My Frankenstrat Project w/Jazzmaster Pups

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by freaksho, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. freaksho

    freaksho Member

    Messages:
    4,004
    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    The Capital
    i stripped my MIM strat of all electronics and am planning to put in a set of Jazzmaster pups. included in this will be routing out the existing cavities to fit the new pups and also cutting a custom pickguard. i also have to cut a new nut and do a fret dressing (half-way done with these two steps).

    electronically i want to keep it simple: a 3-way switch, one tone control and one volume control. but the Jazzmaster schematics show different values for tone pots and caps for each pup.

    so my question to anyone: which values would you use for the common volume and tone controls?

    thanks!
     
  2. DavidH

    DavidH Member

    Messages:
    2,365
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    On the stock jazzmaster wiring the 'lead circuit' (with the 1meg tone pot and .03 cap works for both pickups,via the 3-way toggle,) and many people primarily use this circuit for both pups,a lot even eliminate the rhythm circuit and just use the 1meg/1meg/.03 exclusively.The rhythm circuit jst works for the neck pup and gives a warmer,mellower sound (was dsigned to cross into gibson territory at the time).I've owned quite a few jazzmasters and i tinker with them a lot and i like to use both circuits.

    The truth is it depends on the pups but largely they can sound good with a variety of values,i just wired a jazzmaster today and used 500k/500k/.03 for the lead circuit and the stock values for the rhythm circuit and i like how it sounds,i much prefer the sound of this bridge pup with these values, it has a punchier,throatier sound,more telecastery,the bridge position on a lot of jazzmasters i find pretty useless,they can be very thin and brittle.i like a slightly hotter wind in the bridge.These pups are from a fender custom shop jazzmaster and seem to have a bit more output than the Novak JM-Vs i have.

    there's a vid on youtube somewhere of a guy using the 50k tone pot circuit with the bridge pup and it sounds great so that would be an option too,in fact that might be pretty cool,i'd probably start with something in between though.

    Not really relevant to your question but here's what i did today,i was quite proud of it so i took a pic,soldering really isn't my strong suit.Tried to keep it as neat and easy to remove as possible for pup and pot swaps etc,and the wires as short as possible and eliminate any possible rattles.The pickguard shiled and cavity shields are connected with a guitar string between the tub and the body that contacts the pickguard when you put it on(like how the bridge is grounded),eliminating another wire,the pups are grounded to the tub in the usual way (i find them easier to take in and out that way), i think it looks pretty neat,and it's remarkabley quiet and hum free-cool!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. freaksho

    freaksho Member

    Messages:
    4,004
    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    The Capital
    awesome. that's great info - just was i was hoping to hear.

    the pups are fender usa reissues and my whole reason for trying these is the thicker, or "throatier", sound than the typical (read "strat") single coils. so i might just start with the 500/500/.03 setup. i think that's what was in there originally anyway.

    thanks, man!
    :AOK
     
  4. jmadill

    jmadill Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    589
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Freeland, MD
    Somewhere, and I can't remember where, I saw a Strat with 3 Jazzmaster pickups. I even think it was a Custom Shop instrument. I'll go Google a while, and see what I can find.

    Anyone else remember such a thing?

    -jm
     
  5. freaksho

    freaksho Member

    Messages:
    4,004
    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    The Capital
    btw, you sell yourself short: that soldering & wiring looks like a pretty neat if you ask me. nice job.

    and i had not considered all the shielding since the guitar did not have any stock. think i can get away without it or too noisy?
     
  6. DavidH

    DavidH Member

    Messages:
    2,365
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    I would shield the pickup cavities,just with copper foil probably,and maybe the electronics cavity aswell,and find a way to connect them to your pickguard shield,maybe just leave some foil over the lip of the cavity so it contacts the pickguard when you fit it,i think that might work pretty well,you should be able to get it dead quiet by doing that if you feel it needs it.

    You might be OK without though,i don't really know to be honest,jazzmasters are particularly well shielded and quiet and i've never tried this type of pup without all that shielding but i can't imagine it's that much worse than a strat pup,and can't be any worse than a p90 surely.
     
  7. freaksho

    freaksho Member

    Messages:
    4,004
    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    The Capital
    cool, i'll probably give the shielding a try. i've never done it so it would be a good learning exercise (like most of this project!).


    so i started laying everything out and planning my attack but one thing is not at all obvious: how to fix the pups inside their covers. they came without bottoms on the covers so it's they're loose and would obviously fall out if installed. is there a standard reliable method?
     
  8. DavidH

    DavidH Member

    Messages:
    2,365
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    The covers just cover the pups like a cap,holding the pickup against the body.Put some foam or other springy thing under the pups to act like a spring so you can adjust the height of them.(ie they work just like a P90 cover,but with foam underneath instead of the springs).

    Pics here should give you the idea http://www.provide.net/~cfh/jazzma58.html .Some little blocks of dense foam is what you need.
     
  9. freaksho

    freaksho Member

    Messages:
    4,004
    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    The Capital
    ok, that's what i was thinking of doing but it seemed kinda getto. but if that's how it's done so be it. thanks again!

    (and that link is very helpful too :AOK)
     
  10. DavidH

    DavidH Member

    Messages:
    2,365
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Yeah man,Leo was like the king of cheap 'kinda getto' solutions.:AOK

    Like the saddles on jazzmasters are just cheap threaded rod cut to length,instead of machined for the job and with a proper slot for the string.That's most of the problem with them,the 'slots' don't really point in the right direction (beacause they're just threads so they're slightly angled) and i think that's part of why they tend to jump.I don't think you got that on a Gibson:crazy.I don't know why people insist on keeping those saddles,they're a pile o' crap really.
     

Share This Page