MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

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slpfrsly
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MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

Post by slpfrsly » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:49 am

Hi there,

I currently own a 1994 Blonde Jazzmaster with Gold Hardware. First JM I've owned and I like it. Having owned, and regrettably sold due to unexpected circumstances a mere 2 months later, the 1992 Black and Gold Anniversary Jaguar, it is the aesthetic look I want from a Jazzmaster.

Basically, I am after a black body, preferably with black headstock, pearloid pickguard, and gold hardware. Hence buying the 1994 Blonde JM due to official gold JM/JG hardware being like hen's teeth.

Image

Image

The Jag pictured is literally the guitar I bought and sold :(

Anyway, my question is this: I like my current JM, but would rather sell it than get it refinished as it clearly holds market value as a blonde guitar. I also hope I might be able to get a slightly 'better' guitar by shopping around. The previous owner had already modded it - solid brass rollers, mint pickguard, white rhythm circuit switch added - which obviously means it's no longer in its original condition. My plan/hope is to buy a black JM with the typical silver hardware, swap gold and chrome hardware on both guitars, and then sell the blonde in its updated form.

Firstly, I'd like to hear peoples' thoughts on that...!

But secondly, I'ld really love to hear opinions on the differences/thoughts between the recent 60th Anniversary MIM All Black JM relative to either an older, 1990s MIJ Black Jag or, even better, a CIJ Black Jaguar that's from the current production run/last few years. Anything and everything that can be compared/is generally perceived to be good wisdom on these guitars is much appreciated. Am I missing something as simple as the MIM and MIJ guitars have different scales or sizes, so swapping the hardware might be a nightmare?

I understand the ultimate answer is: play the different guitars. The issue, as with most people who come online, is I am in no position to do so. I live in the middle of nowhere, miles away from a decent guitar store, and whilst I could travel to play a 60th Anniversary (and hope to do so when free) there's no way of getting my hands on a MIJ JM without one cropping up second hand. Add in the fact that every guitar is unique etc. and it makes it even trickier.

My current thoughts on the blonde JM I own: I really like it. It's why I want to persist with getting this 'right' and end up with what I hope will be a perfect guitar that I never, ever sell. I love the tremolo system, I love the neck. It's surprisingly light, and 'fits' well. The pick ups are, in my opinion, not great, without really knowing 'why' - they just feel a bit lacking in every department, really, but that becomes more noticeable when playing with dirt/fuzz.

Yeah, this is motivated by aesthetics - but as most people know, that goes out the window as soon as you pick the guitar up. I want it to be a great guitar first and foremost that also fits with the look of my small guitar collection.

Thank you in advance - happy to field any questions, tips, advice, abuse as it comes!!

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Re: MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

Post by slpfrsly » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:58 am

Also, the Ventures Jazzmaster isn't what I'm after. No upper switch/circuit, black flame finish, branded with the band's name - appreciate it's almost spot on, but not quite!

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Re: MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

Post by jesterpunk68 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:11 am

If you like the guitar you have now why not get it painted the way you want it? You could try out some of the newer ones to see what you like but it is also going to depend if you want a players guitar or a collectors guitar too.

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Re: MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

Post by mbene085 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:29 am

So you like your current guitar but want a black one. It plays nicely, has a great neck and is otherwise great beyond maybe wanting to change the pickups.

You don't want to "devalue" a blonde JM by painting it, but you want to steal its gold hardware and put chrome on it (which will devalue it, by the way).

Just either paint it, or buy a black MIJ spec body and move everything over, and sell the current body.

The risk of changing bodies is that the tone, feel, and weight/balance could all change in ways you may or may not like. Selling a blonde body and buying a black one will be net cheaper than getting an MIJ body stripped and repainted, but with repainting you know exactly what you're getting.

Selling the entire guitar just to swap some gold hardware and losing the neck you like is probably the most foolish option.

Also, buy yourself some new pickups. You don't like the current ones, and you'll feel a lot less conflicted about your current guitar if you like how it sounds (which is easily fixed with new pickups).

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Re: MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

Post by slpfrsly » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:27 pm

Thanks for the replies, all good advice. I'll try to give some more brief info/replies to your points.

I've thought about having it sprayed, but ruled it out for a number of reasons. I might reconsider now.

1. I would like to play more JMs before settling on this - it may well be that I much prefer a more recent MIJ, for instance, or the 60th Anniversary. I'm not too worried about collecting - I want all my guitars to be played, and equally I'm not overly bothered with resale value as long as everything is around the break even point/as close as possible.

2. In terms of 'devaluation' there is a logic behind it. Some people love the blonde body and might pay for that rare colour alone, even with chrome hardware etc. After some reading, it seems many owners prefer the chrome on blonde look, so it might hold its value despite no longer being original. After all, I purchased this as a non--original/modded guitar already, so it wasn't 'collectors' prices.

3. Completely take on board your other suggestions re: swap the body rather than the whole guitar. The final point, then, is perhaps economic: I'm not confident enough to strip and respray the point without ruining it, and getting the body (and the headstock) done would be roughly £300, almost certainly more. The 60th Anniversary all black model is selling for under £800 with some sellers in the UK as they, presumably, look to clear out a surplus of their stock. I paid £900 for my current guitar, and would expect roughly similar if reselling post-hardware swap.

That's a net difference of roughly £400-500 between changing hardware of a MIM 60th and getting the current guitar refinished. Which, to me, is crazy: I do like the guitar I currently have, but that's not to say I might not equally, or even moreso, like/love either the MIJ or MIM Jazzmasters. £500 is a lot of money as well.

Hence looking for a bit of advice on peoples' thoughts between the two. Appreciate it's hard to really answer, but thanks for your help - I'll happy take some direction to further reading/existing threads on the topic, but can't seem to find any that are hugely useful. The body swap isn't really something I'd considered either, but definitely something to look in to.

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Re: MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

Post by mcatano » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:17 pm

The MIM will have (arguably) a worse-quality tremolo and better/more-vintage-accurate pickups as well as a nitro paint job which will probably age in a more predictable way compared to the 90s .jp JM.

There's been a set of gold hardware that's been pulled off one of the '94 japanese offsets sitting on reverb for a few months now—it's not in the best shape, but you could pick that up and swap out whatever comes on the MIM JM.

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Re: MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

Post by slpfrsly » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:26 pm

Thanks, I'll check that out - definitely a lot easier.

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Re: MIJ 60s Traditional JM v MIM 60th Anniversary JM v ?? - Black & Gold Hardware

Post by slpfrsly » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:52 am

Potentially some exciting news on this front regarding a purchase - I'll hopefully have an update in a week or so, but don't want to jinx it by revealing too much!

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