How to Install a Fender Jazz Bass SCN Pickup

Written by kirk maltbee
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How to Install a Fender Jazz Bass SCN Pickup
Some Fender Jazz bass players upgrade their pickups to Fender's SCN pickup line (guitar guitarist music musical instrument image by david hughes from Fotolia.com)

Renowned instrument manufacturer Fender introduced their top level Samarium Cobalt Noiseless (SCN) pickups as an alternative upgrade for those desiring vintage style tones without the inherent hiss associated with regular pickups. The SCN pickups came standard in Fender's top-of-the-line American Jazz Bass Deluxe series of basses, as well as an option for Custom Shop models. Some choose to purchase the pickups separately and install them on their own Fender Jazz bass to improve their tonal options.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Small towel
  • Small pillow
  • Screwdriver
  • Soldering iron
  • Wire crimpers
  • Damp cloths
  • SCN pickup set
  • New strings (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Spread the small towel across a flat and stable surface, then lay the bass on the towel to prevent accidental scratching to the bass's finish. Put the small pillow underneath the headstock to create a level work surface.

  2. 2

    Loosen and remove the old strings and set aside or discard if you plan on using new strings. Unscrew and remove the pickguard and set aside. Unscrew the holding screws on the current neck and bridge pickups, then gently pull the pickups up and out of their cavities in the bass body.

  3. 3

    Heat the soldering iron with a damp cloth underneath the iron to prevent accidental burns to the work surface. Unscrew and remove the control plate and pull it up from the bass. Trace the paths of each pickup wire from their position on the pickups to their joints on the volume/tone pots on the control plate

  4. 4

    Heat each joint on the pots until the wires are loose enough to pull away. Set the old pickups aside or discard. Open the package of SCN pickups and consult the included diagram concerning pickup placement.

  5. 5

    Crimp the ends of the SCN pickup's wires to expose about .48 inches of fresh wiring. Solder the pickup wires, including the ground wires, to their respective joints on the control plate's volume/tone pots as directed by the SCN's diagram. Apply the solder liberally and allow ample time to cool (at least an hour).

  6. 6

    Insert the pickups into their respective cavities and screw them into place. Replace the pickguard and restring the bass as you normally would, then tune the strings to the desired pitch. Plug the bass into an amp and play; if a buzzing is present, the joints may need resoldering.

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