Jazzmaster Demo

Here’s a quick clip of the Jazzmaster in my (soon-to-be-former) AC30. No effects. First I run through neck/middle/bridge with full tone, then I run the same progression with the tone at 6. Nothing fancy, but it’ll give you a general idea.

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The Jazzmaster!


It works now.

Maury filed down the bad frets (there were a lot of them) and dressed all of them, tweaked the truss rod and cleaned the fretboard. I installed the new Mastery bridge yesterday and it’s a completely different animal now.

I still need to change out the tone control. The stock pot is a 1M value, and that lets way too much treble through when it’s wide open. This guitar was originally designed to play surf music, so the icepick treble kinda makes sense, but not for what I want to do. I’ll probably drop it down to 250k, which is the standard for single coils.

You saw this coming…

Maybe I have a problem. Is there a 12-step program or something that will help me cure my inability to commit to an amp?

Let me back up. I love the new Vox – I am not a hater. The clean tone is huge and amazing, and there is some truly great low gain overdrive to be found. When I traded for the Vox, I didn’t really intend for it to be a keeper. I got a trade offer that was heavily overbalanced in my favor and I took it, thinking that I could flip it for a profit. However, I fell in love with those clean/semi-clean tones when I played it at home and I decided that I wanted it.

However, I play clean in my band approximately 4% of the time. The other 96% of the time, I need a big, distorted tone. Distortion pedals simply do not cut it. I don’t care how fancy/expensive the pedal is, what kind of transistors it has, or whether it was handwired by beautiful Scandinavian women - it just isn’t going to stack up to the sound that you get from a box full of hot tubes.

I looked at a lot of different options, but ultimately I decided to go with a Mesa Dual Rectifier. That may surprise some of you, but those amps are more versatile than some of those blues lawyers on The Gear Page might lead you to believe. Those guys don’t want to hear anything that wasn’t played on a strat/tele into a vintage tweed deluxe. Or maybe a Dumble. Anyway, the Mesa’s cleans are surprisingly Fendery when you use 6L6 tubes and the low gain overdrive tones are there if you are willing to look for them. Of course, the main reason that people get this amp is for the massive distortion tones that it provides.

I found a guy on Craigslist (who plays for a a “Christian” artist, no less) who wants my Vox along with the road case and is willing to trade me his Dual Rec and his Mesa 2×12 cab for it. Any day that I don’t have to pay shipping on an 80 lb amp is a good day. We’re supposed to make the trade next week.

I realize that I may have lost credibility with some of the hipsters who may frequent this blog (no offense, hipsters) who wouldn’t be caught dead on stage with a Mesa. To be honest, I’m not really crazy about the idea of it. Mesas have been used by many terrible, terrible bands to make music that I despise with every fiber of my being. However, the amp is a tool - a good one at that – and it shouldn’t be dismissed just because it has been used for evil purposes in the past. It just has a bad reputation due to all the bands with drop tuned/7-string  guitar players and cookie monster vocalists (and/or Creed).

Anyway, it is what it is. I’ll report back once I have had a chance to melt my own face off.