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 guitar designed to intuitively transition from acoustic to electric voices with the 3-way switch, or from clean to driven with a turn of the Blend Knob.

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Fender’s American Vintage II Series

For these new recreations, Fender focuses on the little things that make original golden-era Fenders objects of obsession.

If there’s one thing players love more than new guitars, it’s old guitars—the unique feel, the design idiosyncrasies, the quirks in finish that all came from the pre-CNC era of instrument manufacturing. These characteristics become the stuff of legend, passed on through the years via rumors and anecdotes in shops, forums, and community networks.

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