came across a pair of Teisco Gold Foils in the parts bin that had been out of use for several years.
hooked up a jack, tried them - and boy, do these deserve to be in a guitar!
so, on the lookout for a body donor guitar.
i ended up buying a Fender Classic Player jazzmaster body from Stijn Kenens, all-round good guy who also happens to be the luthier down the hall.
the Classic Player is the model where they moved the trem closer to the bridge to increase the break angle. so not truly 'vintage correct' - but whatever. this was never going to be vintage correct anyway, and it was on the cheap.
stripped it of its black finish, and out came a rather nice alder body (according to Stijn.)
i thought it looked just a little too light in colour, and as i was looking for a way to avoid heavy chemicals, i ended up staining it with walnut bistre. which turned out great - except you need to dilute it with water, so any oil or waterbased laquer i would put on there would instantly ruin my staining job. even after it dried. so far for the nontoxic plan - and i reached for the clear laquer spraycan.
which worked out just fine.
since i have this Squier VM jazzmaster with a built-in fuzz in lieu of the rhythm circuit, and since i'm sort of addicted to that, i was thinking of doing another effects-laden axe.
thing is, jazzmaster pickguards are a bitch to take off and put on - so jaguar style control plates seemed a nifty solution. making the wiring job easier, easier battery switching etc.
only problem there: i couldn't just put on a jaguar pickguard, because the body size, scale and therefore bridge position differs from the jazzmaster. and i couldn't for the life of me seem to find jazzmaster pickguards without pickup routing.. and the gold foils are considerably smaller than JM soapbars.
so i ended up routing a pickguard myself, based on a JM routing template i borrowed from stijn, cut short at both ends to make room for the chrome jag plates.
i slightly fucked up the routing for the pickup selector plate, but it's not too bad for a first attempt :) and no one will ever notice from a distance. and, oh yeah, whatever, anyway.
i bought myself a second hand squier jazzmaster Affinity neck.
seems to play ok, will see if it will hold for the long run.
tried several wiring options - phase switch, series, parallel, whathaveyou.
in the end i went with series wiring and a phase switch for the mid position.
the actual tonal difference between parallel and series was negligable, but series was way louder. and therefore better suited for the out of phase sound, where you will lose some volume anyway.
and hey, if this kinda wiring works for Brian May..
tried several values for the volume and tone controls, tried treble bleed circuits, extra resistors like in the original jag wiring, yadiyadiya. ended up with just a 500KB volume, ran the full hot signal into a 10K resistor + 500KA tone pot with a .01uF to ground. the 10K keeps everything from going into full closed-tone-pot-shutdown, a sound that's too dark and unusable to my taste.
now i just need a black tremolo tip, and i need to decide what to put in the rhythm circuit.
fuzz is always good, methinks - but trem can work with two controls just as well.. hmm.
pic below: still working on the tone control values at the time, by now it's got two knobs and that black trem tip. she's a beauty.