DIY Warmoth Jazzcaster HS in Daphne Blue

emptyminded42

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Not much of an update - I installed some vintage-style non-locking tuners from GuitarFetish (6-on-a-plate) which look good and were super easy to put on.

Still waiting for a status update from Warmoth on the body...
 

Steve Holt

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Not much of an update - I installed some vintage-style non-locking tuners from GuitarFetish (6-on-a-plate) which look good and were super easy to put on.

Still waiting for a status update from Warmoth on the body...

18 to 20 weeks is killer. That's the lead time I used to get for hydraulic pumps at work (now it's 33-50 weeks).

It's crazy that they're so far out for a block of wood with routes and paint.
 

emptyminded42

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18 to 20 weeks is killer. That's the lead time I used to get for hydraulic pumps at work (now it's 33-50 weeks).

It's crazy that they're so far out for a block of wood with routes and paint.

Yeah, it sucks. They confirmed it’s still 18-20 weeks and I’m 10 weeks in so halfway there… should get it around Thanksgiving.

What’s so frustrating is they already have the body. They just have to overrout the neck pickup for a humbucker and paint it. I suspect their paint shop is what’s so backed up - they killed off their competition stripe option just before I placed my order because they were getting too far behind. I’m really bummed about no racing stripe since I love it on my Cyclone and thought it would help break up the big slab of the Jazzmaster body a bit since it has a Tele bridge and not the trem that most Jazzmasters do.

Maybe I’ll just do it with vinyl after I get it built.
 

emptyminded42

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So apparently it's not another 8-10 weeks - I got a shipping notification from Warmoth yesterday and it might arrive tomorrow. I certainly hope that's the case and I'll be able to start showing some real updates here soon.
 

emptyminded42

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The body arrived last night and I am blown away by the quality and color! It is absolutely gorgeous and exactly what I was hoping for! I’m in love - can’t wait to get it assembled!

Here’s a few pics - this is Daphne blue from Warmoth but note I’m in my basement where the lighting doesn’t necessarily result in good photos that accurately capture the color.

I just finished sanding the neck pocket a little to get my AllParts neck to fit - first I used a sanding block with 220, then I found a piece of 120 grit. I eventually decided that was not working how I wanted and got out my Dremel and a medium sanding wheel. I did the rest of the sanding in like 30 seconds vs. the 45 minutes I had spent with the sanding block. I’m sure folks are cringing because it’s not absolutely square but it looks good to me!
 

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emptyminded42

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It’s alive!

I finished the assembly late last night and plugged it in to my amp and it works! I really like how it sounds, it’s distinctly different than my Cyclone which is exactly what I was hoping for!

It’s beautiful but I’m not sold on the parchment colored pickguard. It’s not dark enough to match the cream on my zebra humbucker or the Olympic white competition stripe decal I added. Might go with vintage Pearl, BWB, or just a cream pickguard. Opinions?

It plays pretty well considering I didn’t adjust the truss rod at all. It’s not intonated and I didn’t put on the string trees yet either. I’m hoping I can dial it decently today and then I’ll decide if I want a professional set up or not. If I opt for that, I’m taking my Cyclone in too.

One observation which I probably should have known better is that the neck humbucker is substantially louder than the ‘62 vintage reissue bridge single coil. Like, a lot. I’m wondering if I could add a resistor or something between the hot humbucker lead and the switch to try to reduce the output. If not, I’ll just deal with it (which is fine, I don’t play in front of an anudience anymore).

Any tips on leveling the output of the two pickups would be appreciated!



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peterg

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Sweet! The pickguard is a bit stark as you stated. I think cream would work.
 

emptyminded42

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Sweet! The pickguard is a bit stark as you stated. I think cream would work.

Yeah, it is. But my Cyclone has a un-aged white pearl pickguard and cream/aged white pickups so it doesn't seem that bad to me. I'm going to keep it as is for at least a couple months and decide if I want a different pickguard or not.

Also, apparently I installed the humbucker upside down - the screws are supposed to be on the neck side. Not sure it matters, though.

I did the set up this morning and the Jazzcaster now plays better than my Cyclone. I don't think I need to take it to a pro and by pure luck the neck relief seems to have been right on out of the box.

That said, my bridge saddles are almost max'd out on height adjustment to get the action set so maybe the truss rod needs adjusted? Even if it does, I finally got the action set where I wanted it and the intonation dialed in as good as I can get it (you can only do so much with uncompensated saddles) and I really don't want to have to go through that tedium again. I'll probably just leave it since nobody else has to play it or look at it besides me :)
 

emptyminded42

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After playing the offset Tele for a few days I realized just how badly the intonation was off and I couldn't get it dialed in where I wanted. So I picked up some Wilkinson compensated saddles and just set it back up. I still have a little bit of tweaking to so as far as action is concerned but now it's intonated (close enough for me, at least). In the super fun process of flipping the humbucker back to how it's supposed to be (black section w/ screws toward the neck) I realized that I really, really, really hate re-stringing guitars and so bought a cheap set of locking tuners from Amazon (Guyker brand). They lock like the Schaller/Fender ones but there was some fit issues on the Jazzcaster (the ones I put in the Cyclone fit fine, if a little tightly). Luckily I have a Dremel so I grinded off some of the edges off two of the tuner backs and got them installed. I'm never going without locking tuners again. re-stringing is so annoying and time consuming but now it's fast and easy. Highly recommend locking tuners to everyone. The extra $20-30 over regular tuners is worth every penny.

The only other things are investigating if the drop in volume and weird tone in the middle pickup selector position is normal or a symptom of out-of-phase pickups, I'm 99% sure the Golden Age pickups are made by Seymour Duncan and I've seen rumors that they wire their pickups in the opposite phasing from other manufacturers. And still need to decide on the pickguard color - for now I think it's fine, though.
 

emptyminded42

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Alright, finally got around to swapping the leads on the humbucker and sure enough, it fixed the crappy sound in the middle position. Now it does actually sound like the bucker and single coil together. That humbucker must be reverse wound or something.

But I’m still hearing buzzing when I’m cranking up the gain that goes away when I touch the bridge or the strings. I added a grounding wire between the tone pot and volume pot which I was hoping would fix it.

I might just clip the grounding jumper on the bridge pickup and run a dedicated bridge ground wire instead to see if that does anything. Or maybe there’s just always hum/buzz when you’re using tons of gain and overdrive? I have a tube screamer with the level and overdrive dimed going into a tube preamp pedal with its gain dimed as well. It sounds awesome, though. Perhaps the buzz is just an artifact of all that gain?

Another thing that I’m wondering is if it’s possible to match the output of the neck humbucker to the bridge single coil. Unsurprisingly the humbucker, despite being a vintage wound pickup, is louder than the tele bridge pickup (also vintage wound - a ‘62 reissue). Is there a way to add a resistor to one of them to get the output to match better? It’s not a necessity but it’d really make the guitar that much closer to perfect. If I need to swap pickups I might just let it ride for now - I’m done spending money on this guitar for now haha
 

emptyminded42

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YES! Good for you, you do it! Yes !

I adjusted the pickup heights last night and got them both dialed in as well as I can manage. The humbucker is still darker than I'd like but I can't coax any more treble out of it - I've already raised the pole pieces and raised it as much as I could while matching the output of the bridge single coil. But it's a heck of a lot better than it was before tinkering with it. The middle position is now a nice blend of the two - fatness from the bucker and the sparkle from the Tele bridge.

Now I'm thinking of adding a treble bleed circuit (I have a set, just hadn't added it yet) and I'd really like to see if I can do a coil tap on the humbucker. I'm not sure if that's really doable given the Tele controls (3-way switch, volume, and tone pot) but I'm going to look into it. I may end up ditching the tone pot altogether and doing two volume pots. This way I can add a push-pull to coil tap the humbucker pretty easily. I really don't use the tone knob - I just crank it up regardless of pickup I'm using.
 

ping-ping-clicka

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I adjusted the pickup heights last night and got them both dialed in as well as I can manage. The humbucker is still darker than I'd like but I can't coax any more treble out of it - I've already raised the pole pieces and raised it as much as I could while matching the output of the bridge single coil. But it's a heck of a lot better than it was before tinkering with it. The middle position is now a nice blend of the two - fatness from the bucker and the sparkle from the Tele bridge.

Now I'm thinking of adding a treble bleed circuit (I have a set, just hadn't added it yet) and I'd really like to see if I can do a coil tap on the humbucker. I'm not sure if that's really doable given the Tele controls (3-way switch, volume, and tone pot) but I'm going to look into it. I may end up ditching the tone pot altogether and doing two volume pots. This way I can add a push-pull to coil tap the humbucker pretty easily. I really don't use the tone knob - I just crank it up regardless of pickup I'm using.
good on you . I admire what your doing and how you are doing it.
You start out playing the damned things as kinna a hobbie then before you know it you got a new hobbie learning to maintain and adjust them next thing your learning to assemble and tweek them , different picks and of coarse , by now you know the difference between a phase pedal and a flanger pedal and what an oil can delay sounds like and their you good what did you think you would when you retire other than fishin' and playing liar's dice at the local watering hole , with your buddies.
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emptyminded42

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good on you . I admire what your doing and how you are doing it.
You start out playing the damned things as kinna a hobbie then before you know it you got a new hobbie learning to maintain and adjust them next thing your learning to assemble and tweek them , different picks and of coarse , by now you know the difference between a phase pedal and a flanger pedal and what an oil can delay sounds like and their you good what did you think you would when you retire other than fishin' and playing liar's dice at the local watering hole , with your buddies.

Haha definitely it's definitely been a like 15 year process of developing this addiction - I started playing bass in early high school. Took lessons and eventually got good enough to join the jazz band. Through that I met my buddies who needed a bassist for their blues/classic rock band and all of a sudden I needed a better 5-string (bought a Warwick Rockbass Corvette 5-string as an upgrade from the Squier 5-string P-bass I essentially stole from my older brother) and was playing with them at local coffee shops and graduation parties. This made it obvious I needed to buy a more powerful amp so I got a job washing dishes to fund my 300W Peavey 2x10" modeling combo amp. l then figured out I wanted an electric guitar so I bought my Cyclone II and a cheap Rogue 2x12 solid state combo. Then I needed effects pedals because the overdrive wasn't cool enough so I bought a DS-1 distortion and a TS-808 Tube Screamer. I played with my buddies on holiday breaks during college but hadn't really played at all through the 20-teens when I graduated, got my first grown-up job, got married, etc.

I finally picked my bass and guitar back up when the world was shut down in 2020.

Now I'm working 4/5 days from home and both kids are in daycare so I have a lot more time to tinker and play. I decided I wanted to expand my guitar options and ordered the Jazzcaster stuff but when Warmoth told me the body would take 3 months or more to get delivered I quickly scooped up parts for a 4-string P-bass to build while I waited. Turns out, finishing a guitar body is really hard to do well and it's very time consuming but I ended up with a passable body and a really sweet playing and sounding P-bass that has the cool Geddy Lee style black inlay Jazz neck with a P-bass body and electronics. It's not as versatile as my 5-string Corvette with active Jazz-style pickups but it sure is satisfying playing something I designed myself.

This has definitely started me on the slippery slope of wanting to DIY everything guitar and bass - I'm eyeing doing Rob Robinette's Deluxe Micro because I've always wanted a small tube amp and thinking of scooping up one of the Squier Contemporary Jaguar HHs. I've always wanted a Les Paul Classic in Cherry Burst. And a red 335. I don't have a Jazzmaster yet, either. Or anything with P90s... the Player Mustang 90 looks pretty sweet too! I'm a sucker for maple necks but that Burgundy Mist Metallic is a cool color... I could also do another Warmoth custom build, too...

I'm really thankful for this forum for being so welcoming to newbies with a flood of advice, tips, and enthusiasm. But my wife hates is because now I want to spend more and more money on this reignited hobby 😁 I might even get the silly idea to try to get back to playing out live with my buddies again...
 




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