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Advice needed for fixing up a Jazzmaster conversion!
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Is it worth fixing her up?
Yes
80%
 80%  [ 8 ]
No.
20%
 20%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 10

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MrJamesBrown
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Joined: 06 May 2012
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Location: Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Advice needed for fixing up a Jazzmaster conversion! Reply with quote

Hey, all! Lurker here.

So the other day, after drooling long and hard over a Jazzy, I came across what I thought was a steal on eBay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/230786051710?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_500wt_1287

Not wanting to let it slip from my grip (as I'd found it using the newly listed search), I went ahead and bought it. Had to sell some pedals/mic to fund it, but hopefully it'll be worth it.

It's a partscaster: Squier Jagmaster body, Japanese electronics/pickups, unbranded trem (I'm assuming allparts or something) and a unbranded vintage-spec maple Jazzmaster/Strat neck.

Also includes a modded Holy Stain (I'll probably sell this as a) I used to have one and wasn't a fan of it's unclean "clean" and b) have no space on my board).

So, I'm thinkin that if it plays well, I got a great deal! However, I'm wondering what upgrades I'll have to be gradually making. I'm thinking:

Mustang bridge (£30)
New pickups (£100)

So, overall that'll bring me to about £250 for the thing (taking into account about £50 earned from the Holy Stain sale).

Now, can anyone offer me their thoughts on this? How's the Squier alder? I'm not expecting incredible tonewood here, but hopefully it'll still sound fairly good!

James Smile


Last edited by MrJamesBrown on Tue May 22, 2012 6:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stewart
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good buy for £175.
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HNB
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Joined: 15 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stewart wrote:
good buy for £175.


I agree. Sounds like there is a lot you can do with it.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HNB wrote:
stewart wrote:
good buy for £175.


I agree. Sounds like there is a lot you can do with it.


Yep. Good score. Hope it plays like a dream Smile
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MrJamesBrown
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we'll see! The Jazzmaster is the kind of guitar that I've attributed a lot of inspiration to, so I hope it isn't a let down.
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ekwatts
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much would you want for the Holy Stain? How is it modded? I can't view eBay pages at work.
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MrJamesBrown
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ekwatts wrote:
How much would you want for the Holy Stain? How is it modded? I can't view eBay pages at work.


I believe it's modded for flanger with 'verb and chorus. I'll tell you more when it arrives, but you can see some modded stuff here:

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=91016.0

As for selling it, £50 plus delivery. I could throw it on eBay, and probably get more (I sold an unmodded one for £58.00 ) BUT this one has no power supply. Standard 9V/1Spot works fine though.
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MrJamesBrown
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: NGD! But advice needed, and lots of it. Reply with quote

So, my Jazzmaster came (excuse the absolutely shit photo, you'll see why I didn't bother to capture it's glory in a moment):



The neck is straight, feels pretty good. A few dings on the body, but whatever.


After making sure it worked (it did), I took the strings off and proceeded to pick it apart. It's a Jagmaster that's been converted, somewhat haphazardly I might add. Where should I start...

First things I noticed is that not all of the scratchplate screws are the same, or all straight:






The washers for the tone/vol knobs are different:



I was pleasantly surprised to see that the bridge/trem are genuine Fender items:



Pickups were wonky, one was missing a screw:





The string tree is just a joke:



Took the neck off, no idea what this means:



So, let's get under the hood.



The first thing that struck me is how the pickups are mounted- the height screws go straight into the body. Is this the correct way?



Now, besides the frankly shocking use of crappy foam and black stuff, I want to know what this guy was thinking regarding the shielding. It's a metal plate, held in place (it seems) by drawing pins. :\. He's also soldered the wiring the the plate, which goes to the trem spring for grounding:







Now, the holding of the scratchplate is also an issue- it's obviously different dimensions to the Jagmaster one, so he's using pieces of wood to screw the plate into. Makes sense, but there's got to be a less-botch method:



Now, the guys routing leaves a bit to be desired:









Now, the trem. The screws holding it in place weren't all the same length:



To be honest, and I don't know if it's just me, but I'm not sure if the trem is actually on straight. It seems to be ever so slightly angled. I'd need the proper tools and dimensions to take a measurement, do you know what's best to use (guess a spirit level won't work lol).

I think that's all the main issues covered. My first question:

-Is it worth it to fix this thing up? I can't lie- I'm a bit disappointed. But I'm in no rush. However, I don't have any tools really, besides a solder iron. I can probably fill in screw holes and drill new ones at home though.
- Where should I start? I'm guessing the shielding and drawing pins should go, not sure what to do about the scratchplate issue of the little wood pillars holding it in place...

Cheers for any help to this. I'm gonna be fairly clueless otherwise. I've replaced pickups etc but never worked with wood...

James
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paul_
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, something very similar was once done here.

More Cowbell wrote:
Mike wrote:

Thats been done before here, Aug made Shadow the Shadmaster from a Jagmaster body. He added a Jazzy trem though.


Here it is black like aug maded, then in white like I maded...






That is the correct way to mount the pickups, they just haven't been fitted very well.
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Last edited by paul_ on Tue May 22, 2012 5:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stewart
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: NGD! But advice needed, and lots of it. Reply with quote

MrJamesBrown wrote:
First things I noticed is that not all of the scratchplate screws are the same, or all straight

Pickups were wonky, one was missing a screw

The string tree is just a joke

Now, the trem. The screws holding it in place weren't all the same length


these are all easy fixes- just buy some new screws and a string tree.


MrJamesBrown wrote:
The first thing that struck me is how the pickups are mounted- the height screws go straight into the body. Is this the correct way?


yes


MrJamesBrown wrote:
Now, besides the frankly shocking use of crappy foam and black stuff, I want to know what this guy was thinking regarding the shielding. It's a metal plate, held in place (it seems) by drawing pins. :\. He's also soldered the wiring the the plate, which goes to the trem spring for grounding


that's essentially how it's done on jazzmasters. if the wiring isn't soldered to the plates and trem it doesn't do anything. the foam is how you adjust the pickup height. raise the screws and it expands. all jazzmasters (and jaguars) have this.

MrJamesBrown wrote:
Now, the holding of the scratchplate is also an issue- it's obviously different dimensions to the Jagmaster one, so he's using pieces of wood to screw the plate into. Makes sense, but there's got to be a less-botch method


it's not pretty, but i don't see what else you can do short of having a custom guard made.
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timhulio
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't get it. Did you buy this as a Jazzmaster? How much did you pay?

If it were me, I'd get my money back and tell the seller to GTF.
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mixtape
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timhulio wrote:
I don't get it. Did you buy this as a Jazzmaster? How much did you pay?

If it were me, I'd get my money back and tell the seller to GTF.


If you feel you've been ripped off, do this.

Otherwise, do you like the neck, and do you like it enough? That's the dealbreaker for me on any guitar; anything else can be modded as necessary. Is the overall feel of the guitar worth a little extra time, effort, and the satisfaction of a job well done? Aside from the screwiness you've detailed, that's a sweet-looking guitar. All it needs is a little love.
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hotrodperlmutter
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the trem cover hiding a STRAT TREMOLO is a dead giveaway. you don't even have to take anything apart to know it is a jagmaster. a chinese one, even.
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James
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I merged the two threads NGD! But advice needed, and lots of it. and NGD (Soon): Parts-caster Jazzmaster! because of the confusion around this starting as a Jagmaster.
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MrJamesBrown
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timhulio wrote:
I don't get it. Did you buy this as a Jazzmaster? How much did you pay?

If it were me, I'd get my money back and tell the seller to GTF.


No, I knew it was a conversion project when I bought it. Pics weren't that detailed, but I kinda figured that if someone went to all the time and effort of converting the thing then they'd probably have done enough research to do it well etc
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MrJamesBrown
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James wrote:
I merged the two threads NGD! But advice needed, and lots of it. and NGD (Soon): Parts-caster Jazzmaster! because of the confusion around this starting as a Jagmaster.


Ah, cheers!

I should stress- I paid £180 for this and a modded Holy Stain, so it didn't really break the bank...
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Fran
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you knew what it was and got it for a reasonable price i would not be too concerned. Most of the issues are an easy fix and it does not really matter how pretty it is under the scratchplate. Its a Frankenmaster at the end of the day.
I once bought a 1978 Musicmaster that was a mess under the sp, rather than use a router it looked like someone had let a dog chew out new cavities. Someone on here told me to cremate it but im glad i didn't because that guitar was a great player and had a great sound.
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MrJamesBrown
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I've just put it back together and restrung it. And it's completely fretted out- the strings come into contact with the frets at about the 9th fret.

I think I'm gonna try and return it. I hope I can Sad. The thing's unplayable.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

raise the bridge higher?

all in all it seems like you pretty much got what you paid for. it doesn't seem so bad to me from the pictures. you're just going to have to fiddle with it a little to get everything to work. but it is pretty much a jazzmaster that you got for a good price.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you really can't stand the thought of how it looks under the pickguard you could always just get yourself a real jazzmaster body and swap all the parts onto that. you got a pretty good deal on the guitar and still don't really have that much money in it right now. even without the body all those parts will essentially cost you about £150.
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