Custom offset: Creamery jazzmaster or jag pickups?

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Right, this is a project that is bound to go very wrong.  :# A while ago I've moved to a country where I literally have no access to interesting guitar stuff. I'm a small woman dreaming of a small and light offset guitar that is not a Mustang. I have a fairly lightweight Jag body, but it's far too big for me. My idea is to reshape it to a smaller body and have made a few shape designs that would work. I have access to tools and can even change the pockets for the  pickups. I'm thinking of either Jaguar or Jazzmaster pickups, but can't quite decide what. I do like the sound of Jazzmasters more, but apart from not being able to test both in a shop I also don't know what a shortscale Jazzmaster would sound like. I'm looking at Creamery pickups, though the owner has so far not been very helpful. Well, he's very busy.

How can I make the right choice, and how do I chose exactly the right kind of pickup among many?

Oh yes, music I like: very much into very alternative bands that rarely play on the radio. Doesn't really help. I like both a bright sound that doesn't sound thin, but also a darker sound. Bit of sustain would be nice, possible to make some proper noise, but also play clean, beautiful sounds. Not into humbuckers, thus that's easy. Maybe Classic or Modern 58' Jazzmasters? Though the sound might get even warmer with a shortscale setup. Even more puzzled about Jag choices to be honest.

Any suggestions?
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  • PhilKingPhilKing Frets: 452
    Hard to say how the Jazzmasters will work on a short scale guitar, as they already use a 1Mg pot to get more air.  I am a big fan of the Jazzmaster sound, though I actually love the look of the Jaguar (I like all the chrome plates).   If you explain what you are after, I'm sure the pickups can be wound to suit the guitar.  There are other makers doing both pickup types.  I have Mojotone 59's on one of mine and am just waiting for a set of Bare Knuckle Jazzmasters for my other (which has AVRI pickups currently).  I'm looking for the Tom Verlaine tone that he gets on Call Mr Lee.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4QZSDu1wx8


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  • rapakivirapakivi Frets: 1
    edited December 2019
    Hey, thanks a lot. It's really difficult to describe what i'm after to be honest. I like that the sound is less thin than of a jag, but still sounds so typical single coil, with nice mids and highs with some warmth thrown in.I do like a bit of noise/garage kind of music as well though, and I love the sound of the rhythm circuit and could come up with a few ideas for it. Actually, while not my type of music, your example does sound cool as well!

    I'm fairly new to guitar modding. I rebuild my 90s Duosonic (yeah, the very shortscale one) and that's about it. I've not looked into pots and what they do exactly. Mind explaining what you mean with more air, and what the influence of shorter scale is with that?

    Mind you, I don't like the chrome look of Jags, plus it makes the guitar heavier again. As I need a custom pickguard anyway I'll go down the kind of Jazzmaster route with it. Less bling, more surface area for a nice pickguard colour.

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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 4092
    edited December 2019
    Dont get jag pickups. Pop jazzmaster pickups in with 500k pots and you'll be much happier.
    You can also save money on the Jess Louriero pickups and they're highly rated. 
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  • rapakivirapakivi Frets: 1
    edited December 2019
    Dont get jag pickups. Pop jazzmaster pickups in with 500k pots and you'll be much happier.
    You can also save money on the Jess Louriero pickups and they're highly rated. 
    Thanks Pooh. I'm trying to figure out what different pots do for the sound. Why would you chose 500k pots over 1Mp ones in the case of a shortscale kind of Jazzmaster? And what's your reason for saying to not go for jag pickups? Just my preference or another reason?
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 4092
    edited December 2019
    rapakivi said:
    Dont get jag pickups. Pop jazzmaster pickups in with 500k pots and you'll be much happier.
    You can also save money on the Jess Louriero pickups and they're highly rated. 
    Thanks Pooh. I'm trying to figure out what different pots do for the sound. Why would you chose 500k pots over 1Mp ones in the case of a shortscale kind of Jazzmaster? And what's your reason for saying to not go for jag pickups? Just my preference or another reason?
    Jag pickups are genetally thinner and bright. Jazz's are less shrill, more mellow (wider coil sensing area) and take fuzz very well. 1meg posts make most single coils too bright. Something like 350k would be ideal (strats &teles use 250k) but 500k is fine as a middle ground.
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  • rapakivi said:
    Dont get jag pickups. Pop jazzmaster pickups in with 500k pots and you'll be much happier.
    You can also save money on the Jess Louriero pickups and they're highly rated. 
    Thanks Pooh. I'm trying to figure out what different pots do for the sound. Why would you chose 500k pots over 1Mp ones in the case of a shortscale kind of Jazzmaster? And what's your reason for saying to not go for jag pickups? Just my preference or another reason?
    Jag pickups are genetally thinner and bright. Jazz's are less shrill, more mellow (wider coil sensing area) and take fuzz very well. 1meg posts make most single coils too bright. Something like 350k would be ideal (strats &teles use 250k) but 500k is fine as a middle ground.
    Thanks a lot for the explanation on pots. Yes, I do prefer the Jazzmaster sound over Jags, even if it means more work for me.
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  • I have Fender AVRI versions of both guitar designs. In my opinion, the Jazzmaster is the more conventional all-rounder whereas the Jaguar has its own very special niche. (I hate many of the features of a Fender Jaguar and its playing feel. I forgive it because nothing else quite matches the sound.)

    rapakivi said:
    I have a fairly lightweight Jag body, but it's far too big for me. My idea is to reshape it to a smaller body and have made a few shape designs that would work. I have access to tools and can even change the pockets for the pickups. 
    Sounds a bit like the Jackson Dinky idea to me. :)

    Is your project guitar body already routed for pickup, controls and cable channel cavities? If so, this will limit the extent to which you can scale down the body outline. The standard body edge runs within 25mm of some of the standard cavities. The scratchplate screws need something in which to bite. Thus, 10-12mm is about the most you can remove.

    Would your comfort and reach be eased by giving the project guitar body a more generous forearm contour? (Think of David Gilmour's "workhorse" modified Fender Esquire with the unsightly surform reshaping along its upper edge.)

    rapakivi said:
    I'm thinking of either Jaguar or Jazzmaster pickups, but can't quite decide what.
    Have some of each. 

    If you are not confined to replicating the appearance of a genuine vintage Fender, there is nothing to prevent you from mixing and matching Jaguar and Jazzmaster pickups. JM bridge + Jag neck should work. Two Jag pickups with a Jazzmaster pickup in the middle would also work (but require some clever wiring).


    Be seeing you.
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  • Hey Funkfingers,
    yes, it's pre-routed. I know I can't remove much from around the pocket areas, but there's still a lot on the far end (main part where it's too big for me anyway), and I got a few designs that actually do look good and have space for screws and all. Of course I'd need a custom pickguard for this, but I don't want a typical Jag setup with chrome parts anyway.

    I think I'm fairly set on using Jazzmaster pickups, though I'm not sure which ones to chose, and from whome. Ordering from Europe is easier than from the US. But with no actual sound examples it's difficult to chose as descriptions on websites don't mean much to me. And it's just a terrible nightmare to import stuff, thus I'd rather not want to make the wrong choice.
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  • Mojo are generally accepted round these parts as making absolutely top-of-the-line JM pickups. 
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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 1898
    edited December 2019
    Just to throw a spanner in the works here...
    I own 4 Jaguars and a Jazzmaster and jaguar pickups are much less shrill than a Jazzmaster by quite a margin!

    The sound of the Jaguar is a combination of the shorter scale length and the pickups which have the 'claw'. The feel of the Jaguar is body wise like a Jazzmaster but switching back and forth, the scale length of the neck is quite different.
    Soundwise, all my Jaguars life in the same space: an attack on the note but less output and deeper sounding than the Jazzmaster. The Jazzmaster has quite a bit more output and more 'zing' and needs to be tempered using the tone control or by winding down the volume just a touch to take the edge off.
    I had them all out last night co-incidentally. All plugged in to the same amp. The one that stood out noticeably as different was the 64 Jazzmaster. Brighter, zingier and higher output. I sort of prefer the Jaguar sound as it is more sonorous and rich.

    A Duo-sonic is a nice small bodied guitar and with a Mustang or Jaguar neck at 24" would work. No tremelo though and that's one feature of the Jaguar and Jazzmaster that's standout for me.
    If I ever think about buying a Two Rock just punch me.
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  • gringopig said:
    Just to throw a spanner in the works here...
    I own 4 Jaguars and a Jazzmaster and jaguar pickups are much less shrill than a Jazzmaster by quite a margin!

    The sound of the Jaguar is a combination of the shorter scale length and the pickups which have the 'claw'. The feel of the Jaguar is body wise like a Jazzmaster but switching back and forth, the scale length of the neck is quite different.
    Soundwise, all my Jaguars life in the same space: an attack on the note but less output and deeper sounding than the Jazzmaster. The Jazzmaster has quite a bit more output and more 'zing' and needs to be tempered using the tone control or by winding down the volume just a touch to take the edge off.
    I had them all out last night co-incidentally. All plugged in to the same amp. The one that stood out noticeably as different was the 64 Jazzmaster. Brighter, zingier and higher output. I sort of prefer the Jaguar sound as it is more sonorous and rich.

    A Duo-sonic is a nice small bodied guitar and with a Mustang or Jaguar neck at 24" would work. No tremelo though and that's one feature of the Jaguar and Jazzmaster that's standout for me.
    Hey, great to read your opinion. Thanks for that. My problem is that not one single shop here has Jags or Jazzmasters, thus I can't even try them. I can only go with what bands that I like play. But of course everything could have happened to the sound while recording.

    I do have a 22.7" Duosonic, and like it for it tiny size and weight. Perfect for lil'me. I just think that sound and looks are a bit boring. Miss the lovely offset look especially.
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  • gringopiggringopig Frets: 1898
    edited December 2019
    Nothing wrong with a Duo-sonic!



    I put 11-56 on mine  but it could take 12s too. Mine is 22.5" scale '64. The 24" scale is a bit more stable for tuning and you can put those necks on. Imagine a Duo-Sonic body with a Jaguar neck in a sparkle finish!

    A Duo-sonic II here:



    If you like the small body of a Duo-Sonic you can swap the necks from 22.5" scale to 24" which is Jaguar scale.

    Also check out
    http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/index.php
    If I ever think about buying a Two Rock just punch me.
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  • Gringopig,
    I know. I completely build mine up from scratch again because I bought it kind of 'out of use'. It was standing on an attic for nearly 20 years :D It's just not quite as offset-ty as I like, and mine is black. I don't want to strip the paint as well. I do love the Duo-sonic II, but its a bit outside my range.
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  • Creamery classic jazzmaster pickups are the best pickups I've ever heard. Really full and clear, can do nasty scuzzy sounding stuff too with the right pedal. Just gorgeous. Put them in my jazzmaster a few weeks ago and was blown away. The alt 88 ones are meant to be amazing as well, but yet to try them. Plan on getting a set for a weird mustang I've got with a jazzmaster vibrato 
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  • Mojo are generally accepted round these parts as making absolutely top-of-the-line JM pickups. 
    I’ve had 2 sets and can only compare them to stock fenders and to me they are warmer, nicely hollow sounding (if that makes sense) and have more character . I’d definitely buy them again.
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  • stock fenders
    Unfortunately, stock Fender JM pickups come in numerous flavours, from dogbreath Asian to posh American. Even amongst the AVRI range, there are variations in the voicing. This makes it difficult to compare like with like.

    My money went on Seymour Duncan Antiquity (again!).
    Be seeing you.
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  • rexterrexter Frets: 322
    edited December 2019 tFB Trader
    Like others have said I would recommend Mojo everytime for Jazzmasters and Jaguars. Such a great guy to deal with and beautiful pickups.
    Jazzmaster nerd, vintage snob and owner of Rexter Guitars - high end guitar finishing & custom bodies & necks
    www.rexterguitars.co.uk
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  • rapakivirapakivi Frets: 1
    edited December 2019
    rexter said:
    Like others have said I would recommend Mojo everytime for Jazzmasters and Jaguars. Such a great guy to deal with and beautiful pickups.

    Sorryb, been very busy for a few weeks. Moving again.

    Just standard Jazzamster pickups or the overwound ones? Asking as there's not really any info. Thus non the wiser. Would the poles need adjusting if I managed to find a vintage type neck? Are they noise cancelling?
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  • rapakivi said:
    rexter said:
    Like others have said I would recommend Mojo everytime for Jazzmasters and Jaguars. Such a great guy to deal with and beautiful pickups.

    Sorryb, been very busy for a few weeks. Moving again.

    Just standard Jazzamster pickups or the overwound ones? Asking as there's not really any info. Thus non the wiser. Would the poles need adjusting if I managed to find a vintage type neck? Are they noise cancelling?
    I haven’t used Mojo, but have heard great things about him.

     I have used Creamery and they are great.
    I have a set with a Custom 13 Humbucker in the bridge and a Wide Range in the neck of my Jazzmaster. It still sounds like a Jazzmaster, even though the pickups are non-standard.

    Otherwise, I know Mojo no longer sell standard humbuckers but they are the ones making Area59 humbuckers, which get a lot of love.

    I think you could easily reach out to either of those builders, tell them what you are after sound wise and they will sort you out.
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