Idea for a Partsmaster...wood suggestions

mattymel

Member
Messages
1,415
Hey y'all. Full disclosure...I've never built anything before but I have been obsessing about a parts guitar project for a while. My latest idea is a Jazzmaster inspired by this photo I saw. Mainly a Jazzmaster with Firebird pickups.



I honestly haven't played that many Jazzmasters but I know the basics. I'm thinking of sticking with the basic format but with the secret ingredient of Lollar Firebird pickups (of which I am a big fan, via playing my buddy's FB).

Leaning towards using the Mastery bridge and trem I hear everyone raving about. Basically using all very nice hardware/etc. and hoping to simplify the wiring to a more Firebird like setup (none of the scary Jazzmaster tone wheels, basically like the pic).

Im unsure on 2 areas. ...I'm wondering if I should stick with the standard alder Jazzmaster body (hopefully routed specifically for firebird/mini humbuckers to keep with the look of the photo), or if perhaps a darker tone wood (perhaps mahogany) might be a better fit with the Firebird pickups?

From what little I know of the standard JM pickups, they are like "lite" p90s. Something between a fat strat pickup and a p90? Whereas FB pickups are kind of their own world. Basically a snappier mini humbucker. Might a FB pup be a little bright with an alder body?

I know it's really a matter of what I am hoping for soundwise. So, if I had my ideal, I would say I am hoping for the mojo/trem/cool looks of a Jazzmaster with some of snap and bite of a good Firebird guitar, minus the neck thru and crazy headstock.

Second concern being, where I should go for the body/neck? I am leaning towards finding all the parts I need and then paying a much more qualified tech to put it together for me and work on the frets/setup.

I realize it will likely end up costing me about as much as a boutique type Fano/Nash/etc. but it's worth it to me to get all the appts I'm after (FB pups, Mastery, non trad wiring, etc.). Then again, if anyone can recommend someone that specializes in parts guitars and will give me everything I want (no weird looking headstocks etc.) I'm all ears and would be willing to pay a little more for the extra touch.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Torren61

Member
Messages
2,035
This is your first assembly/build? My advice is to completely disassemble a Strat and reassemble it several times. I mean completely take it apart, including wiring. De-solder the pots and everything so you have a big ole pile of parts and then put that sucker back together and set it up so that it plays really well.

BUT... if you wanna do it your way, start here for your body:

http://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Bodies/BodyBuilder.aspx?style=70

You can buy a neck from them as well. I had a neck made and they do great work.

If you go through Warmoth, you can get exactly what you want. You can pick out the wood you want and make it something REALLY special. You should be able to source the hardware easily enough.
 

Torren61

Member
Messages
2,035
I just built an unfinished body like you want on their website to see what it costs and it cost me $245 before tax and shipping and all that. Finished adds $230. Total makes it about $500. Depending on what you want for the neck, that's gonna cost about $600 going by what the guitar in the picture has. Bridge kit from Mastery... $400. Pups... $400. Pots and caps... I like EVH pots and Sprague Black Beauty caps. About $200. Assembly and set up by a tech cost is unknown.

You're over $2000 before you get a tech to put it together and you still need a hard shell case. Is that within your budget?
 

mattymel

Member
Messages
1,415
I mean, I've taken guitars apart before. Set them up, soldered pickups, caps, etc. But I still don't know much as far as making a guitar feel great. Thats on the higher end of what I was expecting. I have heard mixed reviews of Warmoth. One of the reasons I started this post...because they seem to be the only ones that offer exactly what I want from their website. I'm sure there has to be someone else, but none that list that routing option on their site. MJT sounds promising though.
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,222
Alder is fine, mahogany in this size body would likely weight a great deal. Alder is fine with firebirds, use them all the time.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,994
Hey y'all. Full disclosure...I've never built anything before but I have been obsessing about a parts guitar project for a while. My latest idea is a Jazzmaster inspired by this photo I saw. Mainly a Jazzmaster with Firebird pickups.



I honestly haven't played that many Jazzmasters but I know the basics. I'm thinking of sticking with the basic format but with the secret ingredient of Lollar Firebird pickups (of which I am a big fan, via playing my buddy's FB).

Leaning towards using the Mastery bridge and trem I hear everyone raving about. Basically using all very nice hardware/etc. and hoping to simplify the wiring to a more Firebird like setup (none of the scary Jazzmaster tone wheels, basically like the pic).

Im unsure on 2 areas. ...I'm wondering if I should stick with the standard alder Jazzmaster body (hopefully routed specifically for firebird/mini humbuckers to keep with the look of the photo), or if perhaps a darker tone wood (perhaps mahogany) might be a better fit with the Firebird pickups?

From what little I know of the standard JM pickups, they are like "lite" p90s. Something between a fat strat pickup and a p90? Whereas FB pickups are kind of their own world. Basically a snappier mini humbucker. Might a FB pup be a little bright with an alder body?

I know it's really a matter of what I am hoping for soundwise. So, if I had my ideal, I would say I am hoping for the mojo/trem/cool looks of a Jazzmaster with some of snap and bite of a good Firebird guitar, minus the neck thru and crazy headstock.

Second concern being, where I should go for the body/neck? I am leaning towards finding all the parts I need and then paying a much more qualified tech to put it together for me and work on the frets/setup.

I realize it will likely end up costing me about as much as a boutique type Fano/Nash/etc. but it's worth it to me to get all the appts I'm after (FB pups, Mastery, non trad wiring, etc.). Then again, if anyone can recommend someone that specializes in parts guitars and will give me everything I want (no weird looking headstocks etc.) I'm all ears and would be willing to pay a little more for the extra touch.

Thanks!

You might look at a Kauer Arcturous. Doug's king of the offset guitars...does a lot with Mini's and mastery bridges.
If you're going to roll your own, I'd likely do warmoth.

I'd probably think about mahogany..or if you want a little more snap, Black limba. Alder does sound good with Mini's too though. And is easier to finish.
 

mattymel

Member
Messages
1,415
Cool. I'm leaning towards alder as I want to keep it a fender vibe. And I don't think I've ever heard of a mahogany body with a different wood neck.

I have been checking out Kauer. Very cool stuff. Love the looks of their firebird and Jazzmaster styles.
 




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