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  1. #1

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    If any one has any insight about the Sadowsky Jim Hall model I would appreciate it.

    I know they are not exactly cheap at $4k but I've paid more for quality guitars in the past. If it's worth it, I don't have a problem with Rogers price.

    I'm just wondering if there is something else out there of similar or better quality for that price. I have read the reviews and have checked out that line as well as the Jimmy Bruno model, which is a little smaller and they both look amazing. I just haven't played either.

    Anyone have one or that has played either of these models and would like to share your opinion I would be eternally grateful.


    Sadowsky Jim Hall Model-sadowsky-jim-hall-jpg

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  3. #2

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    If you are looking for a high-quality laminate production hollowbody jazz guitar the Jim Hall model is one of the frontrunners imo. I've not played a Bruno. The JH is a slightly brighter, livelier, more modern sound than a 175 but feels similar in the hands imo. I've played two, very similar, excellent workmanship. If considering the Bruno, you might want to check out the SS-15 too.

  4. #3

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    I've played several Halls... remarkable quality! Very nice sound, easy on the eye and hands with a 1 3/4" neck width. The Bruno is 1 11/16" nut. I liked it a little better for the smaller body and neck, your mileage may vary. I played the new Sadowsky 17" last weekend. Same quality, very similar to the Hall and stunningly beautiful. I would LOVE to get my hands on an SS15, but then you're back to the 1 3/4 neck unless you special order as far as I know (could be wrong).

    These IMO all all top-notch guitars, worth every penny. I've also played the Benedetto Bravo and thought it was very nice, but the overall feel, look and especially the sound of the Sadowskys impressed me more.

  5. #4
    Thanks you guys. So it appears as though all the Sadowsky models are pretty much awesome. That's what all my research has been telling me, as well as you guys. I think my only decision at this point is which model. I have a Gibson ES-175 and a Benedetto Bravo Elite. I was hoping to add a Sadowsky to the collection. I'm a bit leary of the Bruno model only because it's 14 3/4 in lower bout might be too small sounding? I'm probably wrong on that I'm sure but that is just me. The LS -17 looks like my L-5 in size (17in obviously) but then with that kind of size you can run into feedback issues. That is what brought me to the Jim Hall model. A 16" body with 2 3/4 width should be right in the middle of the "big enough sound but small enough to avoid feedback" paranoia loop I seem to have constructed in my head. I'm sure I'm totally off on this but I just wanted to play it safe with a $4k investment.

    I will take a trip over to Long Island City to Sadowsky and try them all out. Thanks for your advice guys.

  6. #5

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    I'm interested, too. I'm considering an ES-175 but I could be swayed by the Sadowsy's.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by FatJeff
    I'm interested, too. I'm considering an ES-175 but I could be swayed by the Sadowsy's.
    I actually have an ES-175 along with many other guys. Its a great guitar but I'm hearing such good things on these Sadowsky models, I figure I have to at least try them out.

  8. #7

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    I absolutely LOVE my Jimmy Bruno. It has a surprisingly full sound despite the smaller body size. It is a great gigging guitar, very manageable to carry & easy to play for a long gig, it's also very light. If I had to have only one jazz guitar for strait ahead playing it would be the Bruno. I have not played the JH, I'm sure it is incredible, but the smaller Bruno is a joy to gig with.

  9. #8
    Ok, so I went to the Sadowsky home shop in Long Island City and checked out all the model archtops. Roger Sadowsky was unfortunately not here but his right hand man Kevin Drexler was; great guy. They have two large enclosed rooms just to try out the guitars. When I walked in, I was literally the only one there. Having the entire place to myself, I jumped right in and here's what happened.

    First, I went to the Jim Hall model which was what I had originally had in the back of my mind as the guitar that I wanted. An absolutely gorgeous guitar. I have a dozen guitars in my collection as I'm sure lots of you guys have and I was just blown away by the shear look and feel of this guitar. A 16" body,1 3/4 nut width, 24 3/4 scale, maple neck and body, ebony fingerboard, bridge, and pickguard. Nothing too far out of the norm. The playability was a dream. It felt somewhere between my Benedetto Bravo and the Heritage Golden Eagle, if any of you have or have played those models. Crisp, clear as a bell tones yet soft and less punchy than say a Guild X-500. I really loved it. I thought I was done shopping and had found what I was looking for. Then I picked up the Jimmy Bruno model.

    I was very surprised by the JB model simply because I had a preconceived notion that a guitar with a 14 3/4" body can't have a "big guitar" sound. Well, let me just say, that was completely wrong! This guitar is a powerhouse. I couldn't put it down. The 1 11/16" neck is thin and fast. I see why Jimmy likes it that way for his ripping fast lines. And made of mahogany, this neck has a beautiful full tone to it. The rest of the specs are basically the same as the JH model except maybe for the cat eye inlays. A really wonderful guitar. If I had to say one tiny thing that I had trouble getting used to with the JB model was when I was sitting there with the guitar on my lap (no strap) I was in constant fear that I was going to drop it. I couldn't seem to comfortably hold the guitar under my strumming (right) arm. I usually play with a strap on so that could have also been a factor. Other than that, this guitar played like a dream. Incredible big sounding tone from a small bodied instrument. I was in shock.

    So it was a very difficult decision between the two models. I had also tried the LS-17 which was big and a very nice axe but I already have a Gibson L-5 so that wasn't for me. So after going back and forth several times between the two I finally "settled" on the Jim Hall model. I could be wrong but it just felt right for me. I liked the 1 3/4 width neck. I felt I could easily slide into and out of chords comfortably. The overall tone of the guitar was just amazing. I hope I'm not overpaying but that's how I see it so I'm taking a shot on the Sadowsky Jim Hall model.

    Wish me luck,

    Andy
    Last edited by andyhoey1; 06-15-2011 at 09:10 AM.

  10. #9

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    Did they actually have one in stock or did you have to put a deposit down and wait 4-6 months?

    I love my Jim Hall, BTW.

  11. #10

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    Hey Andy . . . sounds like you had fun. What about the SS-15 did they have one there for you to try out?

  12. #11

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    Andy- I know what you mean. I walked into the shop last year planning to order a Jim Hall, and walked out with the Jimmy Bruno. They were all great guitars, and different enough to really find something that works for you and your style.

  13. #12
    Hey you guys thanks for the kind words.

    First thing, they don't have any guitars in stock at Sadowsky. You get to try all the guitars out but you then have to do the $200 down and wait 3 month thing, which is what I did. Yea I know, that is going to seem like light years away but that's how it works. All good things come to . . . well you know how it goes. Oh and if you change your mind at the time your guitar is ready, for whatever reason, they fully refund your deposit; pretty professional I thought.

    As for the SS-15, they did have one there to try out. I was so consumed with the JH and JB models that I didn't try that one out. I recently got a Collings I-35 Deluxe (another amazing guitar) which is a smallish, fairly thin bodied guitar, very similar to the SS-15. So I figured I didn't want to go in that direction, but I would guess it's an impressive guitar as well. I really had my sights on the Jim Hall model. I've been eyeing this guitar for some time.

    If anyone is in the New York area visiting, the Sadowsky warehouse is literally 15 minutes by train from midtown Manhattan. You may want to just stop in and play all their models. They have two big show rooms with all the guitars hanging right on the wall. They close the door and just let you play for as long as you like. I had to actually go outside the room and ask Kevin (the sales guy) to come back in so I could ask him so spec questions! Can you imagine!? Usually whenever I go into say a Guitar Center or Sam Ash and try a guitar, about 90 seconds later I have a sales guy hanging over me asking "So whadda ya think?" How incredibly annoying right. Not these guys at Sadowsky. They know their product is the real deal. I could have played in that room for 4 more hours, as I'm sure any of you would have. What an experience.

    Andy

  14. #13

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    I am also interested in the Jim Hall model that Sadowsky produces. The guitars apparently are made by a master luthier (Yoshi Kikuchi) in Tokyo. The guitars are shipped to the Sadowsky store in NY and set up there. BTW my D'aquisto Jazzline 16"(made by Aria in Japan) looks almost exactly like the Jim Hall Sadowsky model...no doubt because for many years Jim Hall played a D'Aquisto.

  15. #14

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    Being around Berklee is like being in a living museum/catalog of guitars. I get to try a lot of guitars. A few opinions I've formed-keep in mind this is just based on my feel so do try them yourself.
    The Sadowskys are really nice, responsive and have a great feel. Aria makes one the same size, with the D'Aquisto logo on it, Jazz Line I believe-that's really nice too but the neck's a bit chunkier to my hands. Rumours are that they share similar factories of parts origin but I know nothing of the truth of this. It doesn't have the same crisp feel but then again it's a whole lot cheaper and easier to get.
    If you like an es-175 spec, the Epi Zephyr Regent with the single pickup that made a brief appearance and was axed from the line (no pun) was/is an amazingly affordable stand in, especially with a pickup change.
    If you want to comb ebay for old models, the D'Aquisto profile of which the Sadowsky is an adherent, is alive and well in the long gone Fender D'Quisto models. These are remarkably responsive, affordable when you can find them and VERY worth seeking out. Jimmy worked closely with Japanese luthiers to make these guitars.
    Here's the real treasure for me: If you can come across an Ibanez Joe Pass in good shape, pull out the pickup and throw in an old Guild blister PU or in my case, a Duncan Jazz (or 59) you have a guitar you can play 'til you die because you won't want to put it down. They did something right on this one. Same outline specs as the Sadowsky (D'Aquisto), but one of the laminate layers is spruce,and it makes the top a little lighter, adds a spruce quality to the woody aspect and all this for ... I've seen them go for somewhere just over a grand to two on ebay when they come up.

    The Jimmy Bruno model- roughly the size of the Ibanez George Benson but much more responsive. GREAT size! If you think it's too small to be a serious jazz box then give it a try. For some it's perfect. It certainly feels great under my arm. More builders should work with the 15 inch profile in my opinion.
    David

  16. #15

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    I know Roger's site lists the width at the nut as 1.75. I have seen used ones advertised as 1 11/16. I called Roger's shop but no one seemed to be sure if they have always been 1.75. (Roger wasn't in at the time). Anyone have info on this? Thanks

  17. #16

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    It's probably just confusion on the part of the folks listing the information.

    Hall, SS15, and LS17 are 1.75"
    Bruno and Semi are 1 11/16"

    All are 24.75" scale except for the LS17, which is 25.5".

  18. #17

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    I have a 2006 Sadowsky JH with 1 11/16".

  19. #18

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    Anyone know what year they switched over to 1.75? Seems to be some confusion on this issue. I just ordered a used one. Guess I'll find out soon enough.

  20. #19

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    My 2004 is 1.75.

  21. #20

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    Mine is serial number in the early 400s A4--. Any guesses where that sits year wise? I've got an e-mail off to Sadowsky so Roger should know.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgee
    I have a 2006 Sadowsky JH with 1 11/16".

    Corrections:

    My Jim Hall is a 2005, not 2006.

    When I bought it just a few months ago, I was told that it was 1 11/16, but I didn't actually measure it until today. At it's widest point, the nut is a 64th or two shy of 1 3/4". The neck is exactly 1 3/4" where it meets the nut, so I suppose it's officially 1 3/4". Whatever the number is, it's an extremely comfortable neck for my hands.

    Roger is right that some dealers probably listed them incorrectly. That's certainly true in my case, though I would have bought it either way.

    Tom

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaco
    Mine is serial number in the early 400s A4--. Any guesses where that sits year wise? I've got an e-mail off to Sadowsky so Roger should know.
    Jaco, as noted mine's from late 2007, and the serial number is A367, so a fair guess would be that yours is from 2008/2009 - but isn't the year of manufacture written on the label alongside the serial no.?
    Last edited by Nils; 11-18-2013 at 06:28 PM.

  24. #23

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    Nils, Mine is in transit, should get here tomorrow. However I did receive an e-mail from Roger and you're right mine is a 2008. Also our guitars are nitro finished as he went to a poly finish in the A600s. Thanks so much for your input. Very excited about this guitar.

  25. #24

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    I received the Jim Hall yesterday. It's always a bit nerve wracking to buy a guitar sight unseen. I opened the case and was really taken away with how beautiful this instrument is. Got it home and after some adjustments (bridge and trussrod) I can honestly say it is one of the finest instruments I have owned in close to fifty years of playing. Can't put it down. My wife keeps remarking how wonderful it sounds. Perfect balance across the neck and between bass and trebles. Probably the nicest neck I've ever played on an electric guitar. Thanks to all for your input. I wouldn't have made the plunge without it. This one is a keeper.

  26. #25

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    Enjoy. They are wonderful instruments. Congrats.

  27. #26

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    They are fairly costly, but Sadowsky deserves his reputation as a maker of exquisitely constructed and set-up instruments. Congrats on your keeper!

  28. #27

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    Yesterday I got my Sadowsky Jim Hall in the mail.
    Needless to say I was thrilled.
    Today I had the time to try it amplified and I was really disappointed with the muddy sound.
    Since I haven't heard a single bad thing about this guitar anywhere I got curious.
    Somebody switched the original Dimarzio pickup to a Seymour Duncan SH-4.
    This guitar sounds nothing like any of the Jim Halls I've heard online.
    So my question is:
    Which Pickup would you recommend for a transparent sound that brings out the full potential of this beautiful guitar.

  29. #28

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    Congrats on the guitar!

    You've kinda answered your own question: if they typically sound a certain way, and they typically have a different pickup than yours, than try the original pickup.

    Call Roger: see if he has one laying around!

    Enjoy the guitar!

  30. #29

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    Thanks for your reply!
    I already emailed Roger (I'm from Austria so calling unfortunately isn't an option)
    Sorry, I didn't phrase my question properly.
    I was looking for a pickup that possibly might have a similar sound to the one used on the Jim Hall.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggjay
    Yesterday I got my Sadowsky Jim Hall in the mail...Needless to say I was thrilled...
    Was it delivered in a...brown paper envelope? Does it have durty pitchurs of nekkid ladies in it?

    Congrats on the Sadowsky Jim Hall. Just kidding about the durty pitchurs although you do sound about as chuffed about it as the kid who just received his first lad's magazine in a brown paper envelope...

    Sorry to read about the swapped-out pickup. How about the Benedetto A6 or B6? The Sadowsky archtops have always had that acoustic stringy sound to it, like strings amplified.

    Your safest bet is to get a replacement from Roger Sadowsky. I read that it is a minimally wax-potted DiMarzio. Or have Kent Armstrong's son, Aaron Armstrong, who lives in the UK, to wind one for you Armstrong Pickups .

  32. #31

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    I have a Sadowsky JH too and love it. Great guitar.

    Sadowsky's customer service is quite responsive via email. Definitely try that first. Even if they don't supply a pickup, they should give you good advice, or maybe a spec.

    If that fails, your want a relatively low output humbucker, like a Duncan SH-1 or a Lollar Imperial, which is available in a low-wind version.

  33. #32

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    get the original pickup....

    Sounds like it is suppose to on my JH...

  34. #33

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    I believe they use Di Marzio 36th on all other guitars so it might be a good choice.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggjay
    Yesterday I got my Sadowsky Jim Hall in the mail.

    Somebody switched the original Dimarzio pickup to a Seymour Duncan SH-4.
    This guitar sounds nothing like any of the Jim Halls I've heard online.
    SH-4!?!?!? That is the "JB" model and is intended as a bridge pickup (16.4K ohms resistance)! No wonder it sounds muddy.

    maggles

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggjay
    Yesterday I got my Sadowsky Jim Hall in the mail.
    Needless to say I was thrilled.
    Today I had the time to try it amplified and I was really disappointed with the muddy sound.
    Since I haven't heard a single bad thing about this guitar anywhere I got curious.
    Somebody switched the original Dimarzio pickup to a Seymour Duncan SH-4.
    This guitar sounds nothing like any of the Jim Halls I've heard online.
    So my question is:
    Which Pickup would you recommend for a transparent sound that brings out the full potential of this beautiful guitar.
    A Guild HB1, if you can find one. The HB1 was on JH's D'Aquisto, and which apparently DiMarzio copied for the Sadowsky.
    They are very transparent, with less midrange than a typical Paf.

  37. #36

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    Here is Lage Lund playing the Sadowsky JH

    This will give you a good idea of what it could sound like..............



    http://www.amazon.com/Marcus-Gilmore...club+lage+lund

  38. #37

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    Good suggestions above,

    The Guild humbucker has a close association with JH.

    The Benedetto B6 is also very good for a modern JH type tone, with the tone rolled back. I have one (a B7) in an Ibanez AF207.

    As another option, check out the Shadow Electronics Attila Zoller model. The SH AZ 49 is the top mounted one.

    Attila Zoller jazz guitar ring mount humbucker


    Incidentally, the floating version of the AZ pickup was also used by Jimmy Raney, on his later recordings, fitted to his Hofner.


  39. #38

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    SH-4!?!?!? That is the "JB" model and is intended as a bridge pickup (16.4K ohms resistance)! No wonder it sounds muddy.

    maggles
    Yeah, you're right!
    I considered this a possibility in the back of my head, but i didn't check because I really didn't think someone would do this.
    The funny thing is the wrong Humbucker went unnoticed by the two previous owners...
    Last edited by ggjay; 09-02-2015 at 02:45 PM.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1997
    A Guild HB1, if you can find one. The HB1 was on JH's D'Aquisto, and which apparently DiMarzio copied for the Sadowsky.
    They are very transparent, with less midrange than a typical Paf.
    Yes, good advice, but..... be careful, later HB1s were made by Fender and/or Seymour Duncan. I think the Duncan ones are exactly the same as their SH-1 (59') Model except for the cover. Not a bad pickup, but not an original Guild HB1.

    I am not sure when Guild stopped making the original but it was quite a while ago. Perhaps some online research would help. Actually, the original ones are very hard to find (unless you buy the whole Guild along with it).

    maggles

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by maggles55
    Yes, good advice, but..... be careful, later HB1s were made by Fender and/or Seymour Duncan. I think the Duncan ones are exactly the same as their SH-1 (59') Model except for the cover. Not a bad pickup, but not an original Guild HB1.

    I am not sure when Guild stopped making the original but it was quite a while ago. Perhaps some online research would help. Actually, the original ones are very hard to find (unless you buy the whole Guild along with it).

    maggles
    Good points made above. I have a couple of 70s original HB1s, and they are around 6.5K, with very strong magnets. Some other HB1 pickups and specs are on this site: Guild HB1 Pickups

    It might be possible for a knowledgeable pickup maker who knows these specs to wind a pickup to approximate the HB1 sound at a modest cost.They certainly sound quite different to the SD versions. I suspect an A8 magnet may have been used, or at least strong A5's, whereas PAFs typically use A2 or A3 magnets for a softer, fatter sound.

  42. #41

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    I have a 2010 JH, and, while I really like how it plays, I do struggle with the somewhat middy tone and lack of lower frequencies. I swapped out a high wind Lollar imperial in my L5 a few years back and love it. Just about to do the same with this one, I think. Plus, something in the harness and pots creates a significantly lower output than any other humbucker guitar I have, so I may swap the pots at some point, as well, to see what's holding things back.

  43. #42

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    I just put a Kinman extra vintage into my Jim Hall.
    A guy was selling one in my neighbourhood and I thought what the heck.
    I also should get a Lollar Imperial in the mail in the next couple of days.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!!!

    This is what it sounds like:


    The tone knob is turned halfway down. (otherwise the sound is way too bright)
    Jim hall>Fender Deluxe>SM57>Garage Band (no FX EQ or anything)

    What do you guys think?

  44. #43

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    Sounds good to me!

  45. #44

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    Yeah, the clip sounds good.

    But just FYI, when I play through my Deluxe I usually set bass and treble to zero, and the tone knob on the guitar is maxed. Those amp settings are pretty close to flat frequency response, as opposed to the bass and treble boosts at settings greater than zero. How do you have your amp set?

  46. #45

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    Thanks for the hint! I'll try that.
    I have Bass and Treble set to 5.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by yebdox
    I have a 2010 JH, and, while I really like how it plays, I do struggle with the somewhat middy tone and lack of lower frequencies. I swapped out a high wind Lollar imperial in my L5 a few years back and love it. Just about to do the same with this one, I think. Plus, something in the harness and pots creates a significantly lower output than any other humbucker guitar I have, so I may swap the pots at some point, as well, to see what's holding things back.
    Did you buy yours new or is there also a chance of someone having messed with the electronics?
    I've only played my Jim Hall with a really high output Humbucker (SD SH-4 16 kOhm) and the very low output Kinman with around 5 kOhm so I don't really know what its regular output is.
    If you should decide to swap PU's I'd love to hear your guitar if you get the chance to make a clip.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamlapati
    Yeah, the clip sounds good.

    But just FYI, when I play through my Deluxe I usually set bass and treble to zero, and the tone knob on the guitar is maxed. Those amp settings are pretty close to flat frequency response, as opposed to the bass and treble boosts at settings greater than zero. How do you have your amp set?
    Hi!

    I just recorded this with Deluxe with the Bass and Treble set to zero.
    Had to roll down the tone knob just a little bit though.


    Sounds better than the first version. But I think when I first recorded it the input level was set too high.

    Thanks a lot again for the hint!
    I usually don't try the eq setting on zero because some amps go silent when you do that.

  49. #48

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    Today I got my Lollar in the mail.
    Maybe this is a really stupid question but isn't the Pickup supposed to have two wires?
    Sadowsky Jim Hall Model-foto-jpg

  50. #49

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    The metal jacket on the wire is the ground.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonc
    The metal jacket on the wire is the ground.
    Thanks a lot!
    So I'll just solder the outer metal shielding to the backside of the pot.
    This is my first single wire pickup...