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Scratching another off the bucket list (warning: California content)


ksdaddy
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Over the course of my life I have fooled myself into thinking that buying a certain guitar is going to magically transform my playing ability to match the instrument. It took many decades and many many thousands of dollars to make me realize that something from the 335 family is not going to turn me into BB King, a 175-ish thing is not going to turn me into Joe Pass, a Gretsch CG = Chet, LP =LP, you get it. Having said that, I grew up on reverby surf music, influenced by no small amount by my brother blaring his '66 Mustang and Heathkit amp from the next bedroom and my "borrowing" of his 1962 album "Welcome to the Ventures Dance Party". I like surf music, I like playing it, and even though I suck, I suck less at surf than I do other genres. I do play surf on the Tele and Strat, and sometimes the Hopf Saturn 63. I've owned Jazzmasters and Jaguars in past decades, long long ago.  I've owned lots and lots of guitars years ago...

No delusions about a pre-CBS Fender making me something I'm not. For once, I will provide the fingers, and my spending big bucks is more to get closer to the authentic sound than I can otherwise, and also a great deal of nostalgia for clay dots and brown cases.... the feel of shiny Braz rosewood and a maple neck with zero lacquer left on it.  It's all what we choose to place value on. For once in my life I am confident in what I can do, and simply choose to pay for the tool that I want to use in the process. I will drive the guitar this time, because I've learned the hard way, the guitar will never drive ME.

I had a feeling I would make a stupid decision in my haste to own either of the Fender J's, so I had to act with short money before spending long money. The local music shop had a Daphne Blue Squier 60s vibe Jazzmaster that I scored for $380. I figured that would keep me sated somewhat, so I could shop and not just pull the trigger on the first one.  I did make  a new bone nut for it, shimmed the neck, filed the jagged fret ends, polished the frets (they looked like they had been "polished" with 180 grit sandpaper from the factory), put 11-49 strings on it, and today I ordered a vintage style bridge for it so I can match the radius (something the stock bridge does not do). It is turning out to be a great guitar and may just stay around even after I pay the long green for something pre-CBS.

Seems like there are a lot more Jaguars for sale and at better prices. I negotiated on an all original but  heavily used 1964 in Texas and before I pulled the trigger, I thought, I need to get something in my hands with the same 24" scale and see if I like it, and I need to do it now! Luckily someone local had a Squier Duo-Sonic that they had for sale, originally for $500, then $350, and yesterday I got it for $280. Setup was poo, so I spent an hour last night giving it the best pit stop I could in that time.  By the end of the evening it was clear to me that the 24" scale was not going to work and by contrast the Indonesian Jazzmaster was like going to a grand piano after playing a Casio. So that guitar is now on ebay and reverb, just looking to get my money back, and even if I sell it at a loss, it will be a cheap lesson learned, rather than spending over 5K to learn the same lesson.

I'm not even going to gripe about the price of vintage stuff. I'm going to forget the fact that in 1985 I bought a 1962 Jaguar for $100 or in 1998 I sold a 1965 Jazzmaster for $800.  That's old news. I have reaped the benefits of flipping  guitars and taking advantage of increases in market value.... karma dictates that I am now the one to buy in a seller's market. I once was the windshield, today I am the bug.

I am now ready to take my punishment and pay like everyone else.

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So...a pre-CBS Jag is in your future?

I LOVED mine....but I wish I'd had is set up properly, (I didn't know then what I know now...and money was short).

How I wish I'd kept it....it was FULL of 'Mojo'.

I liked the 60's Surf-sound....but wasn't 'crazy' about it....The Ventures...yes.... **** Dale....yes..... The Beach Boys....okay..... Jan & Dean....okay....

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To satisfy my quest for the Pre CBS Jags & JM’s of my youth I played the AV65’s… They were so Vintage correct I bought both of them… Olympic White AV65 Jazzmaster & Candy Apple Red AV 65 Jaguar… Both are expertly Set up, including the proper Set up for Locking Tremelos & both are now sporting Mustang Bridges… As close as you can get to Vintage but with Lifetime Warranties… 

The Twang, Reverb & Tremelo Sound is so cool thru a Fender Twin, Deluxe Reverb & Princeton Reverb!

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^^

They no longer make the AVRI stuff except in the Custom Shop. They do, however,  make the American Original 60s Jazzmaster at $2149, which is tempting....but apparently they're still covidified and they aren't available at the moment.

25 minutes ago, DanvillRob said:

So...a pre-CBS Jag is in your future?

I liked the 60's Surf-sound....but wasn't 'crazy' about it....The Ventures...yes.... **** Dale....yes..... The Beach Boys....okay..... Jan & Dean....okay....

Jazzmaster for the 25.5 scale and cleaner glassy pickups.

I grew up listening to the Ventures and they were certainly talented and the most commercially successful instrumental group playing that type of music. However their stuff is hit or miss with me. I guess I lean more towards the darker stuff like Pipeline or Point Panic (Chantays, Surfaris). More angry reverb than fluff instrumental pop. I never much cared for D-ikk Dale but I've watched a couple videos from the 90s and the man was insane.  I need to dig deeper.

Speaking of what an AVRI Jazzmaster can do..... this is a bit over the top, but why go in halfway?

 

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2 hours ago, ksdaddy said:

They no longer make the AVRI stuff except in the Custom Shop. They do, however,  make the American Original 60s Jazzmaster at $2149, which is tempting....but apparently they're still covidified and they aren't available at the moment.

But man oh man them AOs are just dreamy.  Worth the wait, and with their 4 year cycle closing, the AO's might get replaced with the next fancy named expensive American version, so the old AOs will get blown out, so there is that.

rct

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8 hours ago, rct said:

But man oh man them AOs are just dreamy.  Worth the wait, and with their 4 year cycle closing, the AO's might get replaced with the next fancy named expensive American version, so the old AOs will get blown out, so there is that.

rct

That would be nice….. 

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Great thread, and some insightful memories and lessons there, ksdaddy. 
Thank you for this. 

I'm always on the lookout for a good used Jaguar or Mustang, though the right one has never found me. 
The search continues. 

I must confess that I yearned for a Jazzmaster for many years, less because of the early 1960's surf music influences, but more because I was a huge Elvis Costello fan in the 1980's and '90's. 

I purchased this 2021 Fender Player Jazzmaster from Chicago Music Exchange a few months ago, and even though it isn't true to the elderly Fender ethic of switches, knobs, and sliders, it makes me very happy. Jazzmaster pickups are unique, I must say, and I love their myriad tones and timbres. 

She's  8 lbs 2 ounces  and comes in a 25 ½ “ scale. 

"Exclusive" build for both Chicago Music Exchange and Anderton's, over across the pond.   The black face headstock is the telling feature. 
Many are still available for sale brand new, I reckon. 

🙂

https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/blogs/news/cme-exclusives-fender-player-jazzmasters

 

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21 hours ago, ksdaddy said:

^^

They no longer make the AVRI stuff except in the Custom Shop. They do, however,  make the American Original 60s Jazzmaster at $2149, which is tempting....but apparently they're still covidified and they aren't available at the moment.

Jazzmaster for the 25.5 scale and cleaner glassy pickups.

I grew up listening to the Ventures and they were certainly talented and the most commercially successful instrumental group playing that type of music. However their stuff is hit or miss with me. I guess I lean more towards the darker stuff like Pipeline or Point Panic (Chantays, Surfaris). More angry reverb than fluff instrumental pop. I never much cared for D-ikk Dale but I've watched a couple videos from the 90s and the man was insane.  I need to dig deeper.

 

Jeez.  I never thought of "Pipeline" and "Point Panic" as "dark".  :rolleyes: I thought they both sounded like they were written by the same "one trick pony" type of guy they were so similar,

Whitefang

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5 minutes ago, Whitefang said:

Jeez.  I never thought of "Pipeline" and "Point Panic" as "dark".  :rolleyes: I thought they both sounded like they were written by the same "one trick pony" type of guy they were so similar,

Whitefang

Is there a limit on the amount of wet reverb you are allowed to have on a surf song?

Doesn't Jimi say on 3rd Stone From The Sun - "And you will never hear surf music again".

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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Hey KSD have you ever tried/owned a Fender 6G15?

 

I feel like a vintage fender guitar into a nice fender amp would be easily in the ballpark of a classic surf sound. 
 

I feel like the cheap Squier that you already have plus a 6G15 and almost any amp would immediately nail the sound you want 

 

depending on your amp you should really consider the reverb more important than the guitar in this equation. Regardless of your amp it doesn’t sound as surfy as a 6G15 and I’m not just talking about over the top usage 

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I've never been an amp freak. I understand the importance, it's just that my go-to is the Telecaster and it doesn't care what amp I use. Anything is fine.

I've had the old amps, and a few Twins, an Earth Revival, which was like a Fender tweed sorta. One of my "there" amps is a Fender Frontman 25R in Texas Red that has enough reverb to drown most any domestic animal.

Never had the reverb unit of which you speak. I've always relied on the internal tank. I would strongly consider it though.

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Gosh, you learn something new everyday.  You mean a better higher priced guitar 'Doesn't' make you a better player, Ksdaddy? Lol.  I had to say that!  Yeah, just playing at home, you don't have to impress anybody. I loved the Venture sound & always wanted a Mosrite guitar which never happened.  After I left the Railroad, I bought a Modified, Vintage jaguar because I wanted to play my Surf songs I love also. It works well. I run it through my Fender Super Champ tube amp X2.  I also have a small Marshall amp that has over 80 different sound effects that works well also.   

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7 hours ago, ksdaddy said:

I've never been an amp freak. I understand the importance, it's just that my go-to is the Telecaster and it doesn't care what amp I use. Anything is fine.

I've had the old amps, and a few Twins, an Earth Revival, which was like a Fender tweed sorta. One of my "there" amps is a Fender Frontman 25R in Texas Red that has enough reverb to drown most any domestic animal.

Never had the reverb unit of which you speak. I've always relied on the internal tank. I would strongly consider it though.

If you’re going for a surf sound that is the one piece of gear that I think you should really consider. 
 

I’m not sure exactly how to put it.. it’s not the amount of reverb necessarily but how it sounds. 
 

If you have the right sounding amp/reverb setup the difference between the Squier and a super expensive vintage Fender are kinda negligible. If you have the right guitar and not quite the right amp/reverb setup then the difference is noticeable. 
 

The playability and things about the guitar that inspire you to play a certain way are also super important, so obviously the Squier is not the ideal choice 

 

What I’d say to sum it up is that a good off the shelf Jag/Jazz (if that’s what you want), 6g15, and good amp could easily cost less than just a vintage fender guitar. But the sound would be very noticeably more satisfying compared to super nice guitar and meh amp. And I know the frontman and it’s ok but it’s not what you’re talking about wanting

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I had to learn the hard way too. When I was looking for a strat in early 70s, everyone said 'find a pre-CBS one, but I bought a new one and it was not a good one either. It was my only electric guitar for 23 years and I played it every day. I never got used to it. I always felt like I was fighting it. I only persevered because it had the sound I wanted. 

The Fender TC90 (tele) I briefly had, I couldn't play either. Fenders completely stump me. 

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I was up at 5 this morning. While the dogs were out peeing, I sat down in a spare bedroom with the Tele and noodled unplugged. It occurred to me that I spend just as much time tuning a Fender as I do playing one.

Yet here I am. Here many of us are.

After coffee and shower I walked into the bedroom, reached to an upper shelf in the closet and grabbed my plywood 1988 Seresta classical, which I bought in 2005 for $10. The strings have been on it since 2014. I haven't played it in at least a month.

It was in perfect tune. As I expected it to be.

smh...

 

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I always had a thing for the reverb, surf sound and Ventures. When I first got out playing in the late 60's, I had a Fender '50's Reverb amp that wound up getting stolen. I replaced it with a 60's Ampeg Reverbojet that I gave to a friend.  Jump ahead about 40 years, I bought one of the '65 Deluxe Reverb  reissue that I didn't care for and traded off. I recently bought a Twin Mastertone. So far the sound and light weight is working out.

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21 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Is there a limit on the amount of wet reverb you are allowed to have on a surf song?

Doesn't Jimi say on 3rd Stone From The Sun - "And you will never hear surf music again".

Yet, Surf Music is still heard & played….. LOL… It was just a song…

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