Noiseless Jaguar/Bass VI Made Easy With Single Sized Humbuckers
One of the developments I did on my offsets was what I call the "Jag-Bucker" - it's basically a Jaguar-style bobbin single-sized-humbucker pickup with a cut-off Jaguar pickup cover on it, and the claws installed. The idea was to have a noise cancelling Jaguar pickup before there was any such thing on the market. I still stick with this design because used hot-rails/cool-rails are cheap, and so are Jaguar pickup covers and Jaguar pickup claws.
HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?
In 2005 I bought a used 1998 CIJ Fender 62' Reissue Jaguar from the Guitar hangar with an ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic and 2 Seymour Duncan "Hot Rails" pickups that turned out to be "Cool Rails" pickups - both SCR1B bridge models by Seymour Duncan. The original idea was I was going to put a black pickguard on it, and original Jaguar pickups with black covers in it, like if the Jaguar had been produced AFTER 1975, maybe lke what a 1979 model would have looked like.
When I got the guitar though, I found it had a very similar tone, gain, and sound to a original 1963 I'd played, if maybe just a hair or two hotter (but not much). Which being a skint broke 23 year old at the time, replacing pickups was not a wise investment, so I gave it some thought. I will admit, I was not pulling something original here as one other person had done it before me, just not with the claws.
There was a guy on Jag-Stang.com with a Japanese Jaguar who put a hot-rail, I think a George Lynch Screamin' Demon, and put a cut-off pickup cover on it, and that's where I got the idea. I liked the look so I decided to do the same. I bought a pair of Jaguar pickup covers and tried two tthings...
First, I thought if the pickups were tall enough I could hide the rails under the cover, and crank em' up close to the strings. Sort of a "stealth" sort of thing where the Jaguar would look like a stock Jaguar, but not have any hum. It looked nice but the gap between the top of the cover and the rails was almost 1/4", not close enough (I have about 1/8" give or take between the rails and the strings on my Jaguar, that's part of why my Jag sounds so loud, punchy, sharp, but gainy). So I had to measure carefully how much to cut off by taking a hibatchi skewer, sticking it in a pole piece hole, mark the stick, and using that mark to measure how much to cut off (and then cutting off slightly less). Then cut the cover to fit using a Dremel. Then clean up all the burring with files. Once the covers were on there, it looked hella cool, like an updated Jaguar. Parking this next to a Vintage Jag was like looking at a 1962 E-type next to a 1998 XJS, it looked like an updated Jaguar.
Then I got a clever idea, what if I put the claws on, both to complete the look, and see if it had an effect. The result I got was more bass-response, so now my guitar thumps like Kurt's Jaguar with the Super Distortion in it, but has a little less gain and a punchier attack, with a sharper high end response. The tone is very much in that midrangey, snarly, Van-Halen territory (Jag-Halen, LOL).
One last alterataion required is to get the pickups close enough to the strings. Stock Jaguar pickups use these 1.5" long, very thin wood screws, almost like very long Tuner or pickup screws. But the maximum hight is just not high enough. So I hunted for a few weeks for longer screws in the same size and could not find any. So my solution - get THICKER screws - and then screw directly into the wood. What I got were very thick, coarse thread, wood screws, and my pickups have no springs, no foam, the pickups are held up strictly by these stupid thick screws, but my god they couple to the body nicely. This seemed to gain back some tightness and response while retaining that behind-the-bridge resonance that makes a Jaguar a Jaguar.