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Jag Stang Pickup upgrades


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I just bought my first Jag-stang (3rd fender, also own a Les Paul) and I love it but am a bit disappointed by the pickups (I was expecting this, I realize the issue with these is that the stock pickups aren't great)-any recommendations on pickup upgrades? I want the thick humbucker sound of a Les Paul as well as the crisp single coil sound of a tele; I have never really paid much attention to pickups so I don't really know what to look for, I only know the sound that I want to achieve- I was thinking about just going with what Kurt Cobain originally designed these for (H-3 and Texas special, right?) but would appreciate any suggestions or feedback, ....

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I just bought my first Jag-stang (3rd fender, also own a Les Paul) and I love it but am a bit disappointed by the pickups (I was expecting this, I realize the issue with these is that the stock pickups aren't great)-any recommendations on pickup upgrades? I want the thick humbucker sound of a Les Paul as well as the crisp single coil sound of a tele; I have never really paid much attention to pickups so I don't really know what to look for, I only know the sound that I want to achieve- I was thinking about just going with what Kurt Cobain originally designed these for (H-3 and Texas special, right?) but would appreciate any suggestions or feedback, ....

I believe it was a Texas Special and a SH-4 (JB). Depends on what album you are trying to replicate. The Jagstang was out around In Utero time if I remember right. Prior to that I think he tended to use a Super Distortion in the bridge. Hope that help!

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so I and can't steer away from the alnico 490 humbuckers that I have in my Les Paul Studio; what is the best pickup option to replicate the sound the alnico 490's produce but that will replace the Jag's humbucker (both dimensions and aesthetics)?

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I just bought my first Jag-stang (3rd fender, also own a Les Paul) and I love it but am a bit disappointed by the pickups (I was expecting this, I realize the issue with these is that the stock pickups aren't great)-any recommendations on pickup upgrades? I want the thick humbucker sound of a Les Paul as well as the crisp single coil sound of a tele; I have never really paid much attention to pickups so I don't really know what to look for, I only know the sound that I want to achieve- I was thinking about just going with what Kurt Cobain originally designed these for (H-3 and Texas special, right?) but would appreciate any suggestions or feedback, ....

In your opinion, or anyone else who might be reading this post, how do you think the pickups sound compared to a Mustang's pickups?

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Sorry, the stock pickups in the jag-stang. I know lots of people don't like them, but I'm curious what you all think about how they compare to Mustang pickups. Thanks!

It's personal taste in sound, but it seems like more people like stock mustang pickups over stock jagstang ones. There are a few people here who like the stock jagstang pickups though.

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It's personal taste in sound, but it seems like more people like stock mustang pickups over stock jagstang ones. There are a few people here who like the stock jagstang pickups though.

I'm pretty unimpressed with the Jagstang stock pickups, I've never actually played a mustang long enough to have an opinion but the Jagstang's are janky-I'm probably going to replace the humbucker with a much 'hotter' one just to get some more bulky sound out of the guitar, I feel like I can't hear alot of notes when I have it only on the humbucker.

stock single coil? not too impressive either to me but it will do for now I guess....much more impressed with my MIM tele and strat stock single coils.

Does anyone know the names of the Jagstang stock pups? are they just the cheapest, most generic pickups Fender had at that time or were they selected for a reason-I'm hesitant to modify the guitar completely away from what it is meant to be but I want more sound to come out of it....

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I'm pretty unimpressed with the Jagstang stock pickups, I've never actually played a mustang long enough to have an opinion but the Jagstang's are janky-I'm probably going to replace the humbucker with a much 'hotter' one just to get some more bulky sound out of the guitar, I feel like I can't hear alot of notes when I have it only on the humbucker.

stock single coil? not too impressive either to me but it will do for now I guess....much more impressed with my MIM tele and strat stock single coils.

Does anyone know the names of the Jagstang stock pups? are they just the cheapest, most generic pickups Fender had at that time or were they selected for a reason-I'm hesitant to modify the guitar completely away from what it is meant to be but I want more sound to come out of it....

I don't believe they have an official name, but the neck single coil I hear is like an sort of Tex Mex. I don't know many people who like the humbucker. Some keep the neck pickup and swap the humbucker.

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I don't believe they have an official name, but the neck single coil I hear is like an sort of Tex Mex. I don't know many people who like the humbucker. Some keep the neck pickup and swap the humbucker.

....that's what I'm going to do but I suspect that I will eventually put a texas special on the neck as well-thanks for your input....

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....that's what I'm going to do but I suspect that I will eventually put a texas special on the neck as well-thanks for your input....

Texas Specials are popular swaps in Jagstangs. A lot of people put JB's in the bridge. (The Trembucker model so the string spacing is correct... well as correct as a slanted humbucker can be. :))

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I've always felt the neck pickup has a good "surfy" sound but is a tad to thin sounding by itself. And while I agree that the humbucker by itself doesn't sound that great, when coupled with the single coil, I've always thought the addition of the humbucker is subtle enough to just embellish the single coil wound, only making it a little thicker. I'm no expert, by any means, so I'm curious if any of you guys agree with my thoughts about the humbuckers.

I've long wondered if the neck pickup is similar to a mustang single-coil, since the rest of the jag-stang is basically a mustang with a bigger, heavier body. A number of years back, I played around at a local guitar store with a mustang, and I kept being surprised at how thin and chintzy it sounded, but other than that I didn't get a good sense of the sound of the guitar. My conclusion was that the jag-stang's bigger body gives it a thicker sound than a mustang has; and like I said, I wondered if the mustang pickups were similar to the jag-stang's neck pickup anyway. But I guess you guys don't think this is the case? Any thoughts? If you do think they sound pretty different, how might you describe the difference in the sounds of the pickups? Thanks, guys! I'm eager to hear feedback about this!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The neck pick up is a vintage Strat single coil. It's made to basic specs of a 50's strat single coil. They did this b/c the humbucker they used in the JS isn't a high output. The Texas Special was put in Kurts to keep output similar to his humbucker so there wouldn't be a dramatic drop in output as the Texas Special is a vintage coil, just overwound to make it hotter. Both stock JS pickups are Alnico.

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I just got the Jag back from the shop with a brand new Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB in the bridge-I only played it at the shop on a roland, but it sounds like a whole new (much better) guitar-I'm not quite ready to recommend this upgrade but I'm sure I will be after I play it tonight...I think I'm going to stick with the neck pickup for a while. One problem: the phase switches no longer work as they did before-I can no longer turn each pickup off and on, they just go in and out of phase. The guy who installed teh pickup said he was a bit confused by the swithces and said I should bring it back tomorrow when there's a guy who knows this stuff-Does anyone know of a diagram or schematic that I can give the shop so they get the switches working correctly?

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  • 1 month later...

I just got the Jag back from the shop with a brand new Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB in the bridge-I only played it at the shop on a roland, but it sounds like a whole new (much better) guitar-I'm not quite ready to recommend this upgrade but I'm sure I will be after I play it tonight...I think I'm going to stick with the neck pickup for a while. One problem: the phase switches no longer work as they did before-I can no longer turn each pickup off and on, they just go in and out of phase. The guy who installed teh pickup said he was a bit confused by the swithces and said I should bring it back tomorrow when there's a guy who knows this stuff-Does anyone know of a diagram or schematic that I can give the shop so they get the switches working correctly?

Jag-Stang Schematic is here:

http://www.jag-stang.com/faq/jagstang/where-can-i-find-a-jagstang-wiring-diagram/

I prefer the Mustang Schematic for phasing though:

http://www.jag-stang.com/faq/mustang/fender-mustang-wiring-diagram/

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  • 1 month later...

how are mustangs and jag-stangs wired differently? I have noticed this when playing but thought nothing of it, but it seems that the bridge on the jagstang is much more passive than the bridge on the mustang (i.e. went the bridge is out of phase on the mustang it is much louder/prevalent than when the bridge switch is out of phase on the jagstang)...perhaps I should stop asking questions and accept the guitars for what they are, but modifying is so much fun...

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how are mustangs and jag-stangs wired differently? I have noticed this when playing but thought nothing of it, but it seems that the bridge on the jagstang is much more passive than the bridge on the mustang (i.e. went the bridge is out of phase on the mustang it is much louder/prevalent than when the bridge switch is out of phase on the jagstang)...perhaps I should stop asking questions and accept the guitars for what they are, but modifying is so much fun...

The wiring diagrams are under the "Guitars" link. People who like Mustang phase usually change Jag-stangs to have the same wiring as a Mustang vs stock Jag-stang wiring. :)

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I was thinking about just going with what Kurt Cobain originally designed these for (H-3 and Texas special, right?) but would appreciate any suggestions or feedback, ....

In his original sketches, in all three variations he wanted a 65 Jaguar neck pickup in the neck obviously, and (pretty peculiar for Kurt) a "1959 Les Paul" in the bridge. I assume he wanted the holy grail of the Gibson world, a 1959 Les Paul Standard PAF bridge pickup. Although I'd say you did quite well, because Kurt seemed to always return to the Jeff Beck when let down by a pickup. :D Hope you have fun with your JS.

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