Tag Archives: mustang

Tightening that Dynamic Vibrato tremolo arm

A common question of new owners of guitars with a Dynamic Vibrato is how to keep the tremolo arm in the tailpiece bar. The tremolo/bridge unit of the Fender jag-stang and most mustangs is a Dynamic Vibrato, so this article applies to both the jag-stang and mustang.

The first thing to know is that the tremolo bar itself does not “snap” or screw into place like the tremolo bar of a stratocaster. The tremolo bar is held in place by pressure from a small allen screw in the tailpiece bar.

The photo below points to the location of this allen screw. Note the location indicated by the blue arrow pointing into the end of the tailpiece bar.

dynamic vibrato tremolo screw

So to hold your tremolo bar in place get the bar in a position you are comfortable with and then snug the screw in the end of the tailpiece using a 4mm (or 5/32″) allen wrench. Don’t over tighten this screw. (see below)

dynamic vibrato tremolo screw

So another very common problem is that the screw in the end of the tailpiece bar will be missing. They fall out very easily.

There are not a lot of options for finding a replacement screw. You may have to buy an entire dynamic vibrato tailpiece that includes the screw. Or another option would be to pull the tailpiece bar off the guitar and take it into your local hardware store looking for a screw that will fit.

[If anyone has found an exact replacement for this screw please let us know the details and we’ll add it to this article.]

Strat-stang – combination Stratocaster and Mustang

[The following article was submitted by jag-stang.com visitor Lonnie. He was inspired to share the story of his strat-stang creation after reading about the Fender Mu-uar in a previous post. Please enjoy Lonnie’s great story below. ]

stratstang full

Back in 1981 a high school buddy loaned me 1966 Mustang and allowed me to string it left-handed to try it out. Even with that awkward setup that neck fit my hand perfectly. I could not find a lefty Mustang anywhere so I ended up buying a Strat instead, which had its own nice features, but I never forgot how much I liked the feel of that Mustang neck.

Then in 1994 I walked into a music store and saw a new lefty reissue Mustang. I wanted it badly but I was unemployed and broke so I had to pass it up, swearing that I would someday come back and buy it. A year later I had a good job and was on my feet again, but when I went back to that music store I found out the Mustang had already been discontinued.

I kept looking and in 1998 I bought a `96 Jag-Stang (image) new for an astonishing $330. The neck was fantastic–heavenly! It felt just like the neck on my friend’s old Mustang. The body, however, was a different story. Sitting or standing, I just couldn’t get comfortable with it. I wished I could put that Jag-Stang neck on a Strat body but I knew they would not be compatible.

strat-stang bodyThen I remembered Warmoth made a 7/8 scale Strat body and I contacted them and asked if it would work. The owner at the time, Ken Warmoth, explained that he had designed the 7/8 body back in the 70’s as a direct replacement for a Mustang body, so the project was a go. In 1999 I ordered an alder body with hardtail bridge (let’s face it, tremolo just does not work on a 24″ scale) and fire engine red gloss polyurethane. I also had to buy a pickguard and bridge that specifically fit this body. I sold all the extra Jag-Stang parts to finance the purchase.As any Fender tinkerer knows, American Fenders were built with S.A.E. measurements and Japanese Fenders are Metric so mixing those parts require a little bit of nudging.

I had to slightly widen the neck pocket to accept the JS neck. After a lot of sweat and prayer it came together nicely. My goal was to build a Strat-stang, a hybrid of the parts I liked from the Strat and Mustang. As you can see from the photos, I chose a Strat contoured body, pickguard, pickup setup, bridge and jack, but with a Mustang scale and knobs.

stratstang 3

The bridge pickup is from the Jag-stang and the other two are temporaries from a Squire Strat, and eventually they will have solid black Mustang covers. I always liked the flexibility of the Strat Elite pushbutton pickup selector and incorporated that as well. I don’t like having the volume knob so close to the bridge so I plugged that hole and used the Mustang’s 1 volume/1 tone setup. Strat knobs are numbered right-handed which makes them confusing in a lefty setup; I prefer Mustang knobs because they’re easier to grip. I chose red, white and black to mimic the color scheme of my beloved `73 Musicmaster bass.

stratstang 5

The guitar is a terrific success. It is a joy to play, lightweight,absolutely comfortable and sounds delicious with acres of surfy twang and slink. I coated the routings with NickelPrint, which is a conductive paint that acts as a reasonably good EMF shield, and covered the back of the pickguard with aluminum foil duct tape. The end result is a silent guitar with no crackle or hum. I use D’Addario Light Top/Heavy Bottom strings, which seem to work well with the short scale.

My boss’s band has a lefty guitarist who has played it on a few occasions and loves it, wishing he had one of his own. I had hoped to build another with humbuckers to act as a pseudo Les Paul, but that leads to the down side of the story:

Two years ago I called up Warmoth to order a 7/8 scale pickguard cut for humbuckers, with the intention that if it sounded good like that I would order another body and build a second guitar. To my dismay I found out that Warmoth had been sold and they were no longer making any 7/8 scale parts. Worse yet, they had even tossed out the old templates. So now my StratStang is literally a one-of-a-kind.

To add insult to injury, Warmoth now makes Mustang parts and Fender is producing Mustangs yet again–both right-handed only. Needless to say, my opinion of Warmoth is just as obscene as my opinion of Fender.

Additional photos below. Click thumbnails for larger images.

stratstang 3 stratstang 4 stratstang 6

stratstang 7 stratstang 8

[Authored by: Lonnie]