Jazzmaster users: laugh, but this works well


Junior Member
Take a look at the polepieces in the photo; you'll have to click to get a bigger image.

I like Jazzmasters, but I didn't care for the pickups in my Classic Player. You'll notice that there's something different under the pickup covers; two Dimarzio EJs. They fit perfectly, and they aren't too far from the strings. The JM covers are plastic and I doubt that they add any color to the sound. The EJ is a bright humbucker, very good for clean stuff, and I have four of them in various guitars; obviously, I like the way they sound. This guitar is very good at doing surf but you can do high gain too. No, of course they don't sound exactly like the original single coils, but as somebody who has experienced the exasperation of single coils in a JM since about 1970 when I got my first one (a bright orange '65; had to be a custom color. I refinished it as natural; it was the age of that sort of thing).

I mention this because I suspect that when considering a Warmoth build, most people don't exactly think of this, but it should be possible unless for some reason they route differently than Fender does. I wanted to keep it looking like a stock JM; sort of a WWII Q Ship, if you know about those.

And look! Just found a pic of me gigging with the old '65, taken in 1970.  :guitarplayer2:


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I've always thought a P90 in humbucker casing would fit too.... And hopefully the P90 screws match up to the JM cover?

The thing that's worrying about grabbing a Fender JM body & putting in new pickups is the depth of the pickup routing. IIRC, the JM pickups are shallow in depth and the rout is a shallow rout. Put in a humbucker or a P90 and maybe they stand too tall?
There are already lots of models of pickup that fit P-90 construction within a Jazzmaster housing. There wouldn't be much point trying to squeeze a P-90 or hum-sized P-90 in there when you can just buy a pickup that already does that exact same sound in the exact right size.
For that matter there are quite a few people making humbuckers within covers, too.

But yeah, some JMs have deeper routing than others and unless you can find someone who has already taken apart and measured the exact model of body you're wanting to use, or you already have the guitar in your hands and can measure it yourself, you can't tell what pickups will fit under there. Warmoth's is moderately deep but Fender are all over the place, not even consistent within the same model line year-to-year. Some are so deep you wonder how there is any wood left at the back and others are so shallow it's amazing the pickups can fit on there at all without pushing against the strings.
Wow, I had no idea the routing was so inconsistent on those! Terrible mounting "system" IMO; give me a Strat any day when it comes to that. Seems more like something Supro or Danelectro would have done. There's precedent though - the Tele rhythm pickup, but it's still better than that crappy foam.
Nothing done by Fender or based on Fender has ever been consistent. The entire M.O. of Fender was always to churn stuff out as quickly—i.e. as cheaply—as possible. If they decided in one factory that they could save a few pennies by routing shallower then that's what they did; if another factory thought realigning everything wasn't worth it then that factory carried on routing deeper. They've gotten better over the last ~20 years with Strats and Teles, but all the offset guitars are still at the mercy of whichever factory happens to be producing them that month. This is the main reason why I have a few actual Fender Strats and Teles but all my Jazzmasters are now Warmoth bodies.

Fender make a good complete guitar and there's certainly nothing wrong with liking the overall design, but getting under the hood is, to use a famous line, like a box of chocolates.