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

P90 or Jazzmaster pickup for neck position?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by hanerlend, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Like many if not most pickups, vintage P-90s were not overwound, and in many cases the "underwound" versions of today are about the same as the stock vintage winds.
    So yes, an underwound P-90 will sound like a P-90.

    The CP JM pickup is what I just put in a Strat bridge position, and I consider it to be a P-90 more than a JM, though it's not exactly a P-90.
    My reason for choosing them was they are F spaced and line up with the strings near the bridge.
    For a neck position I'd choose a true P-90, but OTOH the CP JMs come up used for cheap because that guitar is often bought by fans of vintage JMs who don't want the P-90 sound.
    Not sure you can buy them new, but there are lots of J Mascis Squier JM pups for sale used, pretty similar P-90 with bar mags and pole screws plus a base plate, seem to have a good rep but never tried one.
    Very tempted by the J Mascis JM Squiers though.
     
    hanerlend likes this.

  2. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Holic

    691
    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I agree that the lower-wound P90s definitely sound like P90s. Unless what you are after is that midrange-dominant thing that some of the winders do now. I put a Rio Grande P90 that came highly recommended in a guitar and I couldn't get it out fast enough. Completely one dimensional. But mostly I think pickups are better when they have fewer winds, they pretty much had it right back in the 1950s.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.

  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I'd opt for tha Jazzmaster, especially for the neck position.
     
    bacongrease likes this.

  4. hanerlend

    hanerlend TDPRI Member

    14
    Aug 23, 2017
    Stavanger, NO
    Hey,

    sorry it has taken me so long to update this thread. Last couple months have been crazy busy.

    I have decided to opt for a Jazzmaster pickup. At first I wanted to go the easy route, and buy the TEL-JM from Curtis Novak. Unfortunately, they don’t work with a swimming pool route, according to the man himself. So now I’m planning to get a Fender pure vintage Jazzmaster PU instead.

    The neck pocket on my Telecaster is a bit strange, see attached picture. When I route the screw holes for the JM pickup, there will be very little wood left. Do you think this will cause neck stability / tuning issues?

     

  5. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    You could route out on the bottom side of the pickup and leave the neck pocket side, as is.
    That would move the pickup down a bit.

    But I think you'll be fine with your original routing plan. That center section that butts up against the neck should still be intact. There's still plenty of wood in the surrounding areas to keep everything stable.
     

  6. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    33
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    That neck route really is odd. I think you'll still be fine, as it will only be the peak of the little feet that get close to the neck. See what happens if you push the routing template as far down in the HB cavity as possible i.e. Align the bottom edges.
     

  7. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    33
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    To play devils advocate, that's already routed for a p90, it looks like. I have a VM Tele Special, which has a Duncan designed JM neck pickup. I think I'd prefer a p90 for some more grit and grind. Either is a good choice, and with what you have a p90 looks like it will drop right in.
     

  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I tend to prefer the sound of alnico poles (JM) over steel slugs magnetized by a bar magnet under the coil (P-90).

    BUT, the JM pickup is huge and has protruding screw tabs that force you to rout out a huge amount of wood, and then forces you to mount the pickup further from the neck than a P-90 typically mounts.

    Because it is not the 1970s any more, we have this huuuuge pickup market.

    You pretty much can buy either pickup in either configuration.
    Fender makes both a P-90 and a JM pickup in the oversized JM shape.
    I think even Gibson now makes a pole magnet P-90, but there are plenty of aftermarket options for pole magnet P-90s that are basically the same as a JM pup.

    While the JM pup originally had a thinner flatter coil than a P-90, now there are JM pups made with thicker coils in the same shape as P-90s.
    Even some Fender JM pups with rod magnet poles are closer to the P-90 coil shape.
     

  9. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Meister

    381
    May 27, 2014
    SE Michigan
    Nothing to help the OP, but that is cool! Is that a JM neck too?
     

  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Ha ha I missed that this was an old thread and that I already posted.

    Looking at your body rout and pickguard cutout, as well as having lived with my JM routs I did in a new Strat build, I would certainly not rout away that much of the wood where the neck butts into the body!
    I've seen that part broken off in enought guitars that came across my bench to consider it worth keeping a little beef there.
    Otherwise you have only the screws holding the neck back, kind of.
    Great that you can get a JM pup without the screw mount tabs, but I think it's still taking out too mucvh wood for the tiny gain of an extra 1/8" wider coil.
    I'd say eithr make a new guard that puts the pickup further from the neck so you keep some wood there, or get Novak (or anyone else) to sell you a P-90 with rod magnets and a thinner wider coil.
    If you look at a JM pup, there is a whole lot of flatwork width with no coil filling it, so you are buying an idea that requires compromising the structure of your neck mount.

    Edit: OK so not the Novak pup which is an oddball, but the same principle applies to not wanting to remove a bunch of wood where the neck butts, and to the availability of JM type pickups with a P-90 footprint.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017

  11. hanerlend

    hanerlend TDPRI Member

    14
    Aug 23, 2017
    Stavanger, NO
    This is what worries me, especially since I had an Epiphone once where that part broke off.

    Still I like the aesthetics of a JM pickup on a Tele. And I believe the neck screws takes most of the pressure from holding the neck back.

    Common sense says go with a P90-style pickup, since the guitar is already routed for one. And your post lines up with that.

    Still, it would be so cool just go bananas with routing, add a Tele custom pickguard and a JM PU.
     

  12. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Nov 28, 2006
    USA
    Squier put out the Vintage Modified Telecaster Special a few years ago with a Jazzmaster pickup in the neck. I put money down on a used one, but haven't played it yet. Will hopefully pick it up in a week or two.

    The pickguards are black, so it makes it hard to see, but this is what they look like. Its a regular JM cutout in the pickguard, not a simply P90 style. The pickup is also JM style, not a P90 in a JM housing, ala the JM CP or J Mascis.


    [​IMG]
     

  13. hanerlend

    hanerlend TDPRI Member

    14
    Aug 23, 2017
    Stavanger, NO
    Nice guitar! There’s a bit more distance between the neck and the screw mount tabs on the pickup than what I imagined, assuming they have placed it the same distance from the 12th fret as a Jazzmaster.
     

  14. bacongrease

    bacongrease Tele-Meister

    429
    Mar 27, 2013
    More specifically, the Squier Mascis Jazzmaster in neck position. Great pickup.
     

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