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January 4, 2011

My new Jazzmaster

Well, I figured I needed a Christmas present to myself and since I never get to work on my own stuff 'cause I'm so busy with fixing everyone elses stuff, I thought I'd make myself a guitar for my band, Midget Pillion.
The outline was easy. I needed a back up or something similar to my Jazzmaster I currently use for guitar and bass. I started with a nice solid ash body that had been here for some time. A quick clean up and some routing and it was ready to go. I use a widerange humbucker in my other JM and love the sound of that combination, so the bridge was already decided (although a good P-90 was VERY tempting) but the neck pick up wasn't so straight forward. I have a Tele with a Filtertron in the neck and love that so I thought "let's try that"

I may or may not be fitting a bass pick up to this one as I'm writing some songs that may just have drone/noise guitar under the chords so this mod is still open. I cut the scratchplate and added the Jag chrome control plate for something different and ran the pick ups to 2 output jacks. One volume and toggle switch is all I need.

The bridge is my second favorite bridge type being the Bigsby aluminium type. These have a tone like nothing else and as long as you can get the intonation right (like my first favorite, the wrap around) they sound AMAZING. They do prefer heavier strings and I use 11-54's on all my 25.5" guitars which works well with this bridge. I considered a Bigsby vibrato too, but set up properly, the JM vibrato is a great, underrated one. I constantly push the arm to the body on my other JM and it always comes back to tune. I run the bass E string through the baseplate so it doesn't change pitch with the rest of the strings.

I remember talking to J Mascis years ago about a maple fretbaord Jazzmaster and how he'd always wanted one for the clarity of the maple. I shaved this neck down to nothing (38mm at the nut) like a Mosrite neck and fitted it to the solid ash body.

The result is awesome and just what I wanted. The light ash body combined with the maple fretboard neck and Bigsby type bridge makes it very responsive and "sharp". The Filtertron sounds amazing. I just need to get it into a practice room and through my pedal boards. Looking forward to some good shows this year 2011. OK, back to work ............


  1. looks great tim!

    i'm a big fan of maple necks too and wish they were an easier to obtain option for more guitars.

  2. Yeah, I used to hate them. They're not hard to get for any 25.5" scale guitar.

  3. Tim - this is awesome. if you do ever start 'producing' these beasts I'll be first in line with my chequebook :)