jazzmaster issues

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
i have a warmoth jazzmaster with lollar p90s.

the main issue i have with it is string tension.

it is simply difficult to play it in standard tuning. after a half hour of playing my hand literally aches!

most often i simply tune it one level down - from D - to be able to play it comfortably.

when my guitar tech assembled it up he also installed a buzzstop on it - i'm not sure if this is the source of the problem. but apparently without the buzzstop the jazzmaster sounds "thin" - though i'm not sure how it will be be standard p90s.

another issue which has recently cropped up is that now the first and second strings at the first three frets are fretting out - giving a tinny sound. somewhere the strings are in contact with the frets.

when setting it up my tech told me about the adjustments (no physical modification involved) he had made to get the bridge (warmoth modified) on level with the fretboard etc.

now i wonder if those adjustments/alignments are off - with changing weather etc.

i will be taking it to my tech this weekend. but would also appreciate some insights from the forum members.

i find the jazzmaster very comfortable to play standing etc - but i simply do not want a guitar which has recurring issues and needs constant maintenance/pro-adjusting etc. and after all the money i spent on it i am a bit put off.
 

kboman

Senior member
Messages
2,378
Re: the hand fatigue: does your guitar have a 25,5" scale, and are you unused to it? Have you recently gone up in string gauge? Do you experience fatigue playing other guitars? Have you analysed your left hand technique?

A new guitar will need to have its setup adjusted as it settles down, varying in degree from guitar to guitar. Setup also changes with weather/season, to some degree. Learn to do at least the basic adjustments/intonation on your own, it will save you lots of money and grief.
 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
the neck has a conversion scale. i always use .10 gauge. and i have been playing the jazzmaster for 6 months now.

yea maybe i should learn to do the basic setup.

i should get a book for this?
 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
all my guitars have 24.75" scale. i don't have any hand fatigue issue with my other guitars.
 

bpmorton777

Senior member
Messages
1,651
Also,

where is the guitar in relation to your body? I always play with the guitar fairly high up like a jazz palyer would, it gives me more access.

Brian
 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
neck profile is standard slim. my guitar tech did put 11s on it - which i felt really difficult to play with. then i took them out and puts 10s on. but even with the 10s it is difficult to play it in standard tuning.

if you guys have seen a buzz stop, it almost acts like a semi-bridge, but pushing down on the strings mid-way between the bridge and the tremolo. i have a feeling thatstring being pushed down that little extra is causing it to tighten the string tension.
 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
i actually used to sling my guitars pretty high - because it made fast alternate picked runs easy.

then i realized that my picking was suffering on attack - especially playing rhythm - because of it - something to do with the arm position and the wrist movement at that level. i discovered it accidentally at guitar center while trying out a tele.

now i string it slightly lower (my picking hand is now on line or slightly above my navel i think) and it is very comfortable and my attack has improved.
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
What kind of bridge do you have? The standard JM?

I have a Warmoth Jazzmaster with a hardtail and Fender scale length, and I don't have any of the problems you describe.

It's just about the easiest guitar to play I've ever had - even with my shoddy setup job.
 

mcjt

New member
Messages
14
i have two jazzmasters. they are both set up old school- one is a 59 and the other is a clone.
i have spent FAR too much free time in the pursuit of jazzmasters in the past 4 years. Weeks on offsetguitars.com------
in this case, I would say take the buzzstop off 1st. that'll give you an idea what the guitar was DESIGNED to sound like.
this will cause you to have a lower break angle over the saddles, and therefore less sustain, but you'll get closer to the real JM sound.
better?
not better?

if you are really adventurous:

if you want a better break angle without the buzzstop, you should raise the bridge some (whoa! high action!), remove the neck, and shim it.
the jazzmaster was supposed to have a shimmed neck.
it was also supposed to have 13's on its original bridge. it worked great then, but not with today's 10's and techs who never learned how to work on a jazzmaster tremolo, bridge, or circuit....
that's why this great guitar gets a bad rap
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
vtpcnk said:
yea maybe i should learn to do the basic setup.

i should get a book for this?
Absolutely!!!!

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_plans/Building_and_repair:_Guitar,_electric/How_To_Make_Your_Electric_Guitar_Play_Great.html
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_plans/Building_and_repair:_Guitar,_electric/Guitar_Player_Repair_Guide.html
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
vtpcnk said:
my guitar tech did put 11s on it - which i felt really difficult to play with. then i took them out and puts 10s on. but even with the 10s it is difficult to play it in standard tuning.
Going down from 11s to 10s is why you're buzzing on the first few frets.  The truss rod is adjusted for a higher tension, so its got a slight backbow now.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
The buzz stop does not cause the string tension to be higher than normal.  A higher tension would equal a higher pitch if nothing else is changed.  The Buzz Stop causes a higher angle over the bridge to keep the string from rattling up or down, like a string tree on the headstock.  If it is tuned to pitch and the string gauge is correct then it should play like your other guitars.  Other than that, measure the neck to be sure the scale is 24.75 inches.  I can't think of anything else that would explain it.
Patrick

 

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
the bridge is the warmoth modified mustang bridge.

the neck has already been shimmed afaik.

when i initially changed from 11 to 10, i did not have any issue for weeks. it is only in the last two to three weeks that i'm getting fret outs. so i attributed it to the changing weather. but you could be right about the increased tension for the 11s which is too much for the 10s.
 
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