Jazzmaster and P90s- whats the difference if any

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by tjmicsak, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. tjmicsak

    tjmicsak Member

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    They look almost identical but looking at the SD Antiquities they appear to be different pickups. Could a Jazzmaster pickup fit inside a soapbar cover?
     
  2. gi doc

    gi doc Member

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    From what I understand the Jazzmaster has it's magnets as the pole pieces vs the P90s have a bar magnet......so there's quiet a bit more magnet with the P90's. The Jazzmaster is a cleaner pickup with not as much grind. I think they are the exact size though.
     
  3. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    Big diff!
    The alnico poles of a JMAS pickup much more highs.
     
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  4. merriweather69

    merriweather69 Member

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    Yes definitely A big difference in sound as stated above.
     
  5. scotticus

    scotticus Supporting Member

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    The pickup sizes are not interchangeable
     
  6. HyakuShiki

    HyakuShiki Member

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    Jazzmaster pickups are a very different size than P-90s. They're much larger and wider. Usually, master builders can do P-90s in Jazzmaster casings, but I don't think I've ever seen a Jazzmaster pickup in a P-90 setting.
     
  7. Dandolin

    Dandolin Member

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  8. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal Member

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    They aren't at all the same, so there's that. Don't be fooled by superficial appearances.

    Jazzmasters are designed to be clear and warm, with great note articulation. They distort in a unique way.

    P90s have a warm distortion and grind to them, very mid range sounding and whatnot.
     
  9. kracdown

    kracdown Custom User Title Gold Supporting Member

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    the similarities stop at the fact they they look similar and are pickups..
     
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  10. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Yes, this.
     
  11. scotticus

    scotticus Supporting Member

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    This is a good description, very reflective of my experience with my JM and my SG with p90s. I'd add that when played clean, both have a warm fat sound to them, with the JM pickup having a unique high end kind of sparkle that I can't really describe well. Both pickups cover some similar ground but are still quite unique. In my experience it's not redundant having both.
     
  12. TheBuffalo

    TheBuffalo Member

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    I've heard that jm pickups are just strat pickups in a bigger form or casing.

    Any truth to that?
     
  13. bluescube

    bluescube Member

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    Copied from Lollar pickups:

     
  14. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    There is a recent thread here that contained a picture comparing an MIJ JM pup (which is basically a strat wind on a JM size bobbin) and a "real" aftermarket JM pup. It shows the difference between the two very clearly. They are nothing alike in terms of construction or sound.
     
  15. TheBuffalo

    TheBuffalo Member

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    Im not saying they sound the same at all, most know that when you change the size of a pickup the sound is going to change alot, but what i meant was that i believe they are a very similar design

    would love to see that pic though
     
  16. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    The post with the picture is titled "Jazzmaster guys". I couldn't figure out how to link it but a search should produce it quickly.
     
  17. Joe Naylor

    Joe Naylor Supporting Member

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    At first glance a P90 and Jazzmaster pickup appear similar, but they are actually very different. Both are large single-coil designs with a wide coil (but not identical), which senses a larger area of string, and that contributes to increased lows and mids. This is why a Jazzmaster pickup has a fatter tone than a Strat pickup, which uses a taller and narrower coil.

    Without delving into every single detail of both designs, the most significant difference between a P90 and Jazzmaster pickup is the magnetic structure. The Jazzmaster uses six small alnico polepieces (1/2" tall x 3/16 dia.), while the P90 features steel polepieces coupled to two large alnico bar magnets (2-1/2" x 1/2" x 1/8") mounted on the bottom of the pickup. The P90 has almost four times as much magnet! That extra horsepower makes the P90 louder and more prone to overdriving an amp, while the wider magnetic field results in more lower mids, producing that signature P90 grind. On the other hand, the Jazzmaster's small and narrow magnets produce less power and less mids, resulting in a cleaner tone that retains that classic Jazzmaster twang.
     
  18. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal Member

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    Here's a Japanese made Jazzmaster pickup (the smaller of the two) next to a custom wind that I had made:

    [​IMG]

    It's also worth bearing in mind that when you see the term "P90", you are discussing a pickup that has been in constant production since 1947, if I am correct, making it probably the longest running made pickup in current lineups of guitar models that there is.

    So, a P90 is less a pickup than it is a style of pickup, or family of pickup, same as you would find with Fender type single coil pickups or PAF type hum buckers (or any pickup, really). Some P90s are wound hotter than others, so will distort more easily, that kind of thing. It would be hard to list all the differences that you could expect with different winds of P90s, especially since I don't know much about pickup construction, really.

    That being said, though, if I can generalize, a P90 will usually distort quicker, and lead to a kind of overdriven "bluesy" tone pretty quickly. They will have plenty of high end, but less "sparkle", if that means anything. The volume and tone knob is your friend with P90s, they can get what you might call a "barking tone" that can be pretty unpleasant rather quickly... I have three guitars with P90s, and am still learning the ins and outs of them.

    Frankly, compared to Fender guitars, they require some knowledge and work. At least with me they do. You can't necessarily expect to just turn all the knobs up and get to playing.

    Regarding the Jazzmaster pickups, I usually tell people, imagine what Leo Fender was designing those guitars to be. It's right there in the name. Leo knew that jazz musicians would want warm, vibrant sounds with very low distortion, and very much note articulation so that you can hear the individual notes of the more complex chords that jazz musicians will play. They have a very crisp and open high end- frankly, the Jazzmaster is my favorite guitar, so you should take my enthusiasm with some suspicion.

    There's a video on this page of Fender's, it'll illustrate the clean sounds pretty well.

    http://www.fender.com/series/americ...round-lam-rosewood-fingerboard-olympic-white/

    That being said, though, there are other factors in the design of the Jazzmaster that add a lot to the sound other than simply the pickups. The fact is, there isn't another mass produced guitar like it and there never was.
     
  19. zastruga

    zastruga Member

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    Here it is:
    [​IMG]

    CIJ JM on the left, notice that it's pretty much just Strat pickup shaped.
    Seymour Duncan Antiquity on the right, notice that's it's very flat and wound wide. That's a proper vintage style Jazzmaster pickup.

    And for further comparison, here's a P90. Adjustable pole pieces, big honking bar magnet on the bottom, and a coil shape that looks nothing like either JM or Strat pickups.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. zastruga

    zastruga Member

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    In other words, the only real similarity is that they both kind of look like bars of soap when you put the covers on.
     
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