New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

For help with setups and other technical issues.
User avatar
alexpigment
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:02 pm

New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by alexpigment » Mon Feb 19, 2024 5:18 pm

Hey guys, I recently picked up a Classic Player Jaguar HH used from CME. Great price ($900), excellent condition, and clearly there was some really expert fretwork done on this guitar at some point. Although the humbucker configuration was interesting, it just didn't fit in with my signal chain which is optimized for my single coil guitars, so I quickly converted it to a standard SS configuration with parts I had lying around (PV65 pickups, CV bridge, etc) and a Musiclily pickguard.

This is technically my first Jaguar, so I may just not be used to inherent timbre of Jags, but I'm finding that the bridge pickup is lacking complex harmonics, and so the chords sound very smooth. I'm used to more growl, particularly in the lower frequencies, and I'm sort of missing that element. I haven't been able to 100% determine if it's just lacking low end in general, but I think that might be the case.

Would a hotter Jaguar pickup do the trick, or should I be looking into specific pickup models? How is the AVRI 62 bridge pickup (that would be an easy and cheap one to get)? To be clear, I'm not just trying to make it darker - I can do that with the tone knob - I'm just hoping to get more low end and growl. Any thoughts/opinions would be appreciated.

User avatar
andy_tchp
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8042
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:36 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Feb 19, 2024 5:42 pm

"Low end and growl" isn't really something I'd ever associate with a vintage style Jaguar bridge pickup.

Neck pickup for sure.

The AVRI62 pickups are supposed to have a bit more mid-range and be less scooped than the PV65s. They're still a pretty sharp/cutting sounding thing IME though.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

User avatar
GilmourD
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1743
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:11 pm
Location: Rutherford, NJ

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by GilmourD » Tue Feb 20, 2024 6:10 am

What pots are you rockin' and what's the amp and effects setup?

User avatar
GreenKnee
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1234
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:05 am
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by GreenKnee » Tue Feb 20, 2024 6:17 am

Bring the bridge pickup up to the strings more, this could give you some more output and fill things out a bit.

I've never been impressed with the 62 or 65 reissue Jaguar pickups. They are exactly as you describe and just lack the girth and attack that my vintage '62 Jag pickups have.

I am about to try some Sunday Handwound pickups that should hopefully be an improvement. At least the write up sounds good! https://sundayhandwound.com/products/tomcats

I'll let you know how I get on with them and if they do the trick.

User avatar
GilmourD
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1743
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:11 pm
Location: Rutherford, NJ

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by GilmourD » Tue Feb 20, 2024 6:57 am

GreenKnee wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 6:17 am
Bring the bridge pickup up to the strings more, this could give you some more output and fill things out a bit.

I've never been impressed with the 62 or 65 reissue Jaguar pickups. They are exactly as you describe and just lack the girth and attack that my vintage '62 Jag pickups have.

I am about to try some Sunday Handwound pickups that should hopefully be an improvement. At least the write up sounds good! https://sundayhandwound.com/products/tomcats

I'll let you know how I get on with them and if they do the trick.
I haven't tried the Tomcats but the Wandas are awesome!

User avatar
alexpigment
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:02 pm

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by alexpigment » Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:18 am

GilmourD wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 6:10 am
What pots are you rockin' and what's the amp and effects setup?
I've got the stock 1meg pots in there, which I considered changing when I converted it from HH to SS, but I'm *thinking* that there shouldn't be too much difference in turning the tone knob down and having lower value pots. I know that it's not a true 1:1 comparison, but correct me if I'm wrong in this assumption.

As far as my setup, it's nothing too fancy. I've just got a TC Spark booster going into an HX Effects and into a Vox Pathfinder. The Pathfinder is my favorite home amp, and the HX Effects has a tube drive model with a 3 band EQ (which is somehow quite rare in the pedal market), so I love that for my primary gain stages.

User avatar
alexpigment
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:02 pm

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by alexpigment » Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:24 am

GreenKnee wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 6:17 am
Bring the bridge pickup up to the strings more, this could give you some more output and fill things out a bit.

I've never been impressed with the 62 or 65 reissue Jaguar pickups. They are exactly as you describe and just lack the girth and attack that my vintage '62 Jag pickups have.

I am about to try some Sunday Handwound pickups that should hopefully be an improvement. At least the write up sounds good! https://sundayhandwound.com/products/tomcats

I'll let you know how I get on with them and if they do the trick.
Thanks for the corroboration on that, and for letting me know that the 62 is not a significant improvement in that department. I've considered Sunday Handwound as well, but wanted to rule out cheaper options that can be shipped out instantly first. Let me know how those pickups work for you.

I had also considered going with a Fralin bridge pickup just because it's pretty easy to choose the overwind value at checkout, but of course the price is a bit more than I'd prefer without knowing it addresses my concerns of the PV65s.

P.S. I did bring the bridge up pretty close to the strings as well as angled it in various ways to accentuate the bass vs. treble side, but didn't too much to give the low end more character.

User avatar
GilmourD
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1743
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:11 pm
Location: Rutherford, NJ

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by GilmourD » Tue Feb 20, 2024 9:54 am

alexpigment wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:18 am
GilmourD wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 6:10 am
What pots are you rockin' and what's the amp and effects setup?
I've got the stock 1meg pots in there, which I considered changing when I converted it from HH to SS, but I'm *thinking* that there shouldn't be too much difference in turning the tone knob down and having lower value pots. I know that it's not a true 1:1 comparison, but correct me if I'm wrong in this assumption.

As far as my setup, it's nothing too fancy. I've just got a TC Spark booster going into an HX Effects and into a Vox Pathfinder. The Pathfinder is my favorite home amp, and the HX Effects has a tube drive model with a 3 band EQ (which is somehow quite rare in the pedal market), so I love that for my primary gain stages.
What guitars do you have through that rig that sound "right" to you?

Also, how does this Jag sound unplugged compared to your other guitars? This very much matters, despite what some will say, because a pickup isn't going to create bass response that isn't inherently there.

My Jags are definitely not as bass-emphasized as, say, my ash-bodied B&W Frankenstein with an EVH/Duncan Frankenstein pickup. They're probably closer in bass response to my poplar bodied Tele with the '60s-style Van Zandt Vintage Plus on a brass-saddled '52RI bridge, but certainly more midrangey and growly. I do also have the pickups up closer to the strings.

User avatar
alexpigment
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:02 pm

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by alexpigment » Tue Feb 20, 2024 10:34 am

GilmourD wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 9:54 am
What guitars do you have through that rig that sound "right" to you?

Also, how does this Jag sound unplugged compared to your other guitars? This very much matters, despite what some will say, because a pickup isn't going to create bass response that isn't inherently there.

My Jags are definitely not as bass-emphasized as, say, my ash-bodied B&W Frankenstein with an EVH/Duncan Frankenstein pickup. They're probably closer in bass response to my poplar bodied Tele with the '60s-style Van Zandt Vintage Plus on a brass-saddled '52RI bridge, but certainly more midrangey and growly. I do also have the pickups up closer to the strings.
My favorite bridge pickups are tele pickups, which I have on an actual Telecaster, several Offset Teles, and several Jazzmasters (stealthly hidden), so admittedly that's my baseline. But I do have a standard Jazzmaster with PV65 pickups and a Strat with Vintera 50s pickups, and I don't need to do any adjusting to get those to work in my setup. I totally get that the goal is not to have every guitar sound the same, but it's really just about making sure I'm not adding an EQ pedal for one guitar to fill out the low end if I can do it via pickup replacement. And my thought - perhaps naively - is that since a Jaguar pickup is to be strat-like in construction with the benefit of a big claw that it might even lean into Tele territory.

As for the acoustic sound of the instrument, it sounds acoustically resonant from neck to body (i.e. the sound is being transferred throughout the length of the guitar) but it's not particularly remarkable in this case. I do understand how acoustic qualities are summed with the electric properties when playing a guitar (you're always hearing a mix of both unless you're just deafeningly loud), and I can't fully rule out that this is a factor. Really, I just was hoping that others had experiences with several types of Jaguar pickups and had some insight onto which ones are more full spectrum than others, and if they thought it came down to simply more windings/resistance or perhaps a different magnet type.

On a completely separate note, I really wish I had a spare Jaguar pickup cover or two to test, because I feel like there's a way to put a stealth tele pickup under one of those by just cutting out north/south sides from the entire middle of the pickup cover and letting it rest underneath. Maybe I'll order one of those as a test in the very short term.

User avatar
GreenKnee
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1234
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:05 am
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by GreenKnee » Tue Feb 20, 2024 10:54 am

I spoke to Marc at Mojo pickups about this same issue and if his pickups are fuller sounding.
In short, his response was:

"The reason the your pickups sound thin is Fender don’t put enough wire on the bobbins.

Hope this helps.

Thanks
Marc"

He knows his stuff and his favourite guitar is a '63 Jag. I would guess that any overwound Jag pickup will sound closer to what you're after

User avatar
alexpigment
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:02 pm

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by alexpigment » Tue Feb 20, 2024 5:47 pm

That is actually very useful information. Although I'm not sure the problem Marc is describing and what I'm hearing are definitely the same thing, it at least that gives me some confidence to try out something a bit hotter.

Speaking of which, does anyone have any opinions on the V-Mod Jaguar pickups? I know V-Mods get maligned a bit for the *Jazzmaster* variants, but I don't know how they could really deviate too much with a Jaguar pickup. They are around 8.8k as I understand. That's more than I'd like (ideally around 7.5K seems about right), but they are fairly cheap to buy as a single pickup compared to other options.

User avatar
GilmourD
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1743
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:11 pm
Location: Rutherford, NJ

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by GilmourD » Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:42 pm

alexpigment wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 10:34 am
GilmourD wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 9:54 am
What guitars do you have through that rig that sound "right" to you?

Also, how does this Jag sound unplugged compared to your other guitars? This very much matters, despite what some will say, because a pickup isn't going to create bass response that isn't inherently there.

My Jags are definitely not as bass-emphasized as, say, my ash-bodied B&W Frankenstein with an EVH/Duncan Frankenstein pickup. They're probably closer in bass response to my poplar bodied Tele with the '60s-style Van Zandt Vintage Plus on a brass-saddled '52RI bridge, but certainly more midrangey and growly. I do also have the pickups up closer to the strings.
My favorite bridge pickups are tele pickups, which I have on an actual Telecaster, several Offset Teles, and several Jazzmasters (stealthly hidden), so admittedly that's my baseline. But I do have a standard Jazzmaster with PV65 pickups and a Strat with Vintera 50s pickups, and I don't need to do any adjusting to get those to work in my setup. I totally get that the goal is not to have every guitar sound the same, but it's really just about making sure I'm not adding an EQ pedal for one guitar to fill out the low end if I can do it via pickup replacement. And my thought - perhaps naively - is that since a Jaguar pickup is to be strat-like in construction with the benefit of a big claw that it might even lean into Tele territory.

As for the acoustic sound of the instrument, it sounds acoustically resonant from neck to body (i.e. the sound is being transferred throughout the length of the guitar) but it's not particularly remarkable in this case. I do understand how acoustic qualities are summed with the electric properties when playing a guitar (you're always hearing a mix of both unless you're just deafeningly loud), and I can't fully rule out that this is a factor. Really, I just was hoping that others had experiences with several types of Jaguar pickups and had some insight onto which ones are more full spectrum than others, and if they thought it came down to simply more windings/resistance or perhaps a different magnet type.

On a completely separate note, I really wish I had a spare Jaguar pickup cover or two to test, because I feel like there's a way to put a stealth tele pickup under one of those by just cutting out north/south sides from the entire middle of the pickup cover and letting it rest underneath. Maybe I'll order one of those as a test in the very short term.
As far as Jag experience goes, this is what I've had actually installed:
  • Classic Vibe Jag - Something magically nice even though they're Squier pickups made by Rosswell and the factory ships them with the hotter one in the neck (there's a reason for that, which I can explain).
  • Sunday Handwound Wandas - A touch more in the treble than the CVs and a bit of a shift in the mids for more clarity. Definitely does jangle and growl.
  • Bootstrap Big Spotted Cats - Tamed my bright-sounding Whiteout Jag a bit but keeping it in the vintage range.
  • Vintera I Jag set - got these in my CFM Jag and they certainly growl.
  • Whatever the hot set that Fender put in the Anniversary Jags - Got these in The Gator (my pickup test guitar) and they actually sound pretty mean but then when you flip the strangle switch on they sound more like a vintagey set without the strangle. It's an interesting setup that surprised me since I've kinda grown away from hot pickups in general but this still gives me that option.
  • Marrguar set - Brighter with more output than I was led to believe. I've got these in a Marr KO body I picked up off Reverb and a BYO neck that will likely be replaced.
  • Ken Rose Customs in my Height Coyote - ThePearDream picked the A3 set for the outer coils and an A5 for the inner coil of the SG-3 Jagbucker. The A3s sound a bit smoother than my other Jag pickups.
For context, I run a Deluxe Reverb RI fed by dirt a SunFace BC108, a reissue Ram's Head BMP, an MXR Classic OD, a NOTAKLÖN, a D&M Drive, and a Black Mass 1312. The run the range with the Fender hot set having the most bass response but I don't find any of them lacking and can get a good chug going on with any of them with just the bridge pickup.

User avatar
andy_tchp
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8042
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:36 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by andy_tchp » Tue Feb 20, 2024 8:49 pm

Usually plenty of growl from the neck pickup. Does it not work?
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

User avatar
alexpigment
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:02 pm

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by alexpigment » Wed Feb 21, 2024 3:54 pm

Really appreciate the detailed rundown, GilmourD! There are several of those that weren't on my radar, so I've got some more research to do.
andy_tchp wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 8:49 pm
Usually plenty of growl from the neck pickup. Does it not work?
The neck pickup, for me, is not a substitute for a bridge pickup. There is definitely bass in the neck pickup, but due to its position, the timbre is all wrong for what I would use a bridge pickup for. I fully get that some people use the neck pickup for rhythm and the bridge pickup for lead like God/Leo intended, but I've spent over 25 years doing it wrong, and I will almost certainly continue to do so ;)

User avatar
timtam
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2739
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:42 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: New (to me) CP Jaguar - PV65 bridge pickup lacking growl

Post by timtam » Wed Feb 21, 2024 6:17 pm

GilmourD wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:42 pm
...
[*]Whatever the hot set that Fender put in the Anniversary Jags - Got these in The Gator (my pickup test guitar) and they actually sound pretty mean but then when you flip the strangle switch on they sound more like a vintagey set without the strangle. It's an interesting setup that surprised me since I've kinda grown away from hot pickups in general but this still gives me that option.
...
The stock pickups in the 60th anniversary jag were nominally PV65s with aged covers.

PICKUP ASSY JAGUAR 65 BRIDGE AGED WHITE 7723931000 - A5, 6.8 KΩ (6.1 - 7.5), north up
PICKUP ASSY JAGUAR 65 NECK AGED WHITE 7723932000 - A5, 6.8 KΩ (6.1 - 7.5), south up
https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/Orig ... ersary.pdf
"I just knew I wanted to make a sound that was the complete opposite of a Les Paul, and that’s pretty much a Jaguar." Rowland S. Howard.

Post Reply