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  1. #1

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    Hello dear forum members. I need help. I ordered a guitar from my luthier. It will be a copy of the jazzmaster. But we went a little crazy with the wood. Solid mahogany body, maple / mahogany neck and wenge fingerboard. Surprisingly, the luthier is supposed to fit in 3700g. weight. To achieve this, the guitar will be 5% smaller than the original jazzmaster and some carvings in the body.

    And now my question for you: what pickups to choose for such wood and layout ??? A few tips: this guitar is intended for jazz fusion. I generally need a lot of colors. I was thinking about SH2 / SH4 of course, but it's a really classic set. I am looking for inspiration and new ideas. Maybe someone had a similar challenge?


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  3. #2

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    I would cast an eye over the pickups available through Becky and Shannon Lawrence at Wilde Pickups- the widow and daughter of Bill Lawrence. It'll take some thinking about what you want, but their pickups are very versatile and sound great in a lot of contexts. There are lots of options including noise-cancelling single coil sized pickups, traditional and nontraditional single coils, various humbuckers. I have them in three guitars (L280 and L-90). I've been very happy with the results.

    My most interesting has an L280S in the neck position (Strat sized stacked humbucker), L90 4.0H in the middle and L90 6.0H in the bridge position (Gibson sized humbuckers). I used stacked pots (250k/500k stacked with one knob for volume, 250k tone for neck, 500k/500k stacked tone with concentric knobs for middle and bridge so that each pickup has its own tone control) and .047 cap for the neck and .022 caps for middle and bridge.

    The neck pickup sees a 250k Strat style circuit, the middle and bridge see a 500k Gibson style circuit. If you don't jumper the common terminals on the 5 way switch, it is really two five way switches so one side is the 250k side and the other is the 500k side. I did not wire in coil splitting or taps for the L-90s; I'd have had to figure out a way to send that signal to the 250k circuit to avoid the thin shrill tone that coil splitting usually produces, and I just don't see myself using sound that anyway. This does result in a volume bump in the neck-middle position.

    In my case at least, this does not sound like a Strat very much. The usual glassiness is absent, the L280 sounding more like a P90 than a Strat pickup. The L90s are clearer than a PAF and less bass/mid-heavy, but remain fat and warm. Wilde pickups are very tailorable with caps and pots. I use a low capacitance cord (George L's).
    Last edited by Cunamara; 09-28-2020 at 11:28 PM.

  4. #3

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    I put a Fralin p92 in the neck position of a custom semi-hollow build I had done. It's PAF sized and a cross between a P90 and fender type single coil but humbucking. Really nice palate available. I coupled it with a TV jones "hot" filtertron in the bridge and put a repro gold foil in the middle. Such a versatile guitar.

    Demo video of the Fralin here

  5. #4
    Thanks a lot for the interesting answers.
    Has anyone tested the Bare Knuckle pickups?

  6. #5

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    So many great choices out there! Check out Manluis pickups out of N.Y. as well as Peter Biltoft for custom made pickups. They are as good as anyone 2 to 3xs as expensive.
    I'm sure you'll find what your looking for!

  7. #6
    Thank You Jad?. I will check it.
    Do you have these pickups? If so, what impression? What do you recommend to modern jazz from their offer?

  8. #7

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    Sounds really fun project!

    Do You want it to look like a Jazzmaster or have You already decided something else, f.ex. humbuckers?

    I ask You because for this kind of a project where there is many different parameters it might be best to start from a somehow zero point and see is it good or what would be the direction to go.

    I had a bit similar situation in about 1985. I ordered a modded clone of a Fender Mustang with a bit thicker body than the original and TOM bridge. I put in a bit similar pu’s than the original had. But they were lame. Then I put a DiMarzio hb in the bridge. More lame.

    Then it was many years in the attic. Then I found the wonders of P90 pickups. Reroute and Seymour Duncan Antiquitys in. Ta daa, the guitar was born alive!

    But after some years I noticed that I don’t play it very much.The P90s attenuated some wrong upper mids and made the guitar a bit spikey.

    Then enter the last trial: humbuckers! I started from SD59s and aftet swapping the magnets (a5 to a4, if I remember right) the guitar is perfect!

    The process took only three decades but now the guitar is so fun that sometimes I wonder what I do with other guitars.

    So good luck for the quest! I hope You find Your pickups in shorter time!

  9. #8
    My jazzmaster will be very simiar like this one. The one in the picture is the one made by my luthier. Mine will be 5% smaller (body) to reduce weight and will have indentations on the edges of the body. It will be solid mahogany. Neck: Maple, Mahogany and Wenge Fingerboard. My luthier says that the sound is 80% of the material the neck is made of ... As for pickups, thanks for your experience
    Attached Images Attached Images Pickups puzzles-117404442_147949676947938_3622919491066677358_o-jpg 

  10. #9

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    Oh, fine looking beauty!

    What are the pickups in it? Can You test it with Your rig? If they are ok, go with them – and start tweaking & swapping if they some day feel bad.

  11. #10
    In this version there are Polish Merlin pickups, but this set is more for metal climates ... I have no possibility to test this model. Therefore, I would like to choose the most versatile pickups to have a lot of possibilities to match the sound to the wood...

  12. #11

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    So many great pickup options these days. Bare Knuckle, Benedetti, Mojo, Fralin, Biltoft, and McNelly are all worth checking out.

  13. #12

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    Mahogany body & neck lead thoughts to Les Paul -type pickup areas. I am not a specialist in fusion jazz but didn’t John McLaughlin achieve notable results in that genre with standard Gibson P90-powered LP in Mahavishnu days?

    Low power pickups would probably be more flexible: You can always boost them with pedals and amp but a high wind pickup will never give You the nuancés of low wind one.

  14. #13

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    Oh, John M. had a staple Alnico 5 pu in his LP Custom.

    Pickups puzzles-689f5b6c-0298-49f2-84b9-34b1a86e058f-jpeg

    Equipment | John McLaughlin

  15. #14
    Thank You Herbie.

    You're right that my guitar will have a structure similar to Les Paul's. That's why I'm thinking about the Burst Bucker pickup ... Unfortunately, after a few days of reading and searching, I know less than at the beginning ? Too many possibilities, too much information.

  16. #15

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    Burstbucker 1 & 2 are a great pair to start from. The corksniffers don't usually pay attention to them but they are very decent low gain PAF style humbuckers. You can easily find used ones for a good price and if You decide to go to another direction, You'll get the same price back when You sell them.

    Hmm... Your bridge is a Fender style bridge, isn't it? Then You might need a bridge pickup with a different pole spacing. I guess every manufacturer has them – except Gibson!

    fender spacing | Lollar Pickups Blog