Reward yourself and your Jazz or J-style bass by conjuring up a new (or old) voice through a set of replacement pickups.

From Jaco to John Paul Jones, from Geddy Lee to Flea, and from Marcus Miller to Larry Graham, the J-bass formula is omnipresent in music history. Sometimes, however, that formula needs tweaking to get you where you want to be tonally. Swapping in a new set of J-style pickups like the 10 we’ve gathered here could very well be your ticket.

JC 4 AL

This single-coil replacement set balances the woody low-mid growl and warm midrange of ’60s J pickups with the funky twang of ’70s J pickups.

DELANO
$286

JB71

Reminiscent of ’70s J-bass sounds from Marcus Miller, these pickups are reported to offer a tone that’s lighter and airier than ’60s examples.

KLOPPMANN
$340

Area J

For those after a vintage-J sound, without the usual-suspect hum, this set was designed for a focused attack with clear and clean lows, and open-sounding and smooth highs.

DIMARZIO
$129

Weather Report

Inspired by the pickups Seymour Duncan created for Jaco, this alnico-5 set promises pronounced harmonic overtones without giving up treble response.

SEYMOUR DUNCAN CUSTOM SHOP
$220

AG 4J-60

Modeled after a set of mid-’60s Jazz pickups, this alnico 5 pair uses period-correct parts and a proprietary winding pattern meant to provide impressive string-to-string consistency.

AGUILAR
$149

J-Style Bass

Designed to maintain authentic Jazz-bass tone and character without fear of single-coil hum, these double-blade pickups will fit traditional J-style basses without the need to mod.

JBE
$285

NJ4SV Vintage Hum-Cancelling

These alnico 5 pickups have laser-cut bobbins, are wax potted to contain unruly frequencies, and were designed to provide a full bottom end to complement their growl.

NORDSTRAND
$240

’60 PE J-Bass

Handwound with 42AWG plain enamel wire, which is accurate to late-’60s J-bass coils, this set boasts a defined bottom end, punchy mids, and clear highs.

BARE KNUCKLE
$169

Jazz Bass Vintage

Designed to deliver classic, warm bass sound, these pickups feature hand-beveled and treated magnets, and bobbins made of vulcanized rubber.

LUNDGREN
$240

JB-HC

The JB-HC features a side-by-side coil design that splits the coil in two for canceling hum, yet still retains all the vintage character of a single-coil pickup.

CURTIS NOVAK
$320

Here’s a story about the most interesting man in the world.

“The guitar is my first love, my partner in life. We grew up together and we’ll most likely die together.” —Thom Bresh

One of the best benefits of being a musician is that musicians know musicians, and musicians are the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. Albert Einstein, Charles Dickens, Georgia O’Keeffe, the Marx Brothers, Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, Juliette Lewis, Jack Black, and Zooey Deschanel are or were musicians, albeit not full-time.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

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