Rothstein S15™ Prewired Jazzmaster®
w/ Novak CAT5 Bridge Pickup
HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO
Dynamically Transform a Single Coil Pickup from 4K to 8K to 12K to 16K!!!
All Sound Samples use the Bridge Pickup Only
Absolutely No stomp boxes we're used at all
All overdrive changes are caused by the pickup overdriving the amp.
4K to 8K to 12K to 16K AT THE FLICK OF A SWITCH!
Imagine yourself playing your JM at a gig, and the song you are playing calls for clean jangly chordal strumming on the verses, but the chorus calls for agressive power chords. Sure, you can step on some boutique battery driven stomp box to get some overdrive and it will sound OK, or you can use a foot switch to switch over to another channel of a 2 channel amp. However, the fundamental problem is that you are adding overdrive to a 6K pickup which is in general better suited for clean sounds. A far superior tone can be achieved if you used a 12K or even 16K P90 style pickup for this chorus section because you will get a more organic overdrive tone by actually having the pickup drive the amp. My suggestion certainly sounds silly, after all you are not about to break out your soldering iron in the middle of a gig to swap out your bridge pickup! Well, imagine if you could achieve the same result by simply flipping a switch on your guitar.
WHAT IS S15™ SWITCHING?
Simply put, the Rothstein S15™ switching system will give you 15 killer sounds out of your JM bridge pickup, while leaving the rest of the guitar circuit exactly the same. We are not talking about 15 filters like you would get out of some flimsy varitone. Not at all. We are talking about transforming your pickup from one voiced for clean tones at 4K, to a thicker version at 8K, to one voiced for crunch at 12K to another voiced for a hard edge at 16K. It will provide you you with the ultimate combination of tone and versatility, it is really easy to use, and it looks really cool to boot!!! This mod is entirely passive (no batteries) and it will drop right into your existing Jazzmaster easily requiring no routing at all (see the FAQ below).
DO THE MATH: S15™ SWITCHING = 15 SOUNDS USING 4 COILS OF A SINGLE NOVAK CAT5 PICKUP
S15™ switching uses four DPDT switches to connect any four pickup coils in 15 different combinations. The switches are wired in such a way that whenever any two or more or the four pickup coils are engaged in the circuit simultaneously, the coils are connected in series, yielding the a very meaty tone. In this case (implemented in a Jazzmaster), the four coils are actually all part of a single Curtis Novak CAT5 bridge pickup, so you can get these 15 killer sounds out of your JM bridge pickup. Curtis Novak and I have teamed up on this mod specifically to be used for the Jazzmaster®, but the switching system can easily be adapted to work in any other scenario involving 4 coils (such as a dual humbucker guitar).
WHAT ISTHE CURTIS NOVAK CAT5 PICKUP?
The prewired harness comes with an innovative (bordering on revolutionary) Curtis Novak CAT5 bridge pickup. The CAT5 pickup is a very remarkable single coil pickup designed by Curtis. You can think of it as a form of a "multi-tapped" pickup, but it is really much more than that as it is comprised of 4 independent coils (henceforth known as A, B, C and D) all wrapped around the same magnet core serially. All 4 coils measure about 4K, but actually sound quite different from one another due to their respective proximity to the magnet core. The "A" pickup is closest to the "core," and the "D" pickup is furthest away and consequently sound different from one another. Couple this pickup with the S15™ switching and you can toggle between every possible combination of the 4 coils by using the 4 slider switches (see coil combination chart below). Don't confuse Curt's CAT5 pickup with a humbucker....its not. The 4 pickups are all 4 subdivisions of a single coil, so you retain all the single coil snap, crackle and twang, even when you hit 16K.
Listen to the following sound samples all the way through. All samples are performed by myself Andy Rothstein in my home studio. I am playing the BRIDGE PICKUP ONLY on all of these cuts. You will hear when the pickup switches. Absolutely no stomp boxes we're used at all, all overdrive changes are caused by the pickup overdriving the amp.
Q: Does this require any routing or modification to the actual instrument?
Q: Does this use a battery, or active electronics?
Q: Is it hard to install / Do I have to do any soldering?
A: The harness comes pre-soldered, including the pickups so the only thing left for you to do is solder your bridge ground, and then drop it into your guitar. You won't even need to use your existing metal shield, because this comes with one of our high quality copper shields.
Q: Do the 4 extra slide switches have any effect on the rest of the circuit?
A: No, they are totally independent of the rest of the circuit. Everything else works as normal.
Q: How does it sound?
A: Amazing. Listen to the sound samples above.
Q: 15 pickup combinations out of the bridge pickup, is this confusing to use?
A: Great question. Amazingly, the answer is no. I am first and foremost a player who actively gigs and does session work. The last thing I want to happen on a gig or session is to get confused with my instrument. These 4 extra slide switches are actually very intuitive. Look at it this way. If you walk into a living room and there are 4 light switches, do you realize there are actually 15 combinations of lights you can get (which match the 15 combinations from the chart above)? Of course not, we don't think that way. All we do is start flipping light switches on or off until we achieve the desired amount of lighting. Same with the 4 slide switches here. You will simply turn any combo of the 4 switches on and off until it sounds right to your ears. You will probably find 3 or 4 of the sounds useful for you 90% of the time, and the remaining sounds will be used once in a while.
Q: Why is it more expensive than your standard prewired assemblies?
A. Four reasons:
- More parts are required (4 more toggle switches and more wire)
- Custom pickguard is required - the custom route to the pickguard adds more to the cost of the pickguard
- It takes a lot more time for us to wire one of these
- The CAT5 Bridge pickup is more expensive than a stock pickup