Jaguar pickups in a Mustang

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cracklepop, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. cracklepop

    cracklepop Member

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    Picked up a sweet looking Mustang and while I don't hate the overall tone, I would like to tweak it more towards bright, jangly w. lower output, more like a Jag (love the Johnny Marr model).

    I've read a little about the 250K vs 1Meg pots and the different pickup anchoring (to body vs. in pickguard).

    So basically: Grabbing a pair of Jag PUs, replacing the the 250k with a 1Meg pot and making/ordering a custom pickguard should do, right?

    Do I need to replace just the vol pot or also tone?

    About the PUs being attached to the (Jag) body: Do Jags have some sort of threaded base or do the PU screws go right in to the wood?

    I understand my Mustang PUs are pretty much some sort of Strat PUs. True or not?

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tweedledee

    Tweedledee Member

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    Yes, Mustang pickups are basically Strat pickups with the magnet pole pieces flush to the top of the bobbin, but Jaguar pickups are basically Strat pickups as well - the obvious difference being the claw, which doesn't really affect the tone all that much (though some will scream otherwise). In my experience, the main differences you hear in the pickups themselves come primarily from the magnets used and the number of windings/output. But if you take a Strat pickup, Mustang pickup, and Jag pickup, all with Alnico V magnets and roughly the same output, it's going to be tough to tell the difference if you put them in the same guitar. I put Jaguar pickups in a Strat once and it sounded like... a Strat. :D

    To me, what contributes most to the sound of a Jaguar is the length of the strings behind the bridge due to the trem design, and also the scale length. Of course everything else contributes as well (the value of the pots, the presence of all the extra circuitry, etc.) but the those seem to be the main factors. So you're partly there with a Mustang given the scale length, but you're not quite going to get that Jaguar "plunkiness" even if you throw in Jag pickups and put in 1 meg pots because you're missing all that extra string length behind the bridge. There's also the issue of the pickups being slanted in a Mustang versus parallel with the bridge in a Jaguar, which affects the tone.

    Will good Jaguar pickups sound good in a Mustang? Absolutely! Will they sound just like a Jaguar? Probably pretty close, but it will be up to your ears to determine if it's close enough.

    Just my two cents.
     
  3. GreenKnight18

    GreenKnight18 Member

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    I think Tweedledee's take is accurate. :)
     
  4. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

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    There are a few things you can't change about the Mustang and one is the length of string behind the bridge. As pointed out that contributes partly to the Jag tone. If it were me I would start by changing the pots to 1meg. You want to do both the tone and the volume. See where that gets you and if you are not where you want to be then give the pickups a shot. But I bet the pots will get you 90% of the way there just by themselves.
     
  5. cracklepop

    cracklepop Member

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    Thanks Tweedledee! Very thorough and makes complete sense. So a custom pickguard w. slanted PU cutouts would cross the 'slantedness' off that list, leaving only the string length issue.
    I guess I'll have to look inside and check if the cavities fit.
     
  6. cracklepop

    cracklepop Member

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    Probably. Good point. Think I'll try this first.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  7. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Mustang, Strat, Jaguar pickups all sound different from one another.
     
  8. RocksOff

    RocksOff Member

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    That's an SD Lil 57 in the bridge on the guitar in the picture... designed to sound like a humbucker. You might try putting an actual Mustang pup in it. It will be plenty thin and jangly.
     
  9. Roxy

    Roxy Member

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    I was just doing the measuring today . It can easily be done . I just bought a Duncan Quarter Pounder For Jaguar ( same dimensions as a Jag obviously)and it'll fit my Mustang. Just not sure if it'll fit with the claw.
     
  10. cracklepop

    cracklepop Member

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    Yep, did exactly that. And so much better to my ears. It came with the original PU.

    As for the cavities, they are pretty tight and slanted.
    A Jag PU would fit the pickguard (prob. without the claw) but to get it parallel to the strings, one would have to modify the body.

    Actually quite happy with the sound: Percussive. Moodier, more 'straight forward' than my AV Tele. Less scooped, less 'complex'. Plunkiness, yes. But not what I'd consider 'jangly'.
    I'll also install the original bridge before looking at pot changes, see where this gets me.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    However, here are some pics in its current state.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  11. cracklepop

    cracklepop Member

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    Here's a question for the electrically inclined: The Tone pot wasn't working. Now, I am an idiot when it comes to electronics but what I did notice was that this doesn't look like the original schematic; the cap on the tone pot is not where it's supposed to be and there's another one on the volume pot (where there's none in stock config).
    Seems like some mod, disabling the tone pot.
    I'd like to reverse this (with tone working): Just remove the smaller (orange) cap and solder tone pot cap, right?

    Thanks again![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  12. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    [​IMG]

    Look how close the pickup is to the bridge on a jag. That is going to make a huge difference. Every time you halve this distance, you are effectively doubling the frequency of the harmonics the string is outputting at that point. For this reason, a small change in this measurement makes a huge difference compared with the same movement of the neck pickup.

    This is particularly true of single coils with polepieces that are designed to 'read' a very particular short length of their string. It is not so noticeable on humbuckers, Jazzmaster pickups or P90s which are designed to read from a longer portion of the string.

    This is one of the reasons a Tele bridge pickup sounds so much fatter than a Strat. Not the only reason.

    If you want that Jag sound, route a new hole in the correct position for a Jag pickup and you'll basically be 99% of the way there.

    You could also try raising the vibrato bar to make a shallower break angle to get more of that percussive surf tone the Jag is well known for.
     
  13. denitronik

    denitronik Member

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    About the wiring, it does seem to have been modified.
    The cap on the volume is a treble-bleed cap that keeps the high frequencies going through when you turn down the volume; the sound stays bright when you turn down the volume. This cap should have a value of about 0.001uf
    Some people like this, some don't; it's a matter of taste (personally I like it).

    The tone pot wiring is OK and should work; if it doesn't then I suspect that the tone capacitor is opened and needs to be replaced.
     
  14. cracklepop

    cracklepop Member

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    Thanks. Treble bleed sounds good; might try this on my tele, too.
     
  15. cracklepop

    cracklepop Member

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    Thanks! Insightful. So much for swapping pickups to 'get that sound'.

    In fact, I did play with the guitar for a couple days now and I really start liking it for what it is.
    The neck feels good and it's real fun with a tweedish tone, minimal crunch and percussive playing.
    I'll possibly pass on 'Jag'ging it up; there'd be too much invasive surgery involved.
    I'll possibly try changing the pots to higher value / more brightness.
     
  16. gravy

    gravy Member

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    nice thread...
     
  17. cracklepop

    cracklepop Member

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    I ended up staying in the Mustang realm and got a pair of Seymour Duncan Antiquity Myths (touch bigger/warmer than before but not nigh-and-day) and the original bridge is back incl. Vibrato arm. Overall great guitar for plunky and honky tones, clean jangle or 'dream' pop stuff and it works equally well for classic rocking out.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  18. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    Mustang and Strat pickups are essentially the same. The only difference is the magnet stagger. The difference in sound is due to placement and the respective guitars they are on.
     

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