(help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

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lorenzob
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(help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

Post by lorenzob » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:16 pm

Hi everyone,

Some time ago I've added a Squire Active Contemporary Jazzmaster to my guitar family (my first offset guitar) and I was really captured by it.
Despite that, I realised that I much rather have active pickups, so I am planning on replacing them, I was thinking of buying Fender Pure Vintage '65 Jazzmaster Pickups.

I was also made aware by some friends that I actually need to replace the pots as well and they recommended the Seymour Duncan YJM-250K Speed Pot, 250k.

Do you happen to know if the Vintage pickup would fit in my current pick-guard? I'm not sure whether they are size is too big. Also are the pots that they recommended the right one?


P.S.
I am opened to alternative solutions such as perhaps buying a pre-loaded pickguard, I've found one on ebay belonging to an American Pro Jazzmaster, but since the pickup switch is on the other side I am afraid I would need to cut some of the guitar's body, and since is

Thank you in advance for any suggestions, and excuse my lengthy post, brevity has never been my best quality! :ph34r:

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mbene085
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Re: (help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

Post by mbene085 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:38 pm

Your guitar is routed for humbuckers, the vintage JM pickups won't fit.

However, HB-sized single coils will fit without modification. However, due to your purposes (you mentioned music production in your other thread), you probably don't want to deal with single coil hum and noise anyway.

Consider an option like these. They're made in the UK so shipping shouldn't be an issue, they sound more or less like single coils, but they'll still be humbucking.

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Re: (help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

Post by lorenzob » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:11 am

Hi mbene,

Thank you for your reply. What do you think of these two pickups? https://www.guitar.co.uk/railhammer-cle ... ckup-black for neck and https://www.guitar.co.uk/railhammer-nue ... ckup-black for bridge?

Sadly it appears that the ones you sent are not available for the next few weeks as the owner shut the sales down due to the virus.

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ChrisDesign
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Re: (help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

Post by ChrisDesign » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:47 pm

Railhammers may be excellent or terrible. What style of music do you want to play? If you’re wanting to install vintage Jazzmaster pickups, you want to go PAF Humbucker, no cover, and ALNICO 5.

These are great vintage voiced Humbuckers: https://dylantalkstone.com/collections/ ... 1218215489

I have this set in my Jazzmaster and I’m happy, but not in love: Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Set Electric Guitar Electronics https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007TYPYQ/ ... FEbD58MTQ8[/url]
"I own a '66 Jaguar. That's the guitar I polish, and baby - I refuse to let anyone touch it when I jump into the crowd." - Kurt Cobain

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Re: (help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

Post by mbene085 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:15 pm

lorenzob wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:11 am
Hi mbene,

Thank you for your reply. What do you think of these two pickups? https://www.guitar.co.uk/railhammer-cle ... ckup-black for neck and https://www.guitar.co.uk/railhammer-nue ... ckup-black for bridge?

Sadly it appears that the ones you sent are not available for the next few weeks as the owner shut the sales down due to the virus.
Oh, sorry, I didn't see that. Railhammer humcutters aim to reproduce a P90 style tone, which is a bit different from a vintage jazzmaster. Traditional Fender pickups have magnetic (AlNiCo) poles and both PAFs (the most popular Gibon style humbucker) and P90s (the most popular Gibson style single coil) have steel poles magnetized by a bar magnet sitting near the bottom of the pickup.

The way that those pmtwo categories of pickups "feel" in terms of string attack is distinctly different. If the goal is simply to have a "single coil...ish" tone without hum, those Railhammers are a good design, but they are in the P90 family of construction and tone rather than the Jazzmaster one.

For that reason, I very strongly disagree with ChrisDesign. No PAF-style pickup, regardless of magnet type, resembles the tone of a Fender style pickup such as a Jazzmaster. There are some PAF-shaped pickups, like the Creamery Domino, or Lindy Fralin's Twangmaster, which employ magnetic pole pieces to give a tone in the Fender "family", but they do not resemble PAFs mechanically, which again, rely on steel pole pieces with a bar magnet and are a very distinctly different style of tone.

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Re: (help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

Post by ChrisDesign » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:56 pm

I agree, Humbuckers are totally different from the Jazzmaster pickup. I am coming from the point of Humbucker shaped hole for a player who originally washed an active guitar. Probably distorted music? So a PAF style pickup gives good heavy distortion sounds while capturing a vintage vibe.

But I still don’t know the music style, so I cannot say
"I own a '66 Jaguar. That's the guitar I polish, and baby - I refuse to let anyone touch it when I jump into the crowd." - Kurt Cobain

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Re: (help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

Post by jvin248 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:31 am

.

When going into this type of project, lift off the original loaded pickguard or at least the wiring harness complete and store safely -- you may want the original tones someday or to sell the guitar and this practice is very helpful later. Then buy all the pots, caps, jack, switch new for your new pickups. I have experience both ways and take heed.

Best way is to remove the strings and the pickguard, lift it off and take pictures of the body cavities to post. I did a quick search online and didn't find any of that model opened up. I expect they are only cut for humbuckers and no rhythm circuit. Any pots you get will fit in the standard cavities. You'll want pot kohm values to match the pickups you are using though.

Jazzmaster pickups come in two versions, both with wide area and short bobbins (compared to Strat coils that are small area and tall bobbins), one with alnico magnetic poles and the other with magnet blocks (can be either Alnico or Ceramic magnets) and steel poles. And they are their own thing compared to other pickups.

Without routing, find low wound low kohm neck pickup like a "TV Jones"-style Gretsch Duosonic style pickup for the neck and that should fit the body route. Or try a Strat alnico coil at an angle (make a conversion plate from some plastic you may have around to fit the shape of the strat pickup and fit behind the humbucker pickguard hole) for the neck and a humbucker sized P90 for the bridge.

Another option is buy a new body and put your neck on and pickups in that you want.

.

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Re: (help needed) Converting an Active Jazzmaster to Passive (novice in need)

Post by ChrisDesign » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:11 pm

You can still have filtertrons in a Humbucker sized housing. Then u don’t need to route the body.

https://www.creamery-pickups.co.uk/blac ... p-set.html

Again, it comes down to the kind of music you want to play...
"I own a '66 Jaguar. That's the guitar I polish, and baby - I refuse to let anyone touch it when I jump into the crowd." - Kurt Cobain

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