JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

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AcrylicSuperman
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:53 am

Rgand wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:38 am
Were the switches actually cut down or simply lowered with washers or spacers. Is there any confirmation that they were cut?

They were cut. There is a pic of the jagstang in this thread where you can see it, but the best example of it is the video fender made when they were examining the mustangs.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Rgand » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:25 am

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:53 am
Rgand wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:38 am
Were the switches actually cut down or simply lowered with washers or spacers. Is there any confirmation that they were cut?

They were cut. There is a pic of the jagstang in this thread where you can see it, but the best example of it is the video fender made when they were examining the mustangs.
Thanks. I wondered about that. Perhaps there wasn't enough room in the control rout to lower the switches.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:08 pm

I spoke to Larry again earlier in the week. I wanted to wait before updating because I had some information to go over and some personal information to chew over.

When I spoke with Larry the first time, there were things I brought up that he was confused about, such as Scott's claims of the Jagstang necks and the cardboard cutouts. He also wasnt aware the red prototype went to auction. So he had questions, just like the rest of us. He reached out to some contacts at Fender and one of them, who asked me to remain nameless, had some interesting things to say.

It's not my place to tell Larry's story, so I wont, but if I had to summarize it, Larry and Dan Smith had some bad blood at the end of Larry's career at Fender, which Larry openly spoke to me about. This unnamed Fender employee revealed that Red went through some changes. Apparently, Red originally had the same neck and custom pickup that Kurt's Blue had. This means the decal was the same and the string tree would have been in the same location. After Larry's departure, and before a production model was to be produced, Dan Smith did request at least one neck from Scott Zimmerman. Now Scott claims he built two and it is possible that that is true. One of these necks DID end up on Red. Under Dan's orders, the custom humbucker and the original neck was replaced with a DiMarzio H3 and an MG69 neck respectively. Amon has also demonstrated that the shape of the production models were not exact to Red. Considering that Red was in Fender's possession, and the templates still existed, logically, you would assume that there should be no reason for the production models to be different and you would be right. Dan basically went out of his way to remove as much of Larry's involvement with the guitar as possible and thus, all of the Jagstangs misinformation actually began right at the root with Fender. All over a stupid feud.

Somewhere, the templates to these bodies and the neck have to exist. Each template was $8000. They didn't just disappear. More importantly, somewhere, a Jagstang body, a Jagstang neck and a Jagstang pickup also went missing. I understand that there are private collectors out there, but even then, I feel like after 30 years, someone would have let it slip if they owned these items. It raises the question: What happened to these? Unfortunately, we'll likely never know. Hopefully, they weren't destroyed.

Now, a couple things I learned.

1. These pickups were wound by Seymour Duncan himself. I have personally reached out to Seymour but have not received a reply as of yet. Apparently, this pickup is basically a custom pickup based on the 59 model. It was wound in 42 awg plain enamel wire and was lacquer dipped. We do not yet know anything about the turns of wire or the magnet used, but we do know the pickup was meant to be more of a vintage spec wind, leaving me to believe there was likely about 5000 turns per bobbin.

Now, interestingly enough, Kurt had a tendency to attempt to scratch the seymour duncan logo off his pickups. Some he managed to do so, others he couldn't. So I reached out to the Jarman's and asked them about their memory of the instrument and their photo reference if there was any evidence that Kurt tried to remove this logo and they revealed that there wasn't. The silver seymour duncan logo was still pristine. Honestly, I don't believe that Earnie swapped out this pickup. I believe the Jagstang is still stock apart from the bridge switch wiring. For a guitar he supposedly hated, the guitar was truly babied, and we have all seen Kurt smash guitars he didn't like, yet the Jagstang was the exception. I think he treasured it more than it was ever let on.

2. I did ask about Blue's case, if it was custom made or was a stock mustang case. Larry wasn't 100% sure, claiming it has been about 30 years, but to the best of his memory, he believes that it was given a standard offset case. Whether this was a mustang case or a jaguar case really remains a mystery, but he didn't remember it ever needing anything custom. He did confirm the case was a G&G case. We know that the production model is a tight fit in the mustang case and Blue was even wider, with it's mustang horn and underbelly, i'm curious to see how the jagstang fits in a jaguar case. If anyone has one they can use to showcase this, it would be appreciated.

Now for something special. I'm not going to discuss this any further because I don't want to get this unnamed employee in trouble. All I am going to tell you is this: save your money. A new generation of Jagstang is coming. There is already a white and a dakota red prototype. And just like Forrest Gump, that's all I've got to say about that.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by JSutter » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:45 pm

Thank you for sharing. Such an enlightening story. Needs to be a book!

When they re-reissue, I'm hoping they make a Squier version. I also don't like the neck on the original so I'd like to see it with modern specs. I would like body contours too.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:05 pm

JSutter wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:45 pm
Thank you for sharing. Such an enlightening story. Needs to be a book!

When they re-reissue, I'm hoping they make a Squier version. I also don't like the neck on the original so I'd like to see it with modern specs. I would like body contours too.
From what I hear, it will be closer to Red. It still wont have body contours because Kurt didn't want them. But I am sure the neck wont be the same as the original production model neck, but if it is an MG69 neck, it wont be severely different.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by BeeTL » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:13 pm

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:08 pm
[...] Now for something special. I'm not going to discuss this any further because I don't want to get this unnamed employee in trouble. All I am going to tell you is this: save your money. A new generation of Jagstang is coming. There is already a white and a dakota red prototype. And just like Forrest Gump, that's all I've got to say about that.
I had a feeling this might be the case...I hope they are able to incorporate everything you've learned.
Owner, Lowe Custom Guitars

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:45 pm

BeeTL wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:13 pm
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:08 pm
[...] Now for something special. I'm not going to discuss this any further because I don't want to get this unnamed employee in trouble. All I am going to tell you is this: save your money. A new generation of Jagstang is coming. There is already a white and a dakota red prototype. And just like Forrest Gump, that's all I've got to say about that.
I had a feeling this might be the case...I hope they are able to incorporate everything you've learned.
Well, now that they have red back at their disposal, I'm hoping they take this one a lot more seriously. But I have learned a lot about Fender and how they operate since trying to tackle the history, and I honestly can't picture them getting it right, even now. Even their signature models are often wrong. They're purposefully designed that way. Even if we finally get the correct body, at least it is something.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by BeeTL » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:01 pm

I get it, and I also understand why Fender does things the way they do.

In the end, most people are happy with a pastiche as opposed to a meticulous replica of an iconic piece.
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Cymbaline87 » Wed May 27, 2020 8:08 pm

This is possibly the most interesting thread I've ever read. But I wonder if you guys ever found any info on Kurt's second jag, the one on the polaroids. :unsure:
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Wed May 27, 2020 9:30 pm

Cymbaline87 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:08 pm
This is possibly the most interesting thread I've ever read. But I wonder if you guys ever found any info on Kurt's second jag, the one on the polaroids. :unsure:
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find too much information on that guitar. I did attempt to track it down but was unsuccessful.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by andy2514 » Thu May 28, 2020 8:27 am

Incredible thread, best use of an afternoon during quarantine yet! Love the attention to detail, great work.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Thu May 28, 2020 10:26 am

andy2514 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:27 am
Incredible thread, best use of an afternoon during quarantine yet! Love the attention to detail, great work.
Thank you.

There is more yet to come. Unfortunately, the covid-19 situation has a few things on hold.

I suppose as a mini update, just to give some idea as to what I am looking into, there are three things I am in the process of obtaining.

1. I am currently in the process of trying to reach out to Seymour Duncan himself on the custom pickup. If he is absolutely unwilling to share any specs on it, I am ok with that. If absolutely nothing more, I would like a confirmation that it was made.

2. I am trying to reach out to Lee Bacon, who has the specs for the Jagstang prototype. He is in the process of turning Kurt's childhood home into a museum. Of course, Washington state is still under lockdown orders and such and the initial plans for it to open in September are unlikely. While I no longer live in that state, I do have friends who are willing to obtain the specs for us when it opens, assuming that I can't reach out to him before then.

3. To give us some insight about Kurt's compstang neck vs Larry's, I contacted to MoPop Museum, who currently have Kurt's compstang on display, and I asked if possible measurements could be taken. The museum then contacted the owner of the instrument (whom I am assuming is Courtney Love. If anyone knows for sure, feel free to let me know) and the owner gave their blessing. However, apart from the obvious shutdown, the guitar is still part of an active display and wont be examined until the neck time it is removed from the case. I think that is a fair compromise.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Rgand » Thu May 28, 2020 1:17 pm

Your 1,2 & 3 items are forward motion, although a bit slowed at this time. Keep at it. This is a wonderful project to follow.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Cymbaline87 » Thu May 28, 2020 1:34 pm

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 10:26 am
The museum then contacted the owner of the instrument (whom I am assuming is Courtney Love. If anyone knows for sure, feel free to let me know) and the owner gave their blessing.
According to kurtsequipment.com Courtney gave it to a someone else after Kurt died, so I'm assuming she's not the current owner unless she got it back.
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Thu May 28, 2020 3:04 pm

Cymbaline87 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 1:34 pm
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 10:26 am
The museum then contacted the owner of the instrument (whom I am assuming is Courtney Love. If anyone knows for sure, feel free to let me know) and the owner gave their blessing.
According to kurtsequipment.com Courtney gave it to a someone else after Kurt died, so I'm assuming she's not the current owner unless she got it back.
Awesome. I didn't know that. Well, whomever the current owner is, they sincerely have my thanks for granting the opportunity.

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