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Davec's Jag-Stang setup tips (with pictures)

[authored by: davec (forum post)]

I picked up a blue 1997 Jag-Stang recently for $250. It had a few dings, no tremolo bar, & was buzzing a bit in the store. It was marked $299 but I talked them down. I’ve owned 2 or 3 Jag-Stangs before but have sold or traded them because of a few annoyances. I’m keeping this one because of some of the set up tips I’ve learned in recent years.

1) Buzz

I loosened the truss rod a 1/4 turn & the neck went exactly where it needed to be. Japanese Fenders just seem to work that way. A 1/4 turn one way or the other is all it takes. No more buzz.


2) Dynamic Vibrato

I have learned from my 1975 Mustang that the Dynamic Vibrato can be used & can stay in tune. Leo Fender was a genius but his original Statocaster tremolo & the Dynamic Vibrato both share the same fatal flaw…. no zero point when they are left floating. When you finish being the wang bar king it will never return to the same point. It’s always a little sharp or flat. To solve this on a Stratocaster you simply tighten the screws on the spring claw all the way so the vibrato is flat on the body & it only losens the strings. On the Mustang style bridge you just tighten the allen screws through the small holes on the tail piece all the way tight. There is then no need to replace the bridge or lock it down. It’s as good is locked. I bend the strings to go tighter & use the wang to go lower. When you let the bar go it always returns to the same point. The bar will stick up too much but it can be bent down to a useable position. If you dont use the wang this should be the simplest solution. I also ordered a replacement bar online fo $7.

3) Drop those Switches!

The Mustang style switches are too darn high! They actually scratch up & bother the palm of my right hand. I was able to put 3 washers between the pick guard & the switches on the original screws to lower them to a better position. I can still use them well but they are more flush with the pick guard.

4) Pickups!

I instantly knew I wanted to replace the pickups but I wanted to do it on the cheap. I put a Duncan Designed single coil in the neck & a HB-102 B in the bridge. The pair cost me like $30 on eBay. I figured it was a temporary solution but I really like both of them. The alnico magnets blow away the ceramic magnets in the stock pickups. I think they sound great in this guitar. I figured I’d upgrade them down the road but they are going to stay. I also really like the black pickups in the white mother of toilet seat pick guard. I do want to find a solid black single coil cover with no holes for the neck pickup.

5) Stuff I can’t change

I wish Kurt would have asked for body contours, a straight rout for the bridge pickup, & a stratocaster bridge. The countour bothers me the most.

All in all a fun guitar for less than $300.

[authored by: davec (forum post)]