Fralin noiseless JM pickups

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maxoche
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Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by maxoche » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:13 am

Hello you all,
I am about to pull the trigger on those pickups for my AV65 that has lollars at the moment.
any comments of users spending time on OSG using these pickups ?
do they have the typical clean sound with nice attack and piano sound quality of a jm ?

many thanks

Max (from Brussels)

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by maxoche » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:33 am


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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by Larsongs » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:31 pm

Fralin makes great Pickups.. But so does Lollar.. It's going to come down to what you like best... Totally subjective.. Ask 10 guys & you'll get 10 different opinions...

Sorry, Not much help.. I've never seen the need to change the Stock Pups in my AV65 JM... I hink they sound like a 65 JM is supposed to sound & think they're great..

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by alexpigment » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:34 pm

Larsongs wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:31 pm
Fralin makes great Pickups.. But so does Lollar.. It's going to come down to what you like best... Totally subjective.. Ask 10 guys & you'll get 10 different opinions...

Sorry, Not much help.. I've never seen the need to change the Stock Pups in my AV65 JM... I hink they sound like a 65 JM is supposed to sound & think they're great..
I have a feeling he wants noiseless JM pickups specifically, which Lollar doesn't make, and the AV65 pickups certainly are not noiseless. Sadly, not every place is a good environment for single coils. Those AV65 pickups would drive you insane at my house :)

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by maxoche » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:15 pm

the reason I need noiseless pickups is that, I play in front of keyboards on stage ...
and these generate noise in the pickups !

any users opinions of these pickups ?

thanks

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:47 am

I can only say that I've spent a good amount of time reading up on Fralin noiseless P90s compared to Kinman noiseless P90s. I won't try and make a claim on anything based on what I've read on the internet, I'm just pointing out that option for you as well.

I didn't even know that Fralin made noiseless Jazzmaster pickups until this thread, so I'm clearly no expert. But since you'll be going blind whatever you do, maybe look into some videos about Kinman noiseless Jazzmaster style pickups if you haven't already.
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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by maxoche » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:25 am

thanks Larry,

did you try noiseless P90's ?

I've checked videos upon kinmans.
From what I could ear on youtube, they sound a little bright for my taste. the p90 option could be nice.
Fralin is a reputable builder and sure has a good idea on how a nice single coil pickups can sound.
I also don't like the high tech / made overseas approach of kinman pickups.
but that has nothing to with sound...
In the past I tried dimarzio noiseless pickups that I did'nt like at all (Area model).

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:22 am

No, sorry. I was a little hesitant to post in this thread since I don't really have any good, firsthand information but I wanted to make sure that you were aware of the Kinman option. I thought that you would be, but I felt I would be remiss not to mention it.

I will be getting some noiseless P90s, and based on what I've read on the forums they'll likely be Kinman. I'd been recommended to look into the Fralins by mbene (Mike) on here, and I did a lot of reading after that.

Honestly, if I found a used set of the Fralins I would give them a try. I'm not totally against them. But I would want to buy them used so I could get my money back if they just ended up sounding like humbuckers, which is what I think they will sound like based on everything I've read.

That's the P90s, though. No idea about the Jazzmaster versions. I'm a little intrigued as well.
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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by mbene085 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:05 am

The Fralin noiseless JM pickups are "just" his noiseless P90s with the bobbins shaped to fit JM covers. This does mean that they're are thicker/deeper than standard JM pickups which can be an issue if you have shallow routs and a low neck angle.

It's worth noting that even though they are "P90's" (truthfully, they share virtually nothing in common with actual P90 design), he offers them in both a screw pole/bar magnet design, as well as an alnico pole design. This is true of both the P90-shaped and JM-shaped ones. The alnico poles will sound a lot more like Fender pickups and the screw poles more like Gibson designs.

Bill Lawrence held a firm belief that most players preferred the tone of screw-poles at the bridge position and magnet-poles at the neck position (though he referred to them as soft core and hard core magnetic circuits, which is getting to be above my head in terms of understanding pickup design). He designed some of his noiseless pickups that way, where even if they looked similar, the neck and middle pickups would have the equivalent of alnico/Fender polepieces and the bridge would have the Gibson style magnetic circuit.

You'll see that approach commonly across all guitar forums...lots of Les Paul fanatics will tell you how amazing staple P90s sound, "especially in the neck" (those are just P90s with magnetic polepieces), and look around any Fender forum like OSG or strat-talk and you'll find tons of people recommending P90 designs, primarily as bridge pickups (the Novak JM90 being especially popular around these parts). I myself had some P90 style pickups in a Jaguar for years, but became increasingly dissatisfied with the neck pickup in particular.

All this is to say, if you choose the Fralins, consider trying the alnico-pole neck pickup and screw-pole bridge pickup, since he offers both options.

I've never tried the Kinman JM or P90 pickups, but they're a cool design and I'm a fan of anyone working on noiseless designs from a new angle. I mostly just don't like some of his business practices (like moving production overseas while maintaining prices at the very top end of the pickup market).

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:25 pm

Ah, I didn't know that about the Fralin Jazzmasters being his P90 noise-free pickups in the Jazzmaster cover. That will rule it right out for me- Alnico or otherwise.

Some guitars I don't care that much about, but Jazzmasters I want to keep as close to the Jazzmaster sound as possible. I would not want my Jazzmaster to have a humbucker posing as a P90 hiding where a Jazzmaster pickup should be. I would think that would be several steps down in quality.

I certainly did a lot of reading on the Fralin P90s, and the impression I got from the forums is that his P90s are more or less not much like P90s and will sound like a humbucker. That might be acceptable to me in something like my ES-330, where a darker sound could be OK. But I sure wouldn't want that in a Jazzmaster.

The internet wisdom seems to be that Kinman does nail the P90 sound, of course, what exactly that means I don't quite know, since P90s can range from super clean chiming shining machines to these throbbing and dark permanently compressed and distorted sounding things.

I could live with either of those to a degree, again, though, not in a Jazzmaster.
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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by mbene085 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:08 pm

Yeah, there's certainly a wide variety of actual designs available that get simply labeled as "noiseless" pickups, and they are often named by shape and not tone.

For example, the SD Hot Rails, SD Little '59, Wilde L-200, Wilde L-45, Lace Sensor, Lace Alumitone, EMG S, Dimarzio Virtual Vintage, Kinman Traditional, Fralin Split Blades, Fender SCn, Fishman Fluence, and Alembic Activator are all "noiseless strat pickups," and every single one of them is constructed completely differently. Some of them are intended to sound like an actual single coil strat pickup, and some are meant to sound completely different.

The thing about Kinman is that, while his P90s are reportedly very true to "proper" P90 tone, he has this to say about the JM:
We believe Leo actually wanted a huge, lush round sound from his Jazzmaster with his wide flat coil design but he stopped short of his goal and ended up with too much brightness which compromises girth and the gnarly trebly sound is the reason it did not achieve wide popularity among the Jazz fraternity at the time. Using our advanced materials and Electrical Engineering know-how we found ways to go where Leo wanted to take this Jazzmaster .... in the direction of a lush P-90.
No thanks. Like you said Larry, JM tone is JM tone and I agree that that's what I want from a JM. A "lush P90" to me says, "I couldn't get my noiseless design to reproduce enough high end in this form factor, so I'm going to call it a feature instead of a bug, and say these are meant to be more like P90s anyway."

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by maxoche » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:15 am

"I couldn't get my noiseless design to reproduce enough high end in this form factor, so I'm going to call it a feature instead of a bug, and say these are meant to be more like P90s anyway."
that sounds right !

that makes me hesitate more on this purchase.
maybe the best solution would be to rethink the noise problem. maybe build some custom noise cancelling dummy coil in the body of my jazzmaster...
DIY way means a lot of time spent on it though .

look:

https://sites.google.com/site/stringsan ... sc-pickups

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by Larsongs » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:36 am

I play an AV65 Jag & AV65 Jazzmaster next to my Nord 5D73 Keyboard & have no hum noise issues.... Are you sure it's not something else causing the problem? What kind of trouble shooting have you done for both Keyboard, Guitar & Amp?

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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:07 am

I guess let me ask you about some other solutions- so, is the shielding improved at all on this guitar from stock? I wonder if the pick guard is all shielded, you could also get an anodized aluminum pickguard and such.

How is the hum when you have both pickups on? That's why I've always skipped doing a lot of noise cancelling stuff with my Jazzmasters, since I tend to like the both pickups sound the most anyway.
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Re: Fralin noiseless JM pickups

Post by RIORIO » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:47 pm

My JM is noisy as all get out in my house. I do a ton of recording and I've been wanting to try some other hum cancelling JM pickups for awhile now (I had Kinmans in an old build). I just ordered some from CME with their 15% off sale....under $250 shipped is a risk I'm willing to take- esp for my #1 and ESP if they're as good as everyone is saying. Will report back in a few weeks ;)

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