Quick Hit: Schuyler Dean Jazzmaster Gold Foil Set Review

Offset meets Teisco meets Danelectro meets Tele, anyone?

Recorded with an Eastwood Sidejack Baritone DLX into a Catalinbread Topanga, a J. Rockett Audio Archer (set to clean boost), and an MXR Reverb routed to a Jaguar HC50 miked with a Royer R-121 and a Goodsell Valpreaux 21 miked with a Shure SM57, both feeding an Apogee Duet going into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Bridge position.
Clip 2: Middle position.
Clip 3: Neck position.

Some might find Schuyler (pronounced “Skyler”) Dean’s goal of combining the lo-fi tones of vintage Teisco gold-foils with the basic character of Jazzmaster pickups rather niche-y. Personally, I find the concept more intriguing than, say, yet another PAF-style humbucker. But I’ll admit I was skeptical: Gold-foils are a bit of a bandwagon thing now. It didn’t help my cynicism when I learned these single-coils use large, 1/4" ceramic bar magnets rather than thin rubber magnets, like original Teiscos.

All that incredulity melted away minutes into testing the pickups, though. They really do capture much of the clear, resonant chime in a good, mellow pair of JM pickups—particularly in the middle position, which adds lovely, subtle grit to the squishy, hollowed-out tones that define the offset Fender.

Authentic tones? Ehhh … considering the recipe here, that’s probably a dumb question. But they are indubitably delicious.

Meanwhile, the neck unit has an even hollower sound that’s dusky, throbbing, and enveloping in much the same way as an old lipstick pickup. Perhaps the most wonderful surprise, however, is that, through a hard-working tube amp, the bridge pickup has the delightful snap, and tough-sounding twang of a kick-ass old Telecaster pickup in the same position.

Authentic tones? Ehhh … considering the recipe here, that’s probably a dumb question. But they are indubitably delicious.

Test Gear: Eastwood Sidejack Baritone DLX, Jaguar HC50, Goodsell Valpreaux 21, Catalinbread Topanga, Jordan Fuzztite, J. Rockett Audio Archer, PureSalem Pink Beard, Drybell Vibe Machine, Ibanez Echo Shifter, MXR Reverb.

 

Ratings

Pros:
Enchantingly mutated shades of Jazzmaster, Telecaster, Teisco, and Danelectro on tap. Classy matte texture on covers.

Cons:
None.

Street:
$90 street (each)

Company
schuylerdeanpickups.com

Tones:

Versatility:

Build/Design:

Value:

Rig Rundown: Adam Shoenfeld

Whether in the studio or on his solo gigs, the Nashville session-guitar star holds a lotta cards, with guitars and amps for everything he’s dealt.

Adam Shoenfeld has helped shape the tone of modern country guitar. How? Well, the Nashville-based session star, producer, and frontman has played on hundreds of albums and 45 No. 1 country hits, starting with Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” since 2005. Plus, he’s found time for several bands of his own as well as the first studio album under his own name, All the Birds Sing, which drops January 28.

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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.

Advanced

Beginner

• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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