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jazzmaster help

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by wattsup32, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. wattsup32

    wattsup32 Member

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    i have my heart set on getting a jazzmaster. i'd like to get an older one and have some very specific features in mind (daphe blue, red tortoise shell pickguard, rectangle inlays, matching headstock).

    questions: how would i go about finding something so specific? would it be better to get a new one? would it be better to get the fender custom shop to make one for me? does fender even make any good instruments in the custom shop any more? what is the range i can expect to spend on the various options (old, new, new custom shop)?

    sorry for all the questions. you all know so much more than i do, i thought i would exploit your knowledge. much appreciation.

    shawn
     
  2. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I think you'd have a hell of a time finding a vintage guitar with those exact features. If you did, you'd be paying top dollar for it, if only because any seller with half a brain would sense that you are looking for such a specific item, and price accordingly. You'd certainly be better off going Custom Shop, pricewise, and I think the quality would be quite good. And you'd be assured of getting what you want.

    All that being said, were I do want such a specific instrument, I'd probably look to assembling it from pre-existing parts, or adapting a Japanese Fender with the block inlay neck. It would be less expensive than either vintage or Custom shop, but more of a gamble -- but you'd have almost as much control over the parts as a Custom Shop instrument. Carefully choose your parts, get good wiring, put some AV62 RI pickups or Lollars in, and I'm sure it'd be a good instrument, possibly even a great instrument.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'd look for an original tortoise-guard 1966 or later (that's the block-markers period) Jazzmaster in already refinished or stripped - but otherwise complete - condition, and have it refinished professionally in Daphne Blue. Jazzmasters in this state are sadly very common and not at all expensive, and by having a pro refinish on a guitar which has already lost its original, you aren't devaluing it any further... actually most likely the opposite if you have it well done on one that looks a mess now.

    Then you'll have a real vintage Jazzmaster with the genuine tone and vibe, and it will probably cost you less than a Custom Shop one.
     
  4. mezcalhead

    mezcalhead Member

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    Yeah, I agree with John. I'm restoring two pre-CBS Jazzmasters (a '61 and a '62) at the moment, and the total price for both will still be less than one new CS Masterbuilt guitar. Both mine were stripped, one varnished over the natural wood which was a cool thing to do in the 70s - stripped JMs are quite common.

    Although adapting a Japanese '66 RI would also be not too hard to do and they're a perfectly good guitar. AFAIK they don't do Daphne Blue so you'd need a refinish, otherwise you're pretty much there already. Most people upgrade the pups as Crazyquilt said, but you wouldn't need to do that straight away.
     
  5. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I didn't even think of doing a refin. :jo I agree--that'd probably be the best way to go.
     
  6. wattsup32

    wattsup32 Member

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    Thanks for your expertise.

    Let me make sure I have this right: Find an original JM '66 or later to get the block inlays, strip it (if it is not already) and have it refinished? Maybe upgrade the pups?

    I can't wait. Now, how do i go about finding one (besides ebay)? And, know any good refinishers in the NY/NJ area?
     
  7. fatback

    fatback Member

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    I'm with John and Mezcalhead...

    Early 60's stripped or refinned Jazzmasters can be had for half the cost of a new cs model. I found one off Gbase last year.
     
  8. mezcalhead

    mezcalhead Member

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    Er .. not exactly. Don't buy a vintage JM with an original finish because it will cost twice the money and you'll lose quite a bit of value when you refinish it (and it's uncool!). Look for one that has already been stripped or that has an amateur refinish, that'll be cheaper than even a good-looking pro refin.

    If you buy Japanese, I wouldn't hesitate to refinish. They're not worth so much, and the original finish is poly.

    You may want to upgrade the pups of a Japanese reissue, but the vintage JM pups are a marvel and I doubt you'll want to change them out.

    I got both my recent refins on Ebay. You can get new CIJ JMs via Ishibashi, or also on Ebay, quite reasonably.
     
  9. fatback

    fatback Member

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    wattsup, I sent you a Jazzmaster related email...
     
  10. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    i completely agree, plus i do not think Daphne Blue jazzmasters ever came with shell guards, i could be wrong, also i have not seen too many custom color cbs era(block inlay) jazzmasters, i would look for ugly refins and have a pro refin it in daphine blue. good luck!
     
  11. johnmfer

    johnmfer Member

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    You could also get Warmoth or USACG make all the parts for you and finish it for in the $1200 - $1300 range. Actually, I'm not sure if USACG could do the block inlays or not, but I know Warmoth will do it.
     

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