Skye’s Jaguar is done! Changed out the neck pickup in favor of a Lollar, swapped the guard for a custom single ply black with no bridge pickup, slapped a vintage DeArmond/Rowe silver foil in the bridge. Also, Mastery Bridge’d. Yep, this Japanese hollowbody Jaguar is now a force to be reckoned with. Amazing. (at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar)

#tbt to that time I built The Skyemaster for @skj48 of Fleet Foxes and Japanese Guy, a four-pickup beast of a Jazzmaster of which I am very, very proud. Two @lollarpickups Jazzmaster pickups, a vintage DeArmond/Rowe Gold Foil in the middle, and one @curtis_novak_pickups lipstick behind the bridge for ghostly overtones and from-another-room reverb. Also, vintage neck and vibrato, ground-down brass RC knobs, no finish at first. We later sprayed it in a frightfully thin black nitro finish so Skye could beat it up. #guitar #custom #fender #jazzmaster #vintageguitar #fenderguitars #fenderjazzmaster #offset #offsetguitars #customguitar #btb #pickups #lollar #novak #dearmond #rowe #goldfoil #seattle #guitartech #luthier #goldguard #gg #jaguar #plate


It’s good to be reunited with old friends.

After 10 months apart, I’m really happy to be able to spend time with the Skyemaster, which I built for Skye Skjelset last March. (Fleet Foxes, Walkmen, Japanese Guy) I really love this guitar, and seeing it again immediately released a flood of memories, from cleaning up the behind-the-bridge lipstick cavity to uttering fuck word after fuck word while troubleshooting the series/parallel wiring with Skye on the way to pick it up.

If you haven’t run into this one before, here’s a break-down of what’s going on on this beast:

-‘63 Fender Jazzmaster neck, on which I performed a complete refret
-Tone Pros tuners
-Two Lollar Jazzmaster pickups in the Neck & Bridge positions
-One vintage DeArmond Gold Foil pickup in the middle, loud and gainy!
-One Curtis Novak Lipstick pickup behind the bridge for haunting ghost tones!
-The requisite Mastery Bridge, which I swear by routinely
-'60s Fender Vibrato unit, I can’t recall the exact year. Sue me!
-Don’t, actually
-On/off switching for each main pickup via Jaguar control plate
-Rhythm circuit switch engages BTB Lipstick in series with its own volume and tone controls
-Hand-made Brass roller knobs for the Rhythm/Lipstick circuit
-500k pots
-Unfinished body

Since Skye left it in my care for a few days, I’ve been having a blast soaking in the wild tones that usher forth from this wild pickup complement. This one is so special to me, and it feels like a huge accomplishment, building a guitar for Skye. It also makes me want to copy this guitar for my own tastes, but preferably in a sparkly finish. SIGH.


Here’s a more in-depth run down of that Japanese Fender Jaguar Thinline we modified for Skye last week! When it came in, Skye had already fitted a vintage Fender Mustang neck to the guitar. (they really do feel better when they’re worn-in!) The work I did is as follows:

-Installed a Mastery Bridge (yes)
-Swapped in a Lollar Jaguar neck pickup
-Installed the custom-cut pickguard we picked up from Chandler, specially made with no bridge pickup
-Installed the vintage DeArmond/Rowe Silver Foil in the bridge (AMAZING)
-Full set up, and some secret sauce on top

This thing came out so, so good; that Silver Foil is loud, clear, and has this vocal midrange you just don’t hear on most single coils. It blends beautifully with the neck unit, making for an intense, complex middle position that begs for delay and reverb.

And I know we get these questions all the time, but the Mastery Bridge is the greatest thing ever. Skye’s going to source a vintage vibrato for this one eventually, but for now it’s good as-is!

Bill Frisell stopped by again to show us one of his favorite guitars: a J. Black made Fender Telecaster. This ain’t your normal Tele, though; two DeArmond Dynasonic single coils provide warmth and snap while the heavily chambered body adds a pleasing, woody quality to the midrange. What’s not so obvious is that this guitar was made with a Gibson 24 3/4” scale length, making its full-figured C profile all the more comfortable. I can’t tell you how much I loved playing this one. Great, another thing I want… Thanks, Bill! #guitar #custom #fender #telecaster #tele #dearmond #dynasonic #bill Frisell (at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar)


Gah! Presenting the most perfect Harmony Silhouette ever. It was brought in for a setup and some fret end dressing, and while I was at it I took time to properly set up the vibrato system, which was overly stiff and barely functional. After some minor tweaks and TLC, this guitar not only sounds great, but it’s also the first of these guitars I’ve played in ages that stays in tune perfectly, even with heavy vibrato use.

Fierce. Fiery. Fantastic. Gold Foils FTW!