How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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pullover
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How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Post by pullover » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:49 am

Just wanting how you date Jazzmaster pickups? Is there a way to tell based on what they are made out of or color?
The reason I ask is, when I bought my Jazzmaster, the guy told me that the pups in it were from a 65 jazzmaster. I said, "ok," and shrugged, how in the hell should I know? I wouldn't be broken if these pups weren't really 65's cause they sound great which is the important part. I couldn't see any codes or markings on them. Apart from some rust on the bottom of the posts, and the paint on the top of the posts wearing off there's nothing that says how old they are.
Here's the bottom of the bridge and the top/side of the neck.
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Re: How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Post by zhivago » Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:02 am

from Jim Shine's site:
Jazzmaster pickups have been hard for me to pin-point spec wise. There are more variations with Pre-CBS Jazzmaster pickups than most any other Fender from the same era. Here are some general specs.

1958-1962 The pickups were wound with plain enamel wire. They were potted in an alcohol activated material. The windings fill up the entire bobbin and often slightly rub the pickup cover. The magnets were hand beveled and the magnets barely stick out beyond the cover. On the bottom the magnets stock out quite a bit and have a heavy bevel. Both neck and bridge pickups have black and white cloth wire and the fiber for the coils is made from black material.

1962-1964 The winding wire appears to change to bondable Formvar and is still potted with the alcohol activated material. The winding style changes during 1962 from a 'scatter wind' to a more even wind.

1964-1966 The fiber changes to a gray color and dates are applied to the bobbins. First the dates are a small stamp with the Month, day, year and initials of winder. These appear on the end of the black bobbin pickups and overlap to the early grays. Then the dates were penciled in, but by the end of '64 and early '65, we see the typical black marker style of dating. I have seen some early gray bobbins with standard Formvar winds wax potted.
blackbottoms from my '61:

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Last edited by zhivago on Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Post by andrewaward » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:52 am

The poles stick up more (on the top) on the 62 to 64 pickups................from your pics I'd say thats what yours are Pullover
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Re: How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Post by pullover » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:06 am

Sweet! Thanks a lot guys. If anyone else wants to post pics of their pickups so that I could see the differences I would appreciate it. I think it would be cool to see all the changes through the U.S. line and a comparison of the Japanese to U.S.
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Re: How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Post by andrewaward » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:52 am

Here are some pics showing some changes , they are (in order) 1959, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1974

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Re: How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Post by zhivago » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:02 am

fantastic pics!

thank you very much, Andrew!

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Re: How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Post by pullover » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:03 am

Sweet Thanks Andrew  :) You kick ass.
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Re: How to date jazzmaster pickups?

Post by fullerplast » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:13 am

The only thing I would add to this discussion and the excellent pictorial is that a yellow date stamp with initials (ie. MH FEB 64) often appears at the tail end of the black bobbin run in '63 and then carries over briefly to the gray bobbins in '64... prior to the handwritten markings.

And often, the early black ones are covered in lacquer (or some kind of varnish) right over the windings and poles.

All of this info is great because the aftermarket/reissue pups have used a black bobbin for years now and if the pup has been in there awhile, it's hard to tell without knowing all these details. Things to look for are the beveled magnets (heavier on the bottom with more protrusion), varnish dip, dark purple windings, stains from the original foam that have "eaten" the varnish and left a pattern, and the white-ish powder often seen on the bobbin and between the poles (visible in pic #2).
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