Jazzblaster Deluxe prototype v1.0 to replace my '78 Tele Deluxe

Somnospeed

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Posts
145
Age
48
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
I suppose one could argue that this guitar doesn't belong in this forum, but I digress. Underneath this Jazzy exterior lies a '70's Tele Deluxe! ;)

Backstory:
So I'm a huge fan of the 70's Telecaster Deluxe models with the WRHB. It would have been my Numero Uno main guitar, but I could not stand the neck. Totally sharp edges and I'm a thumb over player. So for me, it was torture; best and worst of both worlds.
:squint:
I couldn't bring myself to change the neck on such a classic (3 bolt anyway...
:fp:
) So I decided to keep the WRHB tone and make myself a cool looking, great feeling, easy playing Jazzblaster. I'm a huge Sonic Youth fan and remember searching and searching magazines, VHS videos, DVD's, etc, trying to figure out what frickin' model Jazzmaster Lee Ranaldo was playing. Pre-internet... so I had no idea Lee had them custom made. I thought it was some super-secret Seattle-only guitar that was too cool to find anywhere in my boring town. It turns out no such Jazzmaster existed.

Fast forward 25 years... I finally got one of those exclusive Seattle-only Jazzblasters, but it just couldn't match that Tele Deluxe tone. I thought it must be the pickups but nope, my issue was that I could not adjust tone and volume settings for each individual pickup. The pickups were fine, but with only one tone and one volume, I knew the tones I was looking for where locked in there somewhere, they just needed to be unlocked.

Enter the Jazzblaster Deluxe. I added an additional volume and tone pots, as well as moved the pup selector to the top horn, ala the Tele Deluxe (Did I mention I loved those??
;D
) First test run, it was immediately apparent that having only one vol and tone hides a lot of fine-tuning options on the WRHB. Having doubled the pots does not directly translate to doubling tone adjust options... I say it triples it at least!! YMMV. Granted, I upgraded the pots from 500k to 1Meg and added a treble bleed, but I am factoring that in my assessment. I still say the tone options are free from their two pot chokehold! I eliminated the rhythm circuit entirely because 1. I cannot find even one usable tone in a JM rhythm circuit. 2. I needed the space lol.
Looks wise, et...
:derp:
I like it. I love it, actually but I admit the placement of the neck pup knobs is not a final design. Being that this is Prototype #1 I wanted to use the current pickguard so I used the original pup selector switch hole for one of the added pots and drilled for the other. But performance-wise, they are perfect. You may have noticed that my two volume knobs are next to each other in a TV-VT pattern, which is an atypical staggering on any guitar. My style of EQ is to find the "sweet spot" in the tone knob each pup and, for the most part, leave the tone knob set at that position. Then I use the two volume knobs as the EQ to adjust tone in the middle position, which I play most. Deeper tone, roll off bridge volume. Vice-versa. So the knobs being located where they are suit my playing style perfect. I can reach each volume knob without moving my hand left or right, away from my strumming position. I can now easily reach each volume with the most minimal arm movement. Mission accomplished!!

Like I said, this is Prototype v1.0. This is my first Jazzmaster ever so I wasn't sure if all those extra pots and wires would even fit inside there lol. Now that I know it does fit and how to do it, I know the final product will be a big improvement over the prototypes. Jazzblaster Deluxe prototype v1.2 soon to come. Stay tuned!!
:w00t:
IMG_9052.jpg
IMG_9053.jpg
IMG_9051.jpg
 
Last edited:

backporchmusic

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Posts
5,500
Location
USA
That's very cool. For me, all the V and T knobs are in the way. Which is why I love Tele Deluxe--they are fully out of the way. But ergonomic design wise, I suppose I am a Gibson guy. Tele, Strat, Jazzmaster, either knobs or selector switches are in my path of travel.
 

Somnospeed

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Posts
145
Age
48
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Yeah the Tele Deluxe has a much better platform for 4 pots. I plan to do a modern Tele Deluxe Pro II WRHB conversion some time in the future. Mocha with a Rosewood board for me. For now, I just wanted to see if the Jazzblaster vision I had in mind would work on a Jazzmaster. Lee Ranaldo signature JM has only one volume and no tone. I wanted the opposite but wasn't sure if there was room under the pickguard. I'm super stoked that there is!
 

dinomike77

Tele-Meister
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Posts
356
Maybe a concentric pot for your tone controls, a blend pot with center detent for your pickup balance and a master volume?
 

dinomike77

Tele-Meister
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Posts
356
Maybe laid out like this?
 

Attachments

  • 52C5AB13-A5EA-4007-B1D1-EF9E9B037EA9.png
    52C5AB13-A5EA-4007-B1D1-EF9E9B037EA9.png
    697.1 KB · Views: 18

Somnospeed

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Posts
145
Age
48
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
I thought about going that route, and might on a future project. But being that I've never seen a Jazzmaster with two knobs added, I thought I'd go for it. I love it. Simple to use and works perfect for fine tuning. That paired with the 1Meg pots and it's like listening to crystal bells chiming! lol
 

Somnospeed

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Posts
145
Age
48
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Yeah I first realized that on a Les Paul as well. In my opinion, 4 pots is the simplest, most convenient way to adjust tone. Pedals and amps get the tone right to start to song, but they still aren't "set it and forget it". Usually some adjustments are needed on the fly so 4 pots is definitely best for that.

Now for SRV tones on my Strat... It really is a "set it and forget it" tone. I don't want variety when it comes to SRV tones! 😁
 




Top