EMG JMaster Pickup Set review: vintage-voiced Jazzmaster tones with zero noise

The modernist pickup maker turns its attention to the wild and wacky Fender Jazzmaster to give it an active pickup makeover

EMG JMaster pickups
(Image: © Future / Dave Burrluck)

Guitar World Verdict

These EMG JMaster come with pretty much vintage-style voicing but with all the usual no-noise advantages of active pickups. The tone-shaping extras on the Pickup System version (available separately) work perfectly to enhance the JMasters, subtly or quite considerably.


  • +

    All the advantages of active pickups.

  • +

    No noise and buffered output.

  • +

    Vintage-style voicing.

  • +

    SPC, EXG and clean boost enhance versatility.


  • -

    Changing the battery involves a lot of work.

  • -

    You need to find space for the battery.

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    It’s designed for vintage-style Jazzmasters only.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

When a press release dropped into our inbox announcing a new EMG electric guitar pickup, we weren’t expecting the brand’s first foray into the world of the offset Fender Jazzmaster. 

Known for its modern active pickup designs – which the company has been making since 1976 – EMG almost seems a mismatch for the funky Jazzmaster, doesn’t it? On the other hand, with the offset guitar enjoying a huge revival, you might well ask, what took ’em so long?

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.