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N-ishGD - American Pro Jazzmaster

 
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Thom
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 5763
Location: Exeter, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:40 pm    Post subject: N-ishGD - American Pro Jazzmaster Reply with quote

Been meaning to do this for the last week or so, and finally found 5 mins so here we go! I got a new guitar! Had it nearly a month now, and waited to do the NGD post as I wanted to stay away from the honeymoon "OMG this is the best guitar I've ever played!" statement that I think we all tend to gravitate towards with new gear. Anyway, here we are... I've been saving for a new guitar for a while and was a bit torn, but the American Pro Jazzy caught my eye, for a few reasons:
1) Mystic Seafoam colour looked pretty awesome
2) I've never owned a Jazzmaster
3) Simplified controls with toggle on the upper bout
4) Hotter pickups

I briefly played a righty version in Mansons and I liked it so took the plunge. Only, I wanted a rosewood fretboard...but they don't do that with the Mystic Seafoam...bugger. Ended up buying a Rosewood American Pro neck and planned to sell the Maple one, but doesn't seem like a good selling time so will hang onto it until the COVID-19 situation is over.

The good:
- It's my first US Fender guitar, and I have to say, it's really nice. There are some touches that made me smile, especially as a lefty that I've never had on any other guitar before, such as actual lefty knobs with the numbers running the "right" way round, as well as lefty pots so they actually work in the same way as righty ones do i.e. have the intended effect. Gibson put righty pots wired righty in their lefty guitars so the knobs turn the wrong way - which is complete bollocks.
- The finish is amazing, even better in person than the pictures, and varies a lot depending on the light. It's not particularly heavy - much lighter than my Jag.
- The neck is really nice - I was a bit concerned as it's bigger than all by other guitars, both nut width and has the new "deep C" profile, but it's incredibly comfortable.
- Acoustically it's pretty loud and I guess that resonance or whatever you want to call it comes across when plugged in.
- The moulded case looks and feels bomb proof.
- Proper Mustang bridge, with 52mm string spacing, so no E strings on the edge of the fretboard, 9.5" radius. Brass barrels and no gaps between them. Comes fitted with nylon inserts to stop the rocking. Not had any issues with strings popping - it looks like they've basically taken all the improvements that Staytrem used on their bridges and made them standard here.

The less good:
- HUGE amount of fret buzz when I first got it. Has taken a good amount of tinkering with the truss rod and bridge height to get it playing nicely. First of all the neck was too straight, so added a little relief which helped a lot.
- The "narrow tall" frets take some getting used to. They're not bad, but just feel very different to all my other guitars. They are definitely part of the problem with the fret buzz as you need to have the strings pretty high off the fretboard, but because of their height the action from the frets is decently low. It's just a bit weird.
- Fender included a righty strat trem arm in the case rather than a lefty Jazzy one. Dicks. Still waiting for the replacement.
- The pickups sounded pretty good, but there was something missing for me - mainly in the bridge...I just wanted a bit more ooomph. So spoke to Bareknuckle and they wound me a nice hot bridge pup and vintage-hot neck and now it sounds utterly wonderful.
The "bad" things above are nothing that can't or haven't been fixed, so they're more just observations than actual issues.

I had the chance to use it at band practice once before the lockdown and it was a lot of fun. It feels really nice to play, sounds really good and the vol/tone are really useable due to the correct pots and the treble bleed circuit.
Overall I'm really pleased and have not really played anything else since I got it.













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Thom
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 5763
Location: Exeter, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standard pic rotation issues scenario.
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Hurb
Peanut the Kidnapper


Joined: 17 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such a handsome guitar! And infinitely better with rosewood neck!
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Thom
lamp


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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Location: Exeter, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers mate, yeah I definitely think so too!
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Fran
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stunning.
I like the simplified circuit idea as well. It doesn’t take away anything aesthetically imo, like it would on the Jaguar.
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Doog
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hurb wrote:
Such a handsome guitar! And infinitely better with rosewood neck!


I second that emotion; the maple makes the whole guitar look queasy, the rosewood gives it some nice red contrast against all the yellow-greens.

Lovely stuff!
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doog wrote:
Hurb wrote:
Such a handsome guitar! And infinitely better with rosewood neck!


I second that emotion; the maple makes the whole guitar look queasy, the rosewood gives it some nice red contrast against all the yellow-greens.

Lovely stuff!


Agreed. This is a great look.

The route is interesting, with the centre block being lowered a bit from the body surface.
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Thomas
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool guitar, way better with the rosewood fretboard too.

Thanks for including the photos of the routing.
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Bacchus
Whatever's handiest


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice. I briefly taught a guy with one of these and it seemed like a great guitar. I agree with everyone else about the rosewood board.

Did you buy it through Mansons? If so I'm surprised it had fret buzz. When I bought a cheap fretless bass off them years ago I was impressed that they'd taken the time to set it up in their workshop so that it played properly.

Ankhanu wrote:
The route is interesting, with the centre block being lowered a bit from the body surface.


Makes sense though. That must make installing the scratchplate much easier as you don't need to worry about where the wires are routing through etc.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point.
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Thom
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 5763
Location: Exeter, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, it is a lovely guitar and I’m very pleased!

Bacchus wrote:
Did you buy it through Mansons? If so I'm surprised it had fret buzz. When I bought a cheap fretless bass off them years ago I was impressed that they'd taken the time to set it up in their workshop so that it played properly.

I did and they had done that with mine - the fret buzz is really nothing to do with them. I’d received the rosewood neck a couple of days before the actual guitar. So I must have played it in its original form for all of 3 minutes, at which point it played wonderfully! It was only when I started messing with it that it all went wrong 😄
They are very good though and offer a free 6 month set up with every guitar so I’ll do that in September and am sure they’ll do an even better job than where I’ve got it to.
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benecol
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lush guitar and I love that colour Thom. JM bridge is always the bridesmaid to the neck's bride (!) - recently stuck a set of Mojo Pickups with an overwound bridge in mine, and I love it. Get on that trem though.
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Thom
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Location: Exeter, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

benecol wrote:
Lush guitar and I love that colour Thom. JM bridge is always the bridesmaid to the neck's bride (!) - recently stuck a set of Mojo Pickups with an overwound bridge in mine, and I love it. Get on that trem though.

Nice one Tim, I looked at Mojo pickups too initially but they weren’t taking orders for another couple of weeks at the time. I was chatting with my luthier friend who said that Bareknuckle were going to release a Jazz, Jag and Mini-hb range soon but he had got a few sets custom made so I gave them a call and it was a really great process. Had a good chat about what I wanted and what I liked about the pickups of theirs I already have - turned out brilliantly and they are right up my street. Pretty pokey, 15.6k bridge and 8.6k neck AV magnets.
Trem is a bit frustrating given the current situation and Mansons being shut other than their web shop but I will persevere.
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robroe
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The uploader is now making shit lefthanded too!
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jc808
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I can't believe HOW MUCH better that looks with a rosewood neck. That is an ace guitar!
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks amazing! I had never even considered that knobs/pots would be the wrong way around on cheaper lefty guitars. Does that mean your Jaguar has them the wrong way!?
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paul_
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddy V-C wrote:
Looks amazing! I had never even considered that knobs/pots would be the wrong way around on cheaper lefty guitars. Does that mean your Jaguar has them the wrong way!?


I remember when PRS first released lefty guitars (around '98 or '99) they and the magazine reviewers wouldn't shut up about the reverse pots and knobs, I think that was the first time I thought about it. Haven't thought about it much in the time since either, I suppose.

You can wire linear pots differently to do this, simply using non-numbered knobs with those would help though you can order mirrored knobs in most styles now.
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Thom
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Location: Exeter, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paul_ wrote:
Freddy V-C wrote:
Looks amazing! I had never even considered that knobs/pots would be the wrong way around on cheaper lefty guitars. Does that mean your Jaguar has them the wrong way!?


I remember when PRS first released lefty guitars (around '98 or '99) they and the magazine reviewers wouldn't shut up about the reverse pots and knobs, I think that was the first time I thought about it. Haven't thought about it much in the time since either, I suppose.

You can wire linear pots differently to do this, simply using non-numbered knobs with those would help though you can order mirrored knobs in most styles now.

Yeah wrong pots on my Jag Freddy! I mean they turn the "right" way but the taper was wrong. I've put linear pots in most my guitars and done what Paul suggests, but it's not quite the same as these reverse log pots. Is quite lucky that Jag/Mustang knobs have no numbers really. I'll get round to changing my strat knobs one day!
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