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The author’s 1961 Fender Jazzmaster, “Pancake,” features a pair of Curtis Novak pickups—a JM-Fat in the bridge position, and an Historic ’61 in the neck.

From vintage to modern, single-coil to humbucker, wide range to gold-foil, and just about anything else you can dream up, the world of JM-style pickups just keeps getting bigger.

If you’re into modding guitars, there has never been a better time in terms of options for hardware, electronic components, and, of course, pickups––especially for fans of Fender offsets, where one quick Google search calls up an embarrassment of riches.

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A bookmatched maple top glued and clamped up.

The type of glue a builder uses can make a big difference in their process, but when it comes to tone, does it matter?

Guitarists searching for their ultimate instrument are an interesting bunch. So many factors to consider, so much energy to expend on the journey towards guitar nirvana. A player may be satisfied with a certain shape—like a Flying V or Explorer. Others are obsessed with pickups, hardware, fretboard radius, scale length, or fret size. I’d venture that most of us consider a lot of these things and more when choosing a guitar. But there is a certain place in my heart for those infatuated with the type of glue used to construct a potential purchase. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not listening to Ford Thurston and thinking what he needs is a little more hide glue in his tone, but somebody might be. This obsession probably stems from the mythology of vintage instruments more than any sonic observations.

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If you want to hit your amp hard, you’ll need some high-output humbuckers that are up to the job.

Whether you’re looking to increase the heat on a lower-output instrument or just searching for a new flavor, this list has you covered.

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This 1933 Vivi-Tone, with its hollow body and acoustic flexibility, represents a piece of electric guitar history that was beaten out by more popular solidbody electric designs.

Before electrics became branded in the mainstream as typically solidbodies, there were some early 20th-century models that explored alternate avenues.

When you close your eyes and imagine an electric guitar, chances are you see something like a Stratocaster or a Les Paul: a solidbody, a few pickups, a metal bridge. But in the early 20th century, such popular features were yet to be codified by builders as a part of guitarists’ collective imagination.

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The Gibson Pickup Shop introduces 22 updated pickup styles in the Historic, Original and Modern Collections, as well as the new Artist and Kramer Collections.
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