Why would I NOT do this?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by johmica, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. johmica

    johmica Tele-Meister

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    I just purchased a CV Jazzmaster. I wanted to get something that I could learn to work on (adjust the truss rod, dress the frets, set the intonation and action, etc.) without worrying about ruining an expensive guitar. So here's my question:

    Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to sink money into this thing?

    What I'm thinking about is, over time, swapping out the pickups and electronics, replacing the bridge with a Mastery bridge, and eventually maybe even replacing the neck with an American Professional Jazzmaster neck. What would be left from the original guitar would be the body and maybe the vibrato (secondary question - any reason to consider replacing the vibrato with an American Professional, as well?).

    I'm not really worried about resale value (I understand how I might lose money if I ever eventually sold it on eBay or something). I'm just curious to hear opinions on why I wouldn't want to do this. The reasons why I would: 1) it spreads the costs over time, so I don't have to come up with $1500 upfront for an American Professional (I'm a lefty, so the market for quality used guitars is scant); and 2) I've already got this body, and I don't need two Jazzmasters.

    Happy holidays, everyone. I'm looking forward to reading your opinions.
     
  2. Gaz_

    Gaz_ Tele-Meister

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    Just my opinion, but there are thousands of cheap guitars out there that no one wants, if it was me, I'd buy a johnson or a stagg or something of that ilk and learn to dress the frets etc on that. It'll probably cost you £20 and it really doesn't matter if you mess it up.

    Also, it's more likely to have the kind of things you're looking for to fix.

    With regards to the second guitar. My knowledge of squiers is that the body is usually thinner than an american standard, and the electrics and hardware are usually made of weaker cast metal. I'm not sure about the body depth on the cv line though.

    Basically, just check you like the weight and thickness of the body before you go for it. Some of those cv squiers look amazing, and I've been tempted to do the same myself.
     
  3. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

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    if you LOVE the CV: enjoy the journey of playing and upgrading components.

    if what you REALLY want is an AM PRO Jazzmaster just sell the CV and buy the AMPRO.
     
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  4. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    Save up a bit more cash and go for one of the Player Jazzmasters, or the Vintera ones. For what you are going to lay out, eventually it will end up costing you the same anyway. Just my 0.02ç
     
  5. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the thing you want to think about is how much this is about the journey and how much is about the destination.

    If you want the best possible Jazzmaster for the money you have in it, the upgrade route is risky - you might end up with an amazing guitar, but you won't know until you've put all that money into it and put it up against whatever you could have bought with the same investment. If it's just about the guitar you end up with, I'd probably say enjoy the CV as is for now, maybe keep an eye out for Ebay bargains on parts, see if a used set of pickups or a Mastery bridge pops up, but otherwise save up for the better guitar.

    On the other hand, there's a lot of value in working on a project as well - you learn things, it's fun figuring out how you're going to do it, you get pleasure out of the time you're working on it as well as playing it. So if that stuff matters to you I'd go for it. You might not end up with the best possible guitar for the investment, but if you've got enough out of actually doing it it doesn't matter.

    If you do go the upgrade route I'd still go slowly and not rush out to buy everything at once. Firstly it means you can wait for deals to come up and not sink too much money into it, and secondly if you mod it one step at a time you can get a good food on what mods made a big difference and what was less impressive. Often people jump in, change a dozen things at once and end up with no idea how they improved it.

    CVs are great bare bones guitars - the only thing that often annoys me about them is the fretwork is sometimes pretty rough, but in this case that's just a good opportunity to try fixing them yourself.
     
  6. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    The only game changing vibrato is the Mastery vibrato IMHO. As far as upgrading, I wouldn't have a problem doing it myself. I assembled and finished the 4 partscasters that are in my signature. It also took me a few tries to get the approach for building them down flat. I think the Fender platform is great for personalized customization. It's a guitar that has tons of choices for every single piece that you can obtain and install yourself. What more could you ask for?
     
  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Good set-ups are a great skill to possess.
    If you're adept at driving tools, you can safely do it on ANY guitar.
    The most dangerous thing is the truss rod and just about every guitar comes with a TR wrench...it's MEANT to be user friendly.
    Frets are the big deal for a great set-up, and you can really screw stuff up, there.
    It's totally worth it to learn how to do it, but learn on an expendable neck.
    If you screw up a level and crown, then you get to try a re-fret!!
     
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  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can only relate my personal experiences that may be similar to what you're suggesting.
    I bought my main Telecaster twenty years ago, as a 1993 Korean Fender Squier Tele. Over the years, I've changed out the bridge (four or five times) the pickups (four or five times) the tuners, pick guard and even the neck. (to a Warmoth "conversion" neck) Rather than buy and try a dozen different guitars, mine "evolved" into what it is today. The only original parts that remain are the body, control plate, and strap buttons. It was a fun and educational "journey", and got me to my ideal guitar. As I did all these various changes, I continued to play and gig with it, so I was "field testing" every new addition. When I started on it, I never dreamed it would take the eighteen or so years it took.
    I say....go for it! Enjoy the trip! ;)
     
  9. PixMix

    PixMix Tele-Holic

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    Save all original parts, they're not worth much anyway, so you can return the guitar to stock if you ever want to sell it. Then buy a better Jazzmaster, or put your own together from quality parts, reusing the mastery and pickups.
     
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  10. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    If you want to have fun and learn about set-ups and modding, then I’m sorry I can’t think of any reasons not to do it.
     
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Lots of reasons but every one is also an opinion.
    Once all that’s left of the CV is the body you could buy a different body and put the CV back together.
    Or you could sell off the CV parts as you replace them.
    If you want to grind down some frets I think we all agree the CV is the place to start, and many of us agree that learning to fix your guitars has value.
    Not sure if that equates to the added cost of buying Am Pro parts but that would be your opinion!
     
  12. Buffalo0993

    Buffalo0993 Tele-Holic

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    I notice alot of people on guitar forums have a serious aversion to modding. "sell it and buy what you want"

    I think its great. All of my guitars are modded. Not only does it give me more control over the final product, its just downright fun and ive learned a new skill in soldering that ive actually used alot outside of the guitar world.

    I challenge anyone to compare stock fender electronics to something like RSguitarworks pots and caps and tell me that the RS isnt an improvement

    The biggest thing for me is that the guitar has to sound decent and the neck profile has to be workable. If these two aspects arent right from the beginning its just a waste.

    From the lowliest squier affinities to the custom shop pieces, i say mod em all.
     
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  13. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    White Strat.jpg

    I've had this guitar since about 1987. It began life as a MIJ Tokai. It's had so many parts changed and been painted so many different colors, I'm not even sure what's original anymore. The amount of time and money I've sunk into it far exceeded it's value decades ago. I have plenty of other guitars that are prettier, more expensive, and more original, but this one is my "number one". It's taught me practically every thing I know about building, playing, and repair.

    So if that's a journey you're interested in taking, go for it.
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Haha I was with you until you said RS pots and caps are an improvement over Fender!
    We all have our opinions but Fender buys pots from the same factory as RS, and there are no caps that only pass the ugly highs to ground while blocking the attractive highs.

    Otherwise all my guitars are modded too since 1980.
     
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  15. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    I’d give the stock bridge and vibrato a Chance as they aren’t as bad as the internet makes them out to be

    I’ve had one trem on a made in China mascis that made a terrible clicking sound but I also have a made in Indonesia vm jaguar that has a perfectly acceptable unit

    And as far as putting all that money into it make sure you save the original parts because you would be lucky to sell it for a quarter of what you put into it

    A couple years ago I put a jazzmaster together and my problem was I thought I’d save money by doing one myself but I wanted the best parts I could afford and ended kicking myself at the end because I ended up spending as much as a new American vintage at the time , I wouldn’t sell it but would be lucky to get half my money out of it if I did
     
  16. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree that mods are best done over time. If you swap a bunch of components at once, you are not really sure which component caused which effect.
     
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  17. Buffalo0993

    Buffalo0993 Tele-Holic

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    I believe that the volume pots are definitely an improvement. They do still come CTS, but the tapers are different. There is alot more usable space on the RS super pots.

    Youre right about the caps though
     
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  18. tamer_of_banthas

    tamer_of_banthas Tele-Meister

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    this is the correct answer. go buy something at a pawn shop that you can completely destroy and not feel bad about if the aim is to teach yourself how to work on guitars.

     
  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That’s a fair suggestion but there would be some qualifiers.

    One would be exactly how clumsy the OP is with tools.
    Working as a tach and shopping on eBay I’d agree that plenty who think they can fix a guitar should practice on a $59 junker and then never try it again. Others are actually able to learn without doing major damage.

    Another qualifier might be what price point is the right price point.
    If you’re not a complete butcher when you pick up a screwdriver and your Squier is your “cheap” guitar, maybe it’s OK to start on that floor rather than heading for the basement.
    I don’t want to put hours of labor into fixing anything I wouldn’t want to own.
    My first practice guitar was a ‘65 Mustang and I replaced everything but the neck.
    There was no internet or hobby tech tutorial available then.
    Guitars really aren’t that hard to work on, particularly with YouTube guidance and forums for when you get stuck.
     
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  20. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    My No. 1 was built by someone with more skills than me. But learning what I wanted him to build came from putting partscaster together and tweaking cheap guitars. The payoff may not be in the guitar at hand, but there may be a payoff nonetheless.
     
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