Sunday, June 29, 2008

The state of the Jazzmaster

Today I did the following to my Jazzmaster:

My pickup covers are now "aged". Not sure if I'm into it yet, but I'm going to order some aged knobs and switch tips and see how it looks when everything's consistent. Most people like vintage-ized guitars, even if they're new. I kinda don't, but I'll sleep on it for a while and decide how I feel later.

I did it because I changed my pickups to Seymour Duncan Antiquity II's a while back, which are designed to mimic the vintage sound. They're a big improvement over my original Japanese pickups, which aren't like real Jazzmaster pickups at all. But the problem is American pickups don't fit Japanese pickup covers. I filed my original covers a little so these pickups would fit, but they looked kind of weird afterwards... so I thought I'd try this. The only American covers you can get are this color - Fender USA only sells cream-colored covers on their "vintage reissues", even though the originals came with plain white!

Anyway, I'm working on a comprehensive list of upgrades I'd recommend for your CIJ Jazzmaster, along with any caveats like this. I get a lot of traffic from people searching for CIJ Jazzmaster info, so hopefully it'll help. Watch for it soon.

Update: I put my pickup covers back the way they were. I tried all "aged" stuff and it just looked fake. Plain white looks a lot better. (Trust me.)


  1. Anonymous12:44 PM

    hey there,

    i was really underwhelmed with the stock cij pickups as well. so... i had some custom pups made my a cat named curtis novak. he's got a great rep and made me the following (which fit perfectly under the existing pup covers without the need for any mods):

    1 vintage wound JM pickup for the neck
    1 p90 pickup for the bridge

    let me tell you something: this guitar is officially a badass! the thing SCREAMS. rhythm tones are full with plenty of bite. the lead tones are strong, with just the right amount of treble you'd expect from a properly wound pickup.

    btw, curtis did such a great job, that my next purchase from him will definitely be a pair of p90's for my epi casino.

    happy playing.

  2. Anonymous9:53 AM

    I ran into the same problem with my Antiquity pickup. I tried filling down the holes but it still doesn't "stick out" and I find it really annoying, and difficult to setup (I had to put some cardboard underneath to make it higher). I guess the aged covers would look better with a different pickguard, tortoise shell or whatever...
    One of the mods I made to my JM as well was neck shim with a small pick, really improved the playability and raises the bridge, preventing strings to pop out.

  3. Anonymous1:18 AM

    Hi Jeff! I just wanted to stop in and say that I stumbled on your blog for Jazzmaster reasons, but I've spent most of my time reading about your airplane fascination. Interesting stuff, indeed! Take care. I hope I stumble on your blog again someday.


About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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