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Jazzmaster mods/wiring
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Jazzmaster mods/wiring

So, I want to change a volume pot from 1meg to 250K and a tone pot to 250K no load. Also, I want to use rhythm circuit to blend neck and bridge pickups. Like a mixer. Is there a way to do that? Or maybe use this pot https://www.fralinpickups.com/produc...l-blender-pot/ to achieve that in lead circuit. I have have no idea how to do it, since I'm no expert in electronics.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Blend pots will create loading effects and will darken the sound. They add additional loading beyond the typical volume/tone controls. A separate volume for each pickup like a Les Paul will do better.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiroslavM View Post
So, I want to change a volume pot from 1meg to 250K and a tone pot to 250K no load. Also, I want to use rhythm circuit to blend neck and bridge pickups. Like a mixer. Is there a way to do that? Or maybe use this pot https://www.fralinpickups.com/produc...l-blender-pot/ to achieve that in lead circuit. I have have no idea how to do it, since I'm no expert in electronics.
My two cents (feel free to ignore): just leave it as it is. A Jazzmaster without the 1 meg is no longer a Jazzmaster. I’ve watched countless people fall down the rabbit hole of trying to mod Jazzmasters before they truly learn how to use it. I’m not saying that’s your case. I have no idea what your experience with Jazzmasters is, or what kind you’re playing. If it’s a new one or maybe a Japanese one, maybe it needs some help, I don’t know. I’ve just seen so many JM’s ruined because people wanted to change so many things that they think Fender got wrong. The people I knew who were handy with mods almost all ended up full-circle back to factory specs. I’ve got a ‘59, ‘61, and ‘65 JM’s, and I’ve never had the urge to change a thing. Maybe you can figure out a way to make your JM better suited for your style. Just know that dropping to a 250 is going to rob most Jazzmasters of their magic. Things get anemic real quick.

Like I said, just my two cents . . . probably worthless. Regardless, you’ve got good taste in guitars. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Best,

I.A. Newhart
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.A. Newhart View Post
My two cents (feel free to ignore): just leave it as it is. A Jazzmaster without the 1 meg is no longer a Jazzmaster. I’ve watched countless people fall down the rabbit hole of trying to mod Jazzmasters before they truly learn how to use it. I’m not saying that’s your case. I have no idea what your experience with Jazzmasters is, or what kind you’re playing. If it’s a new one or maybe a Japanese one, maybe it needs some help, I don’t know. I’ve just seen so many JM’s ruined because people wanted to change so many things that they think Fender got wrong. The people I knew who were handy with mods almost all ended up full-circle back to factory specs. I’ve got a ‘59, ‘61, and ‘65 JM’s, and I’ve never had the urge to change a thing. Maybe you can figure out a way to make your JM better suited for your style. Just know that dropping to a 250 is going to rob most Jazzmasters of their magic. Things get anemic real quick.

Like I said, just my two cents . . . probably worthless. Regardless, you’ve got good taste in guitars. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Best,

I.A. Newhart
I would disagree. Changing the bridge to something like Mastery one is a must these days. Mastery trems are also a better option. Japanese JMs have better pickups the the US ones (and I have 3 vintage 60s ones to compare). Pickups by Novak, Fralin and especially (my current favourite) JBE JM Two/Tone pickups give you nice single coil as well as noiseless options on push-pull pots
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I would disagree. Changing the bridge to something like Mastery one is a must these days. Mastery trems are also a better option. Japanese JMs have better pickups the the US ones (and I have 3 vintage 60s ones to compare). Pickups by Novak, Fralin and especially (my current favourite) JBE JM Two/Tone pickups give you nice single coil as well as noiseless options on push-pull pots
Well, everyone has their own opinion. To me, mastery bridges are an overpriced, ugly abomination for people who don’t know the simplest way to deal with Jazzmaster bridges. Saddle screws can be set with lock tight if someone really feels they’re slipping. A coat of dry-moly on the saddles will stop any and all friction from trem use, and having a properly filed nut will also ease any string hang-ups. Again, to each their own, but I’ve never heard any Japanese JM pickups that sounded better than my ‘59’s pickups, nor any boutique Pickups that came close — plenty that sounded great, but none that sounded the way JM pickups truly sound. Push-pull pots on a Jazzmaster? If that’s what you feel like you need, I guess go for it. All I know is that my ‘59 and ‘61 can’t be knocked out of tune if you tried. I use the trem all the time, and with the dry-moly and nut properly filed, I have to tune either of those guitars maybe once every three weeks. What happens is internet chatter tells people the JM bridge is unusable and they must replace it with a Mastery bridge or a Mustang bridge when, in actuality, any problems are easily solvable.

But like I said, this is just my opinion. It’s your guitar. Do whatever you want to to it. Whatever floats your boat.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.A. Newhart View Post
Well, everyone has their own opinion. To me, mastery bridges are an overpriced, ugly abomination for people who don’t know the simplest way to deal with Jazzmaster bridges. Saddle screws can be set with lock tight if someone really feels they’re slipping. A coat of dry-moly on the saddles will stop any and all friction from trem use, and having a properly filed nut will also ease any string hang-ups. Again, to each their own, but I’ve never heard any Japanese JM pickups that sounded better than my ‘59’s pickups, nor any boutique Pickups that came close — plenty that sounded great, but none that sounded the way JM pickups truly sound. Push-pull pots on a Jazzmaster? If that’s what you feel like you need, I guess go for it. All I know is that my ‘59 and ‘61 can’t be knocked out of tune if you tried. I use the trem all the time, and with the dry-moly and nut properly filed, I have to tune either of those guitars maybe once every three weeks. What happens is internet chatter tells people the JM bridge is unusable and they must replace it with a Mastery bridge or a Mustang bridge when, in actuality, any problems are easily solvable.

But like I said, this is just my opinion. It’s your guitar. Do whatever you want to to it. Whatever floats your boat.
Fair enough. But there is a reason Mastery hardware is so popular. Even the mustang bridge is an improvement on the standard JM/JG bridge. Its too light and makes the guitar sound tinnier. Not even talking about strings sliding off the saddle grooves. They don't rattle either. WRT Mastery trem - I was very sceptical at first but gave it a chance - now I am a big convert.
WRT pickups I have 3 vintage (early 60soly grail pickup equipped JMs. The japanese one i have (with painted headstock pickups sound better. Thats not my opinion (I am not a JM fan) but waht all my clients say. Replacement pickups were put into my modern CS jazzmasters (x2) and both were a big, noticeable improvement. The JBE pickups were put into my parts-caster JM (no trem) which has since became my main guitar (I haven't played much else for the last 4 weeks). If push-pull pots are a major issue for you - I dont see it as an issue at all, just options. YMMV.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Fair enough. But there is a reason Mastery hardware is so popular. Even the mustang bridge is an improvement on the standard JM/JG bridge. Its too light and makes the guitar sound tinnier. Not even talking about strings sliding off the saddle grooves. They don't rattle either. WRT Mastery trem - I was very sceptical at first but gave it a chance - now I am a big convert.
WRT pickups I have 3 vintage (early 60soly grail pickup equipped JMs. The japanese one i have (with painted headstock pickups sound better. Thats not my opinion (I am not a JM fan) but waht all my clients say. Replacement pickups were put into my modern CS jazzmasters (x2) and both were a big, noticeable improvement. The JBE pickups were put into my parts-caster JM (no trem) which has since became my main guitar (I haven't played much else for the last 4 weeks). If push-pull pots are a major issue for you - I dont see it as an issue at all, just options. YMMV.
Thanks for the additional info, Yuri. If I were younger or smarter, I might explore some of the options you mentioned. I’m just an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy. And obviously, a lot of people need improvements to their Jazzmasters. I’m just stuck in my ways, in that I love my Jazzmasters the way I’ve always played them, and any mod - even if it seemed an improvement - would be a change to the sound and the feel that I’ve come to know and love. So, sorry to come off as an old stick in the mud. Probably more useful info came from you than me. Thanks for taking the time to make your case. Sounds convincing, but I’m going to just leave things as they are until I feel the need for some change, and then I’ll certainly consider your suggestions.

Best,

I.A. Newhart
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.A. Newhart View Post
Thanks for the additional info, Yuri. If I were younger or smarter, I might explore some of the options you mentioned. I’m just an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy. And obviously, a lot of people need improvements to their Jazzmasters. I’m just stuck in my ways, in that I love my Jazzmasters the way I’ve always played them, and any mod - even if it seemed an improvement - would be a change to the sound and the feel that I’ve come to know and love. So, sorry to come off as an old stick in the mud. Probably more useful info came from you than me. Thanks for taking the time to make your case. Sounds convincing, but I’m going to just leave things as they are until I feel the need for some change, and then I’ll certainly consider your suggestions.

Best,

I.A. Newhart
I know very well where you are coming from. :-) With most of my older guitars I try and stick to the status quo. Changing things takes some "magic" away. Not very practical but on emotional level its just what it should be. Although I did change bridges to mastery ones on my vintage JMs because they are being used in sessions. Still have the original bridges, just in case :-)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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"Fair enough. But there is a reason Mastery hardware is so popular. Even the mustang bridge is an improvement on the standard JM/JG bridge. Its too light and makes the guitar sound tinnier."

Tinnier is an improvement?

Either your Jazzmaster is a Jazzmaster or it isn't. And we can say that about Jazzmasters because they're so individual. If they were more generic nobody would care.

For my part, I have two of them. One is original original, a 1960 model that I've had since 1976 or 77. Every time I tried to change anything on it it made the guitar worse, and I returned it to stock. Even Mustang saddles, probably because they're brass and definitely because the strings are centered on them which makes the spread too wide for the neck.

The other is a Squier Affinity and there isn't anything original on it. I love it to pieces. But I'm not going around and saying that I play a Jazzmaster.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lame pseudonym View Post
"Fair enough. But there is a reason Mastery hardware is so popular. Even the mustang bridge is an improvement on the standard JM/JG bridge. Its too light and makes the guitar sound tinnier."

Tinnier is an improvement?

Either your Jazzmaster is a Jazzmaster or it isn't. And we can say that about Jazzmasters because they're so individual. If they were more generic nobody would care.

For my part, I have two of them. One is original original, a 1960 model that I've had since 1976 or 77. Every time I tried to change anything on it it made the guitar worse, and I returned it to stock. Even Mustang saddles, probably because they're brass and definitely because the strings are centered on them which makes the spread too wide for the neck.

The other is a Squier Affinity and there isn't anything original on it. I love it to pieces. But I'm not going around and saying that I play a Jazzmaster.
Tinnier referred to the original HW.
The originals lose value when you change even the dust which covers them under the bed. So , because they are in use i changed bridged. The improvements are noticeable (for the better) and easily reversible
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiroslavM View Post
So, I want to change a volume pot from 1meg to 250K and a tone pot to 250K no load. Also, I want to use rhythm circuit to blend neck and bridge pickups. Like a mixer. Is there a way to do that? Or maybe use this pot https://www.fralinpickups.com/produc...l-blender-pot/ to achieve that in lead circuit. I have have no idea how to do it, since I'm no expert in electronics.
Sure, if you don't want the Rhythm Circuit you could remove the switch from the circuit and repurpose the rollers as individual pickup volumes and still have a master tone and volume. Then you probably wouldn't even need the 250 pots due to the increased resistance.

There's no way I would do that to my Jazzmasters though; I like the Rhythm Circuit and the 1M pots.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by I.A. Newhart View Post
Thanks for the additional info, Yuri. If I were younger or smarter, I might explore some of the options you mentioned. I’m just an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy. And obviously, a lot of people need improvements to their Jazzmasters. I’m just stuck in my ways, in that I love my Jazzmasters the way I’ve always played them, and any mod - even if it seemed an improvement - would be a change to the sound and the feel that I’ve come to know and love. So, sorry to come off as an old stick in the mud. Probably more useful info came from you than me. Thanks for taking the time to make your case. Sounds convincing, but I’m going to just leave things as they are until I feel the need for some change, and then I’ll certainly consider your suggestions.

Best,

I.A. Newhart
I'm probably as old as you (started playing in the early '60s) and I must say that I've NEVER liked the Jaszzmaster bridge or vibrato. (It's NOT A TREMOLO, sorry, Leo.) The problem here is that it IS "broke" so it does need some sort of fix. Using the bar should not throw the guitar out of tune every single time.

I agree about not rewiring and especially about replacing the pots, which is just stupid - it reveals a lack of understanding of how the pots interact with the pickups. If you don't like that, buy a different guitar.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Tinnier referred to the original HW.
The originals lose value when you change even the dust which covers them under the bed. So , because they are in use i changed bridged. The improvements are noticeable (for the better) and easily reversible
Screw "collector value". Do you want to play the damn thing or hang it on the f***ing wall?

The bridge and bar were not one of Leo's high points of his career. I could write a couple paragraphs about that but I'm not going to bother unless provoked.

I've never regarded a Jazzmaster as a particularity "collectible" guitar. There wouldn't be any interest in them at all if the late '70s/early '80s punks and grunge rockers hadn't adopted them because they were the last Fender guitar available in pawn shops for next to nothing.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Screw "collector value". Do you want to play the damn thing or hang it on the f***ing wall?

The bridge and bar were not one of Leo's high points of his career. I could write a couple paragraphs about that but I'm not going to bother unless provoked.

I've never regarded a Jazzmaster as a particularity "collectible" guitar. There wouldn't be any interest in them at all if the late '70s/early '80s punks and grunge rockers hadn't adopted them because they were the last Fender guitar available in pawn shops for next to nothing.
You are correct of course. All 3 of my main vintage JMs are used in the studio (I don't think they went in the case at all for like 2 years). All have mastery bridges and the rusty tuners have been replaced (can put the old ones back in if i sell them). One of them is so good I was offered 2x'59 CS LP and a CS LP Special in a swap. I also have a US CS one which has novak pickups (I like those) and a mij one which has fralins with a hotter bridge (these work very well too). I sorta got into the offsets recently and had a parts-caster built with a hard-tail setup and switchable JBE JM Two/Tones which became my main guitar period (even in preference to my tele - never thought i will say that )
I have some guitars which are collectors but had (better sounding) copies of them made and these are available to customers. We don't charge for instrument use so they get a lot of love.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I've never regarded a Jazzmaster as a particularity "collectible" guitar. There wouldn't be any interest in them at all if the late '70s/early '80s punks and grunge rockers hadn't adopted them because they were the last Fender guitar available in pawn shops for next to nothing.
What kind of logic is this? You could equally argue that there wouldn't be any interest in Les Paul Bursts if Clapton hadn't recorded 'Bluesbreakers' or none in Strats if Jimi Hendrix had stayed in the US Army....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Can someone explain why people change the pots?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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"Can someone explain why people change the pots? "

Well, for me, what I like is different from what everyone else likes. I like 250k linear taper for volume. And for tone, 100k audio taper with the top cut off so it's infinite ohms when it's all the way up.

Two pots per guitar maximum.

That's what I like.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
What kind of logic is this? You could equally argue that there wouldn't be any interest in Les Paul Bursts if Clapton hadn't recorded 'Bluesbreakers' or none in Strats if Jimi Hendrix had stayed in the US Army....
No, actually you can't. There were a LOT more players than Clapton who were into Les Pauls at the time.

Lots of people think that Clapton invented the blues, too.

Me, I was much more into Bloomfield than Clapton, although Clapton wasn't bad for a limey.

EDIT: And your facts are wrong, anyway. Even in the early mid to late '60s Les Pauls were not cheap guitars relatively speaking, even in the hock shops.

Jazzmasters and Jaguars in the '70s and early '80s you couldn't give away. Same thing with Mustangs. During that period Jazzmasters, Jaguars, and Mustangs all went for about the same money - $100-$150 in the typical hock shop. In the '70s - you literally could not give any of those away. Which is why the punks of the time bought them - they were dirt cheap. They had zero real market value. You could buy one for a few bucks and hack the crap out of it and nobody would care.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 1 week ago at 04:47 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lame pseudonym View Post
"Can someone explain why people change the pots? "

Well, for me, what I like is different from what everyone else likes. I like 250k linear taper for volume. And for tone, 100k audio taper with the top cut off so it's infinite ohms when it's all the way up.

Two pots per guitar maximum.

That's what I like.
Some people change the pots because they're empty....
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
No, actually you can't. There were a LOT more players than Clapton who were into Les Pauls at the time.

Lots of people think that Clapton invented the blues, too.

Me, I was much more into Bloomfield than Clapton, although Clapton wasn't bad for a limey.

EDIT: And your facts are wrong, anyway. Even in the early mid to late '60s Les Pauls were not cheap guitars relatively speaking, even in the hock shops.

Jazzmasters and Jaguars in the '70s and early '80s you couldn't give away. Same thing with Mustangs. During that period Jazzmasters, Jaguars, and Mustangs all went for about the same money - $100-$150 in the typical hock shop. In the '70s - you literally could not give any of those away. Which is why the punks of the time bought them - they were dirt cheap. They had zero real market value. You could buy one for a few bucks and hack the crap out of it and nobody would care.
Well things changed since the 70's. There was a time in the 60's when gibson stopped manufacturing LPs - couldn't sell them, no-one wanted them. But eventually trends changed as did the guitar models. 70's tele customs and custom deluxe's were all fireplace fodder. Then some artists picked them up and they are back in the lineup and are selling well.
JMs and Jags are very popular at the moment, at least here. Also many custom makers make versions of those which look very tasty.
Models come and go. Trends change
Old 5 days ago
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Well things changed since the 70's. There was a time in the 60's when gibson stopped manufacturing LPs - couldn't sell them, no-one wanted them. But eventually trends changed as did the guitar models. 70's tele customs and custom deluxe's were all fireplace fodder. Then some artists picked them up and they are back in the lineup and are selling well.
JMs and Jags are very popular at the moment, at least here. Also many custom makers make versions of those which look very tasty.
Models come and go. Trends change
Well, what happened in the early '60s was instrumental surf music, which you really couldn't play on a Les Paul - no vibrato tailpiece and even if you added a Bigsby it still wasn't very good for surf. And Ted McCarty had the bright idea that the body style needed "modernizing", not that it did a lot of good at the time. As soon as instrumental surf started to wane - coinciding with the British Invasion - Les Pauls started getting popular again. And even at their least popular the LP never really bottomed out like the Jazz and Jag did when surf died.

The '70s Tele customs suffered from the problem that most '70s Fenders weren't really very good. People these days don't understand that because most of the really bad ones got binned a long time ago and we're left with the survivors.

People didn't like Jaguars and Jazzmasters because they were built to the tastes of surf guitarists. They were really unsuited to the more "modern" blues based lead guitar styles that came in during the late '60s and people didn't much care for the vibratos. The styling was also heavily identified with surf music styles, too. So they hung around until the punks started using them because they were the only decent quality guitars left for cheap in the hock shops after the collector craze drove the prices of everything else through the roof and eventually into outer space. Also, by that time modding guitars had become a lot more popular. These days there are aftermarket vibratos available that address most of the problems of the Jags and Jazzes.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 5 days ago at 10:49 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Well, what happened in the early '60s was instrumental surf music, which you really couldn't play on a Les Paul - no vibrato tailpiece and even if you added a Bigsby it still wasn't very good for surf. And Ted McCarty had the bright idea that the body style needed "modernizing", not that it did a lot of good at the time. As soon as instrumental surf started to wane - coinciding with the British Invasion - Les Pauls started getting popular again. And even at their least popular the LP never really bottomed out like the Jazz and Jag did when surf died.

The '70s Tele customs suffered from the problem that most '70s Fenders weren't really very good. People these days don't understand that because most of the really bad ones got binned a long time ago and we're left with the survivors.

People didn't like Jaguars and Jazzmasters because they were built to the tastes of surf guitarists. They were really unsuited to the more "modern" blues based lead guitar styles that came in during the late '60s and people didn't much care for the vibratos. The styling was also heavily identified with surf music styles, too. So they hung around until the punks started using them because they were the only decent quality guitars left for cheap in the hock shops after the collector craze drove the prices of everything else through the roof and eventually into outer space. Also, by that time modding guitars had become a lot more popular. These days there are aftermarket vibratos available that address most of the problems of the Jags and Jazzes.
Down here, and in Europe from memory, Jags and JZs weren't popular primarily due to the stupid dual control circuit which should have been LP type setup. Also Jags sounded funny and had a short neck. Until someone found use for them that is. JZs had a following especially after people rewired them and taped the holes on the upper bout controls. So again its moving with the music trends
The Customs and deluxe's were just bad quality and mostly SUPER heavy (mine is heavy but manageable. Still the quality leaves a lot to be desired). Plus the pickups didn't fit any style of music at the time. Until they did.
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