New Jazzmaster; Not a Fan of the Pickups. Suggestions, please?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by desceneisvals, Feb 1, 2008.


  1. desceneisvals

    desceneisvals Supporting Member

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    So I just got a Jazzmaster in the mail from a fellow HC forumite. Best packing job I've seen in a long time and I couldn't be more happy with the condition. All the original case candy down to the set of strings that came with it and not a single mark on it or the case.

    However, the pickups just seem a little weak/frail/shrill to me. I'm assuming this is pretty typical, good ol' Fender building great guitars with ****** pickups.

    So what should I drop in it to beef it up a little bit. To give you and idea of the sound I'm looking for, I have Van Zandt 5% overwound blues pickups in my Strat. I'm not looking for the same sound, but for the same type of improvement if you know what I mean. I just want to thicken it up (especially the bridge) and make it beefier. I'm not looking to play metal on it or anything, I just want it to be able to hold its own with some distortion and no matter how much tweaking I do with my amp or pedals it just still sounds shrill. I appreciate the advice.

    Here's a pic. Not the best pic, but it should appease all of you out there until she gets her photo shoot in the sun.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. rickkane32

    rickkane32 Member

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    I have had Seymour Duncan Anitquity II's for quite some time in a JM. Just recently I dropped in a set of Lollars. I realized why I have never seen a set of JM Lollar pups for sale. They sound amazing. Not too trebly but just right.

    rickkane32
     
  3. yakyak

    yakyak Supporting Member

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    I had a MIJ Jazzmaster with Duncan replacements. Antiquities I believe. They sounded good. I bought it that way. Never heard what the originals sounded like. Actually lots of folks make replacements. They can rewind them for you too. I have a feeling about 10% over would get rid of the shrillness and still keep some definition and sparkle. Good luck.
     
  4. desceneisvals

    desceneisvals Supporting Member

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    So to clarify some questions I have had on HC. She was made in the USA. I think I want it to sound more modern. I really love the guitar, and I've been looking for a deal on a USA Jazzmaster for about a year/year and a half or so and finally found one. I really love playing it and think that it is one of the most beautiful guitars ever made, especially in sunburst with the tortoise pickguard. The vintage sound is great, but not what I'm after in this case. I want to make her one of my main guitars/everyday players for everything because I love playing her. I don't want her to be something I just take out when I'm looking for a particular sound, if you know you know what I mean. I'll look into what is suggested so far, but keep the suggestions coming. Thanks guys (and gals).
     
  5. Strat

    Strat Member

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    Call Curtis Novak and buy his JMV's ...end of search. Don't take my word for it... check over at offsetguitars.com. Novak is THE JM pickup guy.

    And another thing all JM players know...turn the tone knob to about 2 or 3
     
  6. sysexguy

    sysexguy Member

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    Curtis made some Jaguar PU's for my baritone that are amazing

    Andy
     
  7. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    A big huge +1 for Curtis Novak. Not only can he do vintage winds -- which I recognize may not be your bag -- but he also does JM sized P-90s, Charlie Christian-style blade pickups, and a couple of humbucker styles. What's amazing to me -- and yes, I've played most of these pickups, all in the same JM -- is that they all really complement the basic sound of a JM without making it sound like a Les Paul ripoff. Obviously, the guitar's construction has a tremendous effect on that, but it's also, I believe, that Curtis really knows, loves & respects offsets.

    Lollars are also fantastic, but definitely in the vintage camp.

    All that being said -- you might consider trying a good set of more vintage styled JM pickups & really working with them. They're capable of a whole lot more than just surf (not that there's anything wrong with surf, mind you!) For example, some of the best fuzz tones I've ever gotten have been a JM's rhythm channel through an Analogman Sunface.
     
  8. desceneisvals

    desceneisvals Supporting Member

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    The P-90 JM size sound right up my alley. I'm definitely gonna check out this Curtis Novak fellow tomorrow. I've also experimented with the tone knob and had it plenty low as that was the first thing I tried before even adjusting my amp, but that just doesn't solve what I want her to do. While I'd like to have that surf ability, it doesn't need to be as good as the standard ability for me to play her every day. When you say, "really complement the basic sound of a JM without making it sound like a Les Paul ripoff,: what specific pickups are you referring to because they sound perfect. I want to have a different sound and still hold that JM tone, but I want it to be an every day tone if you know what I mean (and I've realized I've said that about 10 times in these threads, but I really rely on you guys understanding me.)
     
  9. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I was thinking the PAFs in JM clothing for the LP comparison, but that was really just kind of a turn of phrase. It'd be more clear if I'd said that, while all the pickups that I tried sounded different, they didn't take the guitar so far from the essential Jazzmaster tone that it became unrecognizable as a JM. The humbuckers definitely took the sound the furthest from the starting point; I preferred the P-90 & blade pickups, especially the former. However, P-90s are my all-time favorite pickups, so I'm a bit biased in that way.
     
  10. DavidH

    DavidH Supporting Member

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    I'd go JM-V in the neck (because it's perfect) and a JM-90 in the bridge.You can get an array of tones with that neck pup if you employ both circuits and get familiar with it.I'm talking Curtis Novak pickups of course! Certainly email Curtis about it,i'm sure he'll keep you right.
     
  11. mrweems

    mrweems Member

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    man...

    i really want a damn jazzmaster.
     
  12. TheWarmth

    TheWarmth Member

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    Has anyone tried Lindy Fralin's Jazzmaster pickups? I'm thinking of trying those out.
     

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