I am trying to get my jazz guitar sound. Yes I know it should be in my finger, so I am working on it. I am also aware about my pick, my stings, my instrument, the amp, its settings etc.

So this question is mainly about my neck pickup sound. It sounds a bit like a bridge pickup for me.

  • Instrument: Ibanez AM 93
  • Neck pickup: Factory Super 58 Custom, according to Ibanez specification.
  • String: D'Addario Chromes Flat Wound, Light, 12-52 (well 12 is not typical light for high E but anyway, that's the name)
  • Pick: The most not bridge-y I've found after carefully examining and playing with all jazz picks: Dunlop Jazz III the smallest red. Some of the picks has a bit richer and mellow sound, but with the more of this bridge-y (nasal) color.
  • I am picking as close to the neck as I can, I mean close to the neck pickup but not above it.
  • Amp: Fender Mustang V2, using the most classic jazz setting, like Fender Twin Reverb, Treble 1-2, Middle 8-9, Bass 2-3, minimal reverb almost dry.
  • Guitar setting: Switched to neck pickup, volume almost max, tone almost zero, or minimal more, I like my E, A, D, G string's sound more if I have some tone more than zero.

Any suggestion how to get the rid of that nasal bridge pickup like sound?

* Edits *

Here is a sound sample

The actual amp settings for the sound sample: (note the sample was recorded with the real amp, using its line out (headphone out)

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    I always thought the most nasal sound from my guitars was the middle position of both the bridge and neck combined. I have one guitar with a phase invert switch and that is the extreme nasal sound. I would also say that "nasal" to me means having a formant peak around 800 - 1000 Hz, and rolling your tone control all the way down might eliminate that. Could you put a link to some audio/video with the tone you're looking for so there's no confusion about what you mean by "nasal"? Sep 4, 2015 at 12:08
  • 1
    No matter what pickup you use, picking closer to the bridge will sound more "bridge-y", and picking closer to the neck will sound more "neck-y". In a similar way, the location of the pickup on the guitar is more important than the type of pickup itself in getting the neck vs. bridge sound. Again, if you can find anything online that has the sound similar to what you're looking for, it will help a lot. Sep 4, 2015 at 12:32
  • 2
    If you have your tone knob almost turned to zero it's hard to imagine that your neck PU still sounds "bridge-y" (which I understand that it has quite a bit of treble). It would be helpful if you could upload some sound file to hear it there's something fundamentally wrong.
    – Matt L.
    Sep 4, 2015 at 16:31
  • 1
    How far is the pickup from the strings? If it's very close, lower it. But I agree with @MattL, it sounds quite strange, your settings should produce a very mellow sound, so a sound clip would be useful. Sep 5, 2015 at 17:29
  • 3
    I listened to the sound file, and I must ask a stupid question: are you sure you turned down the tone pot that affects the neck PU? I guess you have two tone pots (and also two vol. pots, one for each PU). I ask this because it really doesn't sound like the tone knob is turned down. Do you hear any effect at all when manipulating the tone knob? It's also possible that someone played around with the electronics and messed it up.
    – Matt L.
    Sep 6, 2015 at 9:16

3 Answers 3


Don't get stuck on thinking you need to play through a Blackface Fender for jazz.

I've found, especially in my experience with the Fender Mustang series, that the Twin model is much brighter than their Deluxe Model, however with your specific amp model you don't have a choice between Princeton, Deluxe and Twin like the interface in the Mustang III (One of the greatest solid state practice/small amps I've ever owned, in my opinion).

On the Mustang II, they offer two other fender tweed-style amps as well before you start getting into more gain, try those out. The Bassman is an iconic amp sound, and with a lower gain setting, does stay relatively clean. Remember, the Bassman was around a good 10-15 years before we ever started getting used to the Blackface tone stack, so many jazz recordings have a Pro, Deluxe, Bassman, etc. sound to them. Which, with the gain lower (read: not driving the amp as much) really does have a nice darker sound.

All the other comments do seem valid. Judging by the brightness of that recording with the pickups and guitar stated, I would maybe check that the wiring isn't backwards on the switch, or that your tone control is indeed the correct one.

For the amp, go with the suggestions I offered, as well as taking an approach to lowering highs and raising bass. But I think you'll find that "bridgy" attack and definition is still there.

However, be reminded that you're playing a semi-hollow body guitar. If you're going for a traditional bebop-style guitar like Kenny Burell, Wes, etc. they all are playing fully hollow-bodied guitars. There is a large difference to the perceived tone of these.

If you have funds, try checking out some affordable hollow-bodies like the Epiphone like the Emperor or 175-style. If you don't quite have those funds try to go for a more traiditional, covered PAF-style neck pickup. If the pickup you are describing is anything like the current Artstar ones, they're ceramic and generally quite bright by nature. The PAF style is usually an Alnico pickup, is generally more mellow, and covered to take away a bit more high end as well.

If you have no funds, try out the different amp models on the Fender, especially those first two (Bassman and Deluxe). Keep your bass up and treble less so, don't get crazy with the gain and utilize the master or volume more to effectively roll off presence. The British 60's setting may be pretty gain-y, but if kept in check will almost certainly be more of a mellow sound than their Twin they have as well. The great thing about not having money to throw at the problem is that it forces you to find what's best for you. Don't be afraid to try different amps that aren't "right" or period-correct for what you're doing. If you get a great sound; you get a great sound.


(This is all without listening to the clips as I don't have headphones available at the moment).

First and foremost (according to your amp settings above) you definitely have to turn the bass up more than 2. The other settings are fairly in the middle, so a lack of bass will definitely end leaning towards a much more treble-y sound. A lot of it can also come from how you play too. Have you tried finger picking for example? That dampens the attack on the strings and will create a less treble-y sound.

I would also take a look at the tone pot in your guitar if you believe that turning it all the way down on the neck pickup doesn't sound dark enough for you, it might be an idea to get a tech to have a look at the wiring of the guitar.

Overall though, I'd say the biggest 2 things to change are your amp settings and to try and use finger picking.


Solo the bridge p-up with tone on a low setting, then add more tone as u see fit. you can mix in some bridge pickup if you like, i typically don't, but on a strat ill use the middle/neck position

Zero your EQ (all knobs should be set to the middle) you can cut or boost by increments of 1/2 a number. In my experience treble should always be slightly higher than your mid range setting, it sounds echoy without this.

Try with thumb/finger and let me know what happens, if you like that it's the pick and you need to either play without one or get a thicker one.

I've got decent sound from medium strings, flat or round, fingerstyle, solo the neck with some tone, on an SG model. Good luck :)

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