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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)




Info from seller and Jim Donahue for posterity's sake (from ICW)...

As I recall, the guitar was special ordered along with a Warwick bass buy a pair of drug dealers in central VA, at Mars Music. When they were prosecuted, the instruments were part of a property seizure / forfeiture. The local Police "Band" was given the instruments which they promptly traded back to Mars for PA gear. The guitarist in the cop band, "The Force" called me and gave me a heads up on the trade. (He's a lefty)
I bought the guitar in maybe 1998 or 1999.
In researching the guitar, I noticed the odd body and neck combo too. The features of the guitar seem quite like the J Custom you speak of. The hardware, neck construction and inlay, the headstock inlay, all are identical to a production J Custom of that year. It is certainly a mystery.

I reached out to Jim Donahue and here is his response:

This guitar I have never seen and it was not at the Namm show because I believe I would have been the one that set it up, So what country did this come from? Does anyone know.

We were making many J custom Samples for the Anniversary, Some of the sample made it to production and some just did not make it into production, They made many samples as always and the ones that we felt would sell we made into the J customs. The one guy that would know the best on this model is Mike Shimada he is on Facebook he is a nice guy and ran that project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Played it for a bit and first impressions are:

-It's quite heavy (for an S)
-The neck has an interesting shape, feels thicker than average RG or S but I don't think it actually is... just a very wide D shape
-Strings are really far from body
-Sustain is great
-Pickups are not so great
-It only has 22 frets (lol)
-It looks freaking awesome when it moves in the light

I need to rewire it (or resolder existing wiring rather) and maybe replace the pots, and switch out the slippery black 10s that I put on there for some normal strings, and maybe throw some different pickups in it (could just be bad wiring...), but once I do that I can already tell it's gonna be 8O8O8O
 

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Same body as my gambali, body should be mahogany, AWESOME guitar if interested in moving it drop me a line.

Sebastin, made in Japan for sure. :)
 

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Nice! I had my eye on that too. I didn't realize that there were different inlay materials in the body, your photos are way better than the sellers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah the two tone inlay really helps, if it was one or the other I think it would look cheesy. Wish I would have noticed all that dust on there before I took the pics though, could have sworn I wiped it all off :p

I played it some more this morning and it turns out the pickups aren't necessarily bad, they're just extremely high output. It's like they create their own distortion. Played through some heavier effects on my HD500 and was getting some seriously killer metal tones. I'm not in to metal though, so I think I'm going to have to switch them out.
 

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Try lowering the pickups a bit... you might like the results. ;)

Oh and congrats on really cool find. Have you consideredremovingthe neck to see if there is any writing, or model info on the neck pocket and neck heel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Try lowering the pickups a bit... you might like the results. ;)

Oh and congrats on really cool find. Have you consideredremovingthe neck to see if there is any writing, or model info on the neck pocket and neck heel?
Great advice on the pickups.. that helped a LOT! Still the harmonics are not quite as nice as I'd like, but it's much better and will hold me over while I research pickups.

Also a good idea to check the neck, I'll remove it and see what's under there when I change out the strings.

F**k flamed maple tops! I want J. Customs to look like this! :D
No kidding, I agree, I like off-the-wall designs like this. The flamed tops are nice but they're so common now and don't give you that feeling of uniqueness.
 
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