12/28/2014

2014 Partser Jazzcaster/Telemaster Electric Guitar




Well, I've wanted something like this since I first saw these Tele/Jazzmaster hybrids a few years ago. The Tele control layout... yessir! The offset, countoured body... yessir! I finally got around to it, sourcing a poplar body from Warmoth as well as a nice huge v-shaped ("boatneck") birdseye maple/rosewood Strat-headstock neck for it. The rest are parts from here and there... a Wilkinson compensated Tele bridge, control unit I had in my bin, and Hipshot staggered openback tuners (these are a treat... they mean you don't need string trees).

What can I say about it? It does what I want: the Danelectro-style bridge pickup gives me a chimey Tele-ish twang on its own, the middle position gives me a pesudo-Stratty clear sound suited to strumming and balanced chords... and the neck P-90 gives me the volume boost and bluesy thick tone to switch on when I play lead lines.



My playing style on electric ("live" anyway) has evolved into playing chordal fills behind singing and other folks' breaks and then switching to a bigger and fuller tone (think slightly-jazzy) when taking my own breaks. The mix of pickups and positions on this is really practical for that because the "bottom two" positions have a bit of a volume cut and extra clarity that lends itself to fill work and semi-lap-steel tones depending on how you play it (of course).

It's funny but when I initially selected the poplar body I figured I'd give it a medium brown stain but after admiring the yellowy streaking on the back I decided to just do the whole thing in straight "natural." I used a poly "gel varnish" that rubs in, dries fast, and buffs to a satin that feels like bare wood but gives depth to the grain. Good stuff!

To the casual observer it's sort of like a muted version of the old 50s "blonde" look.


Here you can see the pretty birdseye neck, truss access, my bone nut, and the lovely staggered Hipshot tuners (the shaft height decreases as you get towards the high E) which let you get away with no string trees.


As I've stated before: I'm a fan of rosewood boards. These frets are "6105s" which are something between a vintage width but a modern height medium.


The pickguard is also a Warmoth straight cream guard. Both pickups are sourced from GFS.


I used a Wilkinson "ashtray" bridge with compensated brass saddles... because I like them!

The control layout's been reversed (vol on top, tone, then 3-way) and I used a toggle (Gibson-style) switch rather than a lever switch because... I like them! Heckuva-player Anders Parker got me hooked on the reverse control layout as it lets you do lap steel-style volume swells. This becomes addicting... and surprise, surprise...! The Jazzcaster body layout brings the control plate much closer to the bridge than on your average Tele which makes it less of a stretch to hook your pinky around the knob.




These Hipshots aren't too traditional looking but I sure like them better than any other modern solution. I was bored with Kluson-style units so I went for these... and I've had a lot of luck with Hipshots so I knew they'd be good quality.


The big old flamed and birdseye neck is a huge bonus for me. I picked it up at the same rate Warmoth charges for their bare-bones necks so I was excited about that. Sometimes you find some really good deals in and among their racks of already-completed items.




Here you can see how big that boatneck shape is... the depth is around a mid-30s Gibson acoustic in heft with something of a hybrid of that 30s Gibson V shape and the softer 40s/50s Martin V shape. 

Hog heaven...

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