House Of Tone JazzHouse & E-Type Pickups Review

The British winder joins the offset renaissance. We try out some Jazz and Jag pickups with pedigree…

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British pickup making is in rude health these days, and Chester firm House Of Tone is near the top of the pile. Its latest designs are replacement pups for two guitars that often need them: Fender’s Jazzmaster and Jaguar – several versions of which were fitted with rather spiky sounding pickups.

House Of Tone keeps things close to vintage specs for this JazzHouse and E-Type (nice) sets, using 42AWG formvar wire and, in both cases, alnico V at the neck and alnico II at the bridge. The Jag pickups both have a DC resistance of 6.5k, while the Jazzmaster units have been wound slightly hotter and read 7k (neck) and 7.2k (bridge). Our review samples have all been lightly wax-potted, but you can specify otherwise.

In Use
First up for transplant is an American Vintage Jazzmaster, and our initial impression is that the JazzHouses sound almost identical to the Seymour Duncan Antiquity IIs they’re replacing: smooth and plummy at the neck, rich and aggressive at the bridge, overflowing with clucky sweetness in the middle position.

It soon becomes clear, however, that these have a touch more clarity and definition than the Duncans. Played clean through a Blackface, with a pinkie on standby to nudge back the guitar’s tone control if needed, it’s an archetypal Jazzmaster voice that excels at gently percussive single notes and, predictably, sounds wonderful for expressive lead lines with a Klon-style overdrive.

Jaguars tend to offer a bright and cheeky short-scale character instead of tonal depth, and the E-Types make no attempt to fight this tendency. Despite the use of alnico II in the bridge unit to stop things getting too shrill, these are zingy, chiming pickups and no mistake.

With surf-style reverb and tremolo, the bridge unit fires out enough twang to bring down a seagull, but the phasey jangle in the middle position can sound even more abrasive if you’re not careful. Still, it only takes the slightest tweak of the tone knob to take the edge off, and clean chords will still cut through with that timeless Jaguar charm.

Key Features

House Of Tone JazzHouse
• PRICE £65 each (£130 set) with lifetime warranty
• DESCRIPTION Single-coil Jazzmaster pickups. Made in UK
• SPECS Alnico V (neck) and alnico II (bridge) magnets, 42AWG formvar wire, lightly wax-potted

House Of Tone E-Type
• PRICE £65 each (£130 set) with lifetime warranty
• DESCRIPTION Single-coil Jaguar pickups. Made in UK
• SPECS Alnico V (neck) and alnico II (bridge) magnets, 42AWG formvar wire, lightly wax-potted
• CONTACT House Of Tone Pickups 07791 691251, houseoftonepickups.com

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