Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Neck and Pickguard for the Jag-Stang

I have some new guitars, but I'll hold off talking about those. Right now I'm excited about a new Warmoth-made neck I ordered for the Jag-Stang. It's a thing of beauty, finished with a vintage tint, and a nut and stainless steel frets pre-installed. I've been sold on stainless steel for at least some instruments after playing a Parker Fly.

I also have some auto-locking vintage-style Gotoh tuners to install, and a new Warmoth bridge with adjustable string saddles to help conform to the new neck radius. The Jag-Stang also got a new pickguard a few days ago, purchased from a guy on eBay. It's a nicely made pickguard, but it is difficult to judge how the colors will look when buying online. It's black abalone (with greenish/blue). This looks kind of strange against the red body, but it was hard to judge before installing it. It would probably look much better on a black or blue body. I'll withhold final judgement until the whole thing is back together, but I think it will unfortunately look somewhere between "unique" and just plain ugly.

The pickguard needs to be cut down very slightly around the neck pocket, preferably without removing it. The headstock needs holes drilled for the tuners (not the big holes, but small holes for the screws). The bridge will need the usual Jag-Stang tape or tubing to keep it from shifting (I don't really use the trem, and it should add to the tuning stability). The guitar synth pickup needs to be reinstalled. I think this time I'm going to take it to a local luthier. The part I really don't fully trust myself to do is drilling holes in the headstock. I don't want to screw up a nearly $300 guitar neck!

Ultimately, I would still like to build an all-new Jag-Stang. That would involve replacing the body with a Warmoth body. The original Jag-Stang pickguard shape won't quite fit the Warmoth replacement body so I'd need a Warmoth pickguard. I'd have the body routed for a Gotoh Tune-o-Matic bridge with stop tailpiece (I'd consider string-through-body ferrules but I'm not sure that will work with a Tune-o-Matic bridge). If I did that, I think the only parts that were original would be perhaps the jack plate and the switches! That's OK, the original Jag-Stang was just not a well-built guitar!

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