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Thoughts on JB/Jazz

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  • Thoughts on JB/Jazz

    Picked up this set as part of my "back to basics" 2020-2021 guitar reset. The set is in a PRS SE Custom, 500k vol/tone, coil split, 3-way switch.

    Jazz - both woody and bright. Not too much high end. Really nice sound. Fat like PAFs I've played, fatter than the 85/15 it replaced but with the same clarity and cut that the 85/15 had in spades. Great 80s high gain lead sound, great cleans. Makes my SE Custom sound a lot more like my SG, whereas the 85/15s had it sounding more like a Fender, if only slightly. Wound strings are warm and woody, unwound strings are bright and spanky. Coil split is pretty good, not quite as spanky as the 85/15 was split but then the 85/15 was designed specifically for a spanky single coil split sound. Coil split sounds very acoustic. I kind of wish for more high end, but turning up the amp treble means that the JB is much too bright when switching between the two.

    JB - interesting to give this pickup a proper go after reading opinions on it for years and years. It sounds absolutely amazing, but seems to work differently than what I'm used to (not a bad thing). Cleans are balanced, punchy, round, dynamic, almost "3D" in a way many other pickups are not, a bit compressed but less compressed than the Jazz. Would make a great 1 pickup guitar - can do funk rhythms, cowboy strums, jazz comping, and sounds naturally polished and familiar enough that it could do pop easily. The high end is a little baffling - sometimes it's warm, sometimes it's way too bright, and it seems to change with my playing style in a way that's different than the PAFs I'm more familiar with. Still getting my head wrapped around that one. High gain leads are iconic, sustain is incredible, it works really well here. Takes FX like a champ. High gain chugging riffage isn't the best, but this particular guitar has never excelled at high gain chuggage... it just doesn't seem built for it. So the chuggage is very clear but doesn't really chunk like I want. Again, survey says that's this guitar's MO and has been through 3 different pickups. Tuned 'er down to Drop C, no flabby low end, sounded great.

    As a set - I can see how this set would be great in a live situation where you're playing different styles, adapting to dynamics, finding your place in the mix. The two pickups complement each other well, serving different purposes. In contrast to PAF set where mainly the sound changes, this set changes functions with the different positions but both can do good cleans, good dirt, good leads, etc. Really wish this guitar had vol/vol/tone/tone or at least separate volumes, but that's a much bigger project.

    Future - may try some magnet swaps to nudge them closer together in tonality, like a ceramic in the jazz or something treble-reducing in the JB. Hex heads would be fun to try too, I've enjoyed those in other pickups. Might make an effort to get more chunk out of this guitar with a Distortion or Black Winter or something similar, but that might be fighting the guitar's inherent strengths. Anyways, hope this is helpful for somebody someday. It's an iconic set and I'm enjoying it.
    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
    Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
    http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

  • #2
    I have both, just not together, Jazz isnt bad, its kinda stratty to me. My preference is a warmer neck, but still a good pickup. Slap an A2 in it and you have thr AP2n.

    JB, I like a lot, was very anti-JB until I bought a guitar with one in the bridge. Love it, only second to the Distortion.
    1994 Ibanez IC500 Iceman reissue
    Jackson Soloist 7 string
    ESP LTD M-400
    Original Marshall Silver Jubilee 2553

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    • #3
      The JB with an A8 magnet and hex screws under the wound strings sounds pretty darned good for high gain riffs in my mahogany LTD. For more high end in the neck you can try Full Shred, or again, hex screws replacing the filister ones in the Jazz.

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      • #4
        Full Shred neck is the business.
        Nobody knows, dude. Nobody knows.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Hsb View Post
          Jazz isnt bad, its kinda stratty to me. My preference is a warmer neck, but still a good pickup. Slap an A2 in it and you have the AP2n.
          Totally agree with this.

          Surprised you think it lacks treble and that it’s fat, Alex. Maybe you could push it a bit away from the strings?

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          • #6
            Agree, Jazz is anything but fat, to me its bright and treblely. The highs are a bit rounded but plenty of highs in it.
            1994 Ibanez IC500 Iceman reissue
            Jackson Soloist 7 string
            ESP LTD M-400
            Original Marshall Silver Jubilee 2553

            Comment


            • #7
              Jazz is a good neck pickup and is quite versatile. That said it all depends on the guitar it's in and the amp it's played through. I have been surprised with the Jazz I have in the neck of my Carvin DC 127. Defined and articulate and overall a lot better than I expected in this guitar. At times wish it was smoother and sweeter but was a lot better than I thought. Overall a solid and constant pickup.
              The JB however is much different. One of the most fickle pickups i have ever used. Absolute magic in the right guitar and a absolute disaster in the wrong.
              Example is this. In my 1995 Washburn USA bolt on MG 102 with the swamp ash body it sounds AMAZING! Aggressive articulate and very open. Dropped one in my neck through 2017 Kiesel DC 135 with a maple neck , Alder body and a Floyd and then couldn't get it out quick enough. Dull lifeless overly compressed and sloppy was just a real mess. That's the JB in a nutshell fantastic in one guitar and a absolute train wreck in another. Have had much better luck with the JB in a bolt on 25.5 scale super strat and not so much in shorter scale set neck and neck through guitars.
              Guitars
              Kiesel DC 135, Carvin AE 185, DC 400, DC 127 KOA, DC 127 Quilt Purple, X220C, PRS Custom 24, Washburn USA MG 122 proto , MG 102, MG 120.
              Amps PRS Archon 50 head, MT 15, Mesa Subway Rocket, DC-5, Carvin X50B Hot Rod Mod head, Zinky 25watt Blue Velvet combo.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hsb View Post
                I have both, just not together, Jazz isnt bad, its kinda stratty to me. My preference is a warmer neck, but still a good pickup. Slap an A2 in it and you have thr AP2n.

                JB, I like a lot, was very anti-JB until I bought a guitar with one in the bridge. Love it, only second to the Distortion.
                Yep pretty much my take also on the Jazz. Good middle of the road solid pickup that is very constant from guitar to guitar. A little on the brighter side but not harsh and a little light on the bottom but still well balanced.
                Not a huge fan of the JB however in anything but a 25.5 scale bolt on.
                Guitars
                Kiesel DC 135, Carvin AE 185, DC 400, DC 127 KOA, DC 127 Quilt Purple, X220C, PRS Custom 24, Washburn USA MG 122 proto , MG 102, MG 120.
                Amps PRS Archon 50 head, MT 15, Mesa Subway Rocket, DC-5, Carvin X50B Hot Rod Mod head, Zinky 25watt Blue Velvet combo.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I only have one JB in a guitar, and I'm kind of surprised how much I like it. The JB is just generally not "My Thing" int he Les Paul styles I play. That said - I do see and appreciate its flexibility and use in Strat/Trem style guitars.

                  As for the Jazz, definitely NOT my favorite in anything really. Just not my cup of tea. I prefer much more classic neck tones. Or more loud. either way. Again - I see where the Jazz works for a lot of people, but just not me.

                  Finally - it would never be a set I'd put together, although as mentioned, for a really wide range of things that cut in a mix, ok.

                  But - that's just me. clearly millions of people, famous and not love the combo. Rock on with your bad selves. You be you.
                  Originally posted by Bad City
                  He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                  • #10
                    The Jazz works for me in a mid-heavy guitar. Outside of that, it is too trebly, without any mids. I can see how people use it with lots of distortion, but I don't think it does clean chords too well unless you are trying to get them through a dense mix.
                    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                      The Jazz works for me in a mid-heavy guitar. Outside of that, it is too trebly, without any mids. I can see how people use it with lots of distortion, but I don't think it does clean chords too well unless you are trying to get them through a dense mix.
                      Doing Modern Worship it works for me as I need a clear bright neck tone in much of what I do. In particular with the PRS amps which are really fat smooth and dynamic. With something on the brighter side they wouldn't work. The Pearly Gates for example I had in my Purple DC 127 Carvin were way to crunchy harsh and bright and the Dimarzio PAF Joe I had in it was to middy ad honky so it works in that guitar with the Perpetual Burn well. That combo in that particular guitar makes a good match for my Kiesel DC with the PB Bridge and a pair of AP11 singles.
                      Guitars
                      Kiesel DC 135, Carvin AE 185, DC 400, DC 127 KOA, DC 127 Quilt Purple, X220C, PRS Custom 24, Washburn USA MG 122 proto , MG 102, MG 120.
                      Amps PRS Archon 50 head, MT 15, Mesa Subway Rocket, DC-5, Carvin X50B Hot Rod Mod head, Zinky 25watt Blue Velvet combo.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I no like how the Jazz is like the slickest hb in the line and the JB is the dirtiest. I think it's a gross clash. I like the Jazz for.. Jazz and the JB for rawk. Think it's a silly combo. JB/59 is way more natural imo.
                        The things that you wanted
                        I bought them for you

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Clint 55 View Post
                          I no like how the Jazz is like the slickest hb in the line and the JB is the dirtiest. I think it's a gross clash. I like the Jazz for.. Jazz and the JB for rawk. Think it's a silly combo. JB/59 is way more natural imo.
                          Jazz doesn’t work for jazz. It has no mids.

                          Btw, if you put an A6 in a jazz it’s great. You get what I got when I put an A6 in my A2Pro

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                          • #14
                            Well the Jazz certainly doesn't work for rock! Why can't you use a slick scooped sound for Jazz? The Benedetto series is basically the Jazz wind.
                            The things that you wanted
                            I bought them for you

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blille View Post

                              Jazz doesn’t work for jazz. It has no mids.

                              Btw, if you put an A6 in a jazz it’s great. You get what I got when I put an A6 in my A2Pro
                              Isn't that strange? It is probably the worst for Jazz, and the EQ is the exact opposite of traditional Jazz tone.
                              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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