezo
$70Read Full Review Below
9. Wilkinson Variable Gauss Ceramic Traditional Jazz Bass Pickups (Budget Pick)Wilkinson Variable Gauss Ceramic Traditional Jazz Bass Pickups Set for JB Style Electric BassActive or Passive: Passive
Magnets: Ceramic
$25Read Full Review Below
10. Fender Custom Shop ’60s Jazz Bass PickupsFender Custom Shop '60s Jazz Bass PickupsActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Alnico 5
$190Read Full Review Below
11. EMG JVX Bass Pickup Set BlackEMG JVX Bass Pickup Set BlackActive or Passive: Active
Magnet: Alnico 5
$190Read Full Review Below
12. Fender Yosemite Precision/Jazz (P/J) Bass Pickup SetFender Yosemite Precision/Jazz (P/J) Bass Pickup SetActive or Passive: Passive
Magnets: Alnico 5
$130Read Full Review Below
13. Fender Generation 4 Noiseless Jazz Bass Single-Coil PickupsFender Generation 4 Noiseless Jazz Bass Single-Coil PickupsActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Alnico 5
$160Read Full Review Below
14. K&K Bass MaxK&K Bass MaxActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Piezo
$120Read Full Review Below
15. Aguilar AG 4MJ-HC Humbucking Bass Pickup SetAguilar AG 4MJ-HC Humbucking Bass Pickup SetActive or Passive: Passive
Magnet: Alnico 5
$240Read Full Review Below

Here Are the Best Jazz Bass Pickups

1. Lindy Fralin 4 String Jazz Bass Pickup Set (Best Overall)

Lindy Fralin 4 String Jazz Bass Pickup Set

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Estimated Price $190
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Alnico 5
Neck Output 8.4k
Bridge Output 8.8k

Our Review: Lindy Fralin is a small pickup manufacturer based in Richmond, Virginia that was started in the 1990s. All of Fralin’s pickups are hand-wound in their shop and tested for tone, clarity, and consistency. This is the exact attention to detail and quality that you should be looking for in a boutique pickup manufacturer. The Lindy Fralin 4 String Jazz Bass Pickup Set is designed to replace the stock pickups on a Fender Jazz Bass.

The Lindy Fralin Jazz Bass pickups are passive pickups, meaning that no electricity is required to power them. The stock pickups on Fender Jazz Basses are also passive, so no change is required here. The Fralin Jazz Bass Pickups are built from American-made Alnico 5 magnets. Alnico magnets are a magnetic alloy made from a combination of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt mixed with iron. Alnico 5 is the most commonly used alnico type in guitar and bass pickups. The neck position output of these pickups measures 8.4k and the bridge position output measures 8.8k. It is difficult to gauge a true measure of output for pickups, so the D.C. Resistance is generally considered the measurement for a pickup’s output.

Overall, the Lindy Fralin Jazz Bass pickups offer a significant upgrade to the stock pickups in a Fender Jazz Bass. The Fralin Jazz Bass pickups are more dynamic and offer a wider tonal range with sweeter and warmer mids. With multiple winding options to suit your taste and the guarantee of a quality, hand-made piece of equipment, you can’t go wrong with these Lindy Fralin Jazz Bass pickups! These are easily some of the best passive jazz bass pickups out there.

2. Bartolini Original Bass Series 4 In-Line Pickups (Best Boutique Pickups)

Bartolini Original Bass Series 4-String J Bass Dual In-Line Pickups Long/Short Set

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Estimated Price $160
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Ceramic Ferrite
Neck Output 6.1k
Bridge Output 6.7k

Our Review: Bill Bartolini of Bartolini Pickups began developing and manufacturing guitar pickups in the 1970s after years of studying acoustic and speaker systems. From the beginning, he was interested in pursuing hum-canceling designs and has created several interesting design innovations along the way, including the electrified pickup with parametric bandpass enhancement. The Bartolini Original Bass Series Dual In-Line pickups are still built by hand at the Bartolini factory in San Luis Obispo, California, and are designed to replace the stock pickups in a Fender Jazz Bass.

The Bartolini Original Bass Series Dual In-Line pickups are a passive pickup design made from two types of carbon steel powered by ceramic ferrite magnets and feature opposing polarities for the bass and treble sides of the pickups. The Dual In-Line design means that there are two magnets vertically aligned inside the pickup, which cancels out any electromagnetic hum. These pickups are also designed with a special sealing method that encapsulates the pickups in epoxy, further shielding the magnets from microphonics, the sound that occurs when the magnets are touched. The neck resistance of these pickups measures 6.1k and the bridge resistance measures 6.7k.

Overall, the Bartolini Original Bass Series Dual In-Line pickups are a high-end replacement for stock Fender or Squier Jazz Bass pickups. These pickups are well-researched, hand-made, and will help your instrument sound as best as it can!

3. Lace Sensor Man O’ War Jazz Bass Pickup Set (Best Fender Replacement)

Lace Sensor Man O' War Jazz Bass pickup set

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Estimated Price $175
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Barium Ferrite
Neck Output 9.1k
Bridge Output 10k

Our Review: Lace Pickups were originally designed by Don Lace and manufactured by Lace Music Products in 1985. Fender used Lace Sensor pickups in electric guitars from 1987 to 1996, mainly in Stratocasters, and in the Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck Signature models in particular. The Lace Sensor Man O’ War Jazz Bass Pickup set is designed as an aftermarket upgrade to stock Fender Jazz Bass pickups.

The Lace Sensor Man O’ War Jazz Bass pickups are a passive pickup design with a barium ferrite magnet. Barium ferrite is a type of ceramic magnet, which generally yields a higher output, greater sustain, and enhanced crispness in tone with the risk of sounding overly harsh and aggressive. Lace Sensor pickups have a unique design feature for a single-coil pickup. The pickups are designed to reduce electromagnetic interference from outside sources via a metal barrier shielding that surrounds the coil. Apparently, this barrier concentrates and helps to increase the magnetic field, which allows a weaker overall magnet to be used. The weaker magnet reduces the magnet pull on the string, thereby enhancing the pitch and intonation of a string. Crazy!

Overall, the Lace Sensor Man O’ War Jazz Bass pickup set would be an excellent upgrade for your Fender or Squier Jazz Bass. Lace Sensor pickups have been the stock pickups in Fender guitars in the past and are designed to fit perfectly inside the instrument body with no additional work. The increased output, sustain, and clarity of the Lace Sensors will certainly be a boost to your playing! These are easily some of the best pickups for fender jazz bass guitars!

4. Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazz Bass Pickup (Best Vintage Tone)

Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazz Bass Pickup

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Estimated Price $100
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Alnico 5
Neck Output 8.9k
Bridge Output 8.9k

Our Review: Do you enjoy the warm, vintage tone of 60’s Jazz Basses, but are not impressed with any of Fender’s reissue attempts or any of the newer, hum cancelling or ceramic pickup designs? Fortunately, there are options for you! You might like to try the Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazz Bass Pickups as an upgrade to your stock instrument.

The Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazz Bass Pickups are passive pickups designed to recreate the sound of classic 60s Jazz Bass pickups. The Antiquity IIs feature hand ground calibrated Alnico 5 magnets, 60s era gray flatwork, cloth pushback hookup wire, and are lacquered and wax potted like the originals. These vintage appointments combine with a RW/RP winding process that cancels out the hum of the pickups when two are combined in a set. Perfect! The output of both pickups measures 8.9k, which is slightly hotter than other reissue pickups offered by Fender.

Overall, the Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazz Bass pickups are a cool choice if you are interested in a period-correct, authentic vintage tone combined with contemporary quality craftsmanship and a few modern improvements. These pickups will keep your tone smooth and clear and smack with mid-range punch and perfect vintage thump right when you want it.

5. Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Set (Highest Output)

Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Set

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Estimated Price $130
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Alnico 5
Neck Output 13.7k
Bridge Output 13.7k

Our Review: Seymour Duncan has been at the forefront of the guitar and bass pickup world since the company debuted in the mid-1970s. Long known for their quality craftsmanship and collaborative efforts with high-profile musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Alan Holdsworth, Seymour Duncan pickups are still made and tested by hand in their factory in Santa Barbara, California. The Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Set is designed to replace the stock pickups on a Fender or Squier Jazz Bass.

The Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Set is a passive pickup system, which means you never have to worry about replacing a worn-out battery for an active pickup system! The Quarter Pounders are built from Alnico 5 magnets with ¼” diameter pole pieces and overwound coils which deliver a higher output than other similar pickups. It is unclear from the specifications if each pickup has a resistance of 13.7k or if the combined set has a resistance of 13.7k, meaning each pickup would have about 6.5k average resistance.

Overall, the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Set is a fabulous upgrade to the stock pickups of a Fender Jazz Bass. With classic Alnico 5 magnets and an overwound design, these pickups are a step above your standard fare. Overall, these are some of my favorite pickups and the high output almost makes these some of the best jazz bass pickups for rock.

6. DiMarzio DP149 Ultra Jazz Bass Pickup Set (Best Ceramic Pickups)

DiMarzio DP149 Ultra Jazz Bass Pickup Set

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Estimated Price $140
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Alnico 5 and Ceramic
Neck Output 12.3k
Bridge Output 12.3k

Our Review: Dimarzio basically invented the game in 1972, when the company debuted the Super Distortion pickup, the first aftermarket replacement guitar pickup that was commercially manufactured. The Super Distortion roughly doubled the output of a traditional PAF pickup at the time, making a distorted tone easier to achieve through an amplifier. Since then, Dimarzio has primarily established itself as a producer of pickups and other guitar related accessories. The Dimarzio DP149 Ultra Jazz Bass pickup set is designed to upgrade the stock pickups in a traditional Jazz Bass.

The Dimarzio DP149 Ultra Jazz Bass pickups were originally introduced in 1996 and are a passive pickup design. The pickups are built from a combination of Alnico 5 and ceramic magnets which produces an enhanced dynamic range and frequency response. This unique hybrid magnetic structure also produces a higher resistance than other pickups. The output of the neck and bridge pickups measures in at 12.3k.

Overall, the Dimarzio DP149 Ultra Jazz Pickups are an interesting option for a Jazz Bass. Dimarzio pickups have been an icon in the world of shred for their high output designs. The unique hybrid combination of Alnico 5 and ceramic magnets is unlike other designs and blends the best aspects of both materials. In our opinion, these are some of the best jazz bass pickups on the market.

7. The Realist Copperhead Transducer Pickup For Bass (Best Piezo)

The Realist Copperhead Transducer Pickup For Bass

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Estimated Price $190
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Piezo

Our Review: The Realist is an innovative, industry-leading manufacturer of acoustic pickups for upright basses, cellos, violins, and banjos. Their products are used by some of the biggest names in the world of jazz bass including Christian McBride, John Patitucci, and Ron Carter. Their products, including this pickup for double bass, are designed by Ned Steinberger of Steinberger Instruments and David Gage of Realist.

The Realist Copperhead is a passive pickup system. It is a piezo transducer that is composed of a thin ceramic magnet coated in a layer of copper. The pickup is pressed tightly against the instrument’s table, giving it the ability to sense every nuance of the tone produced there. The Realist focuses on the core of the instrument’s sound to bring you a tone that is reputed to be more real and authentic to your instrument than any other similar transducer pickup on the market. Given that it has the endorsement of such heavyweights as Ron Carter and Christian McBride, I would say that is probably an accurate statement. The Realist’s copper coating is wired to a gold-plated output jack, providing virtually lossless conduction of the piezo’s signal and can be run directly into an amplifier without losing any of the instrument’s natural timbre.

Overall, the Realist Copperhead Transducer Pickup for Bass is the best overall piezo pickup on this list. The quality of the materials combined with the style and endorsements of well-established jazz bassists make it a sure choice, especially compared to the competitors who don’t list very much specific detail about their products. If you are an upright jazz bassist and have a budget for a high quality piezo pickup, I do not think you would be disappointed by the Realist Copperhead.

8. Northern Lutherie LLC Blueberry Pi (Best Budget Piezo)

Northern Lutherie LLC - Blueberry Pi

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Estimated Price $70
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Piezo

Our Review: Northern Lutherie is a small, family-run company that designs and manufactures a range of pickups for upright, acoustic basses, cellos, violins, banjos, and other acoustic instruments. Northern Lutherie is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and their production is powered exclusively by wind and solar energy. They have been in business for just over a decade and are establishing themselves as a player in the acoustic pickup world. The Northern Lutherie Blueberry Pi is designed for an acoustic, upright bass.

The Northern Lutherie Blueberry Pi is a passive pickup design. The Blueberry Pi is a piezo pickup, which means it uses a magnetic transducer to pick up the vibrations through the wood of the instrument, as opposed to many of the other pickups on this list that react to vibrating metal strings. This piezo pickup sits underneath the bridge of an acoustic bass, on the low E side, and has a ¼” jack for an instrument cable to plug into an amplifier, preamp, or PA system, etc. The Blueberry Pi features a 20mm sensor and is reputed to have the highest output, best clarity, and least feedback of any piezo pickups, but I have not found any specific information to back up these claims, as their website does not give any technical information.

Overall, the Northern Lutherie Blueberry Pi seems like an excellent, high-end piezo pickup for an acoustic bass. Amplifying your acoustic bass for jazz gigs, recordings, and rehearsals is an important element of your sound, and having an optimal pickup is crucial to sounding your best. The Blueberry Pi seems like a great and affordable choice to accomplish this task.

9. Wilkinson Variable Gauss Ceramic Traditional Jazz Bass Pickups (Budget Pick)

Wilkinson Variable Gauss Ceramic Traditional Jazz Bass Pickups Set for JB Style Electric Bass

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Estimated Price $25
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Ceramic
Neck Output 8.55k
Bridge Output 9.35k

Our Review: Wilkinson is an elusive brand. Apparently, the pickups are manufactured in China, but it is difficult to find any reliable information apart from Amazon. Their products are distributed worldwide by a few international distributors including Metallor and JHS. The Wilkinson Variable Gauss Ceramic Traditional Jazz Bass Pickups Set for JB Style Electric Bass is designed to be a replacement pickup set for a Fender or Squier style Jazz Bass.

The Wilkinson Variable Gauss Ceramics are passive pickups, meaning they don’t require electricity to function. These pickups are made from a ceramic magnet. Ceramic magnets are often less expensive and produce a higher output than Alnico magnets. Ceramic magnets are made from a composite of iron oxide and strontium carbonate that is super-heated and then allowed to cool in a magnetic field, which gives the composite its magnetic charge.

There are some other reviews that indicate a design flaw in the Variable Gauss technology in these pickups. Gauss is a measurement of magnetic induction or magnetic flux density. Basically, it seems that there are in fact two different magnets with different strengths inside each pickup. This produces a difference in volume between the strings that is undesirable.

Overall, the lack of available information on these pickups makes them a risky buy in my opinion. They are cheaply priced and, from all available information, cheaply made as well. You would be better off spending a little more money and buying upgrade pickups from a more established, reputable manufacturer.

10. Fender Custom Shop ’60s Jazz Bass Pickups

Fender Custom Shop '60s Jazz Bass Pickups

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Estimated Price $190
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Alnico 5
Neck Output 7.1k
Bridge Output 7.4k

Our Review: Fender practically defined the future of electronics in guitars and basses with the combination of single coil pickups with a five-way toggle switch in their first Stratocaster in 1954. Fender has continued to develop and innovate the game since then and also continues to manufacture reissues of their most popular and ground-breaking designs from generations ago. One such reissue is the Fender Custom Shop 60’s Jazz Bass Pickup Set. This reissue model pickup set is designed as an upgrade to the stock pickups of a Fender Jazz Bass.

The Fender Custom Shop 60’s Jazz Bass Pickups are passive pickups, like all the pickups on this list so far. That means you never have to worry about leaving your instrument plugged in overnight and wearing down the battery! The Custom Shop 60’s are built from Alnico 5 magnets with flush mount pole pieces for a more even and balanced tone and response. These pickups measure a resistance slightly lower than some of the others in this post and are listed as moderate output on the Fender website. The neck output resistance measures in at 7.1k and the bridge output is at 7.4k. These pickups have boosted bass frequencies and slightly subdued middle and higher frequencies.

Overall, the Fender Custom Shop 60’s Jazz Bass Pickups are a fitting upgrade for your Fender or Squier Jazz Bass. If you admire the classic growl of a 60’s Fender Jazz Bass but don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars for one, you would do yourself a favor and save some money by purchasing these pickups for your 2015 reissue!

11. EMG JVX Bass Pickup Set Black

EMG JVX Bass Pickup Set Black

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Estimated Price $190
Active or Passive Active
Magnets Alnico 5
Neck Output 10k
Bridge Output 10k

Our Review: EMG has been manufacturing guitar and bass pickups and EQ accessories from the factory in Santa Rosa, California since 1976. Their products first took hold in Europe via Steinberger guitars as a staple of their unique headless guitar designs. The company began to gain traction in the USA and their pickups have since been adopted by a wide range of guitarists, primarily in the metal and rock genres. The EMG JVX Bass Pickups are designed to replace stock pickups on Jazz Basses.

The EMG JVX Bass Pickups are active pickups and are built from Alnico 5 magnets. That means the pickups require battery power to function. Active pickups generally produce a higher output than passive pickups and are often chosen for their enhanced clarity and sustain. EMG pickups differ from other manufacturers in that they build from a bar magnet instead of pole pieces. The hypothesis is that a bar magnet produces a more even and balanced response across the strings than a series of pole pieces. However, these pickups are designed to be a sort of bridge between active and passive pickup designs and actually incorporate offset pole pieces for a more faded and vintage sound.

Overall, the EMG JVX Jazz Bass Pickups are a curious option to explore if you are interested in active pickups but also are seeking a warmer, vintage tone. One complaint of active pickups, especially ceramic active pickups, is that they sound too brittle and harsh. The EMG JVX Jazz Bass Pickups are designed to avoid some of these pitfalls by combining an active pickup with offset pole pieces.

12. Fender Yosemite Precision/Jazz (P/J) Bass Pickup Set

Fender Yosemite Precision/Jazz (P/J) Bass Pickup Set

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Estimated Price $130
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Alnico 5
Neck Output 12k
Bridge Output 7.3k

Our Review: Another interesting design from Fender, the Yosemite Precision/Jazz Bass Pickup set is designed as an upgrade to stock pickups. Fender originally debuted the Precision Bass in 1951. The Precision, or P-Bass, was so-called because most bassists at the time played an upright, fretless bass and the fretted neck of the P-Bass allows players to sound more in tune, or precise. The P-Bass has incorporated a number of different pickup combinations in its nearly 7o year history. The Fender Yosemite Precision/Jazz Bass Pickup set combines the neck pickup of the P-Bass with the bridge pickup of the Jazz Bass for a unique sonic match.

The Fender Yosemite P/J Bass pickup is a passive pickup system made from Alnico 5 magnets. As previously noted, Alnico 5 magnets are a staple of modern electric guitar and bass pickups for their rich and powerful sound. The Yosemite P/J pickup set also features a shellac coating to reduce possible feedback as well as staggered pole pieces to help balance the tone across all four strings. The combination of P-Bass and Jazz Bass pickups produces a strange discrepancy in pickup output. The P-Bass pickup measures a 12k resistance, while the Jazz Bass pickup measures a 7.3k resistance.

Overall, the Fender Yosemite P/J Bass Pickup Set would be a fine choice if you admire the tone of both a Precision Bass and Jazz Bass and would like to combine the two into one instrument. However, some alteration to your instrument might be necessary as the P-Bass Pickup is a split single coil and traditionally, Jazz Basses are built for two, straight single coil pickups.

13. Fender Gen 4 Noiseless Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups

Fender Generation 4 Noiseless Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups

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Estimated Price $160
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Alnico 5
Neck Output 12.5k
Bridge Output 11k

Our Review: The Fender Generation 4 Noiseless Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups are the latest update to Fender’s innovative line of Jazz Bass pickups and the newest addition to Fender’s Noiseless technology. Fender has been pushing their own line of Noiseless and noise canceling pickups for a few decades now and this fourth-generation promises to be better than any before. The Fender Generation 4 Noiseless Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups are designed to replace stock pickups in a Fender Jazz Bass.

The Fender Generation 4 Noiseless Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups are a passive pickup design and are built from Alnico 5 magnets, like most other Fender pickups on the market. There is very little information about the particular design features of these pickups and what it is exactly that sets them apart from other noise-canceling designs, or even previous Fender designs. However, apparently these pickups have “achieved the sonic equivalent of cold fusion authentic vintage-style. So basically they are really great because Fender says they are really great and doesn’t provide any more information about what makes them so great. The neck pickup has a resistance of 12.5k and the bridge pickup measures a resistance of 11k, both of which are higher outputs than the other pickup sets on this list.

Overall, the Fender Generation 4 Noiseless Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups would be a fine upgrade for your Fender Jazz Bass. If you are interested in maintaining a unified brand on your instrument and enjoy the sound of Fender-made Alnico pickups, then these would probably be a great choice. The hype is certainly there and I am sure the tone is too.

14. K&K Bass Max

K&K Bass Max

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Estimated Price $120
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Piezo

Our Review: K&K is a small, boutique designer and manufacturer of pickups for acoustic instruments. They currently base their operation in Coos Bay, on the southern coast of Oregon. However, the company originally began in 1984 in Germany. Their first products were pickups designed for marimbas and vibraphones, a far cry from the acoustic jazz bass pickups they are known for today!

The K&K Bass Max is a passive pickup with a piezo magnetic transducer. The Bass Max features a 22mm sensor that fits inside the bridge of your upright bass. The K&K Bass Max is a dual side pickup, so the transducer picks up the vibrations from the strings vibrating as well as the vibrations of the body. This produces a balanced tonal output across the entire instrument. The pickup produces a broader range of middle frequencies, meaning it is well suited to both pizzicato and arco playing styles and also means you won’t have to adjust your amp when switching between playing styles. The Bass Max features a standard ¼” input jack that fits snugly inside the bridge near the pickup. It is difficult to find a true measure of resistance anywhere on the available online sources, but the pickup is reputed to be high output.

Overall, the K&K Max seems to be a comparable choice to the Northern Lutherie Blueberry Pi. Both are higher output, magnetic transducer piezo pickups designed for upright, acoustic basses. Both are well suited to jazz sounds and to switching between arco and pizzicato playing styles. Both feature a standard ¼” instrument jack and both are made by hand in small, family-owned factories. The only noticeable difference is the K&K Bass Max is about twice the price of the Blueberry Pi!

15. Aguilar AG 4MJ-HC Humbucking Bass Pickup Set

Aguilar AG 4MJ-HC Humbucking Bass Pickup Set

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Estimated Price $240
Active or Passive Passive
Magnets Alnico 5
Neck Output Unavailable
Bridge Output Unavailable

Our Review: Aguilar has established itself as a boutique designer and manufacturer of high-end pickups, amplifiers, and preamps, and cabinets. The company is owned and run by a team of bassists, so all of their products are designed from a musician’s perspective to enhance the playing experience. Because of this vantage point, Aguilar products have been able to make a unique and significant imprint in the development of bass guitar sounds over the last few decades.

The Aguilar AG 4MJ-HC Humbucking Bass Pickup Set is a passive pickup system designed for four string basses. The pickup set features a single coil pickup in the neck position and a humbucking pickup in the bridge position. To upgrade a Fender-style Jazz Bass with these pickups might require some additional tools, as the stock holes for pickups on a Jazz Bass might not be the correct size. However, the benefit of having a combination of humbucker and single-coil pickups is that the noise of the system is almost totally canceled out. Other than that, these pickups seem pretty similar to many of the other replacement pickups on this list. They are hand-wound with Alnico 5 magnets and the bridge pickup is designed to replicate the classic Music Man Stingray bass with its articulate midrange and thunderous lows. There is no information available on the output of either the neck or bridge pickups.

Overall, the Aguilar AG 4MJ-HC Humbucking Pickup System sounds like a suitable replacement for your Jazz Bass. If you don’t mind having to do a little extra work to install a humbucker, you will probably be pleased with the result. Aguilar makes great products and I am sure these pickups are no exception. However, you might be better off with a pair of single coils so you save yourself the trouble of breaking out the saw!

Wrap Up:

That wraps up our list of the top Jazz Bass pickups. The world of Jazz Bass pickups is full of interesting and exciting options. Good luck in your tonal pursuits!

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