Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Affordable replacement Jazzmaster pups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by chris m., Feb 13, 2014.

  1. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    I have a classic player's Jazzmaster, which I really love. For quite a while I was reasonably satisfied with the stock pickups. But at last night's rehearsal I realized that they are a bit too strong in output, and that a lower power wind would probably be better for my rig and my music. I use Teles and Strats with vintage or just slightly hotter than vintage winds, and this guitar is a lot more strident and less sweet sounding by comparison. Some compensation is possible with other settings on my rig, and lowering the guitar's volume knob, but at the end of the day I think lower power pickups would make for a better overall tone, especially clean tone for surf-y, spaghetti western, Pink Panther kind of stuff. I don't want to go too low power, however-- looking for a good balance or compromise.

    I also don't want to spend a ton. I'm interested in hearing thoughts your suggestions regarding offerings from Mojotone, GFS, Seymour Duncan, Fender, etc. Not the super boutique-y stuff. Thanks--
  2. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    Try using a low capacitance cable and adding resistors in parallel with the pickups.
  3. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Vancouver, BC
  4. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    I subbed a GFS Jazzmaster bridge pickup into my VMJM and I think it sounds great. It isn't reverse-wound though... and that matters to some people. You can find real Fender AVRIs for about $40-$45 each and that's probably what I'll do if I get another VMJM.

    Stepping up a few $$$, you can get Duncan Antiquities (I = darker, II = brighter) for about $60 each and there's a company called Rose Pickups that lets you pick your magnets for about the same price. That's an interesting option.
  5. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Derek-- I already use low capacitance cable as well as at least one buffered pedal if I'm using any pedals so am not losing any highs or signal strength.

    Not sure about the concept or specifics of putting resistors in parallel with the pickups. Please tell me more on that. I've done all kinds of guitar wiring in the past. I already have a treble bleed circuit in place, one with cap/resistor values that were recommended specifically for these pickups, and it works very well. Obviously, putting a resistor-- let's say 50k ohms just for starters, on the hot lead of each pickup before going to the pickup selector switch, or, alternatively, a single 50k ohm resistor going from the hot out of the selector switch to the master volume pot, would reduce the overall signal strength coming out of the pickups, and probably slightly alter the EQ as well.

    I actually had a similar situation with a cold solder on the universal ground on the volume pot of a Tele. The Tele was sounding weak on either pickup. When I measured pickup resistance using the trick of plugging in an instrument cable and measuring resistance across the 1/4" plug, I was getting a resistance reading of something like 300kohms instead of the nominal 8 kohms or so for Tex-Mex pickups. But when I opened up the control plate and checked the resistance at the pickup leads, it was the correct, roughly 8 kohms for both pickups. I immediately suspected a cold solder joint, fixed it, and resistance measured at the output jack was back to 8kohms, and the volume and strength jumped right back.

    So is this kind of what you are talking about? Intentionally putting some resistance in the hot side to dissipate a little of the hot signal?
  6. Rockdog

    Rockdog Tele-Afflicted

  7. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity

    I have the same guitar and didn't care for the hot pups either. I don't play distorted or any of that. Surf stuff mostly on that guitar. So being I like ol' school dropped a set of these in:

    Fender USA '62 Vintage Jazzmaster pickup

    I just love them, great JM tone !!
  8. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    have you played with pickup height?
  9. NiceTele

    NiceTele Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 20, 2012
    I've tried a lot of JM pickups and can't beat the combination of a stock AVRI neck and Seymour Duncan "Hot Jazzmaster" in the bridge
  10. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Sounds like you're already hip to this, but have you tried just backing the pickups down a bit?
  11. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Yes, I have tried lowering them a bit.

    I'm in no rush to change them....and trying options like lowering them, keeping the volume turned down, etc., are good ones. If I can dial them in right, in theory I can get most of the sparkle and chime, but also get grittier and dirtier just by cranking the volume pot back up, so it's worth a go, and much cheaper.

    I've done some recording with the guitar, and it sounded great, and very Jazzmaster-ish. So to some extent I'm splitting hairs, but that's what we do, isn't it? It's just that last night at rehearsal I was having a bit of trouble taming them. But this was the first time picking it up after several months of mostly playing my Strat with DiMarzio True Velvets, which are super light wind pickups, much, much weaker.
  12. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  13. skraprm

    skraprm Tele-Meister

    Mar 10, 2011
    Inland Empire
    The Classic Player JM pickups are essentially a P90 with ALNICO poles. The coil of wire is also a different shape, which really changes the sound.

    look on ebay for "AVRI (American Vintage ReIssue) Jazzmaster pickups".
  14. vintage clubber

    vintage clubber Friend of Leo's

    Apr 12, 2012
    Mechanicsville, VA
    They have alnico bar magnets and screw poles much like P-90's. I have a set I am dropping in a Squier VM Jazzmaster.
  15. skraprm

    skraprm Tele-Meister

    Mar 10, 2011
    Inland Empire
    You're right; and thanks for the correction.
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