'59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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jazzbro
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'59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by jazzbro » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:44 am

I've posted this one before.

Image[url=https://flic.kr/p/2jh8F5b]

A few things when I got it a couple of months ago;
- extra string tree added later
- tuners had been replaced - not great
- frets were pretty much gone
- replacement copy bridge

Everything else original and looking good.

So I took it to a tech, replaced the tuners with something at least vintage appropriate, removed the extra string tree, refret (level and shim were good).

String tree fix -
Before
Image
After
Image

Tuner replace -
Before
Image
After
Image

Refret -
Before
Image
After
Image

Still wondering what to do with the bridge or whether to bother. It looks okay - not original or totally right but will probably leave it as it's close.

I've tried to put the mods back to near-original. What happens is the left-over holes, tuner peg ring marks etc become more visible. No getting around that. The hole-filling isn't perfect and may need a little more work. I still prefer it to leaving it as I got it.
Last edited by jazzbro on Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by Kinx » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:22 am

Get a Mastery or a Staytrem bridge, you won't regret it. I switched from Staytrem to Mastery recently on my '72 JM and they are both great - however Mastery offers more tweakability in regards of radius adjustment (a must have for my recently refretted guitar) and is generally easier to purchase.
Check out my band, The Atavists ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG-HZtrljMg

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by adamrobertt » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:47 am

Mastery is overrated, Staytrem or die.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by mbene085 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:52 am

I think I might actually have a spare vintage bridge if you're looking to restore it.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:44 am

adamrobertt wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:47 am
Mastery is overrated, Staytrem or die.
Got my first Staytrem a few weeks ago, and I agree. Intonation is now spot on and was easy to set in playing position. It does sound a bit different than the vintage-style stock bridge, but for the better IMO. A little more focused, and allows the voice of the guitar to really come through.
Last edited by marqueemoon on Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by Axolotl » Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:47 pm

Agree on Staytrem.I have them in all my vintage offsets. FWIW, I had put the original bridge back on my 66 Jazzmaster for a while to see if I could get along with it, and while it was ok once I put the staytrem back made a world of a difference. Intonation, sound and feel are so much better for me.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by jazzbro » Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:54 am

Staytrem is really tough to get if you're not in the UK.
mbene085 wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:52 am
I think I might actually have a spare vintage bridge if you're looking to restore it.
PM me with what you'd like for the original bridge.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by Pacafeliz » Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:07 am

I would have left the Schaller tuners on it. I'm by now slapping them on EVERYTHING. And since yours already had the holes...

But man that's a nice guitar. Drooling with envy
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by jazzbro » Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:42 am

Pacafeliz wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:07 am
I would have left the Schaller tuners on it. I'm by now slapping them on EVERYTHING. And since yours already had the holes...

But man that's a nice guitar. Drooling with envy
Yeah - thought of keeping them on they just don't look right to me. I can always put them back on though. Both holes would still be there.
The color match on the fills didn't turn out that great. :-/

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by Kinx » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:04 am

adamrobertt wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:47 am
Mastery is overrated, Staytrem or die.
Staytrem is more bulletproof to setup, but I actually prefer Mastery for its tweakability. Btw biggest sound difference between Mastery vs Staytrem is the way strings sound behind the bridge - overtones behind the bridge are much louder with Mastery.
Check out my band, The Atavists ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG-HZtrljMg

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by adamrobertt » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:55 am

Kinx wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:04 am
adamrobertt wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:47 am
Mastery is overrated, Staytrem or die.
Staytrem is more bulletproof to setup, but I actually prefer Mastery for its tweakability. Btw biggest sound difference between Mastery vs Staytrem is the way strings sound behind the bridge - overtones behind the bridge are much louder with Mastery.
I don't like the Mastery for a variety of reasons:

- It's ugly
- It actually suffers many of the same problems as the original bridges (sinking screws, annoying vibrations)... the only one it really solves is string jumping, and a good setup can already take care of that
- Makes the guitar sound too different, and un-offset like IMO
- Makes the vibrato feel weird and sound less subtle

A Staytrem (or any good Mustang style bridge, really) and a good setup are all anyone really needs.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by jazzbro » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:47 am

Is there an argument for the Johnny Marr bridge over the StayTrem? (Other than the fact that you can't really get a StayTreM??)
The Marr bridge comes in the right radius and string spacing for a vintage JM.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by adamrobertt » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:08 am

jazzbro wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:47 am
Is there an argument for the Johnny Marr bridge over the StayTrem? (Other than the fact that you can't really get a StayTreM??)
The Marr bridge comes in the right radius and string spacing for a vintage JM.
No, espeically if you're in the US the JM bridge is the way to go. I believe it was designed with the guy from Staytrem.

I sprung for an absurdly upmarked Staytrem (I'm also in the US) off of Reverb because my Jazzmasters have 9.5'' necks. Otherwise I would have saved the money and gotten the JM bridge.

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by Kinx » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:19 am

adamrobertt wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:55 am
Kinx wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:04 am
adamrobertt wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:47 am
Mastery is overrated, Staytrem or die.
Staytrem is more bulletproof to setup, but I actually prefer Mastery for its tweakability. Btw biggest sound difference between Mastery vs Staytrem is the way strings sound behind the bridge - overtones behind the bridge are much louder with Mastery.
I don't like the Mastery for a variety of reasons:

- It's ugly
- It actually suffers many of the same problems as the original bridges (sinking screws, annoying vibrations)... the only one it really solves is string jumping, and a good setup can already take care of that
- Makes the guitar sound too different, and un-offset like IMO
- Makes the vibrato feel weird and sound less subtle

A Staytrem (or any good Mustang style bridge, really) and a good setup are all anyone really needs.
- ugliness is a matter of taste, I actually don't mind the techno looks.
- I've already done some gigs (I installed the mastery about two months ago) with it and play the guitar regullary every day - I didn't notice the screw sinkage at all yet (I always had to readjust the original bridge almost every time before playing the guitar), it rattles slightly more than Staytrem, but way, way less than the original vintage bridge.
- as I mentioned, the sound difference is pretty subtle in my case ('72 JM). Most noticeable difference is behind the bridge. Still sounds pretty offsety to me :))
- The vibrato feels pretty much same, despite the restricted rocking movement of the bridge. The feeling of the vibrato is more about setup of the vibrato spring than the bridge IMO.

the main reason I went from Staytrem to Mastery is actually the setup - my JM underwent a terrible refret job in some point of its life and the idiot who did it plained the fretboard a lot on some places - the fretboard radius was all over the place, imagine the worst possible case of "compound radius". I had it refretted recently and despite all the effort, due to the fretboard being thinned out, radius is now about 10" (I actually like it that way) . I decided to try the Mastery, since my Staytrem is 7.25" and I don't regret it at all - quite the opposite really.
Check out my band, The Atavists ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG-HZtrljMg

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Re: '59 JM - Putting it Right(?)

Post by adamrobertt » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:39 am

Kinx wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:19 am
adamrobertt wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:55 am
Kinx wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:04 am


Staytrem is more bulletproof to setup, but I actually prefer Mastery for its tweakability. Btw biggest sound difference between Mastery vs Staytrem is the way strings sound behind the bridge - overtones behind the bridge are much louder with Mastery.
I don't like the Mastery for a variety of reasons:

- It's ugly
- It actually suffers many of the same problems as the original bridges (sinking screws, annoying vibrations)... the only one it really solves is string jumping, and a good setup can already take care of that
- Makes the guitar sound too different, and un-offset like IMO
- Makes the vibrato feel weird and sound less subtle

A Staytrem (or any good Mustang style bridge, really) and a good setup are all anyone really needs.
- ugliness is a matter of taste, I actually don't mind the techno looks.
- I've already done some gigs (I installed the mastery about two months ago) with it and play the guitar regullary every day - I didn't notice the screw sinkage at all yet (I always had to readjust the original bridge almost every time before playing the guitar), it rattles slightly more than Staytrem, but way, way less than the original vintage bridge.
- as I mentioned, the sound difference is pretty subtle in my case ('72 JM). Most noticeable difference is behind the bridge. Still sounds pretty offsety to me :))
- The vibrato feels pretty much same, despite the restricted rocking movement of the bridge. The feeling of the vibrato is more about setup of the vibrato spring than the bridge IMO.

the main reason I went from Staytrem to Mastery is actually the setup - my JM underwent a terrible refret job in some point of its life and the idiot who did it plained the fretboard a lot on some places - the fretboard radius was all over the place, imagine the worst possible case of "compound radius". I had it refretted recently and despite all the effort, due to the fretboard being thinned out, radius is now about 10" (I actually like it that way) . I decided to try the Mastery, since my Staytrem is 7.25" and I don't regret it at all - quite the opposite really.
Obviously most of it is a matter of personal preference, but the vibrato ABSOLUTELY does not feel the same on a Mastery vs. a rocking bridge. Has nothing to do with the spring. I'm a heavy vibrato user and I've had 3 Jazzmasters with Mastery bridges and probably another 3-4 with Staytrems/Mustang bridges... I'm not just pulling this out of my ass. There is a noticeable difference. Whether or not that difference matters to you is another story.

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