Pickup spotlight - McNelly Jazzmaster range
For me, the Jazzmaster totally reset the bar of what I wanted from a guitar. The Chime, overall feel, scale, string tension and versatility spoke to me instantly. This is the same for so many of my customers, so I wanted to highlight the range of Jazzmaster pickup options available through us, how you can capture the classic JM tones and how you can mix it up a little without the need for re-routing or a new pickguard. So let's dive right in.

The 46/58

McNelly 46/58 Jazzmaster pickups UK

This is the most traditional Jazzmaster based set McNelly make, but with McNelly not being a manufacturer to rest on traditions too heavily, they have a couple of unique features. Although the design of the pickup is based on normal JM single coil with solid magnet slugs, large bobbins and a super flat, wide coil, it also has a P90 influence as seen by the photo below showing an additional base plate hiding two alnico bar magnets below the coil. So a slight hybrid of designs, with the idea behind this to incorporate some of the rich dynamics of a quality P90, to the chimey JM characteristics. It achieves this very well indeed and they've quickly become one of the most popular models in the whole McNelly range and very well received in the Jazzmaster community. I personally own a set of these fitted in my modded Squier VMJM, and utterly adore them. I can achieve a lovely chime, along with very rich sounding note work and dynamic response from both positions. It also lends well to the rhythm circuit too, often dismissed by many players on Jazzmasters but I personally use it a lot with the 46/58s installed. 

McNelly 46/58 Jazzmaster pickup

Here's a video I recorded of my personal Jazzmaster, which has the recommended 500k pots in the lead circuit fitted. This isn't set in stone, and they do still work nicely with traditional JM 1 Meg lead circuit pot ratings, but I find that the 500k brings out more of the P90 character aspect of the design and you get the best response from the pickup. Experiment, as you may prefer them with 1Meg, and seeing as most Jazzmasters will have 1 Meg pots in from standard, it's worth trying that first before jumping to 500k. Tone is very much personal tastes, so listen to your ears and go from there.

These are available with White, black, cream and or aged white covers, both neck and bridge positions as standard. 
You can check out the listing here if you're within the UK or Europe. - HERE
But if you're anywhere else in the world I recommend seeing McNelly Pickups direct.

The JM90

McNelly JM90 Jazzmaster P90

This model has been custom order for quite some time, but they've finally joined the standard range which is great to see. Making them more readily available and less of a secret handshake to order! For players not familiar with Jazzmasters, it's easy to understand why their unique pickups are often mistakenly called P90s. They're large pickups under plastic covers after all, but traditionally JM single coils are very different to P90s. Here though, the the JM90 is very much a P90 in disguise. This set is based on McNelly’s standard P90s, but made to install under Jazzmaster covers. You'll have increased output and fatter tone than a typical JM, plus the lovely neck/bridge balance that the McNelly P90s are known for. The McNelly P90 Soapbar is one of the most popular models, used by guitar makers and individual players around the world. If you fancy some P90 sound instead in your JM, this is  a fantastic place to do so.
There's a familiar sight to the 46/58 on the underside of the pickup, again seeing the baseplate hiding the P90 alnico bar magnets, but you'll notice adjustable pole pieces and a slightly deeper coil. It's a P90 in Jazzmaster sizing and mounting, making this a great drop in option if you're looking for something a little different in your JM, perhaps chasing a chunkier tone with a touch more output.

McNelly JM90 Jazzmaster P90

These again are available in white, black and cream covers, and are listed on the website HERE if you're in the UK or Europe.
Outside of the UK and EU? You'll definitely want to seek out McNelly Pickups direct!


McNelly humbucker for Jazzmaster

This is another model that has been custom request for some time now, I have been offering them on my website due to my Jazzmaster interests and customer base, but until now, they haven't been part of the official McNelly standard line-up. So I'm glad to see them part of the range officially, as they certainly deserve their place. Here you'll find a standard humbucker, tidily mounted inside a standard Jazzmaster pickup cover. No real tweaks on design here, as the humbucker bobbins and base-plates fit nice and snug inside the cover, so McNelly offer their full humbucker range including the Cornucopia, Clarity, Bliss and Autumn models in this sizing. It has proved to be a popular option for players looking for more power from the bridge position, or some of that humbucker response and character. These can also be custom made with Stagger Swaggers too!

The only detail I will add here, is that Humbucker pole pieces are taller than a vintage Jazzmaster pickup. You may need to make some space if they hit the bottom of the pickup cavity. I have sold a few of these and my customers didn't report back that it was an issue on their models, but it is worth noting that depending on cavity depth on your Jazzmaster, this mod may need to be carried out when installing JMHBs.

McNelly humbucker for Jazzmaster

You can order these with white, black or cream pickup covers, and they're available in the UK/EU HERE

I hope this article helps those looking at McNelly Pickup options for their Jazzmaster, or perhaps if you're new to the world of Jazzmasters and looking at getting a little more out of your new venture.
As always, any further questions on this range feel free to get in touch james@homeoftone.co.uk


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