#1
Hello everyone! This is my first post on the forum. To cut to the chase, I am looking to get a new guitar for the specific tone I am seeking. I have done quite a bit of research on my options and have tried out several guitars and amps and I believe I know what I want, but I would like some advice from experienced players out there…

To sum it up, I am looking for a guitar that has a tone between a Les Paul and a Telecaster. Les Pauls are too thick, but Telecasters are too twangy/tinny for me. My main styles of music are punk, post punk, alternative and indie. Think punk like Husker Du, Rise Against, Minor Threat, early Goo Goo Dolls or Replacements and indie like The Smiths, Turnover, Radiohead, Cloud Nothings to name a few.

I played a Gibson SG modded with a Gibson Dirty Fingers humbucker pickup on the bridge and it was exactly what I am going for. Unfortunately, somebody bought the guitar. I decided no matter what guitar I get, I am going to put a Gibson Dirty Fingers pickup in the bridge. Here’s my dilemma:
With the exception of that axe, I am not a fan of Gibson SG’s or Les Pauls; the SG necks are too long for me and I don’t like the position of the bridge. Les Pauls necks are too small for me and the guitars are a bit too heavy for my taste, both physically and speaking in tone. They are both somewhat out of my budget range. My max budget is ~$800.

I tried out almost every Fender out there in hopes of mimicking this tone, from Telecaster Deluxes (bridge humbucker on tele) to Dou Sonics to Jaguars and Jazzmasters. They sound good through certain amps but I find they are still too consistently tinny or twangy for me through most amps.

However, I find that out of both the Gibsons and Fenders I’ve tried, I really like everything about the Fender Jazzmaster with the exception the bridge pickup tone (too light/tinny). I love the look, the feel, I love the cleans of the neck pickup and the length of the neck. My thought was, why not replace the bridge Jazzmaster single coil with a Gibson dirty finger to buff up the sound but still retain the clarity? Which is what I want…I own a Les Paul off brand (Samick) that I really like all around except the bridge tone does not cut through enough for the style I play (I play a hybrid of primary and secondary parts, lots of leads on the G and E strings and a mix of chords and power chords). Plus, both guitars have a kill switch mechanism (Neck tone switch), which is preferred.

So, my question is – will I likely attain this sound with a (Dirty Finger) humbucker on the bridge of a Jazzmaster, or will I have to go with some kind of SG/Les Paul with the Dirty Finger? I’ve been told that Fenders will always sound a little twangy no matter what, but others say it’s all in the electronics. I also like the idea of the modded Jazzmaster because I want a guitar that gets this tone but is simultaneously versatile for recording of different types of music.

TL;DR: Want a tone between a Telecaster and a Les Paul that is somewhat versatile. I like Gibson Dirty Finger pickups, I like Jazzmasters, not crazy about Les Pauls/SGs. Should I mod a Jazzmaster with it on the bridge pickup or get a Les Paul/SG instead?

Thank you very much in advance!

-Adam

The guitar tones in these songs are very close to what I'm going for, unless they're two separate tracked guitars, lol.



#2
some jazzmasters have p90s instead of jazzmaster pickups- that might be worth considering?
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#3
Try putting a Gibson Dirty Fingers into a guitar you like, they make some of those guitars with spaces for humbuckers.

Or take a look at a Squier Jagmaster, kinda hard to find but MAY have the tone your looking for!
#4
You might also check out the J. Mascis Squier Jazzmaster. Those pickups look like P-90's, but they're actually something all their own. Might or might not be what you're looking for.
#5
From your first couple of paras I would say P90s, my favourites. Not as "soft" as humbuckers, not as "icepick" as traditional Fender SCs. I liked the Fender Modern Player tele with P90s, but there would be plenty of other choices.
#6
The P90 idea isn't bad at all. Minihumbuckers might work as well.

Reverend, G&L, Godin and Fret-King make some nifty guitars with either. (As do others.)

http://www.reverendguitars.com/category/guitar/
http://glguitars.com
http://www.godinguitars.com/godinproductlistingp.html
http://fret-king.com
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#8
Tony Done

So I am led to believe. That's part of why I want my first G&L to have them. Got all kinds of Comanches and ASAT Z3s on my eBay & Reverb watch lists.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#9
Here's an example of a Reverend Jetstream 390.

https://reverb.com/item/3491224-reverend-jetstream-390-2007-3-tone-sunburst

25.5" scale, Wilkinson tremolo. Medium oval neck.



The Warhawk 390 is a similar bodyshape & same neck, but with 24.75" scale and a Bigsby or Hardtail, depending on year of production,
https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=reverend%20warhawk%20390

And others in the line like the Ron Asheton V, the Rick Vito, the Unknown Hinson & Stu D. Baker signs, some Chargers, Senseis & Manta Rays, etc.

Good guitars, well made. The bass contour control-present on all Reverends- allows for a lot of tone shaping.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#10
Another thought: look for guitars with an unusual mix of pickups.

Reverend, G&L, PRS and others offer guitars with a HB/P90 setup. Reverend also has a guitar with a Tele bridge and a miniHB in the neck. They had a limited edition model that had a Tele bridge pickup and a pair of standard Strat singlecoils.

Godin has several guitars with Seymour Duncan P-Rails as stock, some with a pair, one with a Tele style bridge. Several Godins also feature their HDR system, which lets you go from passive to active pickup tones with the flip of a switch.

Fret-King has a wide variety of arrays, including at least one HB/miniHB/miniHB guitar. In addition, they have something called the Vari-Coil system on several guitars, which allows for tone shaping similar to the way the Reverend bass contour does.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#11
Quote by dannyalcatraz
The P90 idea isn't bad at all. Minihumbuckers might work as well.


yeah that might work too, i didn't think of that
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#12
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#13
^ I was even thinking, depending on exactly what he wants, maybe even just regular humbucker with coil splits might be worth considering.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#14
True as well.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#15
^ Yeah. As I said, it depends on exactly what he wants/means- regular humbuckers with coil splits may work well enough if he wants humbucker tones, and also (sort-of approximate) tele tones, if the humbucker tones are more important. If he doesn't want something which will (again, sort of) do both but genuinely wants something that'll sound in between the two, then regular-sized humbuckers with coil splits is a less good idea, and p90s/minihums/firebird minihums/G&L MFDs are likely a better idea. EDIT: I haven't tried all of those latter type I mentioned. Also, some manufacturers are making P90s these days with alnico rod magnets which (again, though I haven't tried them) might be worth looking into as well.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

Last edited by Dave_Mc at Nov 30, 2016,
#16
Dave_Mc

Was it you suggested a while back that humbuckers with alnico slugs might be better for splitting than the traditional iron pole type? That makes sense to me.

Slightly OT, I'm thinking of trying the "spin a split" mod to get continuous variation between humbucking and single coil sounds.
#17
That's kinda what happens- tonally, at least- with the Reverend Bass Contiur & Fret-King's Vari-coil system. I really like the results
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#18
Apart from the extra pot, the "spin-a-split mod" is about as easy as it gets on 4-wire humbucker. On a Les Paul type system, I would likely sacrifice one of the tone pots to accommodate it.
#19
Quote by Tony Done
Dave_Mc

Was it you suggested a while back that humbuckers with alnico slugs might be better for splitting than the traditional iron pole type? That makes sense to me.

Slightly OT, I'm thinking of trying the "spin a split" mod to get continuous variation between humbucking and single coil sounds.


might have been , yeah. in theory, yes, they should sound more like a single coil split (though for the same reasons they might, again in theory, sound less like a humbucker in the full humbucking mode). in practice, i haven't tried them so

i only seem to hear a difference with the two extremes with the split on a knob, but maybe the ones i've tried had something wrong with them. or maybe there's something wrong with my ears. but if you'd only use the two extremes a push-pull/push-push or a switch is normally quicker to engage than a pot is to turn... (though push-pulls can sometimes be a pain to activate quickly, at least the "pull" aspect of it)
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#20
Dave_Mc

I jury-rigged a quick spin-a-split yesterday with just a pickup and a split pot. It wasn't in a guitar, I just listened to some tap sounds. I used a B500K pot, and it was pretty much an all or nothing thing - the same problem I had when trying to blend magnetic and piezo. I didn't pursue it further, because it was getting too hot in my workshop and the mulitmeter had a flat battery. I think it might work better with an A-taper pot, pickup to hot, wiper to ground, that should pick up a longer sweep of fairly low resistance
#21
I know blending magnetic & piezo can be done- Fret-King and Parker have done it. Maybe Godin and Crmson. Probably others.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#22
dannyalcatraz

Yeah, I've done it too, but with active electronics - a preamp-blender. I've seen claims that it has been done passively, but I couldn't get it to work well; I don't think that my circuit was well-suited to blending. It was really weird, the piezo preamp, a Maton AP5, behaved literally like a piece of copper wire wrt the magnetic that followed it in series on the output side. Even with the battery pulled it seemed to offer no resistance or tone modification at all to the magnetic. I don't know if other piezo preamps behave the same way.
#23
yeah. in my experience of the ones i've tried, it was pretty much all-or-nothing, too. which sort of defeated the point of it.

of course, whether it's impossible to make it work properly, or whether it just hasn't been implemented correctly in the ones I've tried, is the thing.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#24
Follow up. I gave it another brief try yesterday. The humbucker is about 9k ohms, and the switch or blend seemed to be happening around 10k ohms on the A250k pot. That means using something like a 20 to 50k pot, probably with a no-load mod at the humbucker end.
#25
Tony Done if Godin does it- as I think they do- it is probably on guitars that also have their H.D.R. system. That's the one that lets you go from passive to active with the flick of a switch. So again, I'm pretty sure someone is doing it. How many man-hours of engineering & testing they threw at the problem, though, is a mystery to me.

It occurs to me that Crimson Guitars has all kinds of building tutorials on YouTube. I watched one in installing a gontrol pad (like a Korg Kaoss) in a guitar. Perhaps they have one that addresses your problem?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#26
Quote by Tony Done
Follow up. I gave it another brief try yesterday. The humbucker is about 9k ohms, and the switch or blend seemed to be happening around 10k ohms on the A250k pot. That means using something like a 20 to 50k pot, probably with a no-load mod at the humbucker end.


yeah that's possible

or at least it sounds plausible to me

though bear in mind i don't have a clue what i'm talking about when it comes to electronics
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?