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So i'm thinking about getting a Jazzmaster. I've had my eye on the Classic Player's Jazzmaster for a bit of time but, I have a few concerns.




1.The Bridge

I've heard that people usually have problems with string popping out on the stock Jazzmaster Bridges. Do you guys have a preference between the mustang bridge and the mastery bridge? 


2 The Pickups

I've played the Vintage Modified Jazzmaster before, and it was a pretty good sounding guitar. Are the stock pickups on the classic any beefier, i've thought about swapping out the bridge pickup for a Lollar P-90 or a Curtis Novak PAF style Humbucker. I play alot of alternative rock, mainly Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, etc.  


Some suggestions would be awesome. Thanks!  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Considering the style of music you're playing, I don't think you'll regret getting a JM. Personally, I have an American Vintage RI, but I have heard good things about the model you're considering as well.


Bridge - I have a Mustang bridge and a buzz stop. This combo works really well. No popping and the buzz stop allows you to have decent low action without string buzzing. I would say that both of these adjustments are almost mandatory. (again keeping in mind your style, the big muff as well). These are both fairly inexpensive mods and you could do them yourself.


Pups - I have the Lollar P-90 in my neck. DEFINITELY recommend. Beefy for sure. Super warm clean tone in the neck-only position. Stomp on the big muff and you can get some real deep, dirty Thurston Moore type sounds. Chords in this position can get muddy, but that's where the my bridge pup advice comes in. In the bridge, I have a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound (SJM-3). This guy is where it's at. Bridge-only position gives great mids & highs, but still carries the thickness a JM is known for. With dirt/fuzz activated it rings really clearly (my dirt boxes = Noc3 Rock Candy overdrive, Fuzzhugger Algal Bloom, black Russian Big Muff). The Lollar P-90 is RWRP and in the middle pickup position (both pups on), it is hum-canceling. (This feature works with the SJM-3 [and prob a variety of other bridge JM pups], or if you move the stock neck pup into the bridge position). And since you get the hum-cancelling position with the p-90, you could do without a humbucker IMO. I think with a humbucker in the bridge, you'd lose this feature.


Happy hunting.

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Bridge - I use my Jazzmaster for drop tuned shred with the stock tuning...with 009's.  The real trick with the stock bridge is to get those bridge saddles stable.  Usually what I do is raise up the individual saddles high, put stronger springs on the low and high E string saddles to box in the inner 4 saddles for stability, and then 3M Tape the action screws if they have a looser tolerance and fall (which I don't see much with the newer guitars).  If you get the CP, you will have a Tune-O-Matic style bridge, which is a whole different beast.  On the CP, they have worked great on every one I tried.


Pickups - On my home-built Jazzmaster I'm running a Pickup Wzards 8.8K ohm in the bridge, and an AVRI 8.3K Ohm in the neck, both Jazzmaster form factor pickups.  They can be pretty beefy.  The trick with the Jazzmaster for me is to drop to 7 for rhythm work and warmer leads, and crank the volume UP for more twang (as the Jazzmaster has 1 meg ohm pots, I'm using the capacitance on lower volume settings to drain some of the highs off to ground for a thicker sound).  With the hot bridge pickup, I get more of a P-90/low-output-humbucker-ish sound at 7 and below, and more of a Telecaster bridge pickup twang when on 8+, however, turning down does drain off some of the gain.


Those are my experiences with the Jazzmaster.

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