JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

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Amon 7.L
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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Tue May 07, 2019 1:39 am

JSutter wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 6:01 pm
In this thread, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=112331#top, parry says he has played Kurt's guitar. Have you talk with parry?
Me and Parry discussed the matter and replied to each other on that very thread, you can clearly see the results were conclusive ;D
Parry was obviously joking :D

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by JSutter » Tue May 07, 2019 8:06 pm

Yea, it sounded fishy. Oh well.

I've enjoyed reading this thread. I can't wait to see what other details get unconvered.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Tue May 07, 2019 9:03 pm

JSutter wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:06 pm
Yea, it sounded fishy. Oh well.

I've enjoyed reading this thread. I can't wait to see what other details get unconvered.
There will be one coming pretty soon.

I learned so much today that I am still kind of taking it in and trying to absorb and process it. Hard part is trying to formulate my thoughts on it. But I promise, it will be worth the wait. You guys wont have to wait long though.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Wed May 08, 2019 12:09 am

JSutter wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:06 pm
Yea, it sounded fishy. Oh well.

I've enjoyed reading this thread. I can't wait to see what other details get unconvered.
Thanks JSutter.
Don't worry, there's a lot going on behind the scenes, we're criss crossing elements and doing our diligent share of further inspections throughout each bit of information.

A special THANKS to our fellow member HNB for providing precious pics and measurements to do some work. Most appreciated, Chris.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by HNB » Wed May 08, 2019 7:54 am

Happy to help! :)
[Christopher]
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Wed May 08, 2019 10:45 am

Alright folks, it is time for an update. Go to the bathroom if you have to, grab a snack and something refreshing to drink, sit down and relax because AcrylicSuperman is going to take you all to school.

First thing I want to talk about is my previous post about the neck. I mentioned that since the tracing was done during the In Utero sessions, I believed that his compstang neck was used in the tracing. Amon did an analysis of that. Is it perfect? No. But could something like the lack of removing tuners change any thing? Absolutely. Considering they were recording Kurt likely wasn't tearing gear down and it is likely that he could have fee handed the headstock too. While it isnt perfect, it is close. Really close actually.

Image

Second, I took the shipping dates provided by Scott Zimmerman in my last update and attempted to corroborate these events to determine when the necks shipped. I'm going to spare you all the agonizing details of all this, but let me tell you that I retraced the footsteps of three dead men in a specific 28 day period that happened nearly 26 years ago. After compiling images from every show for In Utero in 1993, I determined that Kurt was using his red Mustang until 10/23/93 when he suddenly switched to sonic blue and pretty much never looked back. Scott really did ship the 2 sonic blue mustangs on 10/22/93 and he shipped the Jagstang necks with that order. 10/22 in Japan was 10/21 in the states, so Kurt received these guitars on 10/23 in the states. Having said that, we know that Earnie Bailey claims that Kurt hated it and wouldnt even play it in the first month. I dont think Kurt hated it, disappointed most likely, but it is true that he didn't play it in the first month. I know this because I believe Kurt received the Jagstang with the sonic blue Mustangs. Modifications began immediately, and I do mean immediately. If you consider that Earnie ripped out the DiMarzio H8 and replaced it with a JB the day of MTV Unplugged or 11/18/93, and we assume that the necks shipped with the Mustangs and Kurt received them on 10/23/93, that leaves 26 days of intense modifications and that equates to be about a month.

Is your mind blown yet? You still with me? I don't know about you but I think I missed my career path in life.

*grabs white lab coat*

Now let me teach you science. If Kurt received the Jagstang on 10/23, then Fender finished the body and neck on the same day and assembled it. Does anybody know what finish we can determine that the Jagstang had? If you said Polyurethane, give yourself a pat on the back.

*rips off lab coat*

So what modifications were done? The list is as follows:

Strap buttons removed and replaced with schaller strap locks.

Tailpiece flipped and locked.

Mustang bridge replaced with Gotoh TOM.

Stock 250k pots replaced with CTS 500k.

DiMarzio H8 replaced with Seymour Duncan JB that Earnie had to order from American Musical Supply.



Those mods are simple, but when you think about what he likely spent on a custom guitar to turn around and modify it that heavily, I think it speaks volumes. There is one other mod that I didn't mention because this mod took place in 1994 as they were about to embark on Europe. Kurt had the switches of his touring Mustangs cut off. They barely stick out above the pickguard. You can see evidence of it here:

https://youtu.be/nsWbX4RwPAw

Those images flash pretty quick so prepare to hit the pause button or change the playback speed. At any rate, there is clear evidence to support that he did this to the Jagstang as well, however, because of his picking hand, you only ever see it on the neck pickup switch. While I can not 100% say for certain he did it to the bridge pickup switch, considering he did it to every other switch, I think we can safely assume both switches were chopped. The following image shows it quite clearly but there is another detail on that image that I would like to directly point out.

Image

Now, I will fully admit, I have talked a lot of crap about how the Fender Custom Shop handled this guitar. And after seeing the picture above, I have one more complaint. You see, Fender used their custom shop texas special for the neck pickup and here they are, building a left handed guitar for Kurt Cobain, but they don't even bother to use a left handed pickup. Instead, they throw a right handed pickup in the guitar. With that magnet stagger, the bass presence is softer and the treble brighter. Can you imagine how much brighter 500k pots made that pickup up. And it's not a trial run pickup either because they did the exact same thing to the red one. The Custom Shop couldn't even be bothered to make a left handed version of a pickup they made in house.

So what is next? Well, now we are trying to determine what the actual color is and that seems to be a cluster **** of epic proportions. So stay tuned, it aint over yet.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Wed May 08, 2019 11:44 am

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 10:45 am

There is one other mod that I didn't mention because this mod took place in 1994 as they were about to embark on Europe. Kurt had the switches of his touring Mustangs cut off. They barely stick out above the pickguard. You can see evidence of it here:

https://youtu.be/nsWbX4RwPAw

Those images flash pretty quick so prepare to hit the pause button or change the playback speed. At any rate, there is clear evidence to support that he did this to the Jagstang as well, however, because of his picking hand, you only ever see it on the neck pickup switch. While I can not 100% say for certain he did it to the bridge pickup switch, considering he did it to every other switch, I think we can safely assume both switches were chopped. The following image shows it quite clearly but there is another detail on that image that I would like to directly point out.
Here's some extra pictures of the beheaded switches.
Image
Image
Image

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AWSchmit » Wed May 08, 2019 12:51 pm

I've been a member of this forum for well over 10 years, and this has got to be one of the most interesting threads so far. Thanks for sharing all these details. Very interesting stuff.

AWS
I finally finish building a guitar, go to play it, and then remember, "oh yeah, that's right. I suck at playing... Why did I build another guitar again?"

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Wed May 08, 2019 1:53 pm

AWSchmit wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:51 pm
I've been a member of this forum for well over 10 years, and this has got to be one of the most interesting threads so far. Thanks for sharing all these details. Very interesting stuff.

AWS
Thank you! I really appreciate that. I was six when Kurt died, so I missed Nirvana in their prime. But for some reason, I have always been drawn to that prototype. And as years went on and more of the people who were involved have died, I realized that if nobody documents that guitar, then in another 10-25 years, it will pretty much be lost. I don't want that and I know Nirvana fans don't want that.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Wed May 08, 2019 3:14 pm

AWSchmit wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:51 pm
I've been a member of this forum for well over 10 years, and this has got to be one of the most interesting threads so far. Thanks for sharing all these details. Very interesting stuff.

AWS
Thanks, it means a lot to me as well.
It has taken a great deal of hours of research, trial and error and there's still a lot going on as we speak.
Luckily, there's collaboration between us and many things have been unfolded as a result of each other's help. The more we are, the most we can accomplish. And this is why I love this forum so much.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by TinyEv » Wed May 08, 2019 4:57 pm

AWSchmit wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:51 pm
I've been a member of this forum for well over 10 years, and this has got to be one of the most interesting threads so far. Thanks for sharing all these details. Very interesting stuff.

AWS
+1 I check up on this thread a couple of times a day. It's engrossing to see all of the updates and progress. Hats off to Amon and AcrylicSuperman for your dedication and perseverance. The research achieved through this project might well one day lead to "correct" Jagstangs being commissioned by luthiers all over, which in turn could feasibly lead to a limited Fender run (hope springs eternal). Bravo chaps!
Give the anarchist a cigarette

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Wed May 08, 2019 5:27 pm

TinyEv wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:57 pm
AWSchmit wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:51 pm
I've been a member of this forum for well over 10 years, and this has got to be one of the most interesting threads so far. Thanks for sharing all these details. Very interesting stuff.

AWS
+1 I check up on this thread a couple of times a day. It's engrossing to see all of the updates and progress. Hats off to Amon and AcrylicSuperman for your dedication and perseverance. The research achieved through this project might well one day lead to "correct" Jagstangs being commissioned by luthiers all over, which in turn could feasibly lead to a limited Fender run (hope springs eternal). Bravo chaps!
Thank you. I appreciate it.

Seriously, when this project comes to an end, I'm not sure how I will feel about it. Proud, absolutely, but also kind of sad. I enjoy digging into everything and putting the pieces together. It has opened up so much history. That 28 days I mentioned earlier, I could basically sit there and tell you "On this day, Scott did this, which caused Larry to do this, and when Larry did that, it caused Mark to do this the night that Kurt played Chicago." I mean, 3 of those 4 are gone from this world, and when things line up that perfectly from 25 years ago, you know you are on to something. For me, the harder we dig, there comes a point where it is no longer the history of just the Jag-Stang, but it is the history of his Mustangs, his Jaguar, Kurt, the Fender Custom Shop, Larry Brooks, Mark Wittenberg, Dan Smith, Scott Zimmerman, John Duncan, Earnie Bailey, Jim Vincent, Martin Jenner, etc. It starts playing out like a movie.

So whoever said "Dead men tell no tales", they never stopped to listen because there are 5 of them who have spoke volumes. If I learned anything from this project it is that the smallest most insignificant action you take can echo for ages to come. It is certainly true with this guitar and those who had a hand to play in it.

I spent all of yesterday following Kurt around from July to December of 1993, and I followed others as well, namely Mark, Scott and Larry. When I stopped that night, I cracked open Kurt's journals to a random page and that page said this:

"Hi fellow advocatees,

1993 came and went without notice. Besides finishing a record in which we are quite proud of, yet getting shit from people claiming "commercial suicide" before it's released, I must say yes, 1993 has been a most fruitful year. Frances is a sprouting, cherubic joy and has helped in more ways than she will ever know."

I felt like I just spent half a year chasing him around on tour in 1993, and I open his own writings randomly to see that. Right at the end, where he debuts the Jagstang and the year is done. It's both amazing and a little sad. But that is the kind of history this guitar has led me down. In a way, this kind of quit being about a guitar. It somehow became more than that. Absolutely, I want to preserve the guitars history. More so, I want to play a righty version! But I also want to preserve the memories of these people. They are still very much around and they are all telling the same story from different perspectives. I have researched a lot of things in my life, but this has been an experience that I wont forget and despite knowing that some day it will end, I'm not sure that I am ready for it to or want it too. It's a little bittersweet.

But seriously, I am glad you are all enjoying this and I hope that my research can bring you all one step closer.

Just name your first born prototype Jagstangs after us. Lol, jk.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Thu May 09, 2019 2:35 am

TinyEv wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:57 pm
AWSchmit wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:51 pm
I've been a member of this forum for well over 10 years, and this has got to be one of the most interesting threads so far. Thanks for sharing all these details. Very interesting stuff.

AWS
+1 I check up on this thread a couple of times a day. It's engrossing to see all of the updates and progress. Hats off to Amon and AcrylicSuperman for your dedication and perseverance. The research achieved through this project might well one day lead to "correct" Jagstangs being commissioned by luthiers all over, which in turn could feasibly lead to a limited Fender run (hope springs eternal). Bravo chaps!
Oh man, thank you very much.

As fellow member dc pointed out in the first pages, "this is actually the 25th anniversary of Monster, which is set to be reissued in October. so that period in band history and its various associations, presumably including the Cobain guitar, will be on the collective mind of the REM machine", so... even though chances are not this big if you considered how the entire Jagstang has been handled by Fender... let's hope they get passionate enough to do a full revival and give us lefies too a new and more accurate specimen of this iconic piece of history.
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:27 pm
Just name your first born prototype Jagstangs after us. Lol, jk.
Ahahahahah, godfathers of a lost child :D

EDIT:
Yes.. I'm as stubborn as you can get, it bugged the shit out of me... so I had to go for the millionth time back to inspect every possible frameshot I've gathered and sort this point out of the list:
Image
I've enlarged, enhanced and marked'em up for you.
BOTH SWITCHES Have been cut off.
Case closed.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Thu May 09, 2019 7:55 am

Yep. You're right. Both switches are cut off in 94. Nice catch!

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Amon 7.L » Thu May 09, 2019 12:02 pm

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:55 am
Yep. You're right. Both switches are cut off in 94. Nice catch!
Thank you.

Now we can move on a subject that is proving to be a major cluster F.
THE COLOUR FINISH: What is it? where did it come from? When was it used?

Discussing the matter with AcrylicSuperman, we can sum things up as it follows:

1) Kurt requested "aqua blue/green, like old mustangs" (which would have been a faded daphne blue. The vintage ones have never been sonic blue.);

2) Fender in the 90s has been reported using both Duco 2803 (labelled DAPHNE) and Duco 2295 (labelled Sonic blue)
Look at this pic, it's from Curtis Novak, I'm sure you trust the guy.
Image
They look similar enough, but it's as plain as the day that Daphne doesn't show the same distinct green hue as sonic blue does.

3) USA sonic blue and Japanese counterpart are NOT the exact same shade;

4) Jagstang body & neck have been sprayed in the USA, therefore sonic blue would have been too unmistakably light to be taken for Daphne, If it was Japanese, then we know for sure that it wasn't their sonic blue, otherwise MG and JS would look alike.


5) Kurt's prototype doesn't look sonic, it never seems to ooze the sort of greenish hue that's characteristic of the sonic blue.
Check this side-by-side taken from the same live show, same stage light... they look close but if you doubt it, watch the entire show and judge yourself:
Image
Same lighting, but if you focus on the jagstang's butt vs mustang's, or the entire instruments for the matter, you can see that the JS is definitely closer to a pure Daphne than Sonic Blue. There's no green whatsoever. Never during the show when you can easily compare the two.

6) We know for sure that for some reason, the first run of the Jagstang was not the sonic blue you'd find on the second run. It's a sort of "aqua blue" as it has been also described in this very post on Shortscale in which this topic has been discussed:
https://www.jag-stang.com/forum/topic/4 ... onic-blue/
just a sneak peak to get right to the comparison:
I quote robert(original): "the one in the forfront is a 2005, or so re-issue, and the one in the back is my 96."
Image

7) Fellow AcrylicSuperman reported that, asked the question to Novoselic, the answer was "that old blue color they used on Cadillacs"... so.. it could have been both sonic, daphne or a custom colour in between.

So.. without flooding the thread with an obscene amount of samples, I'll get to the gist to ease things up once for all.

Based on my personal -yet subjective- judgement, the jagstang prototype looks Daphne... or -at least- surely NOT like the CIJ Mustang RI sonic blue.

To solve the issue, I thought there is a thing we can do to shine a light once for all.
Several years ago I went to the paint store looking for a fiesta red sample, I didn't have any idea of the colour code nor other reference for the matter. The woman at the desk just heard me calling it "fiesta red", she looked it up on her monitor and in a split second founded out which code, car and year was associated to it. Furthermore, she also told me that if I ever needed a specific colour of which I don't have any specs of, as soon as I would have been able to provide her a sample to be scanned by her device, she would have been able to track it and reproduce it.
So, in final, my idea is that if one of you guys have a first run jagstang (if you have a lefty, we're golden, as they were not reissued and they are indeed the "mysterious colour"), could you please ask a paint store to scan the colour to see what does come out in their database?
I know it sounds "too much splitting hairs" but... why stop if we can go the extra mile?

We need your help, I dare to say WE count on you.
George McFly comes to my mind: “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”. I don't want to stop believe that.

Thanks for sticking around.
Last edited by Amon 7.L on Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:11 am, edited 5 times in total.

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