Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.

What are the best replacement pickups available for Jazzmasters?

Fender AVRI
5
16%
Seymour Duncan "Hot"
1
3%
Seymour Duncan "Quarter-Pounder"
1
3%
Seymour Duncan "Vintage"
0
No votes
Seymour Duncan "Antiquity I"
3
10%
Seymour Duncan "Antiquity II"
4
13%
Curtis Novak-Made
8
26%
Jason Lollar-Made
9
29%
 
Total votes: 31

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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by scottme » Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:48 am

Shouldn't Fender Vintage PUs (pre 1980) be in the list - it's certainly a valid upgrade for MIJ / CIJ users!

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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by dinosaur » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:37 am

scottme wrote: Shouldn't Fender Vintage PUs (pre 1980) be in the list - it's certainly a valid upgrade for MIJ / CIJ users!
Well that wouldn't exactly be a fair fight.  :D

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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by glimmertwin » Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:32 am

I tried an AVRI Jazzmaster at Guitar Center last night with stock pickups in comparison to my 61 JM I have played every day for the last few years.  The AVRI is not a bad sounding guitar - I think the pickups are probably better suited for surf or spaghetti western styles because it's very twangy and bright.  Through an old Fender tube amp with cranked reverb, it pretty much sounded classic.  Of course I don't  play surf or know anything about it really except for what I hear on Ventures records.  In comparison, I would have to agree with Sauerkraut and say my 61 sounded a ton more rounded in the neck than the AVRI which sounds thin.  In general the AVRI sounded thin but in a good way but worst of all it lacked a lot of harmonics which is a big turn off for me.  My 61 sounds a lot more rounded, fuller/rich, and a tad hotter.

In all fairness though I normally play with Nickel 10-52 Snake Oil Strings and the guitar I tried in the GC had D'addario 9s - poor choice for a Jazzmaster.  Plus the AVRI set up was terrible - lots of buzzing on the frets and the intonation was more than likely off so that could have inhibted some of my precious harmonics that the pickups were clearly not picking up.
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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by jetset » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:08 am

+1 on the strings.  I used to scoff at string snobs, but I've become one - good nickel strings add a lot to the tone of a guitar.  And 9's on a Jazzmaster is just silly. 
-J
I can't hear the forest for all the falling trees.

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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by glimmertwin » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:58 am

jetset wrote: +1 on the strings.  I used to scoff at string snobs, but I've become one - good nickel strings add a lot to the tone of a guitar.  And 9's on a Jazzmaster is just silly. 
-J
Ya, I went out on a limb to prove all the Snake Oils Strings fans wrong a few years ago - that it was all hype.  I was skeptical that they would make that much difference in sound but I figured I have given more money away to bums on the street so I could at least spend a few extra bucks on trying out some new strings... I was completely wrong - they are fantastic strings(for me at least).  The string type and gague really have a marked difference on the sound of your guitar.  Things like string composition, whether you have a wound 'g' string or not, and flatwound vs. roundwound can really change the makeup of your sound.  I encourage everyone to try experimenting with different types of strings...

Now back to your normal pickup discussion....   
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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by Sauerkraut » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:02 pm

glimmertwin wrote: My 61 sounds a lot more rounded, fuller/rich, and a tad hotter.
that's just what I meant with 'rounder' when describing the sound of the vintage neck-pickup, it sounds richer and fuller than the Lollar, which in turn sounds hotter and punchier.
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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by StevenO » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:47 pm

So what pickups sounds the most like the original 60's jazzmaster sound for the neck position?
I'm guessing novak?

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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by Jay » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:55 pm

That's awfully hard to quantify.  I have three vintage JM's (two '65's and a '61) and all three sound different.  I do think it's safe to say that Novak's, Lollar's, and probably even the Antiquity's sound like vintage JM pickups depending on the pickup one was comparing to.

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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by glimmertwin » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:41 pm

I'm suprised no one has quoted this one yet...but from another topic posted on this forum very recently.  Hopefully Novak doesn't mind me reposting this but it's pretty relevant to this discussion.....

index.php?topic=774.0

CurtisNovak wrote:
scottme wrote: Hi all,

Does anyone have sample sound files to compare the various JM Curtis Novak pickups? Now that I will soon have a nice 66 JM, I'm thinking about "improving" my 78 JM with a Novak or two. Curtis's page will be really cool when there's sample of each pickup on there to make selecting the right one easier.  ;)

As mentioned in the topic heading, my 78 JM seems to be rather noisey. It has copper foil and everything seems to be connected and original, but it's considerably noisier than my 68 Jag (and higher output). The strings / bridge is earthed to the sheilding. The level of electrical noise changes with guitar orientation (away from CRTs etc). I will post some pics of the guts soon. Any ideas what it might be and any remedy? Maybe it's just the way it's meant to be?
Scott I hope you dont mind me replying to this directly.  It might seem stupid on my part to not just submit to the the sound clip thing and just post them.  I just have a just have a personal issues w/ it to me is like buying a car after only test driving it over the net.  The thing is there are way too many variables that determine tone of a pickup, from the body, neck, strings, amp, recording equipment,  your computer speakers, and lastly and most importantly it the fingers and playing style of the player.  I have gone in to a music store and played 6 identical new guitars and they all are a little different.  I agree it is a nice "feel good" thing that likely helps sales and I should just submit to it, but I still hold out on principal.  What I can direct you to however is a website where someone recorded a whole bunch of Jazzmaster pickups.  What I can deal w/ this site is it was done in one sitting, w/ the same guitar, same amp settings, same player, playing the same riff.  This wont tell you how it will sound for you, but it will give you a cross comparison of all the pickups. 
The site is http://jazzmasterjam.com/
He does not have the MP3's linked yet but you can hear the sound files here http://jazzmasterjam.com/mp3/

as for you noise the wiring does not look stock and there appears to be a mix match of parts, you might want to clean it up using new pots and such.
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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by lalalandstudios » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:07 pm

glimmertwin wrote:
jetset wrote: +1 on the strings.  I used to scoff at string snobs, but I've become one - good nickel strings add a lot to the tone of a guitar.  And 9's on a Jazzmaster is just silly. 
-J
Ya, I went out on a limb to prove all the Snake Oils Strings fans wrong a few years ago - that it was all hype.  I was skeptical that they would make that much difference in sound but I figured I have given more money away to bums on the street so I could at least spend a few extra bucks on trying out some new strings... I was completely wrong - they are fantastic strings(for me at least).  The string type and gague really have a marked difference on the sound of your guitar.  Things like string composition, whether you have a wound 'g' string or not, and flatwound vs. roundwound can really change the makeup of your sound.  I encourage everyone to try experimenting with different types of strings...

Now back to your normal pickup discussion....   
+2 Another HUGE Snake oil string fan - I use the JTMB or ME+ on my Jazzmasters and they're truly the best strings out there. They're warm rich and full of overtones, and complement the JM/Jag sound perfectly. I've been talking with Dean about a possible Bass VI set as well....

Sorry again for the diversion, maybe we should start a separate strings thread....
I'm a reasonable man get off my case...

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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by Sauerkraut » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:08 pm

glimmertwin wrote: I'm suprised no one has quoted this one yet...but from another topic posted on this forum very recently.  Hopefully Novak doesn't mind me reposting this but it's pretty relevant to this discussion.....

index.php?topic=774.0
I tried the Novak and Lollar neck samples and they sound quite different but I'm pretty sure it's mainly caused by other factors than the pickups themselves. The Lollar sounds like the Novak with a pretty bad cold according to those samples.
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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by CurtisNovak » Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:21 am

Sauerkraut wrote:
glimmertwin wrote: I'm suprised no one has quoted this one yet...but from another topic posted on this forum very recently.  Hopefully Novak doesn't mind me reposting this but it's pretty relevant to this discussion.....

index.php?topic=774.0
I tried the Novak and Lollar neck samples and they sound quite different but I'm pretty sure it's mainly caused by other factors than the pickups themselves. The Lollar sounds like the Novak with a pretty bad cold according to those samples.
Your comments are EXACTLY what I am referring to w/ regards to using sound files as a tool to sell pickups.
This site was created by an average player no pickup makers had anything to do w/ the recording process.  All I knew of this project was someone asking for a few of my pickups test.  You can only imagine how skewed, and processed these clips would be when a pickup maker is creating them to sell their pickups.  I think the desire to prop up to their own pickups to sound their best.
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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by Green angel » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:08 pm

Ferrari or Porsche, Curtis Novak or Jason Lollar?
Both are greats  8)

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Re: Best Replacement Jazzmaster Pickups

Post by Maggieo » Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:13 pm

Green angel wrote: Ferrari or Porsche, Curtis Novak or Jason Lollar?
Both are greats  8)
I'll take two of each!
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