27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

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jonathangolub
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27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by jonathangolub » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:41 pm

Hi! I'm new to the forum, glad to be here. I have a number of guitars but the one I've owned the longest is a Jazzmaster. It's the second electric guitar I ever owned and it sounds amazing.

I bought this Jazzmaster in 1992 right after moving to California. A real player, a frankenstein with a Fernandes "lawsuit" strat neck and a Gibson bridge. It came from Subway Guitars in Berkeley, known for putting together weird guitars with odd parts, so I never knew what else was in there. The guy I bought it from sold it to me for $125. It played and sounded great, and I used it in a few bands. More recently, I started wondering about how old it was, so I starting doing some research and I think the body is pre-CBS. I don't know what parts are original, but the tailpiece says Pat. Pending and the finish has a lot of 'crazing'. Anyone out there care to take a look and help me figure out what year it is, and what's been done to it? I have more pics to post, and I'm going to take it apart and look for markings on the pickup and neck pocket. I think it would be fun to restore it to factory specs.

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Axolotl
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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by Axolotl » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:50 pm

That's an awesome mongrel!! The pat. pend stamp would place the trem (therefore, probably the body as well) in 1959-60, the pickups look definitely old. Gut shots will help to date them. Black guards (maybe it has been painted over?) in JMs are from mid-late 70s. Not sure about the finish being original, but seeing the wood on the dings without white/silver primer makes me think it's a refinish. Glad to hear she's been with you for so long. More pics please?? :whistle:

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jonathangolub
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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by jonathangolub » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:59 pm

Thank you! I'll post more pics shortly. There is gold primer underneath, which I think is right for a candy apple red finish, but I'm not sure.

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seattle
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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by seattle » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:48 pm

It looks like a fun guitar. I'm no expert but I think it has been refinished at a minimum.

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jonathangolub
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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by jonathangolub » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:20 pm

Here's more pics:
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optofonik
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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by optofonik » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:02 pm

Well, it's nice and all, but that relicing job doesn't look anything like the real deal from Fender

http://www.fendercustomshop.com/series/ ... pic-white/
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jonathangolub
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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by jonathangolub » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:09 pm

:D Ain’t that the truth!

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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by jonathangolub » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:27 am

I took the guitar apart this weekend and took a bunch more pics. Should I post them here, or start a new thread in another section of the forums? I'm new at this...

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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by CorporateDisguise » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:45 am

I would start a new thread in the vintage guitar section. Alot more people will see it there. Not many people hang out in the introductions section.

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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by rumfoord » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:16 am

On the other hand (this is going to sound like a joke, but I actually mean it), the way it is now is such a great example of a 90s JM. Even if it's a '58 body or something, it seems to me like it's almost lived as long as a 90s-cheap-but-spectacular-parts-guitar. This history seems more authentic to me (and just as meaningful) than if you wind up taking it back to factory specs. Seriously, I feel like a complete weirdo here. Because I also mean this to be slightly different than just, "I'd rock that as is." (Obviously that too.) But something about it makes me want to preserve the true history, rather than put 50s makeup on it.

But who knows, if it was mine, I probably wouldn't "preserve" its history either, but keep moving it forward: I'd probably put a staytrem on it, a cherry wood pickguard, red bakelite knobs, and vintage black pickup covers, but keep the neck and pickups all the same. idk

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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by mcjt » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:48 am

that's a pretty cool old guitar.
I'd like to see under the hood.
personally, I think getting a more fender-style bridge might be a good idea. the neck radius looks like Fender vintage 7.25", while the bridge is probably 12".
Here's my 1959 body with Pat Pend trem and a repro neck:

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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by Pacafeliz » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:35 am

oh man, that rings a bell... when i was living in Mexico i was constantly checking out the killer deals on weirdo guitars on the Subway Guitars website.
What a weird page/guy. But it was a dream to once go there.

I never did... :(
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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jonathangolub
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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by jonathangolub » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:04 am

mcjt wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:48 am
Here's my 1959 body with Pat Pend trem and a repro neck:
Wow, nice! Did you refinish the body yourself or get it that way? Looks fantastic in that color.

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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by jonathangolub » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:01 pm

OK, I took this thing apart and took some pictures. I also found a website "Inside a 1958 Jazzmaster" which shows brass shielding, pickups and wiring that look pretty much identical to mine. This site also gave me some critical info on the pots. The pots on the '58 have the number 850 on them, designating the 50th week of 1958. The pots in mine have the number 916, so that could be the 16th week of 1959. I guess they could be from 1969, but I don't know if they still used cloth wiring by then. At any rate, it looks mostly original and matches the Patent Pending tailpiece.

I also found "Subway '85" written in the neck pocket. I called up Subway and sent them some pics, and the owner of the store (Fat Dog) said he didn't remember it but at the time Jazzmasters were not valuable enough to really care what they did with them. So they probably refinished it in 85, or at least that's when they put the guitar together with the Fernandes neck. It's weird because the finish was really beat up when I got it in 1992- maybe the refinish happened at an earlier date, who knows? It will remain a mystery. It's certainly not a collector's piece. But it's got mojo!

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Full gallery of images here: https://imgur.com/a/OYm5WVV

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Re: 27 years ago I bought a Jazzmaster...

Post by jonathangolub » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:29 pm

So after further research into pot dates, I've determined that if it were a 69, the pot number would be 6916 instead of 916. So it's almost certainly a '59, or at least all the electronics and the tailpiece are. I guess it's possible that someone would put a 1959 harness into a later body but it seems unlikely. So now I am left wondering, what was the original finish? The finish on there now is a candy apple red with gold underneath. But there's no 'paint stick' mark in the neck pocket and no nail holes, so not a factory finish. The chips in the paint show just wood underneath, I guess it was stripped. But I'd like to know if anyone can tell me anything about the refinish from the photos, the way it is checked/crazed is pretty cool. Can't believe I've been playing a 59 all this time, I always figured it was from the 60s or 70s. I wish it had the original neck, but I never would have been able to afford it if it did.

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