New Mastery Day (+Question)

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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minimumnishe
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New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by minimumnishe » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:14 am

So last week I finally kicked the bucked and plonked $375 down on a mastery vibrato kit with bridge for my AV65 jazzmaster. Oh boy.

First day I got her after black friday 2016:
Image

What she looks like now, I was going for a J Mascis kind of look here:
Image

Wall of text ahead!

First off, Fender tort is okay but nowhere near the realm of spitfire or vintage. Plus I always loved the look of gold guards on jazzmasters. So I ordered a Tone-Guard AVRI spec guard a couple weeks after I got the guitar. No issues with delayed orders unlike other horror stories I've seen on here.

Fast forward to this week: For now I'm sticking with the stock pickups, but I may move to Novak JMWRs in the future. New mojotone black pickup covers, fender tele knobs, black switchcraft switch tip, Couch strap, Gabriel tenorio long twist strings, and most importantly the new mastery hardware. Heres my thoughts from setting the guitar up, and previously owning a Staytrem bridge and arm:

Bridge:
**I did not replace the stock thimbles with the new mastery ones, but I may next time I clean it up and add a ground to the tremolo. I'm getting a bit of wiggle on the control side, like the front-to-back width of the thimble is wider than side-to-side.
*Easy as balls to intonate, kinda sucks that it will never intonate with a wound g which is a shame.
*Strings have no chance of hitting the back of the bridge.
*Still get great overtones and chimeyness from the back of the bridge.
*Saddles are smooth and let the strings glide over them easily.
*Bridge does not move at all which is great.
*Installation by loosening the posts first and letting them settle into the unique spacing of every guitar is genius. Tighten them back up and its rock solid.
*Very minor buzzing, if any.
*Spacing is comfortable and doesn't feel cramped like it did with the staytrem bridge. I set the bridge up with the strings dead in the center of each saddle when using the stock bridge, so moving to the staytrem felt a little cramped due to the 3mm difference. With the mastery bridge the whole setup feels much cleaner and comfortable despite having the same 52mm spacing. :whistle:
*I tested the mastery bridge with the stock trem unit before I installed the mastery one and already there was a difference in how much smoother and fluid the vibrato was. With the staytrem using the nylon inserts, the bridge would still want to rock back and forth due to the height needed to get useable action due to the built-in 1 degree neck pocket.

Vibrato:
*Arm sits at a much higher height and still has a good angle to it, this was one of the big problems I had with the stock trem arm, which is why I went for the double staytrem option when I first got the guitar. The original arm sat so low in the collet when pushed in properly that the top of the collet hit the bottom of the bend in the arm and never sat right.
*I sprung for the black metal switch tip (17 fucking dollars!!!) and it screws on and stays on comfortably. The stock tip is fine but its cream plastic like the original parts, so it needed to be swapped. On the original arm the switch tip would kind of get loose which was dumb, and on the staytrem the tip was glued in place, so you couldn't adjust the length.
*The overall action and smoothness of the vibrato is absolutely PHENOMENAL. I had been reading up on the vibrato unit in the mastery thread with a lot of people saying it wasn't really worth the money over a good avri, but I really have to beg to differ. My trem unit that came with the guitar had the collet squashed up against the baseplate and couldn't be moved over far enough to not interfere with the b string too. Staytrem collet didn't help that issue.
*The "Sticky" arm that the mastery has is much smoother and feels more natural than the nylon insert of the staytrem. Also it's adjustable to the user's preferences, which is another edge over the staytrem.

Overall thoughts:
*Expensive as fuck. Nearly 400 dollars for the kit and switch tip? Fuck off. Everything is built and engineered exceptionally well, and I can agree with the price from that perspective, but from a consumer perspective everything should be like 50 dollars cheaper, with the kit maxing out at 300.
*Fit and finish? Flawless and extremely attractive.
*Packaging was above average and came in a specially labeled box, bridge came in a mastery logo tin, other parts came in mastery logo cloth bags. Its the small stuff like this that really made me excited when I opened the box.
*The bridge fixed every problem I had with the stock vintage style bridge and the staytrem bridge. The vibrato fixed every problem I had with the stock vintage unit, with original and staytrem collets and arms.

Final Note: I know it seems like I'm bashing Staytrem a lot here, but staytrem does win out in vintage looks and affordablity. Staytrem parts drop in easily and fix most issues people have at half or more than half the cost of the mastery stuff. I bought by first staytrem bridge for my old squire jazzmaster and it was a good buy for the price point of the guitar. John makes excellent products with great feedback and help, and I have no quarrel with people that prefer staytrem over mastery, its all in taste.

Thanks for reading my little rant about mastery stuff. I was really on the ball and I'm glad that my fears have been calmed and I am more than satisfied with their stuff. It kind of makes me mad fender doesn't buy out their patents and make mastery style hardware standard, as it is really so much better than AVRI spec parts. Vintage? I wouldn't know unfortunately.



Question time!
So I have been thinking about putting in a reverse neck shim to correct the neck angle back to flat due to the absurd height I need to raise the bridge and bridge pickup to get a good setup. Is this a wise idea? Should I go a full 1 degree back or start with a half degree back? I'd be using the stewmac shims if this idea went through.

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northernlights
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Re: New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by northernlights » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:34 am

i got some questions for you, i've got a mastery too, on my american original 60's jazzmaster. There are some annoying saddle moves when im bending and vibrating on my mastery, especially G, B, E saddle. And i still hear annoying buzzing. Did you notice anything like that issues? Woodland, listen to me boy, your intonation springs are so weak, and indecently long. they create so much rattle than stock jazzmaster bridge. and also they admit mine is fault product. one of my saddles's shape is wrong, a clear product fault. they've admit on our mail it shouldnt have left the factory like this. I hate the mastery but still loving you mastery................

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minimumnishe
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Re: New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by minimumnishe » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:39 am

northernlights wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:34 am
i got some questions for you, i've got a mastery too, on my american original 60's jazzmaster. There are some annoying saddle moves when im bending and vibrating on my mastery, especially G, B, E saddle. And i still hear annoying buzzing. Did you notice anything like that issues? Woodland, listen to me boy, your intonation springs are so weak, and indecently long. they create so much rattle than stock jazzmaster bridge. and also they admit mine is fault product. one of my saddles's shape is wrong, a clear product fault. they've admit on our mail it shouldnt have left the factory like this. I hate the mastery but still loving you mastery................
No I haven't encountered any buzzing yet. The height adjust screws on mine are snug and don't move easily with the allen wrench and the intonation springs are compressed enough that they don't have room to move. Vibrato usage doesn't affect the placement of the strings on the saddle either, they tend to glide easily over the bridge and return to their original spot.

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mywhitenoise
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Re: New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by mywhitenoise » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:11 pm

If you still have that AVRI plate, I'd be interested in getting it! I sent you a PM.

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minimumnishe
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Re: New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by minimumnishe » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:19 pm

mywhitenoise wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:11 pm
If you still have that AVRI plate, I'd be interested in getting it! I sent you a PM.
I'm planning on keeping it for the next cheap offset I buy sorry :(

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mywhitenoise
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Re: New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by mywhitenoise » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:13 pm

minimumnishe wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:19 pm
mywhitenoise wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:11 pm
If you still have that AVRI plate, I'd be interested in getting it! I sent you a PM.
I'm planning on keeping it for the next cheap offset I buy sorry :(
No worries, let me know if you change your mind...or if you want, I'll trade you for a practically new Japanese trem, plus some cash.

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bacca51
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Re: New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by bacca51 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:23 pm

nevermind all the mastery business.... that JM looks so fucking good :? :? :? loove the golf guard and black covers

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Arthon
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Re: New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by Arthon » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:51 am

bacca51 wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:23 pm
nevermind all the mastery business.... that JM looks so fucking good :? :? :? loove the golf guard and black covers
+1
Your guitar looks classy!!
Also, Staytrem is better then Mastery... Let's start a fight! :P
The Blues Cartographer
(sorry for the spelling, I speak french)

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minimumnishe
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Re: New Mastery Day (+Question)

Post by minimumnishe » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:20 am

Arthon wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:51 am
bacca51 wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:23 pm
nevermind all the mastery business.... that JM looks so fucking good :? :? :? loove the golf guard and black covers
+1
Your guitar looks classy!!
Also, Staytrem is better then Mastery... Let's start a fight! :P
Thank you very much :)

And like I said in the OP, mastery and staytrem products solve different issues different ways at different prices. Mastery fixed my problems better than staytrem so I'm happy with my purchase. If your troubles are solved by staytrem stuff that's perfectly fine. I don't really think it's easy to say Mastery > Staytrem because of all the factors that go into deciding which one to buy. Slapping mastery stuff on every offset you buy probably wouldn't be the best choice for each individual guitar but hey I've only got one at the moment so it's hard to say :?

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