I recently had this ‘63 Jazzmaster pickup in for a re-wind and thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about what gives them such a unique sound.
What gives a Jazzmaster that smooth, full ring? The simple answer is ‘coil geometry’.
As you can see it’s a very thin pickup. That means that less of the winding is close to the magnet.
A Strat is a much taller pickup, the windings are closer to the magnets and so has a more immediate, snappy tone. You could say a Strat is more efficient.
The gauge of wire and number of turns is very similar to a Strat but this geometry makes all the difference. The further away from the magnet a winding gets the less treble and the less response.
And to accommodate enough wire in such a thin pickup it needs to be wide.
Pickup re-winds are a big part of what I do.
In the early days back in the 1990’s I re-wound a lot of pickups. It was an invaluable introduction into the inner workings of electric guitar pickups.
Back then there were a lot of 60’s and 70’s quality pickups around to practice on, they weren’t as valuable or sought after as they are now. Because of that I got to see how pickups were put together in the old days, the construction, the potting material…
There wasn’t much information available so experimentation was the only way to learn. I made so many bad pickups back then but made a note of every single one, how I’d wound it and what the result was. By using that method I got closer and closer to what I wanted. I also made a note of all the re-winds I did and the original spec if I could get it. I’m still writing in that note book to this day and it’s becoming a fantastic reference tool when I receive an unusual pickup repair from a customer.
I still really enjoy re-winding pickups, I think I have a strong instinct to fix things. I would much rather repair a faulty old pickup than sell a customer a new one. Sometimes, of course, the customer wants a different sound that the old pickup can’t give them and a new pickup is the way to go.
Please feel free to contact me about any faulty pickup by email (email@example.com) or by phone (021 912 678). www.mrglynspickups.com