US vibrato on CIJ jag - anything to look out for?

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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MechaBulletBill
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Re: new CIJ jag owner is getting used to it now

Post by MechaBulletBill » Wed Nov 08, 2023 6:18 am

i might be losing my mind but i'm sure there was a page 2 on this thread, and somebody had mentioned possibly having a MIJ/CIJ spec arm in a drawer. if that's true and you see this, i'd be very interested in that! i've seen the Jpn arms have a nice curve to them. seems certain parts on CIJ/MIJ guitars were as nice or nicer than the US or aftermarket upgrade equivalents (like the stock switches having a far smoother action than switchcrafts, etc.)

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Post by tqi » Tue Nov 14, 2023 6:02 pm

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Last edited by tqi on Sat Feb 03, 2024 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: new CIJ jag owner is getting used to it now

Post by GilmourD » Tue Nov 14, 2023 7:50 pm

tqi wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2023 6:02 pm
If you don't go for Jack's combo pack, it's an 8-week wait but it's still cheaper than the £40 you were looking to import one last month, and they really are worth every penny.
Sadly I'm at 12 weeks and 3 days right now. Let's see if me saying something invokes Murphy's Law, though. LOL

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Re: new CIJ jag owner is getting used to it now

Post by JamesSGBrown » Wed Nov 15, 2023 2:24 am

Bill I've got an AV65 collet and arm I don't need anymore if that's of use- the collet could do with widening a bit as it was very snug and the arm basically stayed in there for a year (and could do with a squeeze of WD40), but if you want it let me know and you can grab it from me from the hare on the 29th?

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Re: new CIJ jag owner is getting used to it now

Post by MechaBulletBill » Wed Nov 15, 2023 4:01 am

lots of options! i will shoot out some DMs when i'm back later today

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Re: new CIJ jag owner is getting used to it now

Post by GilmourD » Wed Nov 15, 2023 10:24 am

GilmourD wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2023 7:50 pm
tqi wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2023 6:02 pm
If you don't go for Jack's combo pack, it's an 8-week wait but it's still cheaper than the £40 you were looking to import one last month, and they really are worth every penny.
Sadly I'm at 12 weeks and 3 days right now. Let's see if me saying something invokes Murphy's Law, though. LOL
🤣🤣🤣

I literally just got (and paid) the invoice for my four arms (two import, two US) five minutes ago.

🤣🤣🤣

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Post by tqi » Wed Nov 15, 2023 11:17 am

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Re: new CIJ jag owner is getting used to it now

Post by MechaBulletBill » Sat Feb 24, 2024 7:58 am

I put 500k pots in and wired it tele-style (well, i mean without that resistor on the tone pot). it sounds basically the same and now the pots work more like i'm used to on all my other guitars.

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Re: US vibrato on CIJ jag - anything to look out for?

Post by MechaBulletBill » Fri May 17, 2024 12:42 am

picked up an american vibrato unit on reverb. it feels a lot nicer than my memory of the US vibrato i put on my VMJM about 10 years ago (when you could get the vibratos for less than £100 sometimes!) but feels like it's catching on something. it doesn't have a great range of motion and i can't seem to get the lock button set up correctly as per the ever-useful guide we all refer to.

do i need to route out the vibrato cavity a little? i'm just going for tuning stability above all. the roller bridge has a bit of play in it so that needs to be more secure and certainly the nut needs attention.

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Re: US vibrato on CIJ jag - anything to look out for?

Post by crazyzeke » Fri May 17, 2024 3:39 am

Ah right, I might actually be able to help a bit here due to owning a CIJ Jag for nearly 2 decades and swapping a significant amount of parts as the years have gone by. It was not a good guitar when stock, from an electronics point of view, but I think I put up with it because the neck feel was the best I'd found, and basically still is. When it comes to the woodworking parts, those Japanese luthiers are some of the best in the world, there's real craft and attention to detail that for the price point a lot of other mass market big volume products just can't touch - I don't just mean Fender either, I've played some non-shreddy Ibanez guitars in the same kind of £1k range and been equally impressed.

Stock electronics and hardware in mid-2000s CIJ Jags is... shit, basically. I've had about 3 now. Stock pickups and bridge are terrible and I wouldn't recommend trying to gig with them, because believe me I did and between the sinking bridge/saddles and squealing microphonic pickups it was not a fun experience. They need swapping to have a reliable, working guitar that sounds good. Beefing up the tone by going from 1M to 500K pots in the lead circuit is a great mod and balances out the tonal difference between the lead and rhythm circuits a bit too.

I recently changed the stock CIJ Jag vibrato plate for one I sourced locally cheaply from a Squier JM JM and the difference is huge - tuning stability is a lot better even under heavy vibrato use so I'd guess an AVRI (popular upgrade) would be a level or two better still, but for now I'm happy with it and spend more time playing and less time turning the machine heads. My one critique of doing this is that the CIJ Jag screws are noticeably smaller than the plate is expecting however they do hold the vibrato plate in place just fine, but really the correct solution would be to bore out the six screw holes on the offset body a little wider (not too much) and use better fitting screws. The CIJ Jag style vibrato arm is a comfortable tight fit on the Squier JM JM plate, as in it stays where you put it but comes out with a few stern wiggles when you're putting it back in the case.

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If your experience putting the AVRI plate on a CIJ Jag is anything like mine with the Squier JM JM plate, I can't imagine you'd need to do cavity routing, but there are several luthiers here that might know better.
2003 CIJ Fender Jaguar, sunburst (SJAG-3n neck, SHR-1b bridge, 500K lead circuit pots/speed knobs, Mastery bridge, Buzz Stop, Squier JM JM vibrato plate, modified whammy bar)

2022 MIM Fender Meteora, cosmic jade (top mounted input jack added)

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Re: US vibrato on CIJ jag - anything to look out for?

Post by GilmourD » Fri May 17, 2024 4:36 am

MechaBulletBill wrote:
Fri May 17, 2024 12:42 am
picked up an american vibrato unit on reverb. it feels a lot nicer than my memory of the US vibrato i put on my VMJM about 10 years ago (when you could get the vibratos for less than £100 sometimes!) but feels like it's catching on something. it doesn't have a great range of motion and i can't seem to get the lock button set up correctly as per the ever-useful guide we all refer to.

do i need to route out the vibrato cavity a little? i'm just going for tuning stability above all. the roller bridge has a bit of play in it so that needs to be more secure and certainly the nut needs attention.
Where does it feel like it's catching? Does it feel like the arm is bottoming out, like something's not smooth where it pivots, or like the spring is catching on the perch?

Also... Roller bridge? Which Jag is this again?

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Re: US vibrato on CIJ jag - anything to look out for?

Post by alexpigment » Fri May 17, 2024 7:29 am

First thing I would recommend is to pull the arm up by about a quarter of an inch (so that the tapered part is still at the bottom of the collet, but not pushed all the way). Does this get your range of motion back? Is it still catching?

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Re: US vibrato on CIJ jag - anything to look out for?

Post by MechaBulletBill » Sat May 18, 2024 6:17 am

GilmourD wrote:
Fri May 17, 2024 4:36 am
Also... Roller bridge? Which Jag is this again?
this one (pic by greenknee, who sold it to me!)
Image

i'll hopefully get it over to my workshop soon where i can try again to set it up properly. i'll look out for the things mentioned here and report back. many thanks everybody.

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Re: US vibrato on CIJ jag - anything to look out for?

Post by MechaBulletBill » Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:34 am

i think i've solved it. the vibrato plate (that the strings anchor to) was not aligned properly. it was sitting at and angle so that only one side was making correct contact with the knife edge. now that it's sitting parallel to the top plate the vibrato feel is much nicer and it's keeping better tune (though i think it needs new strings and possibly attention at the nut)

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