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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Behold the Frankenmaster!

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Finally I'm getting around to posting some pics of this parts project I have been working on for years: the Frankenmaster. I don't even know when I started on it, but it was probably six or seven years ago, and I pretty much finished it about 6-9 months ago.

I liked the idea of a Mustang shape body with a Jaguar/Jazzmaster trem (which I've seen various examples of out there), so that's where this ended up. It began with a black 1976 (or 1977) Musicmaster body, and over time it evolved and I changed just about everything on it two or three times. I tried at least 6 or 7 different pickups, and it's had 3 necks and at least 2 pickguards. So I finally finished with this configuration, which includes mostly Fender parts plus Dearmond pickups.


Dayum! Too cool. Love it, everything about it.

Sweet guitar! I do find the Mustang shape more attractive than the Jaguar shape.

Did you have any clearance issues with the Jaguar vibrato in that thinner body? I put a Jag type vibrato into my Mustang plate and found that the spring was bottoming out on the body so I just cut a hole all the way through, which I'll cap like Danelectro does on those "Dead On" guitars.

Thanks, Sandbug.

Here are some more specs:

The body, as already noted is a 76 or 77 Musicmaster, which means it is an ash body with a Fender polyester finish. I don't believe people much dig those polyester finishes, and they certainly don't wear the same as a nitro or polyurethane finish. But I don't think it does anything to the tone, and I decided to leave it in the kind of beat up relic condition it started in. I even let my kids try to scratch it up a bit. The only thing I added was the tiki sticker I got in Hawaii.

The neck is an Allparts JGRO, so 24" scale, 7.25" radius, and vintage frets. I had to do all the finishing, etc. and painted the headstock black. I used Minwax wipeon poly for the finish, added a TUSQ nut and Fender (or Gotoh?) repro Kluson style tuners with split posts.

I didn't have any problem with routing to fit the Jaguar vibrato - I measured beforehand to make sure. The body was thick enough. Some guitars are too thin, like the Squier Bullet HH Mustangs, but others are fine.

That is cool, and will definitely stand out from the crowd Yes

Deal with reality, or reality will deal with you.

More details:

Fender AVRI Jag/JM trem (new)
Fender Jaguar switched and switchplate (new) - wired for 3 pickups, like the Cyclone III
Fender Mustang/Cyclone control plate (new)
Switchcraft jack (new)
Knobs: chickenhead (new), tophat knob is vintage from some unknown guitar - these type of knobs were used on a variety of guitars that had Dearmond pickups, so I expect they were made by Dearmond
Pots: 500k, probably CTS (new)
Fender Mustang bridge (new)
Pickguard custom made by Pickguardian based on vintage Musicmaster II pickguard (new)

Bridge pickup: Dearmond 2000 (aka Dynasonic) reissue (probably used when I bought it) - the pole adjustment screws had to be cut down to fit in the body because they were too long to fit. Sounds really good - a bit beefier than most Fender single coils, but still have some good bite to them.

Middle and Neck pickups: vintage Dearmond single coils. These are very rare, and were made for Martin to be used in the 12 string version of their GT-75 guitar ca. 1967. Very few of those guitars were made - I've seen claims of under 10 or just 20-something, which is hard to verify, but it's likely there were fewer than one hundred made. I got these off ebay as New Old Stock complete with a wiring harness (for a really good price). I love the look of these pickup (with the cutout "M" for Martin) and they sound great. I believe the coil is basically the same as the Dearmond gold S grille pickups and their diamond design, though the cover is like the dynasonic in being flanged out at the base and have about the same dimensions.


Now we need sound samples!

way to go with the Dynasonic!!

Last edited: Jul 23, 2020 05:29:12

Very cool!

I love unique guitars and Dearmond pickups, so a big thumbs up!

Thanks! I've got several other Dearmonds of different types sitting around that I may eventually use for other projects.

And I've been very happy with the Dynasonic - it gets me some good Link Wray tone, and is also good for garage/punk type stuff, as well as surf sounds.

ForTheLoveOfIvy - I like your username - I'm a member of the FB group.

What a looker! Good job on your creation bro!

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