JEL Whitey replica... Finally all done!!

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JEL Whitey replica... Finally all done!!

Postby WezV » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:14 pm

Hi, first post. I am guitar builder currently doing a repro of Jakes white fender/charvel. I have just recieved the bridge that allparts japan sell. The one with the black baseplate and chrome saddles

Here is a pic
Image


very impressed with the quality of it. the black baseplate is 0.125" thick and seems to be made from brass as it should be. It doesnt have the grooves for the intonation screws that i believe the charvels had but it is very well made and there isnt much wiggle in the saddles at all so i dont think that going to be a problem. It has stiff springs whish help in that respect

Overall i am very impressed. My initial plan was to mix and match Gotoh parts but the quality on this is better than the gotoh hardtails i have used before. It just feels a lot more solid. Usually my hardtail of choice would be the hipshot one, it would sound good for this but wouldnt have the right look so i am relieved about the quality of this one.

I ordered it through mark at www.fatboyguitars.co.uk . I emailed allparts japan and they said to contact him as the UK distributor.

Price was £58 +£6 postage. A little pricier than i usually spend on a hardtail but worth it i think because it really is the closest currently available bridge to jakes
Last edited by WezV on Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge

Postby _will_ » Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:32 pm

Looking nice, a bit pricey though

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge

Postby evilaudio » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:01 pm

Nice....
I must have one.

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge

Postby WezV » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:20 am

i should point out that its slightly different to the one shown on the allparts japan website. That one has intonation screw grooves and 3 screw holes behind the string through holes rather than a screw on each corner. Allparts japan obviously changed the design at some point. Its still the closest thing to jake's other than an original, not many hardtails comes with the thicker back edge thats so visually distinctive

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby WezV » Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:33 am

here is the tuners we decided to use

Image

i was going to go with gotoh's like jakes but really the sperzels are better quality tuners. You may not all think lcoking tuners are necisarry on a hardtail guitars but to me, even if they just speed up string changes its worth it... And sperzels are the bees knees!!!

We went with chrome buttons rather than pearloid because they will match the black and chrome look of the bridge better. They came seperate from the tuners - i got them at allparts.uk.com

they are set for right handed use in the pic but i need to swap them round... god bless sperzel for making their tuners reversible

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby jefnel1 » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:21 pm

I'll also have to point out that this bridge looks just the like the Gotoh hardtail. The saddle screw grooves and thicker baseplate make all the difference in the world when it comes to hardtail intonation and tone. Looks-wise, it's a cool looking bridge - but try some heavy string bends with 11's strung up and you'll be fondling those Sperzel keys more times than not.
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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby WezV » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:44 pm

the gotoh doesnt have the thicker back edge like this, would have looked wimpy in comparison. Also i believe most hardtails are made from a folded piece of metal, something like this either has to be cast or milled (hopefully milled). These saddles seem stiffer than most of the hardtails i have worked with (other than the hipshots) and i think that might be to do with the screws passing through a thicker piece of metal and also the springs feel stiffer.

yeah, i am a bit miffed allparts changed the design. Would have been nice to be more authentic.... but i am not worried about tuning stability one bit. It should easily be better, or at least comparable in that respect to 99% of guitars on the market. Although maybe not as good as one with the grooves, been a while since i played one of those. Lots of things cause tuning instability, i will have taken care of most of them... i'm quite thorough like that.

its weight is comparable to a hipshot hardtail which can only be a good thing for tone!!!

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby WezV » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:38 am

Last night i realised i had a=n old guitar i made with a Gotoh bridge on it, I also have a hipshot for another current build so i thought it might be usefull if i did a head to head comparison since these are the 3 bridges most likely to be used for JEL replicas other than a original charvel which i saddly dont have access to at the moment.

Ok, here are the 3 bridges

Image

left to right, hipshot, gotoh and allparts japan. Obviosuly if i was doing a replica with the other two i would need to mix and match the colours

first impressions - obviously the hipshot looks wrong but they are a very nice bridge and always worth considering. But the only noticeable difference between the Gotoh and AJ is the thicker back edge. Notice the hipshot also has a thin back edge, but it extends around the edge, very usefull feature. Hipshots used to have normal shaped saddles which would be better for a JEL but they recently switched to bullet shaped ones. Not sure if you can tell on the photo but the gotoh's springs are not as dense as the AJ's

side and bottom
Image
Image
Start to see some important differences here. the gotoh has a rounded back edge which shows it is made from a folded piece of brass (the simplest). the hipshot is milled from a solid piece of brass (the ideal). Not sure about the AJ. Its definately not a folded piece of metal but i cant tell if its milled or cast from brass.

baseplate thickness/weight

Ok, probably going to vere of topic here. I read somewhere on this forum about hipshots 0.175" baseplate being better than its 0.125" baseplate. According to hipshot its just about action but i can see how the extra mass it would have would be a tonal advantage for some situations. I have the 0.125" baseplate here because this hipshot is not for a JEL replica and its for a guitar i am building so i will set the action where i want it and the sound of a heavy brass bridge isnt what i am after for that build. It works like this, if i was building a vintage les paul replica i would be going for as lightweight a bridge as possible. Since i am goin for a JEL replica i want a heavy brass bridge - just to make sure i am as close to what jake used as possible. It is incorrect to say heavy sounds better or has better tone, but it is ok to say heavier is what is needed in this case. Could argue about what gives good tone all day but it gets pointless quick OK, back on topic

All 3 bridge have 0.125" baseplates. I though i would weight them to see which has the weight i need. Ihave already stated the AJ feels heavier but its nice to be sure.

Gotoh - 140 grams
Image

Hipshot - also 140grams, but remember if it was the thicker baseplate version it would be more.
Image

Allparts Japan - just about 200grams, sorry its a bit blurry
Image

I think the AJ clearly wins the weight battle so is more suitable for this applicataion but remember the hipshot would probably weigh the same with the thicker baseplate. Also bare in mind the hipshot is actually a smaller bridge than the other two


Ok, very important issue here, how much can the saddles possibly move, obviously this has great implications for tuning stability. Jefnel1 makes a very valid point about that

the hipshot is the clear winner because it has the edges that stop the saddles from moving at all. An original would also be good because of the grooves in the baseplate that serve the same function. I decided to see how much i could push the saddle out on the other two hardtails. Adjusted them to teh same place first. This is obviously without string tension

heres the gotoh
Image

It moves quite far, quite easily... It would be fine for most applications once under string tension but it is possible it could be pushed out of place in extreme circumstances. Still comparable to a hell of a lot of guitars on the market though

Here's the allparts japan
Image

Doesnt move far at all and doesnt move as easily. I put this down mainly to the thicker back edge, but obviously the springs play there part as well. So i am confident the tuning stability will be better on this than the gotoh but not as good as the hipshot or indeed the original charvel.

Last thing, price and availability

the gotoh is easily available and i will have imported this one with a load of guitar parts from stew-mac.com. current exchange rate puts that at £20. i would need a black one (£25) and a chrome one (or at least a spare set of chrome saddles (£17) to mix and match parts so all in about £45 for a JEL version. + postage and customs on top

Hipshots are currently slightly more at about £45. If i ordered directly from them they would probably mix and match the parts for me and a thicker baeplate costs no extra.. again postage and customs would be on top

the Allparts japan cost more at £64 but there were no more costs on top. After costs it will still work out as more expensive, but not by much!!

Ok, so after all that hopefully we have established that the gotoh and AJ bridge are at least quite different animals, but its fair to say that the AJ bridge still represents some compromise in tuning stability compared to an original charvel bridge. Well what can we do about that??

First off its worth remembering that JEL used gotoh non-locking tuners. I am using sperzels locking tuners. Locking tuners mean you need less or even no winds on the post of the tuner. These winds are a major cause of tuning instability and would have been present on JEL's guitar but wont be on mine. So his has better tuning stability at the bridge end but i feel i have made up for that with better tuning stability at the tuner end. Obviously there are lots of other details to consider in tuning stability but thats what people pay me to sort out so i wont bore you all here


i hope that was fair and informative for anyone lese doing a replica - that was my aim in posting here inthe first place

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby jefnel1 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:33 am

WezV:

This is a great review of the most common bridges talked about here on the forum. Thanks so much for taking the time to provide this detailed information. I'd like to add this info to the Replica Guitars section so future visitors with interest in building a Jake replica can make an informed decision on the bridge.

Jeff
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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby WezV » Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:33 am

thats cool - i realised i do have a mighty mite bridge and one of the toploader types somewhere... but tbh i find them to be inferior bridges so not worth the effort like these 3. The mighty mite ones look promising but i have never seen one that didnt rattle and they are quite lightweight - lots of really cheap versions out there!!!


Anyway - onto the rest of my replica.

i am a guitar builder but deided to use warmoth for this due to curent workload and waiting times being relatively high. They are sending me a lefthanded alder body routed for a bridge humbucker and two single coils. trying to decide what routing to have was difficult. i figured getting it routed for normal single coils and a humbucker made it most like jakes since his would have had normal single coil routes that were altered later.

i know the alder on a whitey might be controversial but thats what the customer wants and its still a body wood jake used so no problem there.

Rather than get a 3 bolt neck plate like jakes we are going for a 4 bolt with contoured heel. again not authentic but worth doing. Its another thing that will improve neck stability

obviously all the warmoth stuff will get a thorough going over to make sure it meets my standards

I am doing the finishing this end because i have to alter the body anyway and warmoth charge too much. I have also heard they are not so carefull with paint in the neck pocket.

the neck will be a warmoth vintage modern because it has a rosewood board and skunk stripe. Doesnt have the bullet truss rod but i am working on a way to solve that issue.

Scratchplate is on way from pickguardian. I am being lazy there - i could have made one quite easily but i much prefer working with wood

sds-1's are on the way but its not having the usual humbucker - it will be a prototype from Bare knuckle pickups instead.

It should be very authentic looking by the time i am done - except for being a lefty

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby Gonzo » Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:05 am

Who's guitar is it? I don't know many lefty Jake fans ;)

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby WezV » Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:11 pm

Its my guitar, But i will let you adopt it from me when all is said and done. but it will always be mine in someway - even if i never get to play it properly :wink:

I always describe them as mine... bad habit i suppose.

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby WezV » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:30 am

I found a supplier of Dimarzios in the US who would break the rules and send me some SDS-1's. Unfortunately i could only get white ones but its not really a problem

here they are with a spare black cover i found in the workshop

Image

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby WezV » Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:12 am

the pickguardian scratchplate turned up as well as most of the other parts

Image
Image

Still to come:

Body and neck from warmoth
Pickup from bare knuckle pickups

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Re: JEL allparts japan bridge + tuners... and other parts so

Postby BigD » Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:28 am

WezV wrote:Its my guitar, But i will let you adopt it from me when all is said and done. but it will always be mine in someway - even if i never get to play it properly :wink:

I always describe them as mine... bad habit i suppose.


I am curious what the adoption price will be? :lol:

BigD

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