JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

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AcrylicSuperman
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:55 pm

dc wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:49 pm
8)

this whole thing's mind blowing -- best thread ever on OSG in my estimation. you guys are awesome.

I'm still processing this whole thing, but two questions for clarification if i can:

-- could Fender do a production model "true to Blue" with what they still have, or would they have to borrow the original from Peter Buck and create a new template?

-- is there any record of the serial numbers of the four lefty Mustangs that were purchased from Fender Japan but never delivered in time, then were just sold at retail? imagine that ... four people out there have 69 RI Mustangs that Cobain bought but never saw - :derp:
I'm not sure how they would have to go about that process. What I do know is that they technically still have the cnc files on their old machine. But that machine seems to need a template that sets in there and guides it. Instead of a typical template where you route around a body shape, the original jagstang template was a reverse of that. The image being hollow and the machine riding around the edge all the same. I think if we ever get a replica of Blue, it will have to come from Peter Buck. Seeing that when Fender created Red 2.0, they no longer had the template, that missing template somehow stopped them from producing the exact body. While the paint was a custom mix, at the heart of it, it is Daphne Blue. As long as you are using that classic car Daphne color, you should be in the ball park.

There is record of the serial numbers of the 4 Mustangs. Scott Zimmerman took pictures of all of the mustangs and took notes on the serials. I do not have that info because I never asked for it, but there are two details I do know about these guitars that may help you. Skystang 2 and 3 are the only ones that have the original contour body decal, so those 4 that are in the wild will not have that. And every one of Kurt's guitars had Scott's name stamped on the heel of the neck. So if you have a lefty 1994 MG69 in either blue or red that you think may have come from Tokyo, pop that neck off. If Scott's name is stamped on the heel, you own one.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by BeeTL » Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:32 pm

Amon 7.L wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:34 pm
BeeTL wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:01 pm
So, structurally, the main difference is that Blue 1.0 used a US Custom Shop Competition Mustang neck while Red 1.0 used a regular production Japanese MG69 neck, is that correct?
Wrong.
At the beginning: Blue 1.0 and Red. 1.0 were exact twins.
The MG 69 magic came later on as described
At the beginning, yes, but it seems that Red 1.0 never left the Custom Shop in that configuration. It was modified in-house with an MG69 neck, then it and the template for Red and Blue 1.0s bodies were either lost or stolen. As a practical matter and unless it was marked in some way that could make it easily identified, Red 1.0 could just as well have ended up in a pawn shop somewhere and currently lives its life as just another partscaster.
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:22 pm
[...] Blue and Red 1.0 initially featured the exact same neck, Larry's 69 competition. The original Red 1.0 neck was removed and replaced with an MG69 neck from Japan as a means to erase Larry's involment, who was wrongfully considered a disgraced employee at the time. The second MG69 neck wound up on Red 2.0.

No idea where Red 1.0 wound up, the template or the original neck.

But Red 1.0 is definitely that exact Raiders moment. [...]
To me, based on what I'm reading here, Red 2.0 is the Ark in the scene from Raiders for a completely unexpected reason. The process of keeping Red 2.0's story hidden after it was sold at a very public auction is more than a little intriguing, especially because the seller was a charitable foundation and the buyer seems to have been affiliated with that foundation in some way. I can't imagine an arm's length collector winning an item at auction and then willingly signing an NDA. Red 2.0 is the Ark because of the mysterious story it contains.

And if Red 2.0 is the Ark, Blue 1.0 is the Holy Grail.

;)
Last edited by BeeTL on Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by kamillebidan » Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:36 pm

Great read, I don't know what to say. It's incredible the amount of dedication and research you guys poured into this.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Zeus » Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:08 pm

This is absolutely incredible, I really appreciate the depth of research you guys put into this.

Remarkable stuff!

I would so love for Fender to approach Peter Buck to make fresh measurements of Blue and put into production a revised Jagstang (perhaps MIM, if not MIJ) in line with Kurt's original intentions.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:14 pm

kamillebidan wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:36 pm
Great read, I don't know what to say. It's incredible the amount of dedication and research you guys poured into this.
Thanks. For me, it's been nearly 17 years trying to figure this out. It's been an incredible journey. I wish some of the people who are no longer with us could have had their say. In ways, they left enough behind.

I plan to replicate Blue at some point, but it will probably be a while with the Covid situation. As much as I am a fan of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, I have always looked at the Jagstangs as a piece of history. We idolize the strats and teles, and on this forum the offsets, and it seems that we've recorded all the little details about those guitars, but it always felt like with the Jagstang, you could ask 10 different people and get 10 vastly different answers. Reality is, with the guitar being 27 years old, we are about a generation or two away from potentially losing all information regarding the instruments. I hoped we could pull it off but I don't think I ever expected for it to go this far or this deep. I'm glad it did though.
Last edited by AcrylicSuperman on Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by BeeTL » Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:37 pm

It bears repeating, what great work and what a great story!
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Libtoem » Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:34 pm

This is by far one of the best threads I have read,the amount of detail and findings are insane but in a good way.

I remember getting my Jag-Stang in 95(still have it)and was just blown away on the body shape.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:15 pm

Libtoem wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:34 pm
This is by far one of the best threads I have read,the amount of detail and findings are insane but in a good way.

I remember getting my Jag-Stang in 95(still have it)and was just blown away on the body shape.
I've yet to see a Jagstang shape that I hate. To me, it has always had this 50's atomic age vibe to it.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Jelestang » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:19 pm

This has to be the greatest thread of all time and I have joined this forum as a result. In the time I have been reading this, resigned to not being able to afford the real deal and with Fender telling me they were not planning to produce another run (before I got to the mention of white prototypes), I set out to build a replica using the template I already had for my earlier 'Jelestang' (JS outline, pickguard and control plate, Tele neck and bridge). I've always wanted a red one, but this thread influenced me to use a Daphne Blue match and unable to find an affordable Fender or Squier neck, it was a no-brand. Not wanting to make it something it's not and label it as 'Fender', again this thread helped as I opted to do it as per Blue, and then being right handed, I mirrored the logo and 'custom' text so it only reads correctly in the mirror looking like a lefty. Other than that it's by no means accurate and built on a budget but it was great fun...

Meanwhile, a 'U' serial MIJ was offered to me at a reduced price, and whilst it wasn't cheap, I thought it was probably going to be my last chance to grab one at attainable money given the prices seem to be climbing endlessly, so now I'm properly in the club!

It's definitely noticeable how poorly the pickguard fits, and how large the pearloid flakes ares which are mentioned as first run issues, it would drive my OCD mad as well but I do see it as a quirk and wouldn't want to change it on an otherwise original early production guitar.

Enough about me, I've spent the last few days endlessly mashing the refresh button on my browser, so as everyone else has said, thank you so much for your dedication and effort. I can't say that enough after spending years just rereading the same old story of this guitar. I do have a couple of questions and thoughts if you wouldn't mind:

- It has been mentioned that Red 2.0 has a Japan neck but it's serial starts with a 96 V, believed to be the changeover point between first and second series bodies, has this been explained? Sorry if I've missed this. Could it be that it was used to validate a second series neck or is it purely that the serials weren't applied with much logic?

- Would you both consider sharing these posts with the Jag-Stang Registry as that is the usual go-to point for those intrigued by the Jag-Stang? I have no association other than having my guitar added to the register and having swapped a few general messages

Final thought: It's very interesting that there's Red 2.0 which is not acknowledged by Fender to be a '2.0' thus rendering Red 1.0 either worthless or too hot to handle. I can only hope that whoever has got Red 1.0 who by now must know they'd have to explain how they have it should it resurface and they try to sell, or their cover being blown when they should leave this mortal coil and their estate passing it on, and rather than choosing instead to dispose of the guitar, I hope, as unlikely as it is that such a person would ever read this post, I hope they choose instead to anonymously drop it off at a museum or charity with a note explaining what it is...

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:15 am

Jelestang wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:19 pm
This has to be the greatest thread of all time and I have joined this forum as a result. In the time I have been reading this, resigned to not being able to afford the real deal and with Fender telling me they were not planning to produce another run (before I got to the mention of white prototypes), I set out to build a replica using the template I already had for my earlier 'Jelestang' (JS outline, pickguard and control plate, Tele neck and bridge). I've always wanted a red one, but this thread influenced me to use a Daphne Blue match and unable to find an affordable Fender or Squier neck, it was a no-brand. Not wanting to make it something it's not and label it as 'Fender', again this thread helped as I opted to do it as per Blue, and then being right handed, I mirrored the logo and 'custom' text so it only reads correctly in the mirror looking like a lefty. Other than that it's by no means accurate and built on a budget but it was great fun...

Meanwhile, a 'U' serial MIJ was offered to me at a reduced price, and whilst it wasn't cheap, I thought it was probably going to be my last chance to grab one at attainable money given the prices seem to be climbing endlessly, so now I'm properly in the club!

It's definitely noticeable how poorly the pickguard fits, and how large the pearloid flakes ares which are mentioned as first run issues, it would drive my OCD mad as well but I do see it as a quirk and wouldn't want to change it on an otherwise original early production guitar.

Enough about me, I've spent the last few days endlessly mashing the refresh button on my browser, so as everyone else has said, thank you so much for your dedication and effort. I can't say that enough after spending years just rereading the same old story of this guitar. I do have a couple of questions and thoughts if you wouldn't mind:

- It has been mentioned that Red 2.0 has a Japan neck but it's serial starts with a 96 V, believed to be the changeover point between first and second series bodies, has this been explained? Sorry if I've missed this. Could it be that it was used to validate a second series neck or is it purely that the serials weren't applied with much logic?

- Would you both consider sharing these posts with the Jag-Stang Registry as that is the usual go-to point for those intrigued by the Jag-Stang? I have no association other than having my guitar added to the register and having swapped a few general messages

Final thought: It's very interesting that there's Red 2.0 which is not acknowledged by Fender to be a '2.0' thus rendering Red 1.0 either worthless or too hot to handle. I can only hope that whoever has got Red 1.0 who by now must know they'd have to explain how they have it should it resurface and they try to sell, or their cover being blown when they should leave this mortal coil and their estate passing it on, and rather than choosing instead to dispose of the guitar, I hope, as unlikely as it is that such a person would ever read this post, I hope they choose instead to anonymously drop it off at a museum or charity with a note explaining what it is...
Thanks. I'm glad you've enjoyed it! And congrats on finally owning a Jagstang. I was never lucky enough to get my hands on one. Definitely plan to build my own at some point.

To answer your questions. First, we believe that FujiGen began building guitars in 1995 but the official release was meant to be for 1996. We believe the V serial numbers were meant to start in 96, and I am of the impression that Fender USA recieved one of these plates early. They just got a random V serial. None of the serials are in chronological order. I don't think they were meant to seperate the jagstangs, but they were definitely meant to seperate the years.

For your second question, I'm not registered over there, but I'm not opposed to it. As a matter of fact though, I encourage everyone to share this. After 27 years, I don't expect everyone to believe it and that's fine but I definitely want to keep the guitar alive. I have seen people discuss this thread in various differnt places and the reaction has been interesting. But if you are registered over there and you are willing to share it, feel free.

I hope so too. I hope the template surfaces as well.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:49 am

I went to bed last night only to find out all of your replies this morning....
Guys, THANK YOU Everyone for your kind words and support. I'm literally speechless.


I'm still processing how I ended up here.
After all, as I earlier mentioned, at the beginning... All I wanted to do was building a simple JAG-STANG.
I wasn't truly expecting to be crossing path with AcrylicSuperman and eventually being part of this unexpected journey with everything that has happened up until this point.

To answer some of your questions & personal comments:
- Yes, it has been a rollercoaster type of fun experience. There surely have been moments in which I though I was seriously drifting too much on the "full conspiracy theories", but the data was compelling and sometimes you have to take the risk of making a fool out of yourself whilst trying to find logical sense where things seems not to be as presented;

- A Blue 1.0 Reissue with spot-on faithful specs would surely require Peter Buck's involvement as I wouldn't put much hope in Fender retrieving the original template nor the original body of Red 1.0. Mostly, we saw what came out off their retro-engineering. If you want to sell a guitar "designed by Kurt Cobain", that is what I'm expecting to get, certainly not Fender's own reinterpretation based off an early rejected cardboard cut-out.

- Still on Blue: I promise you, that guitar shape has been severely well calculated. Way more than its shape might make it look like.
There's nothing random in its design & construction. I would have loved to pieces to attend its development with Larry's eyes.


Jelestang wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:19 pm

- Would you both consider sharing these posts with the Jag-Stang Registry as that is the usual go-to point for those intrigued by the Jag-Stang? I have no association other than having my guitar added to the register and having swapped a few general messages
Sure, no problem.
I'm not sure if I'll manage to do it today, but eventually tomorrow I will put hyperlinks to the final chapters at the beginning of page 1 in order for people to either choose between the full experience or the wrap-ups. (in case I forget, please remind me to do so)

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by jagstang » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:02 am

This is really the most interesting thread i've ever read on whole internet! Congrats guys for your great work!

Have i overlooked or is the story missing the change of template from U to V serials? You wrote that the template has changed between 95 and 96 - what was the reason?

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:18 am

jagstang wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:02 am
This is really the most interesting thread i've ever read on whole internet! Congrats guys for your great work!

Have i overlooked or is the story missing the change of template from U to V serials? You wrote that the template has changed between 95 and 96 - what was the reason?
Thanks for both your words and awesome contribution, Michael!

Nope, that's not an overlook, my friend. It's one of those coincidental events that happened at some points in 1996.
We can only speculate on the whys but ultimately: we don't know.

Personally, before realising the differences between 1st and 2nd gen (U to V), my very first thought was that "due to some unknown reasons", one of the production model JAG-STANGs was in fact used either as a donor for missing/damaged parts of Red, or worse, as a full doppelganger.

The theory went on consolidation when I've realised the change of shape and the closeness of the 1st gen JAG-STANG to what I was seeing in Red.
Add into the mix that no lefties were done at the time.
It all lead me to think that Fender wanted to keep Red as "the one original Left-handed prototype" with no possible doubt.
Therefore, in order to do that and avoid anybody else claiming they had the original Red (in case we were right about it being stolen), they rushed to change the templates and set this dynamic:
  • 1st gen 1995 (U serial)= they are the closest to Red, but they never been made for left-handed (aside from the doppelganger) ----> NO other 1:1 Match;
  • 2nd gen 1996 (V serial)= they are now offered as left-handed too, meaning that collectors who want the closest thing to the "original", they can get it and yet -----> no chance of being passed for the original Red (by the thief in case was stolen), as, due to the new shape, it would have been easy for Fender to tell them apart.
This was my initial theory, many others followed later on until the final reveal.

Again, to this very day, we only have theories, nothing else.


Edit:
Almost forgot this extra bit:

The sudden U to V change was ultimately the icing on the cake to give the appearance of continuity as the production model was scheduled to start in 1996 but they eventually started releasing the pre-production models in 1995.
That caused the timeline paradox of the 95 being coded with an earlier serial than its own predecessor.
We know "V" come AFTER "U" and it would sound rather strange for a 1994 prototype to have a serial coded. :ph34r:

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by BeeTL » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:50 am

Amon 7.L wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:49 am
- A Blue 1.0 Reissue with spot-on faithful specs would surely require Peter Buck's involvement as I wouldn't put much hope in Fender retrieving the original template nor the original body of Red 1.0. Mostly, we saw what came out off their retro-engineering. If you want to sell a guitar "designed by Kurt Cobain", that is what I'm expecting to get, certainly not Fender's own reinterpretation based off an early rejected cardboard cut-out.

- Still on Blue: I promise you, that guitar shape has been severely well calculated. Way more than its shape might make it look like.
There's nothing random in its design & construction. I would have loved to pieces to attend its development with Larry's eyes.
Learning what it might take for someone (including Fender) to build a Blue 1.0 replica was all I ever expected from this thread, and I was a bit puzzled as to why the discussion continued well after that goal had been achieved. However, the continuing intrigue and mystery surrounding the disappearance of Red 1.0, the genesis of Red 2.0, and the continuing secrecy around that back story make for some very fine reading, indeed.

As a practical matter, this thread seems to deliver everything Fender would need to make an authentic replica of Blue 1.0 a reality. Having Peter Buck engaged in the project would be a lagniappe but would also add to the back story.

:)
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Maniac » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:16 am

Wow this is amazing! I was a member here years ago, but re-registered to say well done!

I'm lucky enough to own late CIJ Q serial number that I've had since new.

I'll continue following the thread as I'd be interested in the humbucker specs.

Seriously great job!!

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