A little while back I picked up an American Vintage Re-Issue Fender Jazzmaster (’62 with a black finish). I was surprised how much I liked this guitar. Definitely has a character and style that is very unique. There were a few issues I didn’t like though… namely the bridge was bugging. It had the ‘vintage’ style bridge that rattles and the strings would slip the grooves, etc. I understood the bridge rattle was due to the light string break across the bridge… and that the bridge was held by the string tension. Doing some research I opted to NOT get the buzz stop but to invest in a Mastery Bridge. Players like Nels Cline and Lee Ranaldo swear by their Mastery bridges.
Last week, my bridge came in, and it did everything I was hoping. Remove the buzz, deal with the string slip… and not affect the tone of the instrument (which I heard the buzz stop does effect, along with changing the feel of the trem). Yay! I like this guitar even more now.
The pickups on the AVRI Jazzmasters are surprisingly good. I thought I would have to change these, but I really like these pickups. I haven’t had any problems with hum/buzz in my local rock room and a couple of other places I’ve played the guitar in. But the other day we changed locations for practice and this new room as causing an insane amount of hum through my Jazzmaster. It was practically unusable. I had to resort to middle position (both pickups on) to cancel the hum, but I don’t prefer that tone for every song. My other instrument (Schecter Ultra VI) was also humming, but it was still playable.
I tried to eliminate some variables. All the power (to the pedals and to the amp) were from a single outlet. I don’t think it was a ground lift issue. There was another player using a Strat and he wasn’t humming at all which I thought was odd. I turned off the fluorescent lights thinking it was the transformer above me, but that didn’t solve it either. I started doing some research on shielding the guitar (I haven’t taken off the pickguard to see how much shielding is there currently), but I came across discussions about the Electro-Harmonix Hum Debugger, Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor and ISP Decimator.
I don’t want any type of ‘gate’ and something that addressed directly. I do have a Ebtech Hum Eliminator that I might try, but I ended up putting an order in for the Electro-Harmonix Hum Debugger. I found a few convincing videos that shows it’s capabilities.
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I’ve read that it does color the tone a bit. Once I get it, I’ll be sure to see what exactly that means. I’m hoping that it shaves off some high end, etc. I should be able to compensate that on the amp. I’ll be sure to let you know what I find out.
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If any of you have had any experience with the Electro-Harmonix Hum Debugger, I would love to read what you think of it. Any other Jazzmaster owners out there that use this pedal??