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Jazzmaster pickups in a Jag?

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  • Jazzmaster pickups in a Jag?

    Sort of a weird question, but would I still be able to get basic Jazzmaster sounds if I were to get a Squier VM Jag and swap out the stock pickups for JM pickups? I miss the sounds I had in my Blacktop JM's neck pickup, but I don't get on with 25.5. guitars. 

    Anti-shimmer

  • #2

     


    If you're trying to make a Jaguar sound like a Jazzmaster, or a Jazzmaster sound like a Jaguar, the pickup swap will get you part of the way there, but you may find you dont feel it's a total transformation to the sound of the "other" guitar... but it will probably be enough of one that it won't sound like the guitar did prior to the pickup swap.


    While they share a lot of design elements, and a very similar look, there are some differences between the Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster models. The two most significant are the pickups, and the scale length - both of which affect the sound. The pickups are both single coil designs, but the Jazzmaster pickups use a shorter and much flatter / wider bobbin, while the Jaguar's bobin (and thus the coil of wire wrapped around it) is narrower and taller, with metal shields. This affects the magnetic field of the pickup, the susceptibility to hum... and most definitely, the sound.  But swapping the pickups isn't enough to turn a Jag into a JM. The scale length difference not only affects the string tension and playing feel (you generally run one gauge higher on a Jag to compensate), but also the sustain, overtones, and overall sound.


    You'll get some JM type elements to the sound if you put JM pickups into a Jag. You'll also lose some of the stock Jaguar type sounds - the brightness and twang of the Jag pickups is different from the sound of the JM pickups. Will you like the sound after the swap? The only way to know for certain is to try it and see, or try to find a clip from someone who has done something similar to their Jag (and I know of at least one person on this forum with a Fender Jaguar with JM pickups in it) and see if you like the sound enough.


    If you're looking for the JM type neck pickup sound, but still want to keep some of the Jag sounds intact, why not just swap out the neck pickup and leave the stock Jag bridge pickup in place?


     


     

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    • #3

      Yes.

       

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    • #4

      I'd just get a jazzmaster instead, and replace the bridge pu with a jaguar pickup. Actually, I'd just get both a jazzmaster and a jaguar and leave em both stock

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      • Phil O'Keefe
        Phil O'Keefe commented
        Editing a comment

        thom wrote:

        I'd just get a jazzmaster instead, and replace the bridge pu with a jaguar pickup. Actually, I'd just get both a jazzmaster and a jaguar and leave em both stock




         


        So would a lot of guys... but he's more comfortable with the Jag's shorter (24") scale length, which kind of rules out the Jazzmaster.


         


    • #5

      Curtis Novak makes JM pickups for Jag that install without any mods to the guitar body.  Stick them in there and use heavier strings (to compensate for the sound and feel of the shorter scale length) and it'll sound a lot like a JM.  It won't sound exactly the same but really who cares?  I mod my guitars precisely so that they don't sound exactly like everyone else's.

      Good deals with: woolyh, kaz2550, fruvai, english_bob, daysofspeed, gambit, matchpoint (twice), SilenceSketches.

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      • Phil O'Keefe
        Phil O'Keefe commented
        Editing a comment

        percyexpat wrote:

        Curtis Novak makes JM pickups for Jag that install without any mods to the guitar body.  Stick them in there and use heavier strings (to compensate for the sound and feel of the shorter scale length) and it'll sound a lot like a JM.  It won't sound exactly the same but really who cares?  I mod my guitars precisely so that they don't sound exactly like everyone else's.




         


        Good suggestion on the Novak pickups. With those, no routing is required, which makes the whole process a lot easier, and less expensive too.


        And FWIW, I agree with you regarding personalizing the guitar to suit your tastes and needs. At least as long as it's not a priceless vintage guitar with historical significance, or something like that. On a new Squier? Mod away!


         



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