Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

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thenewromance
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Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by thenewromance » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:47 am

I'm thinking about swapping the pickups in my Squier HH Jag. I bought it as a factory second, and it's super nice to play. It's one of those. Now, while the stock Duncan Designed pickups aren't bad, they aren't quite suited to for what I like. Modelled after a Jazz/JB combination, they have a high output, and sound quite compressed, sometimes a little boxy and rather dark. For budget pickups, they're okay, but not ideal for me.

Now, I'd like to have humbuckers in there that are "weaker" and brighter. More singlecoil-y, so to say. Less output, more "air". I don't mind if they have a little oomph, I mean we're talking humbuckers, but I usually play clean or with a little dirt. I've been researching and I basically came up with a ton of PAF-style possibilities ('57, '59, A2, A3, A4, A5, what have you), which seems like its own universe to dive into and very Gibson-centric. Another possibility, that at the moment looks quite good to me, would be PAF-sized Wide Range Humbuckers, as I don't really want to rout and cut and file. Creamery Baby '71s seem like genuinely fine specimen of that kind.

Now, I'd like to hear the opinion of the good folk of OSG: what do you recommend, given I'd like to keep a standard humbucker format, but I want brighter, sparklier sounds and less output than a Jazz/JB combo?

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by NICQ » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:17 am

I just put a Fralin Big Single in a Talman as neck pickup and it's great - hard to describe.. cross between a JM Singlecoil and a transparent PAF maybe?

You could go Filtertron - a modern, humbucker-sized variant maybe not the 4kohm ones right away.. they are extremely bright

Or some humbucker sized WRHBs as you already mentioned

Any P90 sized humbucker would be too mid-rangey I think and would not be bright and sparkly..

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by NICQ » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:21 am

Just saw that you're in Europe - check out David Barfuss and Mojo UK Pickups for Humbucker sized Filtertrons and WRHBs

Also Firebird Pickups (real ones with bar magnet) would be an option - you'd either need a new pickguard or those mounting rings for humbucker size

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:20 am

The Baby 71' is one that I thought about too already! Surely a great choice!
Besides The Creamery and David Barfuss you could also consider Rübezahl Pickups from Germany. He is going to wind me a WRHB.
Before I got to know any of these custom winders I put SD P-Rails in my Jaguar (P-90, Rail-Single Coil - or both together as a Humbucker) - and I'm still very happy with them. If it shall go more into single-coil-territory and you have any chance to get your hands on a pair of used GFS Surf90s - do it! ;D They're wonderful with short-scale-guitars!

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by jvin248 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:19 am

.

First step on your quest: lower the pickups to the trim rings and test. Better? You can also try tipping bass vs treble side of the pickups to balance more brightness.
Second step is raise the screw poles 1/8th inch on both pickups. Do they get clearer?
Measure volume pot kohms across the outer lug and see where it sits in the tolerance band, choose another pot that measures higher or at the top of the tolerance band. test.
Change the tone cap from 0.047uF to 0.033 or 0.022uF.
If still too muddy then use the 0.047uF capacitor in series with the too-muddy pickup hot lead where it attaches to the switch.
Now if all the above fails, chase a new pickup. If you leap straight to swapping pickups you risk the new pickup(s) sounding muddy/etc as these do.

I used to swap pickups until I learned the above. The controls are important even when dimed.

.

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by thenewromance » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:45 am

jvin248 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:19 am
.

First step on your quest: lower the pickups to the trim rings and test. Better? You can also try tipping bass vs treble side of the pickups to balance more brightness.
Second step is raise the screw poles 1/8th inch on both pickups. Do they get clearer?
Measure volume pot kohms across the outer lug and see where it sits in the tolerance band, choose another pot that measures higher or at the top of the tolerance band. test.
Change the tone cap from 0.047uF to 0.033 or 0.022uF.
If still too muddy then use the 0.047uF capacitor in series with the too-muddy pickup hot lead where it attaches to the switch.
Now if all the above fails, chase a new pickup. If you leap straight to swapping pickups you risk the new pickup(s) sounding muddy/etc as these do.

I used to swap pickups until I learned the above. The controls are important even when dimed.

.
Thanks for the advice! I've tried lowering the pickups, and that helped with brightness. I'll try the screw pole technique as well. I do however feel like "mud" alone isn't the exact problem, the sound itself isn't what I'm looking for. They don't sound good clean, I guess, and they don't sound very "dimensional", for lack of better words. I'll see what I can do with what I have, though, as most of the pickups I've had my eyes on, and those that are being recommende here - thanks a lot, everyone! - aren't exactly cheap.

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by NICQ » Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:51 am

I think those Gretsch Filtertrons can be had for a good price used :

for example : https://reverb.com/item/3115419-gretsch ... up-set-new

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by Sweetfinger » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:20 am

I had one of those.
Image

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:56 am

No one mentioned Firebird pickups yet? That's a no brainer. Ask Mike ("mbene") on here, he has a Jaguar with Firebird pickups and he knows his shit.
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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by RuffiansFC » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:32 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:56 am
No one mentioned Firebird pickups yet? That's a no brainer. Ask Mike ("mbene") on here, he has a Jaguar with Firebird pickups and he knows his shit.
these would be great. firebird neck pickups would give that floating on clouds sound. I think a hot bridge may work really well to keep the highs from getting to out of control and help cut through the mix.

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by mbene085 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:48 am

Larry is right, I have both a Jag with "regular" (mini) firebird pickups as well as PAF-sized "Big Birds" from Mr. Fabulous/D'Urbano Magnetics. He's on Reverb and hand winds them, so you can get them made to your taste. Also has a web site where he runs 15-20% off sales fairly often. Much, much cheaper than most authentic (rail magnet) FB pickups.

I do think that FBs are what most people wish WRHBs sounded like - humbuckers with single coil character. I find actual WRHBs to be far muddier and further into humbucker territory tonally.

There are some other interesting options. Wilde (Bill Lawrence) L-90's are dual-rail PAF sized humbuckers with an extended high end. The L500 range is a bit smaller but comes with custom mounting rings and is less PAF-sounding and even sharper in their attack.

I've also put filtertrons in a Jag (TV Jones Classic/Classic Plus) and loved the bridge pickup but was more lukewarm on the neck pickup - not because it was bad, but it just wasnt quite to my taste.

There are other PAF-format pickups that you might find interesting, like the DiMarzio EJ Custom (which has a lot of Filtertron character to it but with conventional PAF looks). Lindy Fralin, at the higher end of the price spectrum, has his Sunbuckers, P92s, Big Singles, Noiseless P90s/noiseless alnico pole P90s, and Twangmaster, which all come in PAF format.

It's all a matter of taste. I have found FBs to work well for me but am still experimenting on other guitars (just picked up some Wilde L500/L500XLs to try out, and have another build with Fralin Twangmasters in the works).

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:38 pm

There are other PAF-format pickups that you might find interesting, like the DiMarzio EJ Custom (which has a lot of Filtertron character to it but with conventional PAF looks).
I put an EJ Custom in the neck of my Les Paul, specifically for less muddy clean tones and it really does the trick. Depending on your location (I’m in the UK) I found it cheaper and much easier to get hold of than so many of the other possibilities.
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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by astro » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:32 pm

Sweetfinger wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:20 am
I had one of those.
Image
Me too!
Image

Mine still has the stock pickups under the metal covers.

To keep in mind when replacing the pickups: the bridge humbucker is “F spaced”, in other words it is slightly wider than a Gibson sized bridge humbucker.

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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by Steadyriot. » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:27 am

I'd consider the Dimarzio EJ Custom. Standard humbucker sized, not too expensive and modeled after the pickups in Eric Johnson's Gretsch.
They'll ad a brighter and crisper flavour ala a Filtertron.
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Re: Humbuckers in a Jaguar - ideas?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:12 am

If we are only considering PAF sized humbuckers, I'll throw the Lollar El Rayos into the mix, they are wonderful pickups and have a very nice and inspiring high end to them. Super low wind, Alnico 5 and 8 magnets, they blew me away. I always plan to get a very nice guitar some day and put those in there.

They would certainly fit the bill of a humbucker that sounds more like a single coil, which is always something I'm intrigued by.

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