What's up with Jazzmaster Pickups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by zezone, May 10, 2020.

  1. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Well, this thread shows that there's no mainstream view of JM pickups, that's for sure. Personally, the two I've owned were both pretty dull-sounding (stock Fender PUs). No really interesting treble, and a fairly non-descript bass, but amps can do a lot with that. But wow, everybody's making a groovy JM PU now, so that's changed. What I truly loved was the playability (other than the horrible trem) balance, and feel. Make me want to buy one now and mod the tone. As others have mentioned, the pots are huge in what does or doesn't sound good about JMs.
     
  2. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I even like it stock, for driving an amp into breakup.

    The main thing to understand is that they have controls for a reason. Use them, and you'll probably be a happy camper. Don't use them, and the tone will probably only be suitable part of the time. Most people don't.

    FWIW, I don't use dirt pedals. I use amp volume set so that I can get from clean to crunchy with a combination of right hand pressure and onboard controls. the way I approach a Jazzmaster/Jag is that I use the lead/rhythm switch as my "main" switch – not the toggle. Those are my two main tones, both using the neck pickup. I treat the bridge pickup (and very rarely the B+N setting) setting as my sometimes used ultra trebly tone for cutting through distortion. On a Jag, the strangle switch adds yet another layer of distortion handling, by sucking out low end. I don't often use thick enough distortion to warrant the strangle switch, but it's still fun sometimes.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Yes.

    It's why I mentioned that I now use 500K pots on my non-vintage-correct Strat builds. I like them to have a wider e.q. palette available. "Normal Strat" position becomes lower on the knobs...but treble can be added when needed/wanted.
     
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  4. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    P.S. Gibson knob pointers help a lot when you are using high valued pots with "down a bit" as your normal position.
     
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  5. zezone

    zezone Tele-Meister

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    Yes. I considered a Mastery bridge but I couldn't get over the looks, which doesn't appeal to me. I then looked at Staytrem but they had stopped selling outside the UK by that point. I tried the American Pro on a whim and it was a perfect match in terms of string spacing and strings matching the poles.
     
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  6. Treehouse

    Treehouse Tele-Meister

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    @zezone thank you. No string slippage or buzz I’m assuming?

    also, in terms of the hum you are experiencing, I know a bit is par for the high gain course, but I’m curious if your guitar has been thoroughly shielded?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  7. zezone

    zezone Tele-Meister

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    All good. I did give the neck pocket a very slight angle while routing though.
     
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  8. zezone

    zezone Tele-Meister

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    Oh I missed one of your questions: Yes, the guitar is fully shielded with copper.
     
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  9. Treehouse

    Treehouse Tele-Meister

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    Yes, my bad, I added/edited as you were responding. Thanks
     
  10. Campsquire

    Campsquire TDPRI Member

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    In my study of pcikups I've realized the following - up until a point, those windings further from the magnet produce a bigger signal. The magnetic field radiates from the top of a pole piece to the bottom in all directions. Though the magnetic field gets weaker as you move out on the radius, it is more easily influenced by the grab of a vibrating string and makes biggere excursions thus producing a bigger signal, ie more sensitivity.
    I believe that's the point of the wide flat Jazzmaster pickup. You can use less wire to achieve the same signal strength thus lowering both the resistance and the inducrtance of the coil making for a wider range in tone.
    I made pickups for the steel guitar community (Tonelaligner) and found if I increased the bobbin web thickness positioning the windings further from the pole pieces, the sensitivity increaed.
     
  11. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    Did you shield inside the pick up covers? I'm wondering if that's a thing because I've got a set ready to install soon on my JM partscaster project.
     
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  12. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    There's no relationship between that sensing width and sensitivity. If the sensing area is wider, you get suppression of narrow harmonic widths, and that's about it. Cumulatively, PAF/Filter'tron style humbuckers have a very wide sensing width, much wider than any single coil.
     
  13. zezone

    zezone Tele-Meister

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    I did not. First time I'm hearing about that tbh.
     
  14. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    I read about it on OSG (Offset Guitars). A search will get you a variety of opinions, FWTW.
    Not sure what I think about shielding, I shielded my first project and it's noisy as hell, maybe it's just my house wiring. Maybe I didn't do it right. I'm going to shield this Jazzmaster mutt I'm working on though.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  15. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    You are making the classic mistake of assuming that output is based on the static magnetic field that surrounds the magnet. That is not what determines the signal intensity. It is the time varying magnetic field produced by the string that does. It has a completely different geometry.
     
  16. Gabeezlebub

    Gabeezlebub TDPRI Member

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    I bought an American Pro JM knowing full well that they sound nothing like a Jazzmaster. They sound like a Strat. And the strings ARE too far apart. But I thought a StayTrem and new pickups would do the trick. I wanted the quality of that guitar plus I don’t need a rhythm circuit.
    I am looking for the jingliest, jangliest, bell-like vintage pickups possible. The Fender Vintage 65’s aren’t bad, but somehow I think I can do better. I actually like the Seymour Duncan Vintage pickups better. Some of the cheaper JM’s seem to capture that surfy sound the best, but I don’t know what kind of pickups are in them. One guitar was from Japan.
    The funny thing is, every time someone replaces their original pickups as an “upgrade(?)” I like the originals better!?!?!?!
    There are some Kinman noiseless Jazzmaster pickups that sound great, and the American Performer has some Yosemite single-coil jazzmaster pickups that sound surprisingly good.
    Still looking for that perfect standard American jazzmaster sound. Any ideas? I hope changing pickups works, otherwise I blew a lot of money for nothing. Thanks!!!
     
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  17. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I don’t know. I’m still a huge fan of the Fender PV ‘65s. I have two JMs and I’d like to keep one stock Fender JM and one with some Rose humbuckers.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Holic

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    I love Jazzmasters... Never even played one, but I love em'.

    This thread almost made my brain implode... LOL

    I do know that Leo spent a lot of time making the guitar, and it was intended for jazz use... What a classic guitar, now used in every style...
     
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  19. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Meister

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    Really like my Novak Vintage JM set.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I like JM pickups but they vary a lot, the originals were very thin bobbins with only a little over 1/8" thick coil, where virtually all the RI Fender JM pickups have taller narrower coils.
    The V Mod is often referred to as just a Strat pickup but it's closer to a Tele bridge pickup in terms of coil height and width.
    The MIJ is similarly taller but not as much.
    The other RI Fender JMs are probably twice as tall in coil than originals, and also originals were wound with roughly 6k resistance of 42awg, where Fender now puts 6.5- 7.8k worth of 42awg.

    As far as plinky tone, that's likely due to vintage style setups where there is so little break angle that the strings ring more like a banjo than a guitar. Modern build and setup "fixes" that plink issue.

    I've been trying to decide if I want to toss the V Mod pickup in favor of the 62 or whatever it was that sounded a little fatter/ warmer.
    Need more guitars routed for JM pickups. It's that simple.

    Pretty JM BTW!
    Very nice finishing, what do you generally paint?
     
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