#1
I recently picked up a MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH that I love, but the previous owner replaced the original pickups with a set of generic imports he had lying around. They're not terrible, but not exactly what I'm looking for.

I have a JB/Jazz set on order that I plan on installing. I had a set in a Les Paul a while ago and I really liked them. But the Jag is a much brighter guitar. I don't know what the stock pot values are, but they're at least 500k if not 1meg.

I'm thinking I might need to put in 250k pots so the JB doesn't turn into an ice pick. But how would that affect the Jazz? Would it get too muddy? I want to set it up so it tames the high end on the JB, but doesn't lose clarity on the Jazz. Would 250k work for both pots, or should I use two different values?

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!

As a side note, I also have a Les Paul Standard with Burstbucker V's. If it makes more sense to put the JB/Jazz in the Les Paul and the Burstbuckers in the Jag (since they're warmer), I might be open to that too...
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#2
well resistance is entirely up to the player. You're never wrong like capacitor value.

you COULD go with 500k for the JB , if it's there's too much of an ice pick like quality in the JB you can use a capacitor before it hits the hot lead. Seymour Duncan did a nice blog on this. The jazz is pretty bright on its own but I liked it in the guitars I had it with 500k pots. Worst case scenario if you do use 500k pots is to roll the volume down to roughly 50% to eliminate any harsh brightness.

now fender has an interesting modification to get rid of the ice pick like sound qualities and if I had a nickle for every time I mentioned it on this forum I could probably buy an Engl amp or a coffee table worth of hand wound pickups .. well not really .. but this mod gets so little credit. There is a fender mod called the greasebucket which retains the resonant peak of a pickup, clears it up by tightening the lows and it costs under 1$ to make.

Add this to your harness before the hot lead wire from the volume pot hits the jack. The pickups with that ice pick quality I really like actually, this mod gets rid of the noise when I want it gone. As before though stick to 500k pots unless the guitar isn't bright enough. Luckily pots don't cost more than 20$ (maximum) and can be re-used/salvaged. I see no problem in import pots. if the original values of the imports 500 at least mess around with it and see. Capacitors are more important and I'd copper shield the guitar regardless to get rid of some EMI related noise.

this is the schematic. The parts you can get at electronics stores easily. if not tayada2009
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#3
I think it is really up to you. I like the JB with 250k, and even the Jazz, which never sounds muddy, can use 250k. Pots are easy to swap, so I'd start there. This is for the tone knob, btw. I'd keep the volume at 500k.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#4
Cool, thanks for the tips. I had a Strat a while ago with a greasebucket tone control. IIRC it was pretty useful.

The pickups should be here by Friday so I won't be able to play around with it until the weekend. I might throw them in as-is and see what it sounds like. If they're both on the bright side I'll probably just replace the tone with a 250k and call it a day. But if I like the Jazz with the stock pots then I'll probably do the greasebucket mod so I can just roll off the highs on the JB.
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#5
UPDATE: got the pickups in the mail yesterday, installed them last night. I'm actually not happy with them at all. They're really hot (hotter than I even remember), and now the Jag sounds really muffled. It sounds like a blanket was just thrown over the amp. It's a weird combination... hot and muffled.

I double checked the pots and they are both 1-meg. The cheapo pickups it came with were somewhat underwound, but they were really bright and clear. I lost a lot of clarity switching to the Duncans, I'm really surprised. I might end up going back to the original pups. Or maybe grab a set of humbucker-sized P90s just for something different. Not sure.

EDIT - when I say original pickups, they weren't the original MIJ ones that came in the guitar. But they were just cheap import pickups that are used in the PRS SE line and similar guitars. The previous owner put them in because he liked them. They're definitely more clear than the Duncans. It's got me scratching my head...
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
Last edited by 57Goldtop at Oct 24, 2015,
#6
Hmm, the JB/Jazz set shouldn't sound muffled at all...it sounds like something is wrong. In fact, I'd describe them as bright pickups. The JB is pretty hot- it is the sound of hard rock, after all- but I would double check the wiring before you give up.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#7
I agree. A JB/Jazz set with 1meg pots should be painfully bright, and anything but muddy.
#8
Yeah, it's not making sense to me either. I double checked the wiring and everything looks ok. There's no problem with output, phase, or anything like that. Maybe it's just not a fair comparison to play it side-by-side with my Les Paul Standard with Burstbucker V's with the same amp settings?

Either way, I think I want something with less output for this guitar. I was originally going to get a set of P90s but then I saw the JB/Jazz set for a good price so I bought them on a whim. I probably should have gone with my gut in the first place.
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#9
You can try to wire each pickup directly to the output and see if you still get a muddy sound. Were these pickups you bought new?
Dave @ Seymour Duncan