Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by Larsongs » Sat May 23, 2020 5:18 am

mbene085 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 9:15 pm
Larsongs wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:35 pm
I've tried a few different JM's.. They all needed something... I finally bought an AV65 Jazzmaster.. New Strings & Set up to my liking... Needs nothing... Except to be played!
You've got me there. I got my av65 used, and it didn't even need a setup. It was just instantly the most sublime JM I've ever played. Fender knocked it out of the park with those.
All the Lower end Offshore built JM's I'd bought had QC issues. From broken or inoperable Controls to a warped Neck. They were all brand new.

When I got my AV65 it didn't need a Setup or Strings to be perfectly Set up to Factory Specs.. But, when I buy a new Guitar I put new Strings & do a Set up. I like my Action lower than Factory Spec on most Guitars...

My AV65 plays Sweet.. I was so impressed with it I saved up & bought an AV65 Jaguar.. It is built with the same level of excellence as the AV65 Jazzmasters..

I can't see any need to change anything on either one of them..... Fender did knock it out of the Park on those!

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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by Debaser » Sat May 23, 2020 8:21 am

hamletpowpowpow wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:00 pm
Ideally I'm hoping to score a black AVRI 62, but I'll admit I'm getting impatient, and I've been looking at the Mod Shop American Pros...
I've had so many negative experiences with "vintage" guitars, that the idea of a brand new, modernized Jazzmaster sounds pretty appealing. I've also seen a ton of experienced Jazzmaster fans call it "boring" and "uninspired." :bored:

I've been burned by Fender a lot in the past, and the problems I read about various JMs kind of jive with that: weak pick-ups, cheap electronics and hardware. Bear in mind, the "nicest" Fender I've ever owned was a 1970 Mustang, and it wasn't that great of an instrument. Looked gorgeous and felt fantastic, but played terribly. So I moved on, got into things like Travis Bean, spent my money there.

I've never played an actual "great" Fender, but I know they're out there and that people love them. I've always wanted a JM (and maybe a strat), so here we are.

But yeah, I've heard from so many people that getting a mastery, changing the pots to 500, getting new pick-ups, all make a huge difference. I've seen MIJ's go for around $1100-$1400 lately. It seems crazy to put another $700 into that. If an AVRI or Custom Shop rocks as is, I'd instead put my money there.
“Experienced Jazzmaster fans” is kind of a wide category there, and I wouldn’t trust any of those guys! :freako:

Jokes aside, I understand not wanting to buy an expensive guitar that you turn around and basically change up with added parts to make it then ideal. I’ve been there and done that, with cheap and expensive husks/bones. Yeah, CS will make what you want, but it seems you don’t know exactly what that is, because it’s all the rehash, echo chamber “mastery, new pickups, harness” mantra. If you haven’t met a ‘great’ Fender from any era, then I’m not sure what exactly “great” is for you, and that’s why these threads fall off like they do. Give us your ideal, a standard of ‘great’, your want of a particular JM sound/playability level and there will be better responses.

Note, you might end up buying an AV and still changing pickups and bridge :fp:
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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by hamletpowpowpow » Sat May 23, 2020 2:30 pm

Hah! Fair enough:

I want a guitar that sounds great and plays well with no troubles that can't be remedied by a simple set-up.

The issues I've had with Fender in the past are things like tuners breaking, not holding tuning well - crappy bridges buzzing and breaking strings, and super weak, lame sounding pick-ups. This was my American made 70's Mustang, Music Master, some unknown Strats, and a variety of different Jazz basses.

I know this isn't exclusive to Fender per se. I've had it with other brands, but Fender seems guiltier than most.

I have my eye out for an AVRI. The Mod Shop American Professional series sounds pretty great to me on paper, but I can't shake that feeling that new Fenders are soulless-cookie-cutter-mass-produced-industry machines. I was considering a partscaster or boutique brand, but at least with Fender, the resale value will be decent.

I come from a punk/hardcore/noise background. I'd love an all wooden guitar with a trem that can throw down against my Travis Beans, but also play a bit more traditional as well. A JM seems like the right fit for this. A lot of my favorite players use a JM. I'm not shooting in the dark here.



Debaser wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 8:21 am
“Experienced Jazzmaster fans” is kind of a wide category there, and I wouldn’t trust any of those guys! :freako:

Jokes aside, I understand not wanting to buy an expensive guitar that you turn around and basically change up with added parts to make it then ideal. I’ve been there and done that, with cheap and expensive husks/bones. Yeah, CS will make what you want, but it seems you don’t know exactly what that is, because it’s all the rehash, echo chamber “mastery, new pickups, harness” mantra. If you haven’t met a ‘great’ Fender from any era, then I’m not sure what exactly “great” is for you, and that’s why these threads fall off like they do. Give us your ideal, a standard of ‘great’, your want of a particular JM sound/playability level and there will be better responses.

Note, you might end up buying an AV and still changing pickups and bridge :fp:

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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by Tehz_ » Sat May 23, 2020 3:08 pm

Mechanical Birds wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:53 pm
garyptaszek wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:21 pm
This is a pretty interesting question. I managed to score both my CIJ Jazzmaster, and CIJ Jag for under £500 each, I couldn’t imagine paying out what they’re apparently worth these days and then having to upgrade all the hardware and pickups... not to mention the tiny frets.
See, to me, this thread is just another on the giant pile of “what version of this should I buy?” threads that either answer their own question in the OP or are so devoid of details that you can’t make a suggestion because you don’t know what the poster wants. I’m really not trying to be a dick, I swear. It just feels like at least once a week there’s one of these and way more often than not the answer is something that just seems like common sense. Either the reissues which are the most accurate replicas, or something that comes stick with common complaints addressed like the Troy Van Leeuwen.

It’s also subjective - everyone likes their guitars/setups/hardware based on preference so someone could love the stock bridge because it’s so finely adjustable or they can get it because it seems complicated so they go for something else like a Staytrem or whatever.

Really comes down to what you feel is necessary and what’s not.
I’m gonna have to agree with this, there’s no “one size fits all” answer. There are $4000 custom shop guitars that some people will absolutely hate because of personal preferences, and other guitars like the $500 Squier J Mascis that people heap praise onto but some will still dislike, once again due to personal preferences.

Saying “I want a guitar that sounds and plays great” is kind of like going to a restaurant and saying “I want something that tastes good” - it’s very subjective and almost kind of goes without saying, obviously you don’t want something that plays poorly. Like I said, someone might play something from the Fender Custom Shop and absolutely hate it, then play a Chinese Squier and love it to death. Buying any guitar sight unseen, even one that gets recommended by everyone on a forum, is a risk - you won’t know if you really like it until it’s in your hands.

If you’re so unsure, I’d recommend (when it’s safe) just going to some stores and playing some. You might play a CIJ with stock everything and decide it’s perfect for you, or it will be almost perfect except for a buzzy bridge and then you just have to pay for a setup, or replace it with a Mustang bridge. You might play an original vintage ‘62 Jazzmaster and think it’s the biggest piece of shit you’ve ever touched. You won’t know for sure until you try!

Also sincerely not trying to be a jerk, it’s just I’ve been recommended certain models on forums before and then hated them upon buying one. There are certain details that you won’t be able to catch until you’ve played it yourself, and others that you think might bother you that you end up not caring about.

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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by manwithtitties » Sat May 23, 2020 3:38 pm

hamletpowpowpow wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 2:30 pm
Hah! Fair enough:

I want a guitar that sounds great and plays well with no troubles that can't be remedied by a simple set-up.

The Mod Shop American Professional series sounds pretty great to me on paper, but I can't shake that feeling that new Fenders are soulless-cookie-cutter-mass-produced-industry machines. I was considering a partscaster or boutique brand, but at least with Fender, the resale value will be decent.

I come from a punk/hardcore/noise background. I'd love an all wooden guitar with a trem that can throw down against my Travis Beans, but also play a bit more traditional as well. A JM seems like the right fit for this. A lot of my favorite players use a JM. I'm not shooting in the dark here.

To be fair they all are soulless cookie cutter mass produced industry machines! Thats the whole point of them being more or less affordable.

Also it sounds to me like you want a squier classic vibe, im not gonna lie. They need new strings, a setup and a shim and youre done. You could even literally throw them against travis beans and not feel all that guilty about it. the pickups are good, hot bridge and a regular pretty neck pickup.

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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by HNB » Sat May 23, 2020 4:00 pm

"To be fair they all are soulless cookie cutter mass produced industry machines!"

Was going to say that too. Fenders were made with replaceable necks and other parts from the get go. I don't think Fender wasn't ever mass produced industry machines. :) That was kinda the goal. Easy to assemble guitars with parts and woods cheap and easy to get at the time. Musicians make them magical, just like any instrument.

My perfect Jazzmaster is a Fender Jim Root v 4 Jazzmaster. It has pickups I love stock, bridge I like, neck shape I like, and is even white.

If you want a traditional Jazzy, it sounds like the 65's are the way to go.

I love Mastery bridges, but my Jazzys with mustang bridges have worked fine. Jazzy stock bridges are ok but I find the saddle grooves to be to shallow for my preferences, but it depends on what YOU want and works for YOU. :) Mustang bridges aren't super expensive either. Also I don't mind MIJ electronics or pickups. They are different, but different isn't always bad. I don't think you need to dump out pots if they work just because they are mini or not CTS branded. If it works, it works. Same with fancy oil and paper caps and such. I have tried a bunch and resistors resist and caps do their thing.

The only part of a guitar I think has magic is the user.
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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by LVC » Sat May 23, 2020 4:20 pm

HNB wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:00 pm
Also I don't mind MIJ electronics or pickups. They are different, but different isn't always bad. I don't think you need to dump out pots if they work just because they are mini or not CTS branded. If it works, it works. Same with fancy oil and paper caps and such. I have tried a bunch and resistors resist and caps do their thing.

The only part of a guitar I think has magic is the user.
Couldn't agree more.
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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by Larsongs » Sat May 23, 2020 8:50 pm

The Thread title is, "Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?"

Not which Jazzmaster plays great & sounds great?

While all may be soulless there are definitely some that are better than others.

"To say the only part of a Guitar that's magic is the User" is only partially true... I've heard super talented Guitarists play POS Guitars & there was no magic.. I've heard the same Guitarist's play great Guitars & it was magic...

All Guitars are not created Equal. There are some Guitars that are better built than others.. Better QC & Workmanship than others. Some with higher quality Materials. There are some Guitars that have better sounding Pickups. Some that have better feeling Necks. Better Tuners. Better Electronics.. Better Tremelos.. Etc.

I think the OP is asking is; He would like to buy a Guitar that with a new set of Strings & a simple Set up he can Plug in & Play... He is asking for recommendations.. Some good ones have been offered.

I have owned numerous New Guitars by most Makers & in most Price Ranges. Foreign & Domestic.. I know for a fact that it is possible with some new Guitars to be great without modifications other than Strings & a minor Set up, harder to do with some new Guitars & impossible to do with other new Guitars without Modifications..

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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by HNB » Sat May 23, 2020 10:09 pm

Required modifications is up to the user. People like different things. What people are trying to say is that guitars don't require modifications unless the user wants them and we can't tell someone what modifications they want or are best for them. What guitar needs the least modifications is subject to the user, not something that can be decided by outside sources.

It is like threads where people ask what pickup is best for them. Same deal. What sounds good to different people may not be one pickup or there wouldn't be so many.

Try different guitars in a store and learn what features matter most to you. Neck shape, pickup options, switch options, bridge options, etc. That makes it easier to find the guitar that needs the least modifications for you.

People can guess, but only you can figure out the best guitar for you. :)
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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by hamletpowpowpow » Sun May 24, 2020 12:29 am

Yes..!!!! It's this, exactly, although I'm enjoying the conversation that's ensued - it's definitely taken some surprising twists and turns.

I hereby solemnly swear never to ask anyone here what I should buy. (And for the record, that wasn't at all what I was asking, Mechanical Birds, so thanks for that).

Larsongs, yr check's in the mail.

Larsongs wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 8:50 pm
The Thread title is, "Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?"

Not which Jazzmaster plays great & sounds great?

I think the OP is asking is; He would like to buy a Guitar that with a new set of Strings & a simple Set up he can Plug in & Play... He is asking for recommendations.. Some good ones have been offered.


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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by Mechanical Birds » Sun May 24, 2020 2:07 am

hamletpowpowpow wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:00 pm
Ideally I'm hoping to score a black AVRI 62, but I'll admit I'm getting impatient, and I've been looking at the Mod Shop American Pros...
I've had so many negative experiences with "vintage" guitars, that the idea of a brand new, modernized Jazzmaster sounds pretty appealing. I've also seen a ton of experienced Jazzmaster fans call it "boring" and "uninspired." :bored:

I've been burned by Fender a lot in the past, and the problems I read about various JMs kind of jive with that: weak pick-ups, cheap electronics and hardware. Bear in mind, the "nicest" Fender I've ever owned was a 1970 Mustang, and it wasn't that great of an instrument. Looked gorgeous and felt fantastic, but played terribly. So I moved on, got into things like Travis Bean, spent my money there.

I've never played an actual "great" Fender, but I know they're out there and that people love them. I've always wanted a JM (and maybe a strat), so here we are.

But yeah, I've heard from so many people that getting a mastery, changing the pots to 500, getting new pick-ups, all make a huge difference. I've seen MIJ's go for around $1100-$1400 lately. It seems crazy to put another $700 into that. If an AVRI or Custom Shop rocks as is, I'd instead put my money there.
And that’s what what’s so hard to gauge just because even though a lot of people mod those MIJ Fenders, I’d feel safe in assuming that a big chunk (and I’ve done this with guitars for sure) of people didn’t notice or try anything and preemptively make the changes cuz lots of people talk about them so a sort of consensus forms but it’s definitely not universal. Tons of posters are fine with stock MIJ fenders, some people see problems that they need fixed, some people assume they need fixed and do it as a cautionary measure.

Now, to answer without sounding like a total curmudgeon, the AV65s are the ones I’ve most seen people buy and leave alone - hell its my only guitar sporting a stock bridge just because when I got it it was set up PERFECTLY so I didn’t wanna change that until I replaced the guard (purely aesthetic reasons) and even when the bridge is a Staytrem instead of the stock one on it now, that’s just because I know that if I ever need to do low maintenance stuff it’ll be easier for me. But the bridge is the thing that most people see as necessary to change and even on the best version you’ll find, huge bunches of people change the bridge anyway. So unless it’s like some custom thing, yeah, I’d say the AV65 or the Troy Van Leeuwen just because it comes stock with an competent bridge, or at least a less confusing and intimidating one.

In my heart of hearts no matter what I always advise people get an AV65 if they can because they’re incredible, bridge be damned. On the other end, I’m totally confident I could rock a Squier J Mascis in a pinch and count on it to be solid and work for what I’d be doing on my AV65. The bridge and trem aren’t desirable for most people but they’re totally serviceable parts
Last edited by Mechanical Birds on Sun May 24, 2020 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which version of a JM requires the least amount of modification?

Post by jvin248 » Sun May 24, 2020 5:13 am

.

You'll likely have the least need for mods on this guitar, like no slipping bridge ... because it's basically a P90 LP in a JM layout. For "$120".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TinzAKflBAI

Otherwise ... I 'd suggest building up your guitar from parts so there is no rework involved, body and neck you like from Stratosphere, loaded pickguard, bridge system you want. A bit of screwdriver work and take it to your local setup guy if you need to/want to.
It's the most mods but also the least mods after you have it together.

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