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Best Jazz Bass Pickups 2024

Jazz Bass was first introduced to the world by Leo Fender in 1960 and has since become one of the most popular bass guitar models ever — and with good reason. It’s the more adaptable of Fender’s two main electric bass models (the other being the Precision Bass). While the J Bass was designed for jazz bassists, it has been utilized by a wide range of bassists and bass guitars in a variety of genres over the last six decades, including Jaco Pastorius, John Paul Jones, Geddy Lee, Larry Graham, Aston Barrett, Marcus Miller, and Flea.

In the world of bass guitars, the quest for the perfect tone is a journey that never ends. Jazz bass pickups play a pivotal role in this quest, offering a blend of warmth, clarity, and dynamic range that can elevate your sound from good to extraordinary. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an enthusiastic amateur, the right set of pickups can transform your bass into a powerhouse of musical expression. This guide delves into the best jazz bass pickups available, focusing on sound quality, durability, and ease of installation. From vintage warmth to modern clarity, we explore options that cater to every style and preference, ensuring your bass sings with unparalleled tone.

Fender Custom Shop ’60s Jazz Bass Pickups

Fender Custom Shop '60s Jazz Bass Pickups
  • Custom '60s jazz bass& pickups are patterned after vintage pickups but are...
  • Uses alnico 5 magnets and formvar magnet wire.
  • Sold in pairs only and includes all mounting hardware.

With the combination of single coil pickups and a five-way toggle switch in their first Stratocaster in 1954, Fender effectively established the future of electronics in guitars and basses with the fender jazz bass guitar.

Since then, Fender has continued to expand and innovate the game, as well as producing reissues of their most popular and ground-breaking designs from previous generations. The Fender Custom Shop 60’s Jazz Bass Pickup Set is one such reissue. This Fender Jazz Bass reissue model pickup set is designed to replace the standard pickups. The Fender Custom Shop 60’s Jazz Bass Pickups, like the rest of the replacement pickups on this list, are passive. That means you’ll never have to worry about damaging your instrument’s battery by leaving it plugged in overnight!

For a more uniform and balanced tone and responsiveness, the Custom Shop 60’s use Alnico 5 magnets with flush mount pole pieces. These pickups have a significantly lower resistance than some of the others in this post and are stated on the Fender website as having a moderate output. The neck output resistance is 7.1k, while the bridge output resistance is 7.4k. The bass frequencies are enhanced, while the medium and higher frequencies are gently muted.

It’s no surprise that these pickups come standard on the majority of Fender Custom Shop basses, given their articulate and fiery tone. It comes highly recommended. Overall, the Fender Custom Shop 60’s Jazz Bass Pickups are a great addition to any Fender or Squier Jazz Bass. This is the Best Jazz Bass Pickups in 2023.

EMG EM940020 EMG Bass JV-X Set X-Series Pickups

EMG EM940020 EMG Bass JV-X Set X-Series Pickups -...
  • For 4-string, standard j-bass milling, visible polepieces
  • Specially designed preamplifier with open and dynamic sound concept
  • Specially designed preamplifier with open and dynamic sound concept,...

Since 1976, EMG has been producing guitar and bass pickups, as well as EQ accessories, from its factory in Santa Rosa, California. Steinberger guitars, a staple of their unusual headless guitar designs, were the first to catch on in Europe. In the United States, the firm gained popularity, and their pickups have since been accepted by a wide range of guitarists, mainly in the metal and rock genres. The EMG JVX Bass Pickups are designed to be used in Jazz Basses to replace the factory pickups.

EMG JVX Bass Pickup Set are made of Alnico 5 magnets and are active pickups. That implies the pickups must be powered by a battery. Active pickups have a higher output than passive pickups and are frequently preferred for their improved clarity and sustain. EMG pickups are built using a bar magnet rather than pole pieces, which sets them apart from other manufacturers. A bar magnet, rather than a set of pole pieces, is thought to give a more equal and balanced response throughout the string basses. These pickups, on the other hand, are designed to be a bridge between active and passive pickup types, with offset pole pieces for a more faded and vintage sound.

EMG JVX Jazz Bass Pickups are an intriguing alternative to investigate if you’re looking for active pickups with a warmer, vintage tone. Active pickups, particularly ceramic active pickups, have been criticized for sounding overly brittle and harsh like a jazz bass single coil. By combining an active pickup with offset pole pieces, the EMG JVX Jazz Bass Pickups are designed to minimize some of these issues. This is the Best Jazz Bass Pickup in 2023.

DiMarzio DP123 Model J Bass Pickup Set Black

DiMarzio Pickup, Black, one Size (DP123BK)
  • Recommended for: Neck and bridge positions. The DiMarzio Model J was...
  • Quick Connect: No
  • Wiring: 4 conductor

DiMarzio DP123 Model J pickups are a formidable choice for bassists looking to refine their jazz pickups with a sound that is both authentically vintage and powerfully modern. These pickups are engineered with a split coil humbucker design, which serves to effectively counteract the coil hum that is often an issue with single-coil pickups, thus ensuring a hum cancelling performance.

Crafted with bar magnets, the DP123 pickups are celebrated for their ability to deliver a bass tone that is punchy and clear, embodying the classic jazz bass tone with warmth and articulation. This makes them suitable for a wide array of musical styles, not just jazz, but also for any genre where a robust and clean bass tone is paramount. The neck pickup, in particular, is known for its precision-like quality, while the bridge pickup adds a desirable low-end boost.

The split coil pickup design of the DP123 ensures that the signature pickups maintain the natural character of the bass, producing a sound that is dynamic and full of life. This design also contributes to the reduction of background noise, allowing for a cleaner sound. Installation feedback indicates that these pickups fit comfortably in standard jazz bass slots, and the installation process is straightforward for those with basic DIY skills. The DP123 pickups are also noted for their visual appeal, with a sleek appearance that complements the overall look of the bass.

Incorporating the DP123 Model J pickups into your bass setup promises to deliver a significant enhancement to your instrument’s sound. Their hum cancelling capability, combined with the ability to deliver a powerful low-end and a clear midrange, makes them an excellent choice for bassists looking to elevate their sound with a set of high-quality, style pickups.

Lindy Fralin 4 String Jazz Bass Pickup Set

Lindy Fralin 4 String Jazz Bass Pickup Set
  • 4 String Pickup Set includes Neck (short) and Bridge (long) PickupsDirect...

Lindy Fralin is a boutique pickup maker founded in the 1990s in Richmond, Virginia. Fralin’s pickups are all hand-wound and tested for tone, clarity, and consistency in their shop. This is the kind of quality and attention to detail that you should expect from a boutique pickup manufacturer. The Lindy Fralin 4 String Jazz Bass Pickup Set is meant to replace the factory Fender Jazz Bass pickups.

Lindy Fralin Jazz Bass pickups are passive, which means they don’t require any energy to operate. Because the stock pickups on Fender Jazz Basses are also passive, there is no need to modify them. The Fralin Jazz Bass Pickups are made with Alnico 5 magnets made in the United States. Alnico magnets are a magnetic alloy composed of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt, as well as iron. The most prevalent alnico type in guitar and bass pickups is Alnico 5. These pickups provide an output of 8.4k in the neck position and 8.8k in the bridge position. Because determining a reliable measure of output for pickups is challenging, the D.C. Resistance is commonly used to determine a pickup’s output.

Lindy Fralin Jazz Bass pickups are a huge improvement over the factory Fender Jazz Bass pickups. The Fralin Jazz Bass pickups are more dynamic, with sweeter and warmer mids and a wider tone range. You can’t go wrong with these Lindy Fralin Jazz Bass pickups, which come with a variety of winding options to suit your preferences and the assurance of a high-quality, hand-crafted piece of gear. These are without a doubt the greatest passive jazz bass pickups available.

Seymour Duncan SJB3 Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Bridge Pickup

Seymour Duncan SJB-3 Quarter Pound J-Bass Pickup -...
  • Bridge-position Single-coil Pickup f Jazz Bass - Black

Since its inception in the mid-1970s, Seymour Duncan has been at the vanguard of the guitar and bass pickup industry. Seymour Duncan pickups are still built and tested by hand at their Santa Barbara, California plant, and are well-known for their superior craftsmanship and collaborations with high-profile musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Alan Holdsworth. The Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Set by Seymour Duncan is meant to replace the factory pickups on a Fender or Squier Jazz Bass.

Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass Set is a passive pickup system, you’ll never have to replace a worn-out battery as you would with an active pickup system! The Quarter Pounders have Alnico 5 magnets with 14″ diameter pole pieces and overwound coils for a higher power than comparable pickups. The specifications are unclear as to whether each pickup has a resistance of 13.7k or if the combined set has a resistance of 13.7k, implying that each pickup has an average resistance of roughly 6.5k.

Aguilar AG 4J-HC Bass Guitar Pickup

Aguilar AG 4J-HC Bass Guitar Pickup
  • 42 Gauge Formvar Wire
  • Alnico V magnets
  • Single-conductor, cloth covered cable

Aguilar AG 4J-HC Jazz Bass Pickups stand out as a superior choice for bassists aiming to upgrade their j bass pickups with a sound that is both timeless and modern. These pickups are ingeniously designed with a split-coil configuration, effectively eliminating the notorious coil hum that often accompanies single-coil pickups, thus providing a hum-free playing experience.

The tonal quality of the Aguilar AG 4J-HC pickups is frequently described as punchy and clear, capturing the essence of the classic jazz bass tone—warm yet articulate. This makes them highly versatile across various musical styles, not just confined to jazz but also extending to genres where a clean, robust bass tone is essential. The humbucker pickups design ensures that these signature pickups preserve the organic character of the bass, delivering a sound that is dynamic and vibrant.

Aguilar’s meticulous approach to pickup design, which includes the utilization of 42 gauge Formvar wire and Alnico V magnets, contributes to the pickups’ capability to produce a large, dynamic tone that Aguilar is celebrated for. This design choice also facilitates the retention of the natural, organic tone of the bass, even while eliminating the 60-cycle hum. Feedback regarding installation suggests that these pickups seamlessly fit into standard jazz bass slots, and the installation process is straightforward for those with basic DIY skills. The Aguilar AG 4J-HC pickups are also commended for their aesthetic appeal, with covers made of a nice matte material that enhances the overall look of the bass.

Aguilar AG 4J-HC Jazz Bass Pickups are highly esteemed for their ability to deliver a clean, noise-free performance without sacrificing the bass’s natural sound. Their hum-canceling capability, combined with the capacity to deliver a powerful low-end and a midrange cut, positions them as a prime choice for bassists seeking to upgrade their instrument with a set of high-quality pickups.

Jazz Bass Pickup Buying Guide

When shopping for the best jazz bass pickups, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the right tone, quality, and ease of installation for your needs. Here’s a detailed guide to help you make an informed decision.

Tone and Sound Characteristics

Jazz bass pickups are known for their warm, round tone, which is versatile across various music genres, not just jazz. The tone you’re looking for will largely dictate the type of pickup you choose:

  • Single Coil Pickups: These are the traditional choice for jazz basses, offering a bright, clear, and articulate tone. They are known for their high level of articulation and dynamic response.
  • Humbuckers (Hidden or Otherwise): These pickups are designed to cancel out the hum that can be associated with single-coil pickups. They typically offer a thicker, warmer sound.
  • Active Pickups: These pickups require a battery and offer a higher output and a more consistent tone. They can be particularly useful for genres like metal where a more aggressive tone is desired.

Brand and Quality

Several reputable brands manufacture jazz bass pickups, each with its own signature sound:

  • Fender: Known for their classic tone, Fender offers pickups that are praised for their balance of bright and dark tones.
  • DiMarzio: Offers pickups known for their ceramic construction and powerful output.
  • Seymour Duncan: Known for pickups designed for a beefier sound.
  • EMG: A leader in active pickups, EMG’s offerings are known for their aggressive tone suitable for heavier music styles.


Before purchasing, ensure the pickups are compatible with your bass guitar. Here are some installation considerations:

  • Pickup Sizing: Measure your current pickups to understand what can be a direct replacement in your bass. Pay attention to length, width, and screw ear location.
  • Installation Process: If you’re comfortable with DIY projects, you might install the pickups yourself. There are resources like YouTube tutorials that can guide you through the process. If not, consider the cost of professional installation.
  • Active vs. Passive Electronics: If you’re adding active pickups, you may need to modify your bass to accommodate the battery and additional circuitry.



What makes jazz bass pickups different from other types of bass pickups?

Jazz bass pickups typically offer a brighter, more articulate sound with a pronounced midrange, making them versatile for various musical genres.

Can I install jazz bass pickups on any bass guitar?

While they are designed for jazz bass models, many pickups can be adapted to fit other types of bass guitars with some modifications.

How do active and passive pickups differ in sound?

Active pickups offer a higher output and a more consistent tone across the frequency spectrum, while passive pickups provide a warmer, more vintage sound.

Are ceramic or Alnico magnets better for jazz bass pickups?

This depends on personal preference; ceramic magnets tend to produce a brighter tone, while Alnico magnets offer a warmer, more classic sound.

How do I know if a pickup is compatible with my bass?

Check the pickup dimensions and wiring requirements against your bass’s specifications to ensure compatibility.

Can changing pickups affect my bass’s resale value?

It can, especially if the original pickups are considered high-quality or vintage. Keep the original pickups to reinstall if you plan to sell your bass.

How important is the installation process in choosing a pickup?

Ease of installation can be a significant factor, especially for those less experienced in modifying their instruments. Some pickups come with detailed instructions or can be easily installed by a professional.

Do I need special tools to install jazz bass pickups?

Basic tools like a soldering iron, screwdrivers, and wire cutters are usually sufficient for installing most pickups.

How can I ensure my new pickups will last?

Proper installation and regular maintenance, including cleaning and avoiding excessive moisture, can help extend the life of your pickups.

Where can I find more information on installing jazz bass pickups?

Many manufacturers provide installation guides, and there are numerous tutorials available online that offer step-by-step instructions.