Best Replacement Trem Unit For Jazzmaster

jnewmark

Member
Messages
198
I recently purchased a 60's Lacquer JM from Chicago Music Exchange and I really like it but not too thrilled with the stock trem unit. It doesn't fall out or anything, in fact its a little stiff, but it makes a " clanking " noise if I use it in both directions ( up and down ) that is annoying. I've got it in as far as it will go, but it doesn't seem to " lock " in with a definite click. Is this normal ? I'm a bass player by trade, and the JM is just a fun guitar for me, not going to gig with it at all. Is there a drop in after market trem unit that would work smoother/quieter for this model JM ? Also, what is a good gauge string to use for the JM, and should I go old school with flats for that authentic Ventures tone ? Any help, tips etc. much appreciated.
 

DiAmoroso

Member
Messages
418
I would go with an American Fender trem or a Mastery. Both should drop in no problem, I believe. For Jazzmasters if you have it set up correctly you should be fine with any guage 10s or above, so what ever feels good for you. I have used Thomastik flats on many guitars with great results, I would also suggest you give those a try.
 

jnewmark

Member
Messages
198
You said you have it all the way in, does that mean tension-screw screwed tight? There's a chance that floating it evenly could smooth it out, and fix the clanking. Yours doesn't lock, just the ones with the round button tab.

If yours is settable, keep it, but I've had great luck with two AVRI tailpieces, functionally and tonally.
https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/25516-diy-how-to-set-up-jazzmasters-jaguars?page=4
There is no adjustment as far as I can tell. Not sure what you mean by " floating " ? It is not tension screw tight, I just pushed it in as far as it would go. By stiff I mean the up and down movement.
 

flume

Double Platinum Member
Messages
6,605
Interested in this.

Doesn’t the arm twist in? Instead of pushing in? Of course I want to have it stay put not flopping around like a flaccid pendulous member. And when I’m ready to put back in case I would remove the arm instead of forcing the lid shut and having the bar stay depressed while in the case as I’ve seen an idiot I used to know do with a shrug.
 

Dr. Tinnitus

Member
Messages
2,861
There is no adjustment as far as I can tell. Not sure what you mean by " floating " ? It is not tension screw tight, I just pushed it in as far as it would go. By stiff I mean the up and down movement.
Have you removed it from the guitar?

You should be able to adjust it. Take a look at a YouTube video.
 

Hulakatt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,587
The Mastery stuff is awesome for the Fender offsets and yes, you should throw some flatwounds on there for that Ventures tone! I liked flatwound 11's myself IIRC.
 

jnewmark

Member
Messages
198
Interested in this.

Doesn’t the arm twist in? Instead of pushing in? Of course I want to have it stay put not flopping around like a flaccid pendulous member. And when I’m ready to put back in case I would remove the arm instead of forcing the lid shut and having the bar stay depressed while in the case as I’ve seen an idiot I used to know do with a shrug.
No, it is not threaded as such to " screw in ", it just gets pushed in. Easy to remove by pulling up on it.
 

jnewmark

Member
Messages
198
The Mastery stuff is awesome for the Fender offsets and yes, you should throw some flatwounds on there for that Ventures tone! I liked flatwound 11's myself IIRC.
Any particular brand ? I was actually thinking about some half wounds.
 
Messages
760
On a related note, does anyone know if the trem in a CPJM is the same mechanically as the AVRI? The CPJM trem arm threads in, which is nice, but I've got the funny clank too.
 

jnewmark

Member
Messages
198
On a related note, does anyone know if the trem in a CPJM is the same mechanically as the AVRI? The CPJM trem arm threads in, which is nice, but I've got the funny clank too.
Dunno, but from what I've noticed, at least on my '60's lacquer, it is the part that the arm gets pushed on to that is actually making the " clanking " sound, as it moves up and down when using the arm, not the arm per se. At least, that's the way it sounds to me.
 

adamrobertt

Member
Messages
96
No, it is not threaded as such to " screw in ", it just gets pushed in. Easy to remove by pulling up on it.
You just need to push harder on it. When they're new it can be difficult to get the arm in. Push harder than you think you need to. It should definitely "click" into position and be somewhat difficult to remove when it's properly seated.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,457
I recently purchased a 60's Lacquer JM from Chicago Music Exchange and I really like it but not too thrilled with the stock trem unit. It doesn't fall out or anything, in fact its a little stiff, but it makes a " clanking " noise if I use it in both directions ( up and down ) that is annoying. I've got it in as far as it will go, but it doesn't seem to " lock " in with a definite click. Is this normal ? I'm a bass player by trade, and the JM is just a fun guitar for me, not going to gig with it at all. Is there a drop in after market trem unit that would work smoother/quieter for this model JM ? Also, what is a good gauge string to use for the JM, and should I go old school with flats for that authentic Ventures tone ? Any help, tips etc. much appreciated.
Yeah, they are not necessarily tight enough to stay where you left them. And they can clank a bit. Some of the older ones were really bad -- the arms would just fall out. Mastery makes the best offset vibrato I have tried (IMO.) Mastery is an improvement but the vintage ones and the best modern ones by Fender are totally usable though IMO:

Left to right: Vintage Fender - Mastery - Modern American Vintage

Some of the Japanese Fenders I owned had pretty noisy/loose arms.

I use roundwound 11s on all my offsets. But if you find you prefer another set, go with that.
 
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eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,457
Doesn’t the arm twist in? Instead of pushing in? Of course I want to have it stay put not flopping around like a flaccid pendulous member.
All mine push in. Screw in is not unheard of but I think of that as generally being an import thing.

And when I’m ready to put back in case I would remove the arm instead of forcing the lid shut and having the bar stay depressed while in the case as I’ve seen an idiot I used to know do with a shrug.
You should leave the push arms in (assuming you use the vibrato.) In fact, the Mastery arm is not even removable. You just need to point the arm to the correct corner of the case and it closes without force. Removing and installing the arm constantly is one of the best ways to get a loose and clanky vibrato. Didn't we already have this conversation a few days ago regarding the Mastery… or was that somebody else?
 

flume

Double Platinum Member
Messages
6,605
There have been several threads running on similar issues. I understand about the swivel and aim the arm so clearance is assured. Makes sense if there’s room to do so.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,457
There have been several threads running on similar issues. I understand about the swivel and aim the arm so clearance is assured. Makes sense if there’s room to do so.
Orient it to the corner of the case -- over the lower bout, facing away from the tone knob (ie over the armpit contour) and it closes without force. With mine, it will depress the arm enough when the case is closed to make the low E about 1/4 tone sharp. Totally normal range of operation. I have done this for over 20 years and it's worked great with the offsets I have owned.
 

jnewmark

Member
Messages
198
You just need to push harder on it. When they're new it can be difficult to get the arm in. Push harder than you think you need to. It should definitely "click" into position and be somewhat difficult to remove when it's properly seated.
I've pushed hard enough short of whacking it with something. Doesn't seem to do much.
 




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