Jazzmaster middle pickup ideas?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by joshofsorts, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. joshofsorts

    joshofsorts Supporting Member

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    I have a Jazzmaster I put together for myself a few years back from a Fender Japanese model that had a horrible repaint job and a Strat neck. I ended up repainting and changing out everything on the guitar except the body by the time I was done with it.

    Because of it's Frankenstein status I don't have any misgivings about getting weird with it & have been considering adding a middle pickup to bring more versatility. Ideally something that would not require routing would be nice, but I have access to routing equipment if I decide to go that route. I was thinking of something along the lines of a Goldfoil-type. Has anyone done this with a Jazzmaster and have suggestions on pickups that might work well? The guitar currently has Curtis Novaks, JM-FAT in the bridge and a JM-V in the neck.
     
  2. S1Player

    S1Player Member

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    I have 2 Curtis Novak JM-180's in my JM. Love the sound of that pickup. you could put it in the middle or put it in the bridge or neck and move the other 2 around.
     
  3. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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  4. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    Firebird. I build a FB-FB-T setup and the middle FB is pure.
     
  5. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    It does look cool in there!
    [​IMG]
    How about a third Jazzmaster pickup? That way it will match up nicely.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. joshofsorts

    joshofsorts Supporting Member

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    Those those do look nice. I would have to measure, but I don't know if there is enough room between pickups for a third Jazzmaster pickup with the stock setup. The other thing is I'd like to try a pickup that doesn't sound like a Jazzmaster as I've already got that covered...
     
  7. joshofsorts

    joshofsorts Supporting Member

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    How do the sound of Firebird pickups compare to the Jazzmaster type?
     
  8. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    Some aspects are similiar. They have a nice clarity to them, more punch. I would say not as hot in the mids. Sounds crazy to say less mids but the neck pu in a JM is darker than a FB would be. Also, the FB highs are not as piercing.
     
  9. MWaldorf

    MWaldorf Member

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    I put a middle pickup in my Jazzmaster about 20 years ago. I'm sure other pickups would sound good, but having three matching pickups has a really nice sonic consistency.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. joshofsorts

    joshofsorts Supporting Member

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    MWaldorf, love the look of your guitar, nice paint color too! Was there enough space between the stock Jazzmaster pickup spacing for the third Jazzmaster pickup? Also, do you ever have problems turning pickups on and off accidentally with the individual on/off pickup switches? Is that switch plate custom (I don't remember seeing a 4-switch plate like that)? What does the 4th switch do? Do you use the upper circuit in this guitar?

    I still like the idea of having a different kind of pickup in the center, but want to be able to run them in different combinations of series and parallel. I saw a diagram somewhere that pulled it off with three pickups using switches like that for each pickup.
     
  11. MWaldorf

    MWaldorf Member

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    There's *exactly* enough space for the middle pickup. The bits of pickguard between the pickups are actually separate from the rest and mounted on little blocks. Interestingly, there's also just the right amount of space for the mute. Almost as if it was intentional.

    The switch plate is from a Bass VI, and the fourth switch is a Jaguar style "thin" switch.

    I use the upper circuit on occasion as it was intended for a quieter rhythm setting. For a while I had the upper circuit wired to the bridge pickup instead of the neck pickup, but put it back to stock.

    My goal was to cop some Hank Marvin strat-ish tones, so I didn't look into circuit changes beyond that.
     
  12. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    I would say don't. I think that middle pickups screw up the sound even if they're not connected. But people do play guitars with middle pickups, so I guess they like it that way.

    Pops Staples had a Strat pickup in there....

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    Due to placement (to say nothing of actual guitar construtction), I don't think you'll get any resembling typical FB tone if you put an FB pup in the middle. Not to say you shouldn't do it, just pointing out that it might be hard to extrapolate a comparison. (I think putting a Jag pup in there is a good idea.) -E
     
  14. twostring

    twostring Member

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    Thought the same thing the moment I saw the thread title. I think this would sound fantastic, especially if you can blend it in with either the bridge or neck pickups. Maybe swap one of the thumb roller volume/tone controls to control just the middle pickup.
     

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