F-hole Jazzmaster

Martijndrift

New member
Messages
4
So I finished this guitar a while ago already, but I was in too much of a hurry to finish and play it, so I didn't start this post yet. Luckily, I took some pictures along the way.

Specs:

Body:
Alder body
Chambered with F hole
non-unique choice black korina top
Contoured neck heel
Tune-o-matic route with angled neck pocket
unfinished

Neck:
Vintage-modern construction
Canary shaft
Pau ferro fretboard (unique choice)
22 frets
6150 SS frets
Graphtec nut
Schaller tuner holes

Hardware:
Bridge: Schaller STM
Tremolo: Goldo LT2
Pickups: Tonerider AC2 (N+B) / Tonerider AC4 (N+B) / Suhr thornbucker (neck) --> Currently Tonerider AC2
Tuners: Schaller locking staggered
Pots: 500K volume, 2x 500x tone
Schaller megaswitch M
Wiring: Neck HB/Inner coils/Neck HB + bridge HB/ Neck inner coil / Bridge HB

First I sanded the body with 600 grit. Then went ahead and applied 4 coats of danish oil over a few days. I was afraid the neck wood (canary) wouldn't match well with the alder body of the guitar, but after the danish oil the alder came pretty close to the colour of the neck. The top came out great as well with oil finish. I kept the neck unfinished, it's nicer to the touch than an oiled maple neck I have on my strat, so I decided to keep it that way.

I then covered the entire routed parts with snail repelling copper tape, which works way better than the stuff they sell at some guitar stores. Most importantly it's conductive on both sides, so no soldering needed to connect the layers.

I ordered the pickguard without control holes because I wanted a custom pattern. However the room in the body for the last pot is rather narrow so the hole had to be in exactly the right spot. For this I took a picture of the guitar body and the pickguard, matched the size and overlayed them in photoshop. Drew in the holes, printed it on true scale and drilled the holes. The white pickguard is the template :)

Then I went ahead and installed the tuners. Aligned them with a ruler and fastened them a bit to get the center holes for the notches which keep the tuner in place. Drilled to holes and tightened them. The quality of these schaller tuners is excellent. They are staggered so no string tree required. The price is quite steep though. These tuners were a custom order from schaller directly, but I received them in 8 days, so that's pretty good service.

The bridge came with small posts, which did fit the bridge, but not the insert. The holes I had routed were for a standard M8 insert, but schaller normally delivers an M6? variant. So I had to order the fitting posts from schaller directly.

Bolting the neck on was pretty easy. It has the contoured heel option and it was delivered with 2 shorter screws. I took the liberty of shortening 1 screw ever further as it would protrude all the way into the fretboard, which seemed too much of a risk.

Then the wiring: The superswitch is a breeze to wire the first time, but a nightmare once the wires start to pile up and when your making changes. The solder pads are close together and you very quickly have the problem that the solder overlaps the gap, or a wire touches the wrong pad. I had all the electronics fitted rather quickly the first time though. Test fitting the pickguard I noticed that I had to raise the neck humbucker all the way to get the pickguard in when the neck is mounted, which is a slight inconvenience.

The first acoustic test drive revealed that the guitar sounds really resonant and nicely balanced acoustically, which is why I chose an alter body over a complete korina body.  It is a bit neck heavy, but when I rest the lower horn on my knee like I normally play it balances out very nicely. I have a 5 string bass which neck dives like crazy. Compared to that, this guitar is well balanced :)

I started out with a tonerider AC4 (alnico PAF pickup) in the bridge and I bought a second hand suhr thornbucker neck pickup. The bridge pickup sounded quite nice and vintage, but with a really tight bass. It lacked some character though. I got the suhr thornbucker hoping to get a relatively sparkling top end and a very usable neck pickup. I've had this pickup in 3 guitars and in each of them there is a lack of top end while the lower string lack attack and definition. I put in the tonerider ac4 in the neck after that, which solved the low end thing, but a bit too much, that pickup works wonders in a muddy les paul though. I decided I wanted a bit more of a single coil paf ish tone, so I pulled the trigger on tonerider AC2 pickups. They have more low end and more sparkle than the ac4 (and definitely the thornbuckers  :icon_scratch:). All in all they provide a really nice vintage sound. The bridge sounds like a telecaster on steroids, always with plenty of clarity. The neck still has plenty of clarity, but also enough character. The middle provides really nice clean tones.
I have position 2 wires to give me the inner neck coil. I switch to this position a lot for clean sounds and then to position 1 for the gained up tones. This way I can reach the correct position easily rather than having it on position 4.

Initially the guitar didn't hold tuning all too well. The culprit of this was the graphtech tusq XL nut. While it should accept strings up to 11-49, it was definitely binding them. I had a luthier file the slots. He also did some additional nut shaping and he rounded the fret ends. After that, this thing is immensely stable. The goldo LT2 tremolo is very smooth and the arm is positioned nicely, I prefer it to a bigsby. Moreover, if I ever decide I want it hard tailed, I can just put on a stop tail piece. With this you can have the cake and eat it too!

All the hardware is nickel, but I didn't like the shininess, so I brushed everything with a pad of scotchbrite. That came out really nicely like that.

All in all, I'm very happy with the end result. It sounds, plays AND looks like I wanted it to!
 

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SeaGroomer

Senior member
Messages
206
That's probably one of the coolest Jazzmasters I've ever seen! I love the figuring of the top, and the hardware looks really snazzy on it.

Very cool build, quite unique too.  :yourock:
 
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