"Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

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Ajoten
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"Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by Ajoten » Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:45 am

I'm sure this Q has been asked often on this forum, but I'm struggling to find answers!

I haven't got a JM but really like the concept. So am not interested in just the shape, but the type of sound originally intended... yet I keep reading that many JMs don't actually have JM pickups, but P90s or Strat singles in a different housing. There are of course humbuckery ones too, although at least they're not pretending to be something they're not. It seems you need to get after-market pickups to get the real thing.

Surely there are some guitars out there, Fender or otherwise, that have actual JM pickups off the shelf. Any recommendations?

Thanks!
Last edited by Ajoten on Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by HNB » Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:49 am

The traditional Jazzmaster pickup is wider winds. There are quite a few modern Fenders with these style pickups. The p90 style ones have screw pole pieces instead of magnets and usually bar magnets on the bottom.

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The strat like ones are Japanese made Jazzmaster pickups. From the side, they less wide and taller.

Left is Japanese; right is more traditional.
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A lot of people like the Fender 65 pickups. The pickups that came on the AVRI 62's by Fender are good. Duncan makes Antiquity I and II which are supposed to be vintage like in construction. Loads of options really.
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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by Veitchy » Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:59 pm

Ajoten wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:45 am
I keep reading that many JMs don't actually have JM pickups, but P90s or Strat singles in a different housing. There are of course humbuckery ones too, although at least they're not pretending to be something they're not. It seems you need to get after-market pickups to get the real thing.
That certainly used to be the case, though I'd posit that Fender has their shit together a bit more these days. A great many of their Jazzmasters have the 'correct' construction these days at a number of price points. Unfortunately they aren't always clear which ones are and aren't, but a quick google usually clears this up. I've heard that even some of the more expensive Japanese models have correct pickups these days.

As for aftermarket, these builders are usually a lot clearer as to how the pickups are constructed and what sort of era they're voiced after. Your only issue then becomes option paralysis imo.

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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by Mondaysoutar » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:07 pm

Aye as mentioned, Fender have a pretty good set, the Pure Vintage ‘65s that come stock in a few models. The Vintera has vintage sounding pickups, even the Squier Classic Vibe Jazzmaster has decent, vintage correct sounding pickups.

Aftermarket, Seymour Duncan Antiquity 1s or 2s, I’ve read good things about EP Custom also. There’s lots of options man.

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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:20 pm

HNB wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:49 am


Left is Japanese; right is more traditional.
Image
This is basically the thing you need to know right here. "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups have that low, flat and wide wind to them and Alnico magnet rods.

Here's a good article about them.

The Jazzmaster pickup is a true single-coil pickup. From start to finish, these units are made of one coil of wire turned around the pole pieces, and in principle works just like those found on Fender’s more popular models, the Stratocaster and Telecaster. The construction of Jazzmaster pickups does have some notable differences when compared to other more common single-coil pickups: whereas a Stratocaster pickup is about 7/16” tall and wound tightly to the rod magnets, true Jazzmaster pickups are 1/8” tall and the windings extend nearly to the edge of the 1 1/2” bobbin.

This wider surface area translates to a wider frequency response (since the coil itself covers a far greater area of the string’s vibrational length) and, because the wire travels farther with each turn, a hotter pickup.


The Jazzmaster unit also uses rod magnets just like a Strat or Tele, differentiating it from a P-90, which it most certainly is not.
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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by rhythmjones » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:22 pm

Current production Fender/Squier models with "proper" JM pickups:

Classic Vibe

Vintera

Vintera Modified (Hotter but still proper)

American Original

Custom Shop Models

Recently discontinued models with "proper" JM pickups:

Vintage Modified

Classic Lacquer

Road Worn

American Vintage

AVRI

NOTE: All Japanese JMs have the Stat-style pickups.
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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:35 pm

rhythmjones wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:22 pm
Current production Fender/Squier models with "proper" JM pickups:

Hey, Mitch, good to see you.
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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by gibs » Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:48 pm

I’ll point out that the Am Pro and Am Pro II use strat style windings on their pickups, and the American ultra uses noiseless pickups, not sure if the construction of the primary coil is JM style or not, but at least according to Puisheen, they’re very anemic sounding, and from the example he shared on his channel, I’m inclined to agree. So probably not the best choice for noiseless JM pickups. The J Mascis and the Mexican made classic player JMs used the p90 in a JM cover pickups.

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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by algeriet » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:31 pm

rhythmjones wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:22 pm
NOTE: All Japanese JMs have the Stat-style pickups.
Not the 2018-2019 MIJ Hybrid Indigo model, according to this.

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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by rhythmjones » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:28 pm

algeriet wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:31 pm
rhythmjones wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:22 pm
NOTE: All Japanese JMs have the Stat-style pickups.
Not the 2018-2019 MIJ Hybrid Indigo model, according to this.
Sweet! Good to know!
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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by cpeck » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:17 pm

I’ve got a few vintage Jazzmasters with original pickups (58, 62, 64, 65), and the Antiquity Is are the closest I’ve heard to the “real” ones.

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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by Surfysonic » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:34 pm

rhythmjones wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:28 pm
algeriet wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:31 pm
rhythmjones wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:22 pm
NOTE: All Japanese JMs have the Stat-style pickups.
Not the 2018-2019 MIJ Hybrid Indigo model, according to this.
Sweet! Good to know!
I have a Fender 2021 Collection MIJ Traditional 60s Jazzmaster and it has Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jazzmaster pickups. Sounds great!

Image

Yeah, older Fender Japan Jazzmasters had Strat-style pickups but don't know the years they were stock. I bought my first Jazzmaster back in 2009 and it was a used Fender Japan Jazzmaster (no idea of the year) and it had the Strat-style pickups. Eventually moved it on.

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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by Mechanical Birds » Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:08 pm

Quick way to tell by just looking at them - actual JM pickups will have flat/unscored pole pieces while the ones with the p-90 things have a thread cutting in the middle of the pole. I’ve gotten to the point where I can tell in about 1/10 of a second if they’re the ‘modern’ things or actual JM pickups.

YMMV because there are a gillion different pickups anymore so it could look normal and be a Quarterpounder or something but more often than not, it’s an easy way to tell

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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by rhythmjones » Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:05 pm

The Strat-type ones don't have the screw-head pole pieces, though.
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Re: "Proper" Jazzmaster pickups

Post by Mechanical Birds » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:48 pm

Sure I just meant as a way to differentiate between typical ones and the p90 things. Denoting a guitar being MIJ is a whole other thing with its own tells though and I don’t think the strat in a JM cover thing happened on any other Jazzmasters did it? You’re right, though.

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