NGD: Wildwood 10 Relic Ready Jazzmaster
Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:39 pm
I've been dreaming of one of these Wildwood 10's for a while now, and when I saw that these Relic Ready JM's have the RSD bridge and looked to have enough of an increased neck angle so that I wouldn't have to necessarily shim, and also replace the bridge most likely, and that they didn't look like something that someone dragged behind a tractor, I was GAS'ing hard. But don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with shimming, actually I think it is a given with many JM's if you want to improve the playability and sound. And now with the StewMac shims, it is sort of a no brainer. My other CS JM has a .5 deg shim in it from Stew Mac as we speak.
My other Jazzmaster is a CS 64 Closet Classic Reissue with a 7.25" radius which is a really cool guitar, but I really do prefer a flatter neck radius (9.5" to 12" would be perfect for me) and I figured that 10" would be perfect. It's also a real nice and full .86"/.98" C profile. Well, no doubt about it, I think I have found my perfect neck, for real.
Yes the maple neck! Well I have a partscaster Strat with a maple neck, and I've always wanted another maple neck guitar, as all of my others are mostly rosewood, with one ebony board, and why not a Jazzmaster with a maple neck I said to myself.
The pickups are Custom shop hand wound Jazzmaster pickups. I am not sure what the specs are but they are superb sounding. Good clarity, chime, and punchy twang! It may be that RSD bridge, as well as the pickups, but this Jazzmaster is a tonal beast, it's got it all sonically speaking. Very loud acoustic resonance as well. Nice weight at 7.93 lbs too.
Is this Jazzmaster too bright with that maple neck you may ask. Well, first of all I'm not convinced that a maple board is noticeably brighter than rosewood. My experience tells me that this is not generally the case. I think electronics and hardware factor much more into it. My CS 64 Closet Classic, with a rosewood board, is about the same in the brightness department. I play both with the volume at 7-8 and tone at 6-7. Maayyybe, the Wildwood 10 is a tad brighter...I may put the tone at 6.5 instead of 7...but it is such a subtle difference. The Relic Ready does seem to have a bit more attack and snappiness, but that could also be due to the bridge, or even the way I've set it up with a straighter neck relief and do to the fatter, stiffer neck . Anyway, it sounds glorious, I'm totally honeymooning in tonal nirvana.
I am also very pleased with the RSD bridge. Absolutely no rattles or buzzes come, or will ever come I don't think, from this bridge. It is built like a damn tank and rock solid. It does float, but on first impressions, not nearly as much as the more traditional JM bridges. I suspect that it is responsible for a tad more sustain and punchy twang in the tone. The guitar still chimes brilliantly, it is still a Jazzmaster after all.
Aesthetically, I was put off initially, some time ago, when I first saw these RSD bridges. However I think it looks fine now, as it grew on me. In any case I think the CS ought to sell these things as they are so well made, without any pieces that may rattle.
Lastly, I can't say enough good things about Bruce Beard at Wildwood Guitars. He gave me a super price on the guitar, so good, I couldn't pass it up. I was interested in 3 JM's, two Relic Readies and a Journeyman, and Bruce get Greg Koch to do a shootout video between the 3 which they sent to me. How cool was that! Actually, Greg also ended up playing this guitar for a long time on the last Wildwood live broadcast on Fakebook if you are interested in hearing it, and seeing it totally manhandled by the Mansquatch himself (he starts off with a Strat then goes to the JM for the rest). I could link it if anyone is interested.
Well, I thought I would share the story, keep feelin' groovy y'all!