Saturday, April 15, 2017

2002 Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V

Here's a handsome sunburst 2002 Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V that dropped by for a string change, setup, and electronics check; amongst other things. The owner had also lost the battery compartment cover and had been using a strip of black masking tape to keep the two 9V batteries in place. That would not do, so I fashioned a cover out of a piece of plastic motorcycle number plate I had lying around. The cardboard battery clips also needed to be replaced, and the pots were generally scratchy. This meant a journey into the belly of the beast, and an opportunity to take a few pics. The battery clips were duly replaced, and a few squirts of contact cleaner managed to cure the pots' scratchiness. Job completed.



















Friday, April 14, 2017

May 21 2016 - "Life Begins at 55" Gig

The venue for this gig was the Zenith Hotel, Kuantan. The night's proceedings were ably managed by Daniel Chua, emcee/singer/entertainer extraordinare. He'd roped in CA on guitar/vocals and Azhar on keyboards. The audience was a large group of boisterous 55-year-olds who were clearly out to have a good time. A member of the audience (the lady in black) was even sporting enough to join Daniel onstage for a round of Cantonese oldies; much to everyone's delight.













2015 Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster '50s

Along's got a brand new Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster '50s electric guitar. It's totally droolicious, I tell you. The pine body sports a gloss polyester "Butterscotch Blonde" finish, which really accentuates the grain. I never thought pine could look so good.

The one piece maple neck is a smooth player, thanks to the gloss polyester finish and "Modern C" profile. The fretboard itself features a 9.5" radius, 25.5" scale length, and 21 medium-jumbo frets. Talking about frets, I have to point out that the fret job on this Tele rates an A+. For starters, someone took the trouble of undercutting the fret tangs, filling the ends of the fret slots, and sanding the fingerboard edges smooth before applying finish. But that's not all. He or she also meticulously dressed the ends of each fret to a level of smoothness I have never encountered on a mass-produced instrument; not even on a Korean PRS costing 7 - 8K. In short, when playing this Tele, your hand glides up and down the neck effortlessly, and memories of getting snagged on sharp fret ends or exposed fret tangs fade away into oblivion.

The bridge, well, Fender doesn't call it "3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Brass Barrel Saddles" for nothing. The three saddles are undoubtedly solid brass, and you string the guitar through ferrules on the back of the body. For those of you who aren't happy with only three saddles for six strings, you could always replace the stock bridge with one that has six individual saddles, such as those found on modern-day Teles.

Fender opted for a synthetic bone nut on this Tele, no complaints here. The nut slots have been properly cut and there are no unwanted pings or snags when bending strings. It should also be mentioned that the nut sits snugly in its slot with no need for filler to conceal any gaps. Nice job!

On to the electronics, then. Both neck and bridge pickups are what Fender terms "Custom Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele," and complement each other perfectly. Pure Tele tone for days! These Alnico V pups even have enough juice in them to produce a convincing overdrive when paired with a suitable stomp box. Yes, stomp box, as we did not have a cranked tube amp on hand to see if these pups would push it into La La Land.

Controls are typical Tele, namely 3-way blade switch (with barrel switch tip), master volume and tone controls. To be honest, I was expecting to see mini pots and a generic switch when I peeked under the hood. But no, instead of that I was greeted by full-sized Alpha pots and an Alpha switch. Way to go, Fender. The best part about all this is that the control and pickup cavities, as well as the wiring route, are adequately shielded with carbon paint. The underside of the single-ply pickguard around the neck pickup area is also shielded with aluminium foil. These measures should help to minimize hum and noise, in my humble opinion.

Of late, I've seen Along turning up for gigs with only this Tele, leaving his beloved Les Paul Custom at home. What this tells me is that he's as satisfied as I am with this guitar. If you want a simple, no-frills instrument that will give you more bang for your buck; look no further than the Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster '50s.

References

Classic Vibe Telecaster® '50s Butterscotch Blonde | Classic Vibe Series | Squier by Fender®:

Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster '50s - Butterscotch Blonde | Sweetwater: