I have long admired the Jazzmaster off-set style body and liked the Telemaster take on it. This project should come together quickly. I have almost all the parts in stock except body, pickguard and pickups. Mostly left over from other projects.
I have always wanted to give a Warmoth body a try for one of my partscaster builds. So I ordered a very nice Warmoth Jazzcaster body (Warmoth name for a Telemaster) from their “in-stock showcase” items. This means Warmoth already has the body complete and ready to ship. This does save time and money from a custom made order which would cost a bit more and wait time of at least a few weeks or more.
I also ordered a solid perloid pickguard from Warmoth. It looked good and should fit their body perfectly.
I was able to find almost exactly the body I wanted for this project. It is a chambered body weighing about 5-lbs 8-ozs that is swamp ash with a very nice quilted maple top. It has a natural masked binding which just means they mask off the maple before finishing (a bit like what PRS does). The top finish is a Red Dye and the back is transparent red. The body has contoured tummy and forearm cuts. About the only thing it this stock body did not have was a contoured heal. I can live without one.
I will using a genuine Fender SELECT Telecaster neck that I already had. It is a beautiful neck with Fender locking tuners, 22 frets, modern C profile, satin back and compound 9.5 – 14 radius. These are very high quality necks from Fender featuring premium birdseye maple with black pearled inlays. I already have all the hardware, wiring and electronics. All quality parts.
I ordered a set of Fender Custom Shop Texas Specials (099-2121-000) which I will wire with a 4-way switch. I figured if this was good enough for the Merle Haggard Signature Telecaster, one of Fender’s most expensive production Telecasters it was good enough for me. The bridge pickup measures 10.23K and the neck pickup is 9.11K. These pickups are overwound and use alnico 5 magnets. The bridge pickup has staggered poles. Sound be a nice contrast to my many other guitars.
The 4-way switch wiring allows for more versatile sounds:
Position 1: Bridge only
Position 2: Bridge and Neck in Parallel (like a standard Tele – both pickups)
Position 3: Neck only
Position 4: Bridge and Neck in Series for fatter tone (more output than 1,2 & 3)
UPDATE: Custom Shop Texas Special pickups and 4-way switch have arrived. I ordered a Hipshot 4 hole Telecaster Bridge with compensated saddles that I want to use that I like better then the Tele bridge I had in stock.
Hipshot Tele Bridge looks nice. It has no metal on the sides and lays flat on the body. It is all stainless steel and has compensated saddles. I figured I would give this one a try on this project.
UPDATE: Warmoth Jazzcaster body and pickguard arrived and I went right to work. I expect this project to come together quite fast as I have all the parts.
Warmoth did a nice packing job on the body and I am very pleased with the quality. Book matching on the top is pretty nice and the finish is great.
Ash back is nicely figured.
Laying out the pickguard and other hardware to ensure a good fit. Looks perfect.
I always like to use copper tape to shield the cavities were the electronics will sit. It does a lot to quiet those single coil pickups by helping to eliminate interference and noise from lighting, etc.
I used vintage push back wire, plenty left from other projects. I uses a nice looking vintage reissue capacitor.
Wiring is complete. Using 4-way switch and Fender Custom Shop Texas Specials. Fitting the parts before drilling pickguard and control plate screw holes.
Used some nice Fender Telecaster knobs and switch tip I had left over from another guitar project. They are brand new.
The guitar is all wired and ready for the neck. After looking at this body I decided that the maple Fender SELECT neck I have is just not correct for this guitar. It needs to have a rosewood fingerboard, not maple. I think the rosewood would look a lot better on this guitar and most all Jazzmasters came with a rosewood neck. So rosewood it will be for the Jazzcaster.
I ordered a nice genuine American Fender Deluxe Telecaster Neck from vendor on eBay. It has the same Fender locking tuners, modern “C” shape back profile and compound Radius 9.5″-14″ as the maple Fender SELECT neck. It has 22 medium jumbo Frets and black Pearloid inlays. Should be quite similar to the neck I was going to use, but with a rosewood fingerboard.
UPDATE: Rosewood fingerboard Fender neck arrived. I mounted it and it is a much better choice for this guitar.
This neck has Fender/Schaller locking tuners. I am going to change the chrome buttons to pearloid ones like I used on my other custom builds.
I bought an SBK Jazzmaster case. Guitar fits nice in it.
After thinking about this I am going to swap out the Hipshot bridge with a 6 adjustable saddle version. Should be here in a couple of days and then I can finish the guitar setup. Looks great so far.
UPDATE: New Hipshot bridge arrived. So I can finish this up.
Setup complete and sounding great. The 4-way switch makes this guitar more versatile, bit it still sounds like Tele.
The offset body makes it very comfortable to play. Fender Deluxe neck feels nice.
Nice classy looking guitar.