NGD - Stunning. “Holy Cow ! ”

YaDaddy

Gretschie
Mar 16, 2020
471
Marietta, GA
Ok...I think we need the story on the 2nd.
Weeellllll it all started while I was cruising Stratosphere looking for a neck for one of my Strat builds. (The never ending search for the one to complete my Opal spark player plus build, actually.) I noticed this neck with a dark red painted head cap and just had to look. Turns out it wasn’t a strat neck, but a Jazzmaster one pulled from a Troy Van Leeuwen signature model. I have never heard of a TVL jazzmaster and I’ve never really been interested in jazzmasters, but the fretboard wood of this thing was exceptional. Dark with lots of lighter waviness, but well distributed figure. It was a special neck and got me looking and learning scouring the web and YouTube. Looking and learning quickly turned into planning and scheming and I hit on the concept of doing this:

2D1B6085-943E-4ABB-9AF4-0B80503274D6.jpeg
I didn’t wanna just get a standard TVL model for full retail price, so piecing this concept together seemed worth my time and money. Stratosphere had a white JM body and I was researching the cost of parts trying to decide if it made sense to do this. During this multi-day process I discovered the incredible variety that can be found with jazzmaster parts including the fact that my target white body at stratosphere was routed modern and I’m only into classic JM configs. I’m not completely insane, so during my research I took the the time to go to a local GC and tried out a player jazzmaster and a couple of squire JMs. they really agreed with me. The squier sounded like an AM radio, but the better pick ups in the player made the difference. That heavier body I’m sure helped also. The sound was something I could definitely use in my music and was unique to anything else that I own, so I deemed JMs worthy of the cause.
I kept hemming and hawing on pulling the trigger at stratosphere and in the process, somebody else purchased that special TVL JM neck. Ugh! I still kick myself for not capturing a photo of that neck. It was something really unique and whoever got it scored big-time.
I wasn’t too torn up about it, because realizing that build I dreamed up was getting way up there in price. Very close or more than the cost of buying a new player or signature model. It started to make more sense to me to buy a used TVL in ox blood and have the body refinished in white, so after checking refinish cost with my luthier that search began. In the meantime I started plotting a way to do a Copper Age TVL build in a unique way. I love that color, but the standard color palette just didn’t work for me and I wasn’t sure why. I thought about doing a TVL remix with an ox blood neck and guts paired with a copper age body like this:

D5CF5406-1865-45DC-B1F5-AABFCF596BC4.jpeg

That was a big meh, so I dropped that idea. I simulated different combinations with the copper age parts for a couple of days, until I finally realized that the problem with the copper age model was the tortoise pickguard. It was in conflict with the black inlay on the neck, so I simulated a black pickguard and bingo problem solved! The black guard made the plastics on the pick ups and controls stand out too much, so switched those two a darker aged color and ended up with this mock-up:

E7452A4B-C451-4F89-BA87-2457ED39A42B.jpeg

That did the trick, so I was off to stratosphere for a loaded body and 3 necks to hand pick from. I was going to have a custom hand picked copper age version for about $300 less than buying new, so that made a lot of sense to me.

Back to the ox blood: In just a few days, of looking, I found one at a GC in the Midwest for an ok price, considering. Just under $1200. It had a war wound in the finish on the back of the body, but otherwise seemed fine. I got it on the way for in the least, the $22 used GC tryout. The very next night I discovered another ox blood with hard case for $1200 shipped at a small shop in NC and I was like “in for a penny in for a pound” and after asking the sales guy at the shop key questions on the phone I pulled the trigger on that one also. Worst case scenario I would return one or both. The GC one would be inexpensive to return, but the North Carolina one, which had no finish damage, would cost me a lot to return. I was banking on it being the better of the two, which turned out to be the case.
The GC one arrived first and it had several nitpicky issues that can or have been resolved and the North Carolina one turned out to be nearly perfect. Right now I’m trying to decide if I want to return the GC one or make it my custom white body version.

Oh yeah, the copper age parts arrived from stratosphere and the handpick of the neck turned out really well, because one of the three had a much darker tone to the fretboard, which turns out works better for the color palette that I’m after. Most of the copper age examples I’ve seen (of which two showed up used locally in the past week) the fretboards are a lot lighter and it just doesn’t work for me. Looks like I’ll end up with an ideal slightly custom Copper age TVL jazzmaster for about $1400.

Here are the actual parts stacked on each other. Loaded body neck and aged pick up covers:

F2394A23-4B3C-49A8-9D2E-774666B5DB3B.jpeg

Pickguard on this loaded body turned out to be very low character tortoiseshell and is quite dark. It works as it is, but I’m gonna give the black one a shot too. That gets here in the next couple of days.

Still working on my jazzmaster learning curve. They have all sorts of interesting set up peculiarities and issues, but it’s fascinating and I’m enjoying it. Probably won’t go much further than one or two more Jazzmasters over time. There’s a 60th classic in black that needs my own custom take and squier has a 40th in white and gold that might be a good starting point. The JM collection might look something like this one day:

9374E214-42C5-4E2B-AEC7-88776E240190.jpeg

Bought a rare Electromatic semi-hollow body that popped up during the middle of this also, so still very much into the Gretsch thing. That one needs a good bit of refurbishing before I show it off, but y’all will be the first to see it when I get it there. Parts are on the way!
 
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Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,248
England
Weeellllll it all started while I was cruising Stratosphere looking for a neck for one of my Strat builds. (The never ending search for the one to complete my Opal spark player plus build, actually.) I noticed this neck with a dark red painted head cap and just had to look. Turns out it wasn’t a strat neck, but a Jazzmaster one pulled from a Troy Van Leeuwen signature model. I have never heard of a TVL jazzmaster and I’ve never really been interested in jazzmasters, but the fretboard wood of this thing was exceptional. Dark with lots of lighter waviness, but well distributed figure. It was a special neck and got me looking and learning scouring the web and YouTube. Looking and learning quickly turned into planning and scheming and I hit on the concept of doing this:

View attachment 183457
I didn’t wanna just get a standard TVL model for full retail price, so piecing this concept together seemed worth my time and money. Stratosphere had a white JM body and I was researching the cost of parts trying to decide if it made sense to do this. During this multi-day process I discovered the incredible variety that can be found with jazzmaster parts including the fact that my target white body at stratosphere was routed modern and I’m only into classic JM configs. I’m not completely insane, so during my research I took the the time to go to a local GC and tried out a player jazzmaster and a couple of squire JMs. they really agreed with me. The squier sounded like an AM radio, but the better pick ups in the player made the difference. That heavier body I’m sure helped also. The sound was something I could definitely use in my music and was unique to anything else that I own, so I deemed JMs worthy of the cause.
I kept hemming and hawing on pulling the trigger at stratosphere and in the process, somebody else purchased that special TVL JM neck. Ugh! I still kick myself for not capturing a photo of that neck. It was something really unique and whoever got it scored big-time.
I wasn’t too torn up about it, because realizing that build I dreamed up was getting way up there in price. Very close or more than the cost of buying a new player or signature model. It started to make more sense to me to buy a used TVL in ox blood and have the body refinished in white, so after checking refinish cost with my luthier that search began. In the meantime I started plotting a way to do a Copper Age TVL build in a unique way. I love that color, but the standard color palette just didn’t work for me and I wasn’t sure why. I thought about doing a TVL remix with an ox blood neck and guts paired with a copper age body like this:

View attachment 183458

That was a big meh, so I dropped that idea. I simulated different combinations with the copper age parts for a couple of days, until I finally realized that the problem with the copper age model was the tortoise pickguard. It was in conflict with the black inlay on the neck, so I simulated a black pickguard and bingo problem solved! The black guard made the plastics on the pick ups and controls stand out too much, so switched those two a darker aged color and ended up with this mock-up:

View attachment 183460

That did the trick, so I was off to stratosphere for a loaded body and 3 necks to hand pick from. I was going to have a custom hand picked copper age version for about $300 less than buying new, so that made a lot of sense to me.

Back to the ox blood: In just a few days, of looking, I found one at a GC in the Midwest for an ok price, considering. Just under $1200. It had a war wound in the finish on the back of the body, but otherwise seemed fine. I got it on the way for in the least, the $22 used GC tryout. The very next night I discovered another ox blood with hard case for $1200 shipped at a small shop in NC and I was like “in for a penny in for a pound” and after asking the sales guy at the shop key questions on the phone I pulled the trigger on that one also. Worst case scenario I would return one or both. The GC one would be inexpensive to return, but the North Carolina one, which had no finish damage, would cost me a lot to return. I was banking on it being the better of the two, which turned out to be the case.
The GC one arrived first and it had several nitpicky issues that can or have been resolved and the North Carolina one turned out to be nearly perfect. Right now I’m trying to decide if I want to return the GC one or make it my custom white body version.

Oh yeah, the copper age parts arrived from stratosphere and the handpick of the neck turned out really well, because one of the three had a much darker tone to the fretboard, which turns out works better for the color palette that I’m after. Most of the copper age examples I’ve seen (of which two showed up used locally in the past week) the fretboards are a lot lighter and it just doesn’t work for me. Looks like I’ll end up with an ideal slightly custom Copper age TVL jazzmaster for about $1400.

Here are the actual parts stacked on each other. Loaded body neck and aged pick up covers:

View attachment 183461

Pickguard on this loaded body turned out to be very low character tortoiseshell and is quite dark. It works as it is, but I’m gonna give the black one a shot too. That gets here in the next couple of days.

Still working on my jazzmaster learning curve. They have all sorts of interesting set up peculiarities and issues, but it’s fascinating and I’m enjoying it. Probably won’t go much further than one or two more Jazzmasters over time. There’s a 60th classic in black that needs my own custom take and squier has a 40th in white and gold that might be a good starting point. The JM collection might look something like this one day:

View attachment 183463

Bought a rare Electromatic semi-hollow body that popped up during the middle of this also, so still very much into the Gretsch thing. That one needs a good bit of refurbishing before I show it off, but y’all will be the first to see it when I get it there. Parts are on the way!

Wow you went in hard on the Jazzmasters. I think they are worth it. And it sounds like you are absolutely enjoying the process of planning and designing your own. I nearly pulled the trigger on a TVL a number of times.The Oxblood is amazing. I saw this on reverb, with swapped out PUPs and mastery bridge, white guard ..but IMO the seller was asking much too much. Looks great with the white guard though.

awecreouz05nygwctgbw (1).jpg

Then I nearly went for the copper, I love the body colour and matching headstock but the neck styling was not for me. So I ended up with an American original with Staytrem Bridge, arm and collet. It had 10s on it when it arrivedand the G-string would not stay in tune. I stuck 11s with a wound g on it and now everything is perfect.

Keep us updated with your progress!

20220513_095551.jpg
 

YaDaddy

Gretschie
Mar 16, 2020
471
Marietta, GA
Wow you went in hard on the Jazzmasters. I think they are worth it. And it sounds like you are absolutely enjoying the process of planning and designing your own. I nearly pulled the trigger on a TVL a number of times.The Oxblood is amazing. I saw this on reverb, with swapped out PUPs and mastery bridge, white guard ..but IMO the seller was asking much too much. Looks great with the white guard though.

View attachment 183464

Then I nearly went for the copper, I love the body colour and matching headstock but the neck styling was not for me. So I ended up with an American original with Staytrem Bridge, arm and collet. It had 10s on it when it arrivedand the G-string would not stay in tune. I stuck 11s with a wound g on it and now everything is perfect.

Keep us updated with your progress!

View attachment 183466
“went in hard…” hmmm, for me at even four JMs is more like a minor diversion. A distraction if you will. At this point I’m not dead set on keeping the lesser of the two ox bloods to be my mod platform and upgrading a white squier 40th isn’t a given at this point. The White body mod will cost me a $250 refinish and maybe another 250 in pups. That would make it about a 1700 dollar guitar and would by far be the most expensive guitar I own. Prolly not worth that. The squier would end up going from $600 to around 800-900. Mugh.
It could just be the two TVLs and then done. If I’m smart that’s what I’ll do, but smart with my guitar collecting? Yeah not known for that. Excessive, but thrifty would be more like it.
Smart would be to just do an ox blood and copper age and try some upgrades to distinguish them sonically. Maybe a WRHB in the bridge and a Seymour Duncan antiquity 2 in the neck for the ox blood.

I should occupy my JM exploration with a custom build one like this for the #3 spot.

EF1966FA-60BC-4268-A24D-678C4392C3F4.jpeg
Black and tortoise shell, but with an ebony fretboard.

Diggin your Blue JM by the way. Is the vibrato arm 3rd aftermarket?
 

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,248
England
“went in hard…” hmmm, for me at even four JMs is more like a minor diversion. A distraction if you will. At this point I’m not dead set on keeping the lesser of the two ox bloods to be my mod platform and upgrading a white squier 40th isn’t a given at this point. The White body mod will cost me a $250 refinish and maybe another 250 in pups. That would make it about a 1700 dollar guitar and would by far be the most expensive guitar I own. Prolly not worth that. The squier would end up going from $600 to around 800-900. Mugh.
It could just be the two TVLs and then done. If I’m smart that’s what I’ll do, but smart with my guitar collecting? Yeah not known for that. Excessive, but thrifty would be more like it.
Smart would be to just do an ox blood and copper age and try some upgrades to distinguish them sonically. Maybe a WRHB in the bridge and a Seymour Duncan antiquity 2 in the neck for the ox blood.

I should occupy my JM exploration with a custom build one like this for the #3 spot.

View attachment 183483
Black and tortoise shell, but with an ebony fretboard.

Diggin your Blue JM by the way. Is the vibrato arm 3rd aftermarket?

Well I got this used, but yes the Staytrem bridge arm and collet are all after market. They came already done. I had a Sunburst American Original JM, but sold it, and then they were discontinued and I didn't want to spend £1900 for one of the few left. I picked this up for £1200. Just a tiny, barely noticeable chip in the back.

The colour isn't my first choice but it looks good in person, although I'm weighing up a pickguard swap. Maybe white, maybe aluminium anodized...

Black with a tort guard andatching headstock is the classic JM look. I love it!
 

YaDaddy

Gretschie
Mar 16, 2020
471
Marietta, GA
Well I got this used, but yes the Staytrem bridge arm and collet are all after market. They came already done. I had a Sunburst American Original JM, but sold it, and then they were discontinued and I didn't want to spend £1900 for one of the few left. I picked this up for £1200. Just a tiny, barely noticeable chip in the back.

The colour isn't my first choice but it looks good in person, although I'm weighing up a pickguard swap. Maybe white, maybe aluminium anodized...

Black with a tort guard andatching headstock is the classic JM look. I love it!

White, definitely do white. Maybe take a bit of the shine off with a parchment guard. As long as your pup covers still have a bit of contrast it’ll work.
 
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Vlad the Inhaler

Electromatic
Jun 28, 2022
29
hell
i
I placed the Fender case on the floor of the Guitar Center to open it and check for any damage that I wasn’t told about when I called the shipping store. The store manager was standing, looking over my right shoulder partly out of curiosity to see the model and to witness the condition of the guitar. (Let’s just say there have been issues in the past)
I lifted the lid and turned my head back to the right to see his eyes wide and mouth agape and I just said “Holy sh#t. This thing is stunning. Look at that!” He replied “Yeah man, I’m actually jealous. I can‘t say that I feel that way often about a guitar.”

It’s a Fender Troy Van Leeuwen signature Jazzmaster in Candy Ox Blood and it’s one of those guitars that you can’t capture with a camera. You have to be in its presence using your own eyes. It’s too hot and humid to have this thing outside for good light, so just the pic at GC and a couple quick ones from outside.

Plays as brilliantly as it looks. Could use a bit of a setup and some 11s, but it’s a great fit for me. Another dang number one. Like I need another guitar model to be obsessed with. Sheeesh!

Life is good.

View attachment 182787
View attachment 182789
View attachment 182788
View attachment 182790

Reeeealy hard guitar to photograph. In person it isn’t that red and the fretboard isn’t that brown. Everything is much darker.
oxblood is ok but it ain’t no OCR like some of the jm66B models from japan 🇯🇵 - on the TVL the copper age version is HAWT 🔥
 

YaDaddy

Gretschie
Mar 16, 2020
471
Marietta, GA
i

oxblood is ok but it ain’t no OCR like some of the jm66B models from japan 🇯🇵 - on the TVL the copper age version is HAWT 🔥

You are correct, but faced with the choice I’d still go TVL JM in COBR.

B6EBBFB8-790B-4F5D-ABEC-9DBDAFE67DAC.jpeg

We can agree on the Copper Age. I’m hoping to have that one put together soon and on display here sooner than later.
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,386
Ontario Canada
I placed the Fender case on the floor of the Guitar Center to open it and check for any damage that I wasn’t told about when I called the shipping store. The store manager was standing, looking over my right shoulder partly out of curiosity to see the model and to witness the condition of the guitar. (Let’s just say there have been issues in the past)
I lifted the lid and turned my head back to the right to see his eyes wide and mouth agape and I just said “Holy sh#t. This thing is stunning. Look at that!” He replied “Yeah man, I’m actually jealous. I can‘t say that I feel that way often about a guitar.”

It’s a Fender Troy Van Leeuwen signature Jazzmaster in Candy Ox Blood and it’s one of those guitars that you can’t capture with a camera. You have to be in its presence using your own eyes. It’s too hot and humid to have this thing outside for good light, so just the pic at GC and a couple quick ones from outside.

Plays as brilliantly as it looks. Could use a bit of a setup and some 11s, but it’s a great fit for me. Another dang number one. Like I need another guitar model to be obsessed with. Sheeesh!

Life is good.

View attachment 182787
View attachment 182789
View attachment 182788
View attachment 182790

Reeeealy hard guitar to photograph. In person it isn’t that red and the fretboard isn’t that brown. Everything is much darker.

Just beautiful...like jewelry!

BIB.
 

YaDaddy

Gretschie
Mar 16, 2020
471
Marietta, GA
Well I’ll be. Somebody beat me to my mod. At least the variation that I had planned. I was out visiting Guitar Centers tonight searching for a donor neck to complete a stratocaster build and ran across one of the two used copper age TVL JMs that are in town right now. Saw my vision come to life. I really like the blackout look on the guard, of course switching the pup covers and knobs to aged white and back would be a pretty easy operation, so no reason to not do both. My handpicked neck has a better fretboard than this one, but it does have the darker look like mine does. What a treat to see this for real.

E78573F7-FC0F-402C-A315-8B8226601D70.jpeg

E00722D1-B6E1-4658-AFE9-3128DADE3165.jpeg

D83E25C4-B9F1-488D-9C72-C3E414C95CC6.jpeg

A17FB274-7A8B-49FF-86E6-CF572B0BF08F.jpeg
 

YaDaddy

Gretschie
Mar 16, 2020
471
Marietta, GA
Yes!!! That really works!
It really does, doesn’t it?
The more I look at it the more I prefer the blackout guard look and don’t even want to bother with the aged white plastics. One thing that concerns me is the gloss finish of those pup covers matching the guard is definitely critical to the look. I’ve already got a set of black pup covers from allparts that I think have a matte finish, so I hope that’s not going to be hard to find.
I’ll also take it one step further and swap the rhythm switch to the traditional black slider. That big silver switch makes it less black and it really gets in the way. I’ve hit it accidentally on the ox blood more than once. As TVL puts it himself it’s a performance thing for quick access. He uses it as a kill switch. I don’t play on stage, so bye bye and back to the traditional.
This blackout approach solves the no witch hat knobs in aged white problem. As far as I can tell nobody makes witch hat knobs an aged white. There are vintage white ones like the ones this guitar comes with standard, but no aged white like I wanted to match the pup covers that I formerly planned on using. The witch hat knobs are really critical to this guitar’s look and black ones are easily acquired. BONUS!!!
 
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