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  • Bill Nash fixes the Jazzmaster

    saw this on TGP. figured it was relevant to the discussions around here.

    http://www.nashguitars.com/JMaster.htm

    Jazzmasters are among the coolest looking guitars ever made. Unfortunately, the original design had many weaknesses that made them a very unstable and almost un-useable instrument.

    We discontinued Jazzmasters several years ago as we just felt that without some re-tooling that they are just not something we want to make. Our goal has always been to make guitars that are as transparent as possible. Guitars that have faults and quirks that interrupt the creative flow are not good and neither is a guitar that cannot be the only guitar you take to a gig with confidence.

    We feel we have finally achieved a great Jazzmaster.

    Some history goes a long way in explaining some of the issues. This guitar was intended for Jazz guitarists, hence the name. The design of the bridge, tailpiece and electronics make way more sense from this perspective. The bridge worked well for gentle playing with the occasional bit of subtle vibrato.

    The bridge was meant to rock back and forth in the cups so when vibrato tailpiece was used the strings stay in place in the bridge saddles and the whole bridge would move. For anyone that rests their hand on the bridge for palm muting or extra control, this proves to be a bad design as you can move tuning easily. Guitar feels less solid and sustain is hampered by the overall lack of connection between strings and body as the bridge rests on two tiny pins. Works just fine for jazz player playing choppy rhythm or clean solos, but not for most players.

    The strings will also pop out of the saddles if guitar is played with any great enthusiasm. This is a problem caused by three design issues which all lead to very little string tension over bridge and tailpiece. The strings are on a nearly flat angle, meeting the bridge. Then the angle after the bridge leading to the tailpiece is also very flat. Picture how the strings travel on a Les Paul and then compare to a Jazzmaster.

    So the bottom line is you have very little string tension going over a very unstable bridge ending at top loading tailpiece.

    So what we did is to first change the neck pocket and neck angle. This gives us a greatly improved starting angle. Now we can get the bridge itself much further off the body and still get the action low. Also, the angle after the bridge is going to be more severe. A big improvement in sustain and stability.

    Next we use a much better designed bridge. A solid tune-o-matic type of roller bridge with normal posts. Now strings move easily over roller saddles on a fixed bridge that is solidly anchored. Tuning, sustain, stability are even further enhanced. Strings will not easily pop off the saddles and the bridge intonates much better as saddles have increased travel.

    Next we are using the extra roller attachment on the tailpiece piece so the strings get even more tension and stability.

    One of the other issues that we addressed is that though conventional wisdom says that the radius of the bridge and radius of the neck should be the same, this is not the case. Since the fingerboard is curved and bending strings on the high E and B push a string into an area that by its location is higher, the E and B strings will generally need to be set higher, with the E more so than the B. The G string when bent moves to an area equal to or even lower than the start point and D actually even more so which is why they have little problems with rattle or fret outs. This may sound complicated but grab a guitar and bend the high E somewhere above the 12th fret. As you bend it, it moves into the area normally between the B and G strings. Since the neck has a curve, your E string has much more possibility of fretting out unless your action is set to compensate. OK, great you say, but you never bend the low E or A strings so why do those strings also need to be higher? As it turns out since the lower strings have a larger arc of movement, flattening (or increasing the radius) of the bridge in relationship to the neck also helps with minimizing the fret rattle of the lower strings as the E and A are now also a bit higher. We settled on a neck radius of 12 and a bridge radius of 14. Yes, a Jazzmaster for a serious lead player.

    Now we move on to the electronics. Once again, a bit of history helps. Leo Fender disliked midrange and enjoyed bass and treble frequencies. Someday I can share with you my theories about how this happened, but for this paper, just know that the wider the range of treble and bass, at Fender the happier they were. How many guitars have you played that the bridge pickups seems rather harsh, bright and underpowered while at the same time the neck pickup lacks clarity, is boomy and over powered. This is because most pickup sets use the same pickups for both positions. Or in some cases they may use different pickups as far as magnet strength and winding, but do not actually get a big enough difference between the two to yield a completely useable mix. Jazzmasters, like many guitars share virtually identical pickups in the neck and bridge. This is great on paper as you get the brightest sound out of the bridge and the bassiest sound out of the neck. Leo and most designers feel or felt that this gives the player the biggest palette of tones to choose from when it is actually the opposite. Les Pauls and 335s are great examples of this. If you set your amp so that the bridge pickup alone sounds great, if you go to the neck pickup it is almost always way too loud and bass heavy. If you go the other way and set your amp for the neck pickup and get it sounding great, the bridge will now sound shrill and weak. To deconstruct the guitar a bit, a pickup takes energy in the form of vibration and turns it into an electronic signal that gets amplified. Pick a string right next to the bridge and pick the same string at the end of the neck. There is a huge difference in volume and tone. This is because the closer you get to the end of the performing part of the string the less energy and vibration is present. Think about a jump rope and how little movement is going on at your hand versus the huge swings in the very middle. Guitar strings mimic this. Our approach has always been to address this problem with a very large difference in the magnetic strength, windings and power of the pickups in relationship to each other. So a simplified solution is to go underwound on the neck and overwound on the bridge. Not just a little bit, but in some guitars as much as 50% more on the bridge. On the Jazzmaster sets, we asked Jason Lollar (who is quite familiar with our approach) to come up with a great set of pickups for them. I think you will be really happy with them!

    Switching layout on the original Jazzmaster was interesting but was not really useable. Once again the Fender design took into consideration the desire for treble and bass and hope for a great success in the Jazz world. This is even more obvious on the Jaguar, but that is another discussion. For those who either never figured out or never used a Jazzmaster, the idea was to be able to instantly switch to the neck pickup alone and on an independent vol/tone circuit. Halfway cool, but almost never used and unless you use the guitar regularly sometimes you find yourself struggling to get it set where you want it. Our wiring plan is to use the same layout, but the top switch acts as a circuit selector so you can use either or both pickups in either the lower master volume and tone or upper master volume and tone. Much easier and offers a better variety of uses.
    The Common Sense Mets Fan

    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." - Isaac Asimov, Newsweek (21 January 1980)

  • #2
    saw this on TGP. figured it was relevant to the discussions around here.

    http://www.nashguitars.com/JMaster.htm


    Bill Nash is obviously an incompetent. What he lists as "weaknesses" are in fact the greatest strengths of the design, and should really be implemented on every guitar design (and in fact are the same elements that make Gretsch guitars so great).

    I suspect Nash's difficulties stem from not only general incompetence, but also reliance on string guages that were originally intended for banjo players (.008-.010), petite women, and young children.

    His issues with the pickups and their balance are again born of general incompetence. Simply raise the bridge pickup very close to the strings and the neck pickup further away from the strings, and they sound perfectly balanced.

    His one improvement (probably accidental given the gross incompetence of his approach otherwise) is to the rhythm circuit. Great idea. But then, our semi-intelligent simian ancestors managed to create fire, so let's not give him too much credit.
    DJANGO!







    Originally Posted by jjpistols


    Try telling anyone here that they aren't a genuine bluesman, many will argue and call you names. Trust me. Then they tear apart their cubicles and smash their smartphones and just cant get any blues done at all.









    Originally Posted by Motorik


    That's a negative, Ghostrider. Surf was not the lowering of standards, surf was the last point before standards got lowered. Surf exemplified the optimism and wholesomeness of American youth, before they got corrupted by longhair, dope, and the communist Beatles.

    Comment


    • #3
      Bill Nash is obviously an incompetent. What he lists as "weaknesses" are in fact the greatest strengths of the design, and should really be implemented on every guitar design (and in fact are the same elements that make Gretsch guitars so great).

      I suspect Nash's difficulties stem from not only general incompetence, but also reliance on string guages that were originally intended for banjo players (.008-.010), petite women, and young children.

      His issues with the pickups and their balance are again born of general incompetence. Simply raise the bridge pickup very close to the strings and the neck pickup further away from the strings, and they sound perfectly balanced.

      His one improvement (probably accidental given the gross incompetence of his approach otherwise) is to the rhythm circuit. Great idea. But then, our semi-intelligent simian ancestors managed to create fire, so let's not give him too much credit.


      Ugh, these constant attempts at trolling are definitely getting ridiculous. So the Strat is bad because players have to adjust their playing style due to poor knob placement but the original jazz master is great because it's crappy break angle forcers players to adapt to heavier string gauges or live with tuning stability issues.
      The only thing consistent about your posts is the hypocrisy. At this rate you will be the very first person on my ignore list so kudos.

      Comment


      • #4
        +1 what a tool.

        nash doesnt 'make' anything-he slaps together parts from warmoth

        Bill Nash is obviously an incompetent. What he lists as "weaknesses" are in fact the greatest strengths of the design, and should really be implemented on every guitar design (and in fact are the same elements that make Gretsch guitars so great).

        I suspect Nash's difficulties stem from not only general incompetence, but also reliance on string guages that were originally intended for banjo players (.008-.010), petite women, and young children.

        His issues with the pickups and their balance are again born of general incompetence. Simply raise the bridge pickup very close to the strings and the neck pickup further away from the strings, and they sound perfectly balanced.

        His one improvement (probably accidental given the gross incompetence of his approach otherwise) is to the rhythm circuit. Great idea. But then, our semi-intelligent simian ancestors managed to create fire, so let's not give him too much credit.
        _________________________________________________

        stuff:
        52RI Tele
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        more stuff:
        65 Twin Reverb Reissue
        Cox Tweed Deluxe Ultimate


        The REAL Angry

        Comment


        • #5
          That Bill Nash rant reads a lot like Ed Roman

          Comment


          • #6
            Ugh, these constant attempts at trolling are definitely getting ridiculous. So the Strat is bad because players have to adjust their playing style due to poor knob placement but the original jazz master is great because it's crappy break angle forcers players to adapt to heavier string gauges or live with tuning stability issues.
            The only thing consistent about your posts is the hypocrisy. At this rate you will be the very first person on my ignore list so kudos.


            You HCEGers need to learn that opinions you disagree with are not automatic trolls.

            The break angle on the Jazzmaster is optimized for good tone. There are no tuning issues on the Jazzmaster regardless of string gauge, but yes, strings designed for adult guitarists tend to work best on them.
            DJANGO!







            Originally Posted by jjpistols


            Try telling anyone here that they aren't a genuine bluesman, many will argue and call you names. Trust me. Then they tear apart their cubicles and smash their smartphones and just cant get any blues done at all.









            Originally Posted by Motorik


            That's a negative, Ghostrider. Surf was not the lowering of standards, surf was the last point before standards got lowered. Surf exemplified the optimism and wholesomeness of American youth, before they got corrupted by longhair, dope, and the communist Beatles.

            Comment


            • #7
              Heaven forbid Mr. Nash takes it into his head to try to "fix" Gretsches next. But then he probably doesn't possess the skill to build a hollowbody guitar.

              DJANGO!







              Originally Posted by jjpistols


              Try telling anyone here that they aren't a genuine bluesman, many will argue and call you names. Trust me. Then they tear apart their cubicles and smash their smartphones and just cant get any blues done at all.









              Originally Posted by Motorik


              That's a negative, Ghostrider. Surf was not the lowering of standards, surf was the last point before standards got lowered. Surf exemplified the optimism and wholesomeness of American youth, before they got corrupted by longhair, dope, and the communist Beatles.

              Comment


              • #8
                You HCEGers need to learn that opinions you disagree with are not automatic trolls.

                The break angle on the Jazzmaster is optimized for good tone. There are no tuning issues on the Jazzmaster regardless of string gauge, but yes, strings designed for adult guitarists tend to work best on them.


                Oh, I'm all for differing opinions. But going on and ****************ting on starts every chance you get while constantly hailing the original jazz master as perfection is getting pretty old.

                Kind of like I'm very tolerant of most people religious beliefs but there are certain religions individuals who I'm not tolerant of at all and it has nothing to do with difference of opinions.

                I like Jazzmaster and Jaguars but the design is far from perfect. I'll take a Mastery Bridge over an original bridge any day of the week.

                Comment


                • #9
                  +1 what a tool.

                  nash doesnt 'make' anything-he slaps together parts from warmoth


                  I kind of assumed he was using prefabbed bodies and necks but I wouldn't have guessed Warmoth base of the Alder/ash limits.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ugh, these constant attempts at trolling are definitely getting ridiculous. So the Strat is bad because players have to adjust their playing style due to poor knob placement but the original jazz master is great because it's crappy break angle forcers players to adapt to heavier string gauges or live with tuning stability issues.
                    The only thing consistent about your posts is the hypocrisy. At this rate you will be the very first person on my ignore list so kudos.


                    Despite Django's forays into troll-ish-ness, I actually agree with just about everything he said.

                    First, Bill Nash is giving himself WAY too much credit for things that other people have been 'fixing' on Jazzmasters for decades. As Django said, his one real contribution is the change in the rhythm circuit. Apart from that, not a single 'improvement' is actually his idea.

                    Second, a Jazzmaster with all the vintage specs is a thing of pure playing joy when set up properly. IMHO, a well setup Jazzmaster feels and responds to my style of playing better than almost any other guitar out there.

                    Good transactions: warriorpoet, lowbrow, Puckman, BlackHatHunter, DracoAran, brianeharmonjr, natasmi, id-man, nbabmf, Splendor, angelhair0, d_dave_c, dcindc (x2), dogbone94, chiro972, coolwaterz, Radiohead, lol (x2), roadscholar, Hammer97e, teleman, torgeot, metalhead666666, zakadams, tincob, Doctor Morbius, HanSolo, danhauk, bennnintexas, Overwhelmed987, The Bear, 9-Pin-Phoenix, Dmerge, D34dBaWx, TomCray, Timmott, Tupelo Son, dogfish, ae3753, Gearhunter, virtuzoso, Meowy, RooSTER-b, mrbrown49

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I like Jazzmasters. Glad this guy had a good time tinkering with his guitar, but I think Jazzmasters are good as-is. Granted, I own a Classic Player, which is a bit altered, but the reissue ones I've played are likewise awesome, and I want one.
                      Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh, I'm all for differing opinions. But going on and ****************ting on starts every chance you get while constantly hailing the original jazz master as perfection is getting pretty old.

                        Kind of like I'm very tolerant of most people religious beliefs but there are certain religions individuals who I'm not tolerant of at all and it has nothing to do with difference of opinions.

                        I like Jazzmaster and Jaguars but the design is far from perfect. I'll take a Mastery Bridge over an original bridge any day of the week.


                        I never said the original Jazzmaster was perfection. You're thinking of the Jaguar.

                        Mastery Bridges are really unnecessary. Mustang bridges fix any problems one might have with the stock bridge.
                        DJANGO!







                        Originally Posted by jjpistols


                        Try telling anyone here that they aren't a genuine bluesman, many will argue and call you names. Trust me. Then they tear apart their cubicles and smash their smartphones and just cant get any blues done at all.









                        Originally Posted by Motorik


                        That's a negative, Ghostrider. Surf was not the lowering of standards, surf was the last point before standards got lowered. Surf exemplified the optimism and wholesomeness of American youth, before they got corrupted by longhair, dope, and the communist Beatles.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Anyone else ever see this:

                          http://www.totallywiredguitars.com/nashjazzmaster

                          Who knows how true it is, but I found it kind of funny when I came across it a few months ago.
                          Good transactions: warriorpoet, lowbrow, Puckman, BlackHatHunter, DracoAran, brianeharmonjr, natasmi, id-man, nbabmf, Splendor, angelhair0, d_dave_c, dcindc (x2), dogbone94, chiro972, coolwaterz, Radiohead, lol (x2), roadscholar, Hammer97e, teleman, torgeot, metalhead666666, zakadams, tincob, Doctor Morbius, HanSolo, danhauk, bennnintexas, Overwhelmed987, The Bear, 9-Pin-Phoenix, Dmerge, D34dBaWx, TomCray, Timmott, Tupelo Son, dogfish, ae3753, Gearhunter, virtuzoso, Meowy, RooSTER-b, mrbrown49

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Please take a moment to check out my podcast, Two Average Dicks. Thank you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I never said the original Jazzmaster was perfection. You're thinking of the Jaguar.

                              Mastery Bridges are really unnecessary. Mustang bridges fix any problems one might have with the stock bridge.

                              So you admit the original is a weakness. I personally ain't never heard of this Nash person. But he addresses real problems I've had with JM's. I really don't care if he isn't the first to come up with these solutions as it just doesn't matter. As far as pup winding he is right on. I'll use my GFS lil killers as an example. They run 15K bridge, 10K middle and 6K neck. I tried a 10K in the bridge and was underwhelmed. I put the 15K back. He isn't the only one who does this and there is good reason for that. Say what you want, but it looks like this Nash fellow is coming up with a way to sell guitars. Seems to me like that should be the bottom line every business man shoots for. Don't like his guitars? Get something else and STFU. From a marketing standpoint, you don't know ****************.
                              Stupidity around here is spreading quicker than an STD at a nymphomaniac convention.

                              Comment



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