'60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
User avatar
DaFuzz
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:55 am

'60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by DaFuzz » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:01 am

Hello everyone!

I got lucky in finding a Fender '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer locally. The guy who owned this guitar took really good care of it (mind you its a 2014 model with the rosewood fretboard). Also, it came with a fender tort pickguard and an SP Custom bridge pickup (I was given the original AV 65 pickup as well).

This is the 3rd Jazzy that I own. The first was an AVRI '62 that I didn't bond with for some reason and the second was a partsmaster that got sold in order to fund my band's vinyl EP release. After having the '60s Lacquer for about 2 months, I can say that it is by far the best of the three. Very resonant, great sounding and a joy to play. I even A/b'd it with a friend's original 1962 Jazzmaster and it held its ground amazingly well. To my surprise, the bridge functions very good and I haven't had the strings hoping around (I play with 011's on this guitar).

However, the only thing that doesn't "feel" right is the tremolo. It is quite stiff. It doesn't have that sweet feeling. In fact it needs a fair amount of pressure to work which is contradictory to what for me is the classic feel of the Jazzmaster tremolo found in vintage and American reissue models.

I understand that the tremolo on this model is not the USA made one. I'm looking forward in replacing it with the American made version IF I find one since it has become so hard to find here in Europe (new or used that is). Purchasing from the US is not an option since I am not prepared to pay €200-€250 (due to shipping + taxes + customs), for a part that costs $80-$90 retail.

So my question is, does the tremolo on the '60s lacquer jazzmaster "break in" after a lot of playing? Is mine stiff because its brand new? Is it a lost cause for someone searching for the classic feel and needs a replacement?

Cheers

User avatar
aliendawg
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 1:11 pm
Location: brazil

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by aliendawg » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:27 am

Congrats on the purchase!

Have you tried adjusting the screw?
within cells interlinked

User avatar
DaFuzz
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:55 am

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by DaFuzz » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:06 am

From what I understand, the screw kinda sets the level of the tremolo arm rather than the actual "feeling" of the tremolo but I could be wrong. However I'll try adjusting it to see what happens. Thanks!

User avatar
aliendawg
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 1:11 pm
Location: brazil

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by aliendawg » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:32 am

You're welcome! I'm pretty sure the screw affects the spring tension.. That's probably what you're looking for

I managed to adjust the trem on my VM Jag just by tightening the screw (I wanted it a bit more stiff), So you'll probably manage to do that as well
within cells interlinked

User avatar
DaFuzz
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:55 am

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by DaFuzz » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:38 am

Well, I did adjust it and its a bit better now, but still stiff compared to a US reissue or a vintage one. Not expecting it to be as "sweet", but I would be happy if it got pretty close which at the moment is not happening.

User avatar
Telliot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 9375
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:38 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by Telliot » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:45 am

To adjust the tension screw properly, you need to loosen it to the point that the trem lock can slide easily into place, and the re-tune. You'll have to do it a couple times before you get the right balance between the spring and string tension. That should lessen the stiffness fairly significantly, but if not you may want to swap out the spring for another one.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

User avatar
aliendawg
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 1:11 pm
Location: brazil

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by aliendawg » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:00 am

Telliot wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:45 am
To adjust the tension screw properly, you need to loosen it to the point that the trem lock can slide easily into place, and the re-tune. You'll have to do it a couple times before you get the right balance between the spring and string tension. That should lessen the stiffness fairly significantly, but if not you may want to swap out the spring for another one.
The 60s Lacquer series doesn't come with a trem lock :/
within cells interlinked

User avatar
Telliot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 9375
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:38 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by Telliot » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:10 am

aliendawg wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:00 am
Telliot wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:45 am
To adjust the tension screw properly, you need to loosen it to the point that the trem lock can slide easily into place, and the re-tune. You'll have to do it a couple times before you get the right balance between the spring and string tension. That should lessen the stiffness fairly significantly, but if not you may want to swap out the spring for another one.
The 60s Lacquer series doesn't come with a trem lock :/
Oops. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If it were me I’d swap it out for an AVRI trem and be done with it.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

User avatar
DaFuzz
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:55 am

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by DaFuzz » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:40 am

Well, an AVRI tremolo is what I want to install, but as I have already mentioned, it has become almost impossible to find in Europe. Thats the reason I am curious to know if the one that I already have can at least function "almost" as an AVRI one with tweaks and extensive playing, or is it another animal altogether?

User avatar
StrangeIdols
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:19 am

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by StrangeIdols » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:42 pm

Had the opposite issue with my 60th anniv, what I think you're kinda looking to do (without a trem lock) is to have the collet for the arm sitting at roughly 90 degrees to the plate itself, like, adjust down from it being really stiff, as adjusting lower you start to risk the spring kinda falling out. Currently, my 60th anniv is at like 95 degrees in relation to the plate; little stiffer than is needed if it had a trem lock, but it's where I find it works nicest.
Basically, just adjust till you feel comfy with it.

and i can seriously relate to the avri trem thing, been looking for one for a solid year and a bit at a sensible price, no luck :(

User avatar
timiscott
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:38 am
Location: London

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by timiscott » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:13 pm

There does seem to be a shortage of trem units and some other parts (jag plates etc.) also seem to be drying up. Am wondering if Fender ae due to produce more anytime soon.

User avatar
timtam
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:42 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by timtam » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:31 pm

timiscott wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:13 pm
There does seem to be a shortage of trem units and some other parts (jag plates etc.) also seem to be drying up. Am wondering if Fender ae due to produce more anytime soon.
AVRI trems seem to be easy enough to find in the US ...
https://www.angela.com/fenderjazzmaster ... 66000.aspx
https://www.amazon.com/Fender-American- ... B003AYKDDC
http://www.guitarpartsresource.com/gbri ... ce_jag.htm

User avatar
DaFuzz
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:55 am

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by DaFuzz » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:24 am

StrangeIdols wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:42 pm
Had the opposite issue with my 60th anniv, what I think you're kinda looking to do (without a trem lock) is to have the collet for the arm sitting at roughly 90 degrees to the plate itself, like, adjust down from it being really stiff, as adjusting lower you start to risk the spring kinda falling out. Currently, my 60th anniv is at like 95 degrees in relation to the plate; little stiffer than is needed if it had a trem lock, but it's where I find it works nicest.
Basically, just adjust till you feel comfy with it.

and i can seriously relate to the avri trem thing, been looking for one for a solid year and a bit at a sensible price, no luck :(
Yes, after fooling around with the screw, I ended up having the arm in the position you are describing in order to get the best tension however, it still feels very rigid for a Jazzy! It seems I'll have to live with it till I get lucky and find an affordable US unit.

As noted before, buying an american unit from the US and having it shipped to Europe, will cost as much as buying a brand new mastery unit from a european dealer which I'm starting to believe is my only option, although quite expensive.

User avatar
Igorilla
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:18 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by Igorilla » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:07 am

DaFuzz wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:24 am
StrangeIdols wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:42 pm
Had the opposite issue with my 60th anniv, what I think you're kinda looking to do (without a trem lock) is to have the collet for the arm sitting at roughly 90 degrees to the plate itself, like, adjust down from it being really stiff, as adjusting lower you start to risk the spring kinda falling out. Currently, my 60th anniv is at like 95 degrees in relation to the plate; little stiffer than is needed if it had a trem lock, but it's where I find it works nicest.
Basically, just adjust till you feel comfy with it.

and i can seriously relate to the avri trem thing, been looking for one for a solid year and a bit at a sensible price, no luck :(
Yes, after fooling around with the screw, I ended up having the arm in the position you are describing in order to get the best tension however, it still feels very rigid for a Jazzy! It seems I'll have to live with it till I get lucky and find an affordable US unit.

As noted before, buying an american unit from the US and having it shipped to Europe, will cost as much as buying a brand new mastery unit from a european dealer which I'm starting to believe is my only option, although quite expensive.
I don't understand how you get in the 200-250 € range. Here is a trem for you:

https://www.ebay.de/itm/NEW-Genuine-Fen ... SwUQ5bqTFC

69 € shipped to Europe. Add 20-25 % import duties on top of that and you are in the 90 € range.
Are import duties in your country much higher?

User avatar
Fuzzbuzz
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:43 am

Re: '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer - stiff tremolo

Post by Fuzzbuzz » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:40 am

I had no trouble finding an AVRI Trem. Bought two in as many months from CME on Reverb, $68 shipped! Both were brand new in fender packaging.

Post Reply