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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Jazzmaster Pickups

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I bought a Squier VM Jazzmaster back in 2012, shortly after they came out. Been very happy with it and had done no mods to it. Recently I thought that I would see if I could get it closer to the Fender Jazzmaster I had bought new in the spring of 1965 right after HS graduation and had to sell in the mid 70's. It was a 1964 model, as I bought it before the 1965 models came out. I know the pickups changed that model year and the 1965's also had the bound fretboard, which mine did not have.

I bought a set of Fender '62 Jazzmaster pickups and installed them, but am not happy with the sound. It sounds brighter and thinner than the stock Squier VM pickups. I was not expecting that based on my recollection of the fuller, warmer sound I remember the old one having. Sounds nothing like what I had expected. Would my old '64 Jazzmaster have had RWRP pickups? Can find no info on that?

When I first installed the new pickups I made the mistake of having the neck pickup oriented incorrectly (leads facing the lower control area, same as the bridge pickup). This gave me a very thin out of phase sound when both pickups were selected. I reversed that neck pickup and that helped, but it is still very bright and thinner than were the VM DD pickups. Is my recollection of my old 1964 Jazzmaster that far off? (It has been 40 years, but at the time it was my only electric and I spent a lot of time playing it and gigging with it). Thought I remembered generally how it sounded.

I even changed the tone pot on the lead circuit to a 500k pot and the cap to a .047. Still brighter than I recall the old guitar being, and much brighter than the stock VM pickups with the stock pot and cap.

I am looking for any insight. I visit here a lot, but seldom post here. But, I figured this is the place that would have the most experience and knowledge of these guitars and pickups.

If only my playing skills were somewhat equal to my 50 plus years of experience playing guitar! Sigh

One more question. How much difference is their between the Fender '62 Jazzmaster pickups and the '65's?

If only my playing skills were somewhat equal to my 50 plus years of experience playing guitar! Sigh

A bit. The AV'65s aren't as good as the Jag or Strat pickups, but still good. The AV'62s(AVRI) are darker sounding, and the AV'65s are more transparent. You are getting the sound of the AVRI in the AV'65 but with more top end, its a win!

Aside from putting a MiM classic neck on my orig VM JM, what are now called the Pure Vintage pickups are the best thing I did to my Jazzmaster. (These seem now to be Fender's name for what were distinguished as the AV65 pups, done in Jag, Strat, etc. and are sold as such.) A happy by-product was also the utility of the bridge by itself, something that the extremely overwound DD could never yield. (I do use Eddie K's treble-bleed circuit but that doesn't affect how good the '65/PV pickups are; clarity, all the highs you want, Jake's term of 'transparency' is a good word.)

SoCal ex-pat with a snow shovel

DISCLAIMER: The above is opinion/suggestion only & should not be used for mission planning/navigation, tweaking of instruments, beverage selection, or wardrobe choices.

I did recently put a set of the Fender Pure Vintage '65's in my VM Jag. It was a great improvement. Still has the highs, but not as shrill sounding as were the stock DD pickups.

I was hoping for the same improvement with the '62's in the Jazzmaster. Thought it would put it close to the '64 Jazzmaster I had bought new. Not working out so far. Sounds very thin and has an almost out of phase sound with a lot of highs (much more than the stock DD pickups). Not at all how I remember my old Jazzmaster sounding. Leaves me wondering if I should reverse the leads on one of the pickups.

The '62 pickups came with no wiring diagram, but am assuming that the white wire is the hot and black the ground as were the '65's I put in my VM Jag. Love Jazzmasters, just trying to get this sounding correct.

If only my playing skills were somewhat equal to my 50 plus years of experience playing guitar! Sigh

Caddy, I have Fender Pure Vintage 65s in my (partscaster) Jazzmaster, and I find these also to be a bit thin, and very trebly. I'm considering a set of Seymour Duncan Antiquity I's.

I have a Curtis Novak JM-V and JM-FAT in my guitar, and they have been great pickups. The JM-V in the neck gives that nice classic vintage Jazzmaster tone, and the JM-FAT in the bridge gives the bridge tone a little more girth than the vintage-style pickup. Apparently Curtis' JM-90 (P-90 in a Jazzmaster pickup shape) is another popular choice in combination with the JM-V in the neck. Curtis really knows his stuff when it comes to Jazzmasters and has lots of unique offerings, he also is very approachable and has always answered my questions via email.

Aside from the pickups have you taken into consideration that your choice of strings and their gauges as compared to what you used in the 1960's may be what's causing the difference in tone? Strings have come a long way as have picks, both are much more "uniform" these days. Are you using round-wound instead of flat-wound or vice-versa?

Your amp if it's not the same one you had decades ago may be the culprit or be adding to your dilemma, that or a combination of all of the above ie. pickups, strings, picks, and amp.

Last edited: Dec 12, 2017 00:38:15

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