JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:03 pm

Amon 7.L wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:50 am
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:20 am
Without knowing the guy, there seems to be one means of contact we can try and that happens to be the R.E.M. fan club, R.E.M. HQ.

They have a listed address for fan mail. They also.ask that if you send something to a member of R.E.M.,.you should also send a pre paid, self addressed envelope with your mail so that they can respond. I do not known the success rate of reaching them with that address, but I imagine that the worst Peter could do is say no or ignore it completely.
I guess it's worth a shot, what do you think? Do you want to try and see if he replies?
Personally, I think you nailed it.

Having said that though, what do we have to lose? If he says no, we are right where we are now. If he says yes, then we have a definitive answer once and for all. Plus, I think it would be cool to see your mock up against the real deal. Assuming we could get it, of course.

Real question is, how much time do we give him until we call it a lot cause?

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:52 pm

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:03 pm
Personally, I think you nailed it.

Having said that though, what do we have to lose? If he says no, we are right where we are now. If he says yes, then we have a definitive answer once and for all. Plus, I think it would be cool to see your mock up against the real deal. Assuming we could get it, of course.

Real question is, how much time do we give him until we call it a lot cause?
Thanks and, you're indeed right on each front, we have absolutely nothing to lose and, as you correctly said, assuming we eventually get it, it would be rather nice to see how my ocd-driven mock-ups are against the real deal.

RE the real question, I guess who shows up first wins!! ;D
I mean, if with the next minor tweaks I manage to convince my eyes that I'm at a point there's nothing else I can do and that I fixed everything optical distortion can't set in stone, then.. I call it "done" and I'll work with what I have.
If Buck will back us up before I reach for the router, it will be splendid, and we're gonna have a lot to talk about. If not... well.. I think I'm gonna enjoy a summer project :)

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:32 pm

Amon 7.L wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:52 pm
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:03 pm
Personally, I think you nailed it.

Having said that though, what do we have to lose? If he says no, we are right where we are now. If he says yes, then we have a definitive answer once and for all. Plus, I think it would be cool to see your mock up against the real deal. Assuming we could get it, of course.

Real question is, how much time do we give him until we call it a lot cause?
Thanks and, you're indeed right on each front, we have absolutely nothing to lose and, as you correctly said, assuming we eventually get it, it would be rather nice to see how my ocd-driven mock-ups are against the real deal.

RE the real question, I guess who shows up first wins!! ;D
I mean, if with the next minor tweaks I manage to convince my eyes that I'm at a point there's nothing else I can do and that I fixed everything optical distortion can't set in stone, then.. I call it "done" and I'll work with what I have.
If Buck will back us up before I reach for the router, it will be splendid, and we're gonna have a lot to talk about. If not... well.. I think I'm gonna enjoy a summer project :)
Lol. I like the way you think.

I will try to get a letter out to Peter in a couple days. My post office is a bit out of the way. We'll see how things go. If I manage to get a response. You will be the first to know about it. Haha.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by dc » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:09 pm

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:20 am
They also.ask that if you send something to a member of R.E.M.,.you should also send a pre paid, self addressed envelope with your mail so that they can respond. I do not known the success rate of reaching them with that address, but I imagine that the worst Peter could do is say no or ignore it completely.
your timing seems good -- this is actually the 25th anniversary of Monster, which is set to be reissued in October. so that period in band history and its various associations, presumably including the Cobain guitar, will be on the collective mind of the REM machine -
can almost hear rollercoasters / see sailboats in the sea

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:07 pm

dc wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:09 pm
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:20 am
They also.ask that if you send something to a member of R.E.M.,.you should also send a pre paid, self addressed envelope with your mail so that they can respond. I do not known the success rate of reaching them with that address, but I imagine that the worst Peter could do is say no or ignore it completely.
your timing seems good -- this is actually the 25th anniversary of Monster, which is set to be reissued in October. so that period in band history and its various associations, presumably including the Cobain guitar, will be on the collective mind of the REM machine -
I didn't even think about that. This might be the perfect time to ask about it then.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:37 am

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:32 pm
Amon 7.L wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:52 pm
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:03 pm
Personally, I think you nailed it.

Having said that though, what do we have to lose? If he says no, we are right where we are now. If he says yes, then we have a definitive answer once and for all. Plus, I think it would be cool to see your mock up against the real deal. Assuming we could get it, of course.

Real question is, how much time do we give him until we call it a lot cause?
Thanks and, you're indeed right on each front, we have absolutely nothing to lose and, as you correctly said, assuming we eventually get it, it would be rather nice to see how my ocd-driven mock-ups are against the real deal.

RE the real question, I guess who shows up first wins!! ;D
I mean, if with the next minor tweaks I manage to convince my eyes that I'm at a point there's nothing else I can do and that I fixed everything optical distortion can't set in stone, then.. I call it "done" and I'll work with what I have.
If Buck will back us up before I reach for the router, it will be splendid, and we're gonna have a lot to talk about. If not... well.. I think I'm gonna enjoy a summer project :)
Lol. I like the way you think.

I will try to get a letter out to Peter in a couple days. My post office is a bit out of the way. We'll see how things go. If I manage to get a response. You will be the first to know about it. Haha.
;D
As a mutual act of consideration.. if I crack this thing once for all, you'll then be the first one to know :D
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:07 pm
dc wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:09 pm
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:20 am
They also.ask that if you send something to a member of R.E.M.,.you should also send a pre paid, self addressed envelope with your mail so that they can respond. I do not known the success rate of reaching them with that address, but I imagine that the worst Peter could do is say no or ignore it completely.
your timing seems good -- this is actually the 25th anniversary of Monster, which is set to be reissued in October. so that period in band history and its various associations, presumably including the Cobain guitar, will be on the collective mind of the REM machine -
I didn't even think about that. This might be the perfect time to ask about it then.
Looks like the stars are in alignment.. :ph34r:

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:07 am

Because of this thread, I've been noticing the different details between prototype 1 and prototype 2 and this morning, I happened to notice a pretty significant detail between prototype 1 and 2, though nothing that you will have to make another revision for.

The prototypes both share the same neck pickup, which again was a bridge position Texas Special single coil. But they both had a different bridge humbucker.

Image

Image

As you can see in these pics, provided by Earnie Bailey, the blue prototype was given a DiMarzio H-8 humbucker, which he later swapped for an SH-4 Seymour Duncan JB.

And then I came across these pics of the red prototype, and admittedly, I did a double take.

Image

The humbucker in the bridge position of prototype 2 has hex pole pieces, signifying that it is a different pickup entirely.

Image

This pickup right there is the DiMarzio H3, which oddly enough was designed as a neck pickup. But it does explain where the information came from that the prototypes had that pickup in it. But like most legends surrounding this guitar, it is a half truth.

I wonder why they changed the pickups? The only two scenarios that I can think of for this would either be that somebody at the custom shop wrote down an H3 instead of an H8, which, I think we can all agree could potentially be a very easy mistake, especially at quick glance, or they knew that Kurt hated the H8 and had it swapped with the JB. I can't really picture the H3 being more JB like. I personally believe it was probably a screw up but all we can do is speculate at this point.

Either way, I thought it was interesting and in the spirit of this thread. It's just another tiny but important difference between the two.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:33 am

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:07 am
Because of this thread, I've been noticing the different details between prototype 1 and prototype 2 and this morning, I happened to notice a pretty significant detail between prototype 1 and 2, though nothing that you will have to make another revision for.
As soon as I scrolled down to your update and read "I happened to notice a PRETTY SIGNIFICANT DETAIL" line.. my brain just froze for a long-lasting second and I was like "there you go.. I'm gonna be to square one and I'll have to re-analyse something I surely overlooked :fp: " :D
Then, just as quickly, I've bursted into a laugh when I've finish reading the sentence... ;D
You definitely grasped how my brain works hahahah.

Thanks for providing this further information and spotting this detail, you really have a forensic eye and proven to have done your well share of research, mate.
Once more you gave us some right coordinates to locate and re-locate bits and pieces of informations/specs that have been clearly ended up being straightly misleading or inaccurated.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:04 am

Amon 7.L wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:33 am
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:07 am
Because of this thread, I've been noticing the different details between prototype 1 and prototype 2 and this morning, I happened to notice a pretty significant detail between prototype 1 and 2, though nothing that you will have to make another revision for.
As soon as I scrolled down to your update and read "I happened to notice a PRETTY SIGNIFICANT DETAIL" line.. my brain just froze for a long-lasting second and I was like "there you go.. I'm gonna be to square one and I'll have to re-analyse something I surely overlooked :fp: " :D
Then, just as quickly, I've bursted into a laugh when I've finish reading the sentence... ;D
You definitely grasped how my brain works hahahah.

Thanks for providing this further information and spotting this detail, you really have a forensic eye and proven to have done your well share of research, mate.
Once more you gave us some right coordinates to locate and re-locate bits and pieces of informations/specs that have been clearly ended up being straightly misleading or inaccurated.
I've done my absolute best to go to the source with everything. Fender employees, Nirvana techs, etc. They all add another little piece of the puzzle. If I learned anything researching this guitar, it would be the state of disarray that Fender was in at the time. I don't exactly think all of their information in inaccurate exactly, but I find a lot of it misleading. I don't think they were great at taking notes either. The best info I ever got was from Scott Zimmerman and he was in Japan while the Jagstangs were being built.

There is a tech that I haven't talked to, but would like to. I am just unsure how to contact him. His name is Jim Vincent and he was Kurt's final tech from fall of 93 to March of 94. I would love to get his input on the jagstang if I could.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by TinyEv » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:58 am

Just thought i’d post this as a Cobain related side note. On this awful Cliff Richard concert from 1980 one of the previous owners of Kurt’s Jaguar can be seen playing it. It’s clearly the same guitar with all the mods in place EXCEPT it has a B+B neck. Which means that not only is the neck on Kurt’s an addition later than 1980 but also that the jag itself probably isn’t even a ‘65! A good view of it can be seen at 28:52 https://youtu.be/R-3PXH8QUdc
The concert is just awful btw.
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:31 pm

TinyEv wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:58 am
Just thought i’d post this as a Cobain related side note. On this awful Cliff Richard concert from 1980 one of the previous owners of Kurt’s Jaguar can be seen playing it. It’s clearly the same guitar with all the mods in place EXCEPT it has a B+B neck. Which means that not only is the neck on Kurt’s an addition later than 1980 but also that the jag itself probably isn’t even a ‘65! A good view of it can be seen at 28:52 https://youtu.be/R-3PXH8QUdc
The concert is just awful btw.
Well, I can tell you a bit about Martin Jenner, as I have been down that road too. Unfortunately, Mart is no longer alive to tell us anything about it.

Martin was a lefty session player and because he was a lefty, he had a difficult time acquiring guitars for his line of work. Most, if not all, of his guitars were either modified or custom made. He played a lot of fenders and fender like instruments. Through his friends and former co workers, I was able to track down some info on his jaguar which also includes the luthier who built his custom instruments in his career. While he provided me with the Jaguar neck specs, because of age and health I promised him that I wouldn't reveal them until he passed.

I do believe the body to be a 65/66. His former co workers remembered that the original neck had some sort of problem but couldn't remember what. It pretty much sat in a case until that tour, when he took it to said luthier for a new neck. Martin was known more for playing 60s Telecasters and he didn't want to bring a guitar he cared about with him on the road, so he modified the Jaguar and took it because it was a guitar he felt was expendable.

You are correct about the guitar changing necks more than once. According to the Luthier, he couldn't remember the year that it was made, but recalled it was the mid 80s. Apparently, after touring with that Jaguar, Martin bonded with it quite a bit and it went from trash to treasure.

Kurt ended up buying it from Mart in L.A. just before Nevermind. According to Mart's friends and family, Mart had been diagnosed with cancer around that time and was selling off gear because of it. Not too long after selling the Jaguar, Mart flew to Australia and to my understanding, he died there.

This research actually tied into my Jagstang research. We have all heard the same legends. The biggest one is that it was the 69 competition neck that was cloned for the Jagstang. Turns out, that isn't actually true at all. We know that Kurt sent his favorite neck out to be cloned. What we don't know is what that neck is. We do know that Dan Smith requested Fender Japan make the necks for the Jagstang because Scott Zimmerman built them, and we know that Scott built the necks to the specs of his In Utero Mustangs, which Scott also built. It wasn't until the production model that we see for the first time that it features a replica of Kurt's favorite neck. I believe that it was actually the Jaguar neck that was measured to be cloned, however I believe Fender Japan refused to make the neck because its specs are not what you would call traditional Fender, and Fender Japan defied orders and made 2 necks to Kurt's 69 RI Mustang specs.

This isn't the only time that Fender Japan defied Dan Smith either. Kurt originally wanted a few American made Mustangs for the In Utero tour. Dan Smith revealed that Fender USA wasn't able to fill that request, but that they could get him some slightly modified 69 RI Mustangs from Japan. When Dan Smith placed the order, Fender Japan refused and wouldn't make any less than 10 guitars. So Kurt, being the easy going guy he was, agreed and bought 10 Mustangs (5 sonic blue, 5 fiesta red). Kurt received 6 of them before his death. (4 sonic blue, 2 fiesta red). Fender USA at the time really wasn't in control. How often do you get to tell your boss no, especially on custom orders?

But I'm not just going to leave you all with speculation. There is some evidence to support this claim. The quickest way of showing this is by cracking open The Kurt Cobain Journals. There are segments where he is designing the Ferrington guitar and the Jagstang. Those guitars, at least in the sketches, start taking on the same shape. While the Ferrington guitar ended up being more of a custom mustang in the end, you can see his design elements in place.

On page 219, there is his Polaroid cutout for the Jagstang. It has a note that says "Very thin neck, small fretwire".

Image

On page 220, there is a photo of his sketch for the Ferrington. Pictured is a 3x3 headstock with the note "or just a simple Jaguar neck and headstock".

Image

On page 221, the Ferrington becomes more Jagstang like. Note the smaller fender style headstock.

Image

On page 222, the Ferrington is being designed further. There are 3 designs on this page and the only one crossed out is the 3x3 headstock design. The other two have variations of the small 6 inline headstock.

Image

Then there is also this photo. "Small headstock. Very thin neck."

Image

These features are important because they are features of the Jaguar neck. Not his Mustangs.

I know this post is long winded, so I want to conclude this with a direct quote from Martin Jenner.

Google "Uncommon Sound: The Left Handed Guitar Players That Changed The World by John Engle". You will find a pdf.

Martin has this to say about his necks:

"Most of my instruments were custom made because I like the absolute skinniest of necks that can go on a guitar. These are V-necks with no cheeks to them whatsoever. They drop right away from the fingerboard. I'm not a grabber, I play very much over the neck."

Seems Kurt and Martin had the same style.

Kurt's Jaguar wasn't a V shape, but for the era we are talking about, it was a very thin c shape. His jaguar neck also had no cheeks and came right off the binding. You can see it pretty well in Hole's "Doll Parts" video. You can see the back of the neck at 2:23. Eric is also playing over the neck. The neck is in the palm of his hand and his fingers and thumbs are over the edges. Its thin.

https://youtu.be/RD9xK9smth4
Last edited by AcrylicSuperman on Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by CROSS_guitars » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:26 pm

This is a cool project.
I have been daydreaming about building the blue prototype Jag-Stang for years.
Been hoping Peter Buck would release clearer pictures of it.
Things that stood out to me was the white 1ply pickguard with less pickguard screws on top.
The bottom horn being more lined up like a Mustang and the space around the control plate being a bit larger.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by TinyEv » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:48 pm

@AcrylicSuperman Ah so that’s Martin, that makes sense. I have a similar playing style (and smallish hands) so when a Russian baggage handler managed to break the neck on my Tele Plus I had an all rosewood neck built that sounds like a similar shape to the one you’re describing. Image
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:15 pm

TinyEv wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:48 pm
@AcrylicSuperman Ah so that’s Martin, that makes sense. I have a similar playing style (and smallish hands) so when a Russian baggage handler managed to break the neck on my Tele Plus I had an all rosewood neck built that sounds like a similar shape to the one you’re describing. Image
That is an awesome collection! That neck looks great on that tele too.

If you are basing your necks around late 60s, early 70s necks or slimmer, you are definitely in Martin Jenner territory.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by TinyEv » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:20 pm

@AcrylicSuperman Thanks! Full disclosure though the strat isn't mine :D
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