Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

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JM Convert
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Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by JM Convert » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:42 pm

So after my cat broke the pickup selector switch on my VMJM I've decided to try to upgrade the electronics myself and put on a tort pickguard.

Who makes a tort pickguard that fits a VMJM and what components should I buy to upgrade the electronics?

soggy mittens was kind enough to guide me to this thread but I am clueless as to how to proceed.

https://reverb.com/news/upgrading-jazzm ... our-offset

When updating electronic components how do you know which is the better component?

I know what taper pots to buy (I think) but not which brand to buy. And I have to learn to solder.

Thank you in advance.

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timtam
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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by timtam » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:37 pm

I always take with a grain of salt the articles on swapping out all your pots, switches and wiring written by those with a vested interest in you buying their $100 wiring harness, however nicely they are put together.

If you're gigging and you want a more robust switch to withstand hard use or violent felines, or if the pots don't behave the way you want them to, by all means source the components and do it yourself for much less money. Or if you want to do it just in order to learn about components and soldering, maybe that's a good justification too. But if the guitar is actually functioning more or less the way you want it to, don't expect more expensive pots and wire to change that much.

Classic JM pickguards are easy to come by on ebay. Squiers and other bridge /switch etc modded versions are harder to come by. The better sellers include all the measurements on their inter-hole spacings so you can check against yours.

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by sirspens » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:32 pm

Pretty much any pickguard made to fit a Squier or Fender Jazzmaster (except Classic Player or others meant for tune-o-matic bridges) should fit your VMJM. My experience is that the screw holes might be slightly off, but that is it. The body of the VMJM is soft enough that a screw hole being slightly off isn't a big deal. It works fine.

Look at Stratosphere. Or WD Music.
https://stratosphereparts.com/new-red-t ... usa-3-ply/
http://www.wdmusic.com/fender_jazzmaste ... 1405P.html

You'll notice there is a huge price difference. I don't know what makes the WD Music one better. I use them when getting custom jobs done. However, I also have two of the unbranded Stratosphere pickguards on Jazzmasters (pearloid, one took a bit of filing to fit around the neck, but just a bit). They don't have quite as much shielding, but that doesn't cost $75 to fix. That's a $2 fix. I have been equally happy with pickguards from both companies.

I second "don't change the Squier electronics unless you have good reason to." They are perfectly fine. I've changed out a lot of electronics on (cheap) guitars because I didn't like them, but never done it to a VMJM.

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by Zork » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:34 am

JM Convert wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:42 pm
And I have to learn to solder.
Wiring a complete Jazzmaster is a very advanced project if you don't know how to solder and chances are good you completely mess it up. If you don't wanna ruin your guitar start with baby steps. Try to replace the switch first and see how it goes.

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by Lock » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:39 am

I did this with a CP tort guard (I didn't mind the cut out around the bridge posts).

1) the VM guard screws are a bit off and only another VM guard will fit. I put toothpicks and glue in the worst ones and it's fine. As stated above, the wood is soft, so you can easily compensate.

2) you need a new rhythm circuit bracket since the VM one is smaller than standard. I got one online for $10 CDN. I didn't change the rhythm pots, which are also not standard, so I had to ream out the bracket slightly. One issue I have is that the rollers are slightly low now, but I don't typically adjust them so I don't care.

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by sirspens » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:13 am

Lock wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:39 am
you need a new rhythm circuit bracket since the VM one is smaller than standard. I got one online for $10 CDN.
Oh yeah. This is very important.

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by JM Convert » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:09 pm

Thank you for all the answers.

Someone in my cat thread recommended that video and I half-assed researched it on Youtube knowing I could come here for the correct answer.

Zork gave the best advice about just learning how to fix the switch first. Thanks Zork.

I love the sonic blue but the white pickguard seems to get washed out when I look at the guitar. I liked the pics I've seen with a tortoise guard and I am not selling this guitar so I figured I would try everything at once.

One of the rhythm circuit sliders has no stops. By that I mean you can turn it either direction forever.

I don't know how to solder but I know people who do that would teach me on my iron before I could ruin a guitar.

Again. Thank you everyone for replying. I go to several music/gear/guitar forums online and this one has the least amount of people who answer just to be jerks.

Great(est?) forum?

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by JM Convert » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:10 pm

Also,

timtam's violent feline comment made my day. :D

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by NICQ » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:08 am

JM Convert wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:09 pm
One of the rhythm circuit sliders has no stops. By that I mean you can turn it either direction forever.
There is a small hex allen wrench screw that fixates the wheel on the pot underneath - look closely on the surface of the slider .. just turn that until it halts and the slider should be ok

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by NICQ » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:14 am

And if I remember correctly Troy Neagle (SneakyT on the forum) makes tort Squier VMJM pickguards? He had them on ebay and reverb couple of months ago but I cannot find them right now.. that would be easier than using a Standard US size where the bracket is a bit bigger..

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Re: Tort Pickguard for Squire VMJM

Post by PixMix » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:53 am

Drop wdmusic an email, they will help. I have ordered several pickguards and they have always made me a perfectly fitting one, even when I ordered non-standard layout, like the triple tele below. Their celluloid tort is also imo the best tort you can get short of spitfire.

As far as soldering goes, most of us who do it as hobbyists learned fro youtube videos and some practice. This might be a good chance for you to learn soldering. Practice on something else first until you get comfortable with it, and then do it on your jazzmaster.

Many sources out there, but here's one to get you going: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml0zHsIaMEY

Image

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