JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

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AcrylicSuperman
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:45 pm

K2Ri wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:46 pm
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:50 am
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Final Chapter - Part 10: “ The Jagstang: A History Part 2 - Blue”
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The specs of Blue:
2 piece Alder body
White 1 ply pickguard, no bevel
Japanese Hardware
Blank neckplate
Daphne Blue nitro finish
3 screws on the hump
Right Handed Texas Special (neck)
Custom Seymour Duncan humbucker (Bridge)
250k pots
.047 capacitor
Maple neck
Veneer rosewood fretboard
Pearloid dots, both fret and sides
Vintage fret wire
7.25" radius
1 5/8" nut width
Gotoh tuners
Nitro finish
Thickness to be determined
Larry Brooks signature in neck pocket.

Mods made by Kurt:
Schaller strap locks
Gotoh ABR-1 Tuneomatic bridge
Locked tail piece
Cut off switch tips

Mods made by Peter:
Unknown 10mm tuners
Second string tree
*Neck pickup was the BRIDGE version of the Texas Special.
https://imgbb.com/hZfmWzs

BTW: What's your opinion on this one? I'm not saying what you are telling isn't true, but what's your theory on these photos from Earnie?
https://www.jag-stang.com/faq/general/i ... -h3-or-h8/
Yes, it was a bridge Texas Special.

I've seen those photos. I've seen those pics before and even posted them very early on, but those pics may be gone now. Reality is, I've seen a picture directly from Larry at the custom shop with a Seymour Duncan in it. Amon actually posted the pic of the guitar in one of his posts. If Blue had a Seymour Duncan in it before it was shipped to Kurt, then it couldn't have had a DiMarzio H8.

Kurt had a bunch of strats come in from his endorsement deal and gave them to Pat Smear. The strats were either hss or had humbuckers added. Some of those strats got JB models. I think the H8 came from one of those strats, as that pickup was only featured in the Ritchie Sambora Signature Stratocaster model.

There is also an account from Jim Vincent stating that he (Jim) routed it out for a JB. But no routing was done to the Jagstang.

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AcrylicSuperman
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:10 am

I wanted to really get down to the bottom of the DiMarzio H8 that was allegedly in the blue Jagstang prototype because even after explaining Blue, Amon showing off a picture of Blue's non DiMarzio humbucker, and confirming with Seymour Duncan that a custom pickup was made for them, the H8 was still brought up.

By no means am I crapping on the person that asked about it. But since there is photographic evidence from the builder himself that the Jagstang did NOT have a DiMarzio but rather a Seymour Duncan pickup, and we know that despite the fact that Earnie is mistaken about the DiMarzio H8, we know that he has one that was Nirvana related somehow, but if it didn't come from the Jagstang (and it didn't), then where did it come from?

Well, Earnie claims that he was working on the Jagstang backstage at the MTV Unplugged show on November 18th and this is supposed to be where the H8 is swapped for a Seymour Duncan JB. Interestingly enough, Nirvana's crew was small that night and Earnie's name was not on the crew list. Despite that, I'm not saying he wasn't there, but the two techs listed for that show are Jim Vincent and John Duncan.

https://www.livenirvana.com/concerts/93/93-11-18.php

Now, I spoke with John about the Jagstang and he did get to handle it early on before primarily becoming a tech for Pat. He remembered that when he dealt with it, the tuneomatic was installed and they (he and Kurt) discussed the possibility of putting a Gibson stop bar on it instead of the the cigar tube. The pickup was never discussed.

According to Jim Vincent, he remembers the guitar having to be routed for a JB, which implies that it had to have had a single coil route and we know that it didn't. The only routing done at that time for Kurt was the Mustangs.

So interesting enough, with 3 guitar techs, the stories don't line up with each other. Maybe it's lapse of memory after 27 years. Maybe it's because being a guitar tech is busy work, especially when you are teching for Nirvana. But there is a piece of Nirvana that we are neglecting.

Pat Smear.

With Kurt recieving an endorsement deal through Fender, guitars were incoming. As a matter of fact, all of Pat's Stratocasters in the Nirvana era were given to him by Kurt from that deal. While there are reports of almost all of his strats being MIM, Kurt did receive a MIA model that he gave to Pat. This strat was nicknamed by Pat as "Glossy".

Image

Image

Glossy is unique simply because all anyone ever really discussed about it was that it was a US model with a Floyd Rose that was locked down and had a DiMarzio humbucker in it. As you can clearly see, the humbucker has been replaced in it. With what? I don't know. Maybe another DiMarzio. Maybe something else. What I do know, however, is that Glossy is significant because the guitar is one of two models and can only truly be one of them.

The first possibility would be that it is a Richie Sambora model. This isn't likely at all, but it does match a lot of specs, so for speculation sake and investigation, we'll cover it. The Sambora Strats were US made, did feature a Floyd Rose and also featured the DiMarzio H8 which Fender called a PAF Pro, which is what the H8 is based off of. The H8 was initially meant to be exclusive to the Sambora model. The reason that it can't be this model is because upon release in 1993, the fretboards were maple amd featured star inlays. Also, this guitar never came in a black finish until 1995. The fretboard also switched to rosewood with dots. Unless Fender built a custom one for Kurt, it can't be the Sambora model.

However, there is another guitar that Fender produced that also received the H8 model: the Floyd Rose Classic HSS. This Stratocaster model did come in black and was available in the early 90's. It features a Floyd Rose, rosewood fretboard with dot inlays, was US made and featured...

*drum rolls*

... a DiMarzio H8 humbucker!

Earnie stopped teching for Nirvana at some point in Novemeber of 1993. Glossy can be seen at Live and Loud, which was December 13, 1993. I haven't looked to see if there are any earlier appearances of this strat. Regardless, a tech is going to spend some time on the instrument before it is placed in the artists hands. It is absolutely feasible that this guitar was worked on while Earnie was still a Nirvana tech. It is also difficult to determine what their queue was like. We figured that Kurt would have recieved the Jagstang in October that year and it never saw public eye until December 1st. It's not unlikely that they had this strat in the back waiting to be worked on. What I do know for sure is that the DiMarzio H8 that was in Glossy was replaced with a different pickup. If I had to take an educated guess, I'd say it was replaced with a JB because that's the box Earnie put it in.

Image

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by K2Ri » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:42 pm

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:10 am
However, there is another guitar that Fender produced that also received the H8 model: the Floyd Rose Classic HSS. This Stratocaster model did come in black and was available in the early 90's. It features a Floyd Rose, rosewood fretboard with dot inlays, was US made and featured...

*drum rolls*

... a DiMarzio H8 humbucker!

Image
:w00t: That's awesome piece of information over there, makes totally sense!

Now I'm starting to get really curious about the custom SD. Have you guys any information was it commissioned by Kurt or who came up with the idea, since we all know that he liked JBs so much?

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:09 pm

K2Ri wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:42 pm
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:10 am
However, there is another guitar that Fender produced that also received the H8 model: the Floyd Rose Classic HSS. This Stratocaster model did come in black and was available in the early 90's. It features a Floyd Rose, rosewood fretboard with dot inlays, was US made and featured...

*drum rolls*

... a DiMarzio H8 humbucker!

Image
:w00t: That's awesome piece of information over there, makes totally sense!

Now I'm starting to get really curious about the custom SD. Have you guys any information was it commissioned by Kurt or who came up with the idea, since we all know that he liked JBs so much?
Over all, Kurt had told Larry he wanted a more vintage output kind of pickup, like something you'd find in a 59 les paul. From there, Larry chose to base the guitar around a slightly tweaked 59 model.

After speaking with Larry, it seemed like there were things that Kurt was very specific about, like the neck profile, radius and frets he wanted. When it came to things like the electronics, he didn't care that much. Kurt would kind of give a rough idea with the attitide of "if I don't like it, I'll change it." And for the most part, he tweaked a few things, but over all, basically left the Jagstang intact.

Larry ordered the humbucker from the Seymour Duncan custom shop and the pickup isn't super special. It is basically a 59 with some appointments that you can easily get now but couldn't back then. It does seem to have one significant tweak but I'm not sure what the over all purpose of that tweak would be. I still need to find some pickup makers to talk to me about it. But of course, as I have mentioned earlier, I am basing this pickup info on the one built for red. I was told by Larry that he built the two identical, and I have no reason to not believe him, I'm just waiting for the specs of blue's to come to light to make sure they are the same. But for now, if you wanted to, you could pop a 59 into the bridge of your jagstang and it would basically be 99% the same pickup.

Having said that, the 59 is no stranger to Nirvana. Jason Everman used one in his Tele back before Bleach. Kurt used the neck version in the bridge of his Vandalism stratocaster. Even Pat Smear had Hagstroms with a JB/59 combo. Footage wise, the Jagstang does seem to be played more for Nevermind era songs, songs he would have been using the strats on back then.

But honestly, Larry choosing to use a SD makes a lot of sense because he knew Kurt would tinker, so he paired it with an interesting neck pickup, a bridge Texas Special. The Texas Special is pretty significant to this story as well because it was specifically wound for Larry. Larry was in charge of the custom shop SRV models and the Texas Special was, at the time, considered a signature set. Larry picked that pickup not entirely because he was familiar with it or because of the output, but because of polarity. Seymour Duncan single coils and Fender single coils do not play nice with each other. They are RW/RP of each other. An SD bridge and neck single coil is the same as a Fender middle RW/RP pickup. So if Kurt would have split the humbucker and used it with the bridge Texas Special, it would have been hum cancelling.

After speaking with Larry for several days and learning what Kurt's ultimate vision for the guitar was meant to be, things we look at as utter neglect with Blue weren't really neglectful. We think "Why didn't they use the tuneomatic?" Stuff like that. The answer was incredibly simple. Kurt wanted the guitars to mirror the original mustangs, in order to make the Jagstang match the original mustangs, you make the jagstang an oddly shaped mustang. Which funny enough, wasn't able to be done in 1993. Larry had to bring in his own mustang to make a mustang template because Fender didn't have one. That was the entire reason Kurt ordered 10 mustangs from Japan. When Kurt made the changes to the Jagstang, they weren't drastic changes. He made a change to the bridge switch that Fender later encorporated, he swapped the bridge, locked the tail piece, added strap locks and chopped the switch tips. Most of those changes are personal touches for touring, not signs that he hated it. Kurt was emcouraged to tweak it. It was a prototype. I personally believe, had Kurt lived, the jagstang design wouldnt have changed much, but production models would have likely reflected the wiring change and the bridge. But we will ultimately never know. But the Jagstang wasn't meant solely to be his, it was meant to be all of ours. Something cheap and easy to play and modify. So when it comes to our jagstangs, whether you put a 59 or a JB in it or something else entirely, it was the way cobain would have wanted it.

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