Jazzmaster Bass Concept

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Verner, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. Verner


    Dec 24, 2018
    I hope everyone is doing well in these tumultuous times. I am a music teacher, both public and private, and I have two builds in progress at the moment. My school year ended today officially. No complaints, lots of folks have it worse than I do right now, but let’s just say personal time has not existed since this started. Today marks the first day I can take a few hours a week for myself, so I have lots of plans.

    I am building a ric 4003 concept and a 51 P, but I dug this one out. It is only a fractional scratch build since all I need to do is route some pickup cavities. Funny story, I was struck by the idea of an actual jazzmaster bass three years back. In order to get it up and running ASAP, I warmothed it. I also ordered custom pickups from Curtis Novak, with a wider flatter coil than a regular jazz bass, and that fit into a jazzmaster cover. Gathered all the parts, and then our third kid came..

    So in addition to my other two builds, I am going to get this bad boy up and running. First pondering to ponder is where to put the pickups. Here are my basic ideas:

    the rickenjazzmasterbacker:


    The Sir Paul McHofnermaster:


    The JaJazzzzMaster:


    And finally the T-40 PeaveMaster:


    I MAY route and install the tone circuit, but I don’t think the idea necessarily translates to bass well. Although I suppose I could make it a dedicated mudbucker-style tone option. I could also wire up a simpler series/parallel switch in the upper horn. Or I could use the sideways volume and tone wheels along with the regular volume and tone to create a four control system with a 3 way switch like a ric.

    Thoughts? I know which ones I like better aesthetically, but I am curious what you think. I assume the tone profile will roughly emulate other basses with similar positions, so the ric positions intrigue me the most from a tonal perspective. Maybe something they would have tried to do to chip into that market in the mid 60s. Let me know what you think!

    oh, and the bridge cover is also a big maybe at this point.
    Skillet and Gilmourisgod like this.
  2. CZGunslinger


    Jan 16, 2008
    Peavemaster! Cool project!
    Verner likes this.
  3. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah, Peavemaster. I think you get the best bang/buck with that kind of pup spacing, but maybe that's just bias because that's what I'm used to seeing. Having a pup tight to the neck pocket never seems like a great idea structurally, though it's not as critical on a bolt on. One thing I noticed on a Ric design, they are within a tiny fraction of perfect theoretical 24th and 36th fret positions, which can't have been an accident, but since you are already building a Ric clone, maybe go for something different tonally?