Friday, August 09, 2019

Warmoth “Split” Jazzmaster

It was to be my retirement guitar.

I've always had a hankerin’ for an offset but was put off by the switching arrangements and the pickup sounds of Fender Jazzmasters™ or Jaguars™. Enter the Warmoth "Split" Jazzmaster: a customizable offset body, with routing options that allowed a variety of layouts.

I went with some no-name mini-humbuckers, chosen for their tendency to be somewhat microphonic. The middle pickup is actually a single coil, with phase switching that gives it a bit of a “quack” when used with the bridge pickup. The Warmoth compound neck radius of 10-16 matches the TOM bridge radius of the roller bridge.

It is a fun guitar to play, the vibrato works well and the edgy response of the mini-humbuckers makes this a versatile instrument, albeit not for traditionalists.

UPDATE: I can never leave well enough alone. I've added a hardtail bridge, and a mini-rocker switch setup, one for each pickup, two for tone, with a master volume. I also put in two faux-ricky pickups,  it didn't make much of a difference:

UPDATE II: I went back to the Vibrato tailpiece and put in a Mustang bridge. After polishing and lubing the saddles and the nut slots, it holds tune extremely well, even when using the tailpiece. I also returned to the plain Firebird-style pickups:

I put a little brass logo plate from an antique camera on the head stock, for some unknown reason:

UPDATE III: I made a new pickguard and put in a 5-way Strat switch. No volume or tone controls.

UPDATE IV: Sold in the great guitar purge of 2019.

By Professor Batty


Blogger jono said...

You must have a room full of spare parts! That looked like it might have been a keeper. I still have a desire to accumulate instruments, but I shouldn't afford it and I am beginning to see and feel a bit of arthritis.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

I've still got four, but I might sell three of those.

Blogger 0xC said...

HI there - neat build! It's pretty close to something I've been contemplating (ok, obsessively thinking about for days): I want a Jazzmaster that pays homage in almost every way to the Firebird. I'm glad I found this page. I've been confused about firebird pickup mounting. It looks like your body has no routing for pickups and they're mounted right to the body? Is that the best/only way? I'm looking at bodies Warmoth has ready to ship and the Jazzmaster bodies are all routed for traditional Jazzmaster pickups.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

The Warmouth custom body builder does have a mini-humbucker pickup option:

The mini-humbuckers are attached to the mounting rings with bolts and springs in the usual humbucker style, then rings were then attached to the body with four screws in the usual way.

I found that the middle pickup wasn't very practical—it got in the way of my picking style.

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