So here's another one of my personal guitars I use live. As I said in one of my past posts, I switched to JM's live because they gave me "better tone" when using lots of pedals with my new band and new set up.
This, like a few of my Fenders started out life as parts neck and bodies. I wanted to make it a little different from my other JM's and I remembered talking to J Mascis a few years ago about a maple fretboard Jazzmaster. Well, the time was right.
I'm NOT a subscriber to "nitro sounds better" although I do get my nitro custom mixed "the old way" and use it on repairs and restorations where the job calls for nitro and I have used it on parts guitars I've made for myself and friends but I personally I don't believe a solidbody electric guitar resonates differently with nitro compared to a thin acrylic coat and acrylic is cheaper, easier and safer to use.
The neck is 38mm at the nut which suits my little hands perfectly (remember, I come from Mosrite town).
The maple fretboard really seems to add "clarity" to the mix on this ? I disagree with the general consensus that you get more treble from a maple board. I personally think you get less "slightly" bottom end but clearer mids and tops.
I like to try lots of different stuff and I've found the JM to be a GREAT platform for many different types of pickups. I settled on a Fender Widerange humbucker in the bridge as my other main JM has one of these and I LOVE IT so much. I have a couple of old wide ranges but I do recommend the Japanese reissues as I think they sound great. Not the same, not better, not worse than originals but GREAT in their own right and to my ears, MUCH MUCH better than the current Mex/US reissues. All I do is pot them to keep them under control with lots of gain.
The neck pickup was a little more .......... complicated as I normally run a bass pickup under the E string that goes to a separate lead that runs through an octave pedal and fuzzes and into a bass amp.
I wanted this guitar to run the stereo amps but in a different way for different songs so it was going to be a P-90 but I had an old Filtertron lying around that won the battle. I have a Tele with a Filtertron in the neck and they work great with 25.5" scale solid bodies.
So, these pickups go off to different output jacks and off to the stereo amps but this one uses guitar pickups for both signals.
I use pretty heavy strings on all my guitars but most of my Fendr long scale guitars get 12-54 or 13-56 depending on the actual guitar. Some start to loose "definition" when you get too heavy with the strings. I ALWAYS use standard tuning.
The widerange goes through my "normal" guitar set up like Big Mudds, boosts, delays and trems and the Filtertron goes through my "bass" set up with an octave pedal and several fuzzes into a bass amp and 4x10.
I used one of my favorite bridges on this guitar which is the old Bigsby aluminium bridge. These have a tone that I absolutely love. I think it has something to do with being "one piece" and the vibration from each string "touches" each other. It's probably similar to why I LOVE the Gibson wraparound so much also.
I don't have a problem with the original JM bridge as most of my other JM's and Jag's still run them. I think when they're set up properly, they work great. From what I've seen from seeing SO many of these is most of them just aren't set up properly.
You may also notice the scratch plate. Half JM, half Jag. I never like the top "rhythm" switches on the JM/Jag as I always hit them when I strum so I did away with these but I do like a bit of chrome so I used a Jag control plate.
I also anchor all my bottom E strings on my JM's vibratos to leave this note constant when I use the vibrato. I first did this on my guitar/bass version to keep the bass root note constant while I used the vibrato and I loved it so much, I do it to all of them now.
So, that's about it I think. Oh, except one of my ALL TIME favorite bands, Swervedriver hired this guitar from me when they played Brisbane earlier this year and after the show wanted to buy it off me. When I said it wasn't for sale they asked if they could hire it off me. Of course I said YES. They used it on the whole Australian tour and returned it to me via courier with autographed posters inside the hardcase. They absolutely LOVED this guitar, and they know Jazzmasters.