Setting up my Jazzmaster for the first time

For help with setups and other technical issues.
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jorri
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Re: Setting up my Jazzmaster for the first time

Post by jorri » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:41 am

I've always done it at last Fret.
Except on acoustics for some reason.
Just checked the article and it says either.
Makes some more sense to use where it meets the neck as the curve will not really effect the bolted part.
However, it will record different measurements.

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adamrobertt
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Re: Setting up my Jazzmaster for the first time

Post by adamrobertt » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:28 am

It doesn't really matter too much where you press down, the idea is just to get the string down to fret level so you can measure the gap. You don't measure the gap at the 17th (or 21st) fret - you measure at the 8th fret or so - that's where maximum relief will be. You just don't want to be pressing down too close to where you'll be measuring or you'll skew your results.

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Re: Setting up my Jazzmaster for the first time

Post by seawalker » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:52 pm

I've always pressed it at the last fret and measured the gap between the string and the top of the 8th fret, but maybe pressing at the fret where the neck meets the body would be better. Normally I need higher measurements than are suggested in these articles to achieve a buzz-free action.

This has been an interesting thread, thanks for posting it and I look forward to reading more.

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Re: Setting up my Jazzmaster for the first time

Post by timtam » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:08 pm

Fretting where the neck meets the body for relief measurement is often recommended for acoustics, and last fret for electrics. That's because the truss rod stops earlier, and assumes that the neck profile can change at that point more so on an acoustic than an electric (which may not always be the case). If you have a good long straight edge, you can lay it over all the frets for a clearer indication of regional variation in fret profile/relief. But at the end of the day what you want is a slight concave curve / small amount of relief, greatest around the middle of the neck.

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Re: Setting up my Jazzmaster for the first time

Post by adamrobertt » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:00 am

seawalker wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:52 pm
Normally I need higher measurements than are suggested in these articles to achieve a buzz-free action.
Not me. I usually set up to Fender spec and am happy with it. String gauge does play a role, as well as fret size. Also I think people have varying thresholds for what constitutes "acceptable" levels of buzz. Basically, I am OK with a tiny bit of buzz on the lower frets if you can't hear it through an amp. Some people want their guitars to be 100% buzz free, which IMO is a somewhat impossible goal. YMMV

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Re: Setting up my Jazzmaster for the first time

Post by jorri » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:50 am

I take those Fender measurements as starting points.
Have a hard, slightly jazz influenced, and slide use, so higher is good maybe bit lower than 2-2.4mm.

Also,whilst standard Fret buzz from playing may be there... "fretting out" is probably a bad sign in need of a fix at the lower Fender suggestions particularly on singular frets.

What I mean by fretting out is when the note is obviously choked, failing to sound by the amount of buzz. It affects the actual note to a point of being dampened.

A little 'playing buzz' is fine to me. Most will not come through the amp. I have it high mainly for feel and sound. I actually find it easier to play against resistance and done really like bending notes.

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Re: Setting up my Jazzmaster for the first time

Post by kgbAttack » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:29 am

seawalker wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:52 pm
This has been an interesting thread, thanks for posting it and I look forward to reading more.
Thank you! Unfortunately I can only work on the guitar on weekends - between increased workload due to Covid-19 and my studies I can barely find time to play.

Anyway, I think I managed to get the guitar back to playable conditions - I removed the neck again and tightened it less than a quarter of a turn. I actually loosened it before doing so - I bought the two Erlewine's books and there it says to remove the nut entirely and lubricate it with vaseline, but didn't feel like doing it as it seemed overdoing it since the guitar is just a few (3) years old . Anyway no squeaks or clicks heard while turning it by this small amount.

Now relief, measured between first and last fret, is at .010" - consistent with specs for 9"5 radius necks. I hear a bit of buzz above 15th fret but I consider this to be normal and my playing style isn't very hard when I play at these frets.

Action is a lot lower than before changing the strings - it's approximately .060" on high E and < .070" at low E. This is way better than the action I had with the stock strings - compared to the original setup without shim the bridge had to raised about 1mm - I haven't adjusted the pickups yet, I think I will keep them like this for now but will check if I need to raise them a tiny bit.

Also, before tuning the low E back I turned the ball end and now the buzz against the vibrato screw is gone. Phew!

Last thing I did was the trick to snug the neck in its pocket by loosening bolt screws, tuning to pitch, tightening the screws back, and tuning to pitch again. I'm not sure it really adds more sustain, but didn't seem to hurt.

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