Pressing on with Blondie....

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by fullerplast » Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:44 pm

If you've been following the thread about swapping bodies on my '58 and '59 JMs...  I finished the blonde up today. This Christmas was odd for us, we just got back from a 3 week vacation and the kids had to go back to where they live (they have their own lives now)... so this is the first Christmas without them. Consequently, we didn't really do any celebrating, neither of us have any relatives in the area. It was pretty much just a day off work, which is always good.

So out of boredom, I decided to go ahead and assemble the blonde with all vintage parts. I had to rob the nomaster of the '59 pickups residing within, and also "stole" the bridge. I had a pleasant surprise when I popped the covers off of the pickups that came in the '59, which were said to be aftermarket by the seller I bought them from. One is definitely original, and the other might be. The one that I know is original is identical to the pickups in my Shoreline... including beveled magnets on the bottom and a layer of lacquer over the whole thing. Sadly, though, the windings are a modern bright orange instead of the dark violet/purple of the original formvar, so it probably has been rewound. The other pickup does have the dark windings, but the magnets aren't beveled and there is no lacquer. The bobbin looks right. I don't know what to make of that. I had assumed both pickups were S-D... but now I don't know. The seller was also wrong about the main pots... in my favor. Anyway, The original pickup is 8.74, the other was 7.54 I placed them top to top, and they repelled each other... meaning they are not RP. Regardless, I put them in the nomaster (hotter in the bridge) and strung it back up with the reissue bridge from the '59.

The nomaster sounds good!  However it is noisy in the center position on the main circuit. It took me a few seconds to realize why... then I remembered the pickups are not truly a "set" (RW/RP). I also disliked the bridge immediately. Now I know why people who have only had import offsets bitch about the bridge so much. It's garbage! Even a docile player like me popped the strings over the grooves! I tweaked the hell out the saddles, raising them as far as they would go... it helped, but I plan to build another vintage bridge out of my stash.

Now on to Blondie. I will repeat some pics from the other thread for the sake of continuity:

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Now we're up to date...

Here's the sweet set of '59 pickups. Bottom:

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And top:

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I only had 5 single line Klusons to install. Two of them are a little "ratchety", but they hold tune. After this pic, I worked on reshaping the nut and tinted it yellow. It looks alot better. I didn't snap a pic, but I'll take some outdoor shots tomorrow:

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I made a brass shield to replace the one that was donated to the other '59. I secured it with glaziers, which is Fender correct, but not for this year. It's functional though:

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Pickups installed under correct vintage covers:

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The wired guard:

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Then I restrung over the vintage bridge and tuned. I glued two pickguard screws into the holes where there was no wood (13 hole guard on a 9 hole body). Kind of cheesy, yeah... but the empty holes were bothering me. Since it's dark, I'll put off the final pics until tomorrow, though I couldn't resist two family shots of the trio of Gold Guards:

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(Ignore the advertisement for NetZero on the TV.... they suck!)

:)
Last edited by fullerplast on Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by zhivago » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:13 pm

oh my god, finally a juicy thread!

been sitting round in an empty house for the past two days...thankfully my cousin dropped by for a few hours earlier....apart from that been sitting round refreshing forums with very few (if any new posts)

thankfully this one's come up!

thank you! :)

oh and....

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:-* :-* :-* :-*  :? :? :?

:)
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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by fullerplast » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:29 pm

Yeah, hehe. It's been slow.

I too have been checking it on and off for the past few days..... 

Oh... forgot to say that Blondie sounds dreamy. I was too tired to stand up and really play, but I did an extended test drive and am very happy.  I had a problem with the rythym circuit not working at first, and noticed it would come on when I loosened the pickguard near the controls. I popped the guard back off and discovered one of the lugs on a roller pot was standing straight out, instead of being bent over. I guess it was grounding out when I tightened the guard. I carefully bent it to the proper position, and everything's fine.

:)
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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by zhivago » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:35 pm

man...wiring up a Jazzmaster looks so complicated...I remember trying to wire up the '61 with the singer in my band....and failing miserably! :D


I think if I make a "Fifty Things To Do Before I Die" list, I'd put "Wiring up a Jazzmaster" in the top ten!!!

heheheheeheheheheh!!

:D :D :D
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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by dinosaur » Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:11 pm

Looking good!  That last pic is amazing.

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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by Pumpkin » Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:50 pm

Being around here with all you Jazz heads gives me severe GAS!
Thing i like about the JZ is it has SO MUCH ROOM for wiring compared to a jag,plus you can take all the wiring out without De-soldering as with a jag you can't.

Hey Zhivago,wiring up Jazzmasters is easy dude,its dot to dot if you got schematics....i always start with the rythm circuit as everything leads to or from that.I like wiring,its cool fun :)

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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by Soiouz » Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:50 am

Your collection is absolutely amazing, Doug!    And the Scot guard, side by side with the original, looks just fine!!  The color seems to be the same.


It's funny that your original 47 year-old guard is less reliced than the repro!!..  ;)

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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by fullerplast » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:12 am

It's funny that your original 47 year-old guard is less reliced than the repro!!.. 


Ironic, huh? It almost makes me wish I hadn't relic'ed the repro!    :-\
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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by Soiouz » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:14 am

fullerplast wrote:
It's funny that your original 47 year-old guard is less reliced than the repro!!.. 


Ironic, huh? It almost makes me wish I hadn't relic'ed the repro!    :-\


...yeah, don't go and relic the original to make'em even!!!....  :D

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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by fullerplast » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:37 am

Update:  I wasn't totally happy with the repro logo on blondie. It was alot better than what was on there when it came to me, so I just used what I had on hand. I can't stand the bright gold on the repro logos. They may have originally looked like that, but there's no way a vintage logo should be so "gold". It's a pet peeve of mine on reissues as well, though that's forgiveable since they are meant to be new issues of an old guitar. Anyway, this morning at work (I was one of 4 dumbasses who went in today), I used that famous.jpg scan of original JM logos and a laser printer to make some more. I had to re-size to 71% to get the proper dimension, and with eliminating the margins  I was able to fit 13 logos on one page; a mix of spag and transition:

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Since it was so slow at work, I came home at lunchtime and just now applied one of the logos to Blondie. I had to trim off the patent numbers since it was going on a '59. Also note the aforementioned reshaped and tinted nut:

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I like it! Here's a comparison with an original '59 logo from the Shoreline:

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The pics are fuzzy because I used the macro setting with no flash (the flash was creating too much glare). But you can see it's a darn good match!
I can't take the outdoor pics today as promised because it's overcast and raining. But they will come soon....
Last edited by fullerplast on Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by fullerplast » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:38 am

..yeah, don't go and relic the original to make'em even!!!....


LOL!  ;D
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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by berlinbetty » Tue Dec 26, 2006 9:41 am

  I'm also one of the dumbasses at work, today.  It's so slow I've been on the site all day today.  I'm also getting a chance to get my posts up to 50 without looking like I'm post-stacking.  Then I'll be bona-fide!  It beats taking the turnpike... ;)
  Looking good, Fullerplast!
One more guitar, then I'll practice!

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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by Soiouz » Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:03 am

Those repro decals look very good!

I've ordered some for my partsmaster project from George on reranch.. heard some good things on his work, but haven't seen them up close yet. If they're not up to my expectations, I'll definitely give a shot at homemade repros.

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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by fullerplast » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:30 pm

I just took a few shots. The sun wasn't where I like it, but they came out OK. I'll need some better close-ups of the body front, and a better shot of the back to show the grain... but you get the idea for now. 

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5 Klusons and a Gotoh.... (L@@K Jon!):


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Can you tell I'm proud of that logo?    ;)
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Re: Pressing on with Blondie....

Post by zhivago » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:35 pm

what a pic!

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:?
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