NGD Fender American Original '60s Jazzmaster, Ocean Turquoise Rosewood

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by rze99, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,233
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    Oh man, what a beauty! I've been saving some funds for a parts build Jazzmaster over the last few months. To be frank, I was really struggling about parts and specs because... I've never owned one before! I don't know why, but I suppose mainly lack of exposure.

    I decided not to build. I don't really know or "get" the electronics and I didn't fancy hours of dicking about getting it wrong. So I decided to buy.

    Quite a few over-priced Japanese and AVRIs caught my attention over a number of months but not right. Anyway, I the spec I wanted narrowed me down to a new American Original as the closest to the spec I wanted. I wanted the modern radius and bigger frets but otherwise vintage specs. TBH I had settled for an aged Firemist Silver (ooh) but that would have meant CS prices which are silly.

    I've had some detailed automated searches trying to find me a used one but none ever came up.
    Then this one came up - a shop floor demonstrator. Mint! Unmarked. With all case goodies, etc. It was about £250 less than new price of the most discounted on-line shops.

    I KNOW from pricing up I cannot build a close-to equivalent guitar for less this, especially not including the hard shell case so, what the heck, I just can't lose!

    I have to say I set my expectations a little low to be on the safe side, but I just wasn't quite prepared for it's sheer beauty as an object. It is just glorious to look at. Will you look at that colour and the bound, very dark, rosewood fretboard - it is just poetry! I've got a lightly aged mint green guard ready for a change sometime but, really, I love the way it looks now.

    The quality of the rosewood is also superb. I couldn't have specified a nice piece. Smooth, very dark with nice chestnut hints in the daylight.

    And then I played it (as supplied from the shop).

    All was mostly fine as set up by the shop, except for that... bridge. What a piece of crap! Rattle, buzz, rattle....

    and the intonation was well off - the A and E were seriously sharp despite extreme settings. Anyone else have this?

    Also, the sheer quantity of behind-the-nut and behind the bridge harmonics coming through the amp ... It was like a bloody off-key orchestra!

    So I fiddled with the bridge for a couple of hours and more. The intonation saddles just wouldn't go back far enough on the low A and E to intonate.

    So I -

    1) ripped out the the A and E saddle springs to allow enough room to get the intonation right. Result: intonation perfect. But, even worse rattle, rattle.

    2) I cut small pieces of dark grey packing foam and I stuffed them very tightly into the intonation saddle gaps. Result: No rattles! (Pictured)

    3) I cut a strip of the same packing foam to put directly behind the bridge to suppress the behind the bridge notes. Result: No orchestra of harmonics! (not pictured). I will just put this in place wen I play (like my Ric and Gretsch guitars).

    4) I put a tiny piece of sellotape and stuffed it very close to the G string post. Result: stopped the G behind the nut ringing :)

    With that all done, I then spend hours playing through my DRRI at breakup, with a Carbon Copy pedal, a little Wampler Ego Comp and a little amp trem.

    Wonderful! What a great Fender sound. I barely notice the slightly longer scale. The bound neck is smooth with no pull or fret roughness, the trem is just amazing (a genuine Leo triumph). It stays perfectly in tune. The trem action is so smooth and sweet, little touches here and there with delay and reverb are a delight.

    The bridge pickup is great for Stratty stuff. I prefer it to a Bigsby and I finally "get" the JM Tele hybrid.

    It's about 8 pound and balances perfectly. Feels lighter on the strap.

    With the tone pot rolled back to about 7 it's got a great sounds. Smoother than a Strat, not as bitey as Tele. A softer twangy, meaty, warm attack. It's its own thing swinging there. It's easy to play, action is low, no fret choking and no tuning issues.

    I've been reading about the various strings that people play, but the 10-46 on it already seem OK.

    I can't make a better vid of this particular guitar than this lady (certainly to look at) but Fender must have paid her because I find find a single video of her playing it!



    and this is probably the best general JM demo ever.. not focused on surf or indie. Yup, love him or loathe him, few can equal his demo skills, Mr G Kochery




    Pics (it looks a little bluer in these than in person

    IMG_3162.JPG

    IMG_3165.JPG

    IMG_3178.JPG

    IMG_3169.JPG

    IMG_3181b.JPG

    IMG_3183.JPG

    IMG_3188.JPG


    IMG_3185.JPG

    IMG_3192.JPG

    IMG_3163.JPG
     
  2. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,763
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Seriously, lovely color! Congrats!!

    I havent used or even tried a JM, I dont really know their tone.. but this post makes me want to have one just for the heck of it!
     
    rze99 likes this.
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    65,460
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Wow!
     
    rze99 likes this.
  4. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,037
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    Renfrew county, Canada.
    Congrats love the colour.
     
    rze99 likes this.
  5. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,923
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    Jazzmasters are cantankerous beasts, but putting in the time to understand their quirks will be richly rewarded.

    With these guitars and their Jaguar sisters, you basically have three choices-

    1. Learn their quirks and how to do a proper setup yourself.
    2. Find a guitar tech who understands them and pay to have the guitar setup and maintained.

    or...

    3. Suffer.

    I've bought several offsets from owners who chose 3 and finally gave up in disgust on this guitar with the "POS bridge that won't stay in tune," and an hour after I got home had the thing purring like a kitten.

    I HIGHLY recommend reading and re-reading this article until you can recite it in your sleep... that effort will pay off in SPADES:
    https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/25516-diy-how-to-set-up-jazzmasters-jaguars

    Enjoy the axe, that Ocean Turquoise is sexy as hell... if they'd only put a matching headstock on it I'd have robbed a bank and bought one.
     
  6. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,923
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    And Greg Koch is one of those reviewers whose videos are all worthless to me, since he makes everything he touches sound flippin' amazing, in a way that I will never make a guitar sound, ever.
     
    theprofessor and rze99 like this.
  7. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    5,085
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Athens-GREECE
    There are two more options:

    1.Buy a Mastery bridge
    2.Buy a Staytrem bridge

    And be done with it.
     
  8. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,233
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK

    Thanks for that link. I'm pretty good with set ups. While I admit that my stuffing them intonation saddles with foam trick is crude and temporary it is working really well. It plays and sounds great and I have no issues as it stands.
     
    NewKid likes this.
  9. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    3,394
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Paris France - Rome Italy
    What a looker, @rze99 !

    I am very happy for you, enjoy this beauty in good health.
     
    rze99 likes this.
  10. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,412
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Excellent! Very beautiful! What @beyer160 said -- that Jazzmasters are cantankerous beasts -- is what keeps me away from them. Because the looks of them sure don't! They're gorgeous. And yours is especially gorgeous. Love the color, the rosewood, and the binding on the neck.

    I think of guitars on levels of "fussiness." Least fussy: Tele; More fussy: Strat; Really fussy: Jazzmaster. But if you get everything set up right, it'll be wonderful.

    Congratulations!
     
    rze99 likes this.
  11. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    4,147
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    Congratulations and hngd. I put a mustang bridge on my Jag for laziness. Plays pretty good.
     
    Kebmel likes this.
  12. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,773
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    West Lothian, Scotland
    Congrats — you now have the twin of my AO’60s JM — except that mine was really well set up and has been virtually no trouble at all: I think the bridge works a treat. The only issue I’ve had is the saddles do creep down a little, especially in the A-string: when I’m changing strings next I will put some threadlock on there. Everything else has worked really well and — once I’d got used to having the tone turned down to around 5 as the starting point — sounds truly great.
     
    rze99 likes this.
  13. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    255
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Wow what a ripper. Enjoy!
     
    rze99 likes this.
  14. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    507
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    Congrats on your beautiful Jazzmaster! Ocean Turquoise is my favorite JM color.

    Love Greg Koch too - he’s so entertaining in every video.
     
    rze99 likes this.
  15. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Holic

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    659
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Location:
    Van Zandt Co, Texas
    Freaking awesome!!! I’ve been wanting a JM for a couple years now. Not in my budget but that would be the color if it was. Happy happy happy NGD!
     
    rze99 likes this.
  16. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,923
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    The whole Staytrem/Mastery thing reminds me of an old joke a friend of mine in the intelligence community used to tell- in order to make sure their agents would be able to survive anywhere in the world under any conditions, the KGB trained their operatives to be able to eat anything- bugs, plants, rocks, dirt, whatever. To achieve the same goal, the CIA made sure there was a McDonald's in every city in the world.

    If you're Nels Cline playing 360 nights a year, laying out for one of those fancy bridges makes sense since time is money. For the rest of us, how hard is it to spend 20 minutes reading an article and daubing a little Locktite on your screws twice a year? There's really nothing wrong with the original bridge as long as you understand how it works- bands in the '60s seemed to do OK with them. It's actually a pretty clever arrangement in that it allows you to individually tailor string height and spacing... something none of the "improved" bridges allow. If you try and treat it like a Gibson style bridge though, you're gonna have problems because it isn't one.
     
    howardlo, Shango66, AAT65 and 2 others like this.
  17. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,874
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Space
    All my bridge needed was some neck shimming, and then playing with the individual saddle heights and overall bridge height to get the height I wanted without the strings touching the front of the bridge. Like you said, a bit of a time investment, but not at all difficult.

    I did replace my stock bridge with a Mustang bridge, just because I preferred the one deep center string groove, and I never had an issue with string spacing.

    [​IMG]
    Aside from that, it's functionally identical to your typical JM bridge.
     
    Kebmel likes this.
  18. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    1,318
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Kittery, Maine
    My AVRI 65 came with a Mustang bridge installed. Works so well I never put the original on. Different radius than yours though. I think the Staytrem is available in 9.5? Anyway, enjoy your JM - it's a beauty! The middle position it the honking/twangy sound I'd been looking for for years.
     
  19. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,282
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm already one of those guys, so I'll go ahead and point out that this is not a Mustang bridge :)
     
  20. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,874
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Space
    BorderRadio likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.