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R6 Jaeger Make Over

Revolver1

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Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
341
Hi Every One.

I'm new to the Forum (first post). I've read alot of content since buying my first Historic but I've never really had anything to contribute until now....

The only other Forum I've ever contributed to was the Metropoulos Forum so some of you may know me from there.

I would like to share with you a journey I began back in 2020 that has led me to this point where work has begun to make over my R6 but this story has a twist as I will explain.

So firstly I should say the work will be done by Master Luthier Florian Jaeger based in Oberstdorf Germany and I need to point out I am in no way affiliated with Florian I'm just a regular Client and wish to share my experience with you all.

So this all began back in 2020 lock down. I'd wanted an R6 for many years but it never seemed to work out with having the funds at the right time. In England we only seem to get a hand full of specimens in the country each year so the choice is limited and they seem to go quite quick.

So we're in lock down and I'd just finished sixteen months of over time. Yes, I was out of work but considering I hadn't had a day off in sixteen months and consequently had no time to spend anything I'd earnt I was in a good position to make my R6 dreams come true and besides I owed myself a treat (or so I told my long suffering Wife, God bless her).

So I'm looking at all the guitars that landed in the UK for the year but they were all 9lb or over and I really needed something lighter (I suffer back problems and really can't cope with a heavy guitar as I did when I was younger).

Added to this all the Guitars had allot of figure on the back and neck. All the pics of originals I've ever seen have very plain back and necks so my heart was set on that.

Eventually I came across the perfect guitar, 7lb 8onz clean back, only problem it's in the USA. Ah well, its do-able I told myself so I contacted the shop and the only question I could really think to ask them was is the guitar sound, are there any issues?

The response came back no, no issues it's in great shape. O.K I thought let's go for it.

So I pay for the guitar and wait for it to land. It gets in country and then I have to cough up for Customs fees and then finally it's out for delivery.

It arrives and I'm very happy, its here at last! Now to be completely honest I didn't spend a great deal of time playing it at first because while I was doing all the overtime I put together all the parts to build a few amps and it was all sitting there waiting for me to put it together and now I had the time to do it. Not to make light of it but lock down, I called it the Rock Down....

With amps done I get around to setting it up how I like, the nut was fairly good but not perfect. I'll generally make a new nut to my liking so no big deal. I've done Nylon nuts before but it's a PITA to work with so I opted for bone. I like the neck to be pretty straight so I get it around .004 - .005 thousands of an inch at the 8th and I like it 4, 64ths at the 12th both sides strung with Bright Wire 9's. I then go about cutting new saddles to get the radius right with the new set up.

Tell you what, I'm going to post this now and carry on because I don't want to loose what I've typed.
 
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Revolver1

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Feb 7, 2024
Messages
341
All good, back again...

So when I'm doing the saddles I started to run in to problems. I was finding all of a sudden the string I was working on would just go dead. Fist it was the G string so I started over and then it was the B instead, so I started over and then it was the E. Highly bizarre to say the least. I started to suspect the bridge and cleaned it up making sure there were no burrs or obstructions but still its giving me issues. The strange thing was some times it was completely unplayable so I'd put it back in the case to continue the next day and when I'd get it out in the morning (no pun intended) it would be fine.

So after a couple of weeks and many, many saddles later I decided to bin the Gibson bridge and get a Faber with the C clips to firmly hold the saddles in place. The saddles were starting to lift with the break angle to the tail peice even though the action was reasonably low and the tail peice was not decked.

The Faber was a big improvement but then it became very obvious the guitar has dead spots. I can't tell you how gutted I felt. I've never had a guitar with this issue before and it's a big lesson learned in regards to the chance taken when buying the guitar as I did, although I probably would take the chance again in the same circumstances. I certainly couldn't return it after the work I'd done to it and I wouldn't feel right about trying to sell it on.

So I'm stuck with it, I just have to face it, it's a moody guitar. But when it's in a good mood is sounds glorious.

I should also say, back in lock down I planned to do the electronics on it so I'd ordered a set of Tyson Tone Lab P90's, some VIPOTS and some Luxe caps and I'd installed it all.

I was down the Studio one day and it was sounding an playing great but then the next day it was unplayable. When I went home I was so low, it was driving me nuts. I woke up the next day with a fresh out look and decided there has to be something I can do about this....
 

Revolver1

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Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
341
Back again....

I forgot to say, to rule it out I also had the frets leveled by David at Flame Guitars in Surry, London. He's is a very talented Luthier and a great guy and has done great fret work for me in the past on many of my guitars. It certainly made it better but sadly didn't fix the issue.

I also experimented with different set up's but if anything It just made it worse.

I started reading up on dead spots to get a better understanding of what was going on and how I could go about fixing the issue. As it turns out its quite a complex issue. From what I've read there are dead spots and conversely there are wolf notes which are the Ying to the Yang of dead spots where the offending note is louder than all others. Funny how the universe works? And all guitars have this to some degree.

So as I understand It, the issue is that the neck and in fact the whole guitar will resonate at a frequency when a particular note is played that cancels the note being played and the note becomes mute or cancelled out. Personally I think Aliens are somehow involved and it's all a huge conspiracy.....

Anyway, the cure if there is one seems to be changing the mass of the guitar to change the way it resonates.

To be continued....
 
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Revolver1

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Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
341
The first option that sprang to mind was approaching Historic Makeovers to see if Kim thought there was anything that could be done. But I wasn't keen on sending it back to the States, I find the whole Air Freight thing nerve wracking. Of course there was always the option of taking it in person but that would be a very expensive way of doing it.

Then by chance I was on the Crazy Parts site getting some bits and peices and I came across an advert for Jaeger Guitars and the Make Over service he offers. I thought about it some more and started to come around to the idea this could be a good way to do it. Initially I thought I could make a trip of it and go by Train. I could get the Eurostar to Brussels then on to Munic and then down to Oberstdorf.

I started a little research and could only find good things to be said of Jaeger, I started to feel a little more confident this could be the way to go.

By this point I hardly ever played the guitar, even though I should really avoid and play around the dead spots I did the complete opposite and gravitated toward them.
Something had to be done so I bit the bullet and decided to contact Florian.

I put an e-mail together detailing all the issues I was experiencing and was asking Florian if he thought anything could be done.

Florian was very honest with me, he said this wasn't the the usual type of work he would take on. He was reluctant because in all reality there can be absolutely no guarantee a Make Over would cure the issue. Theres a big chance it may not work out, the dead spot could shift to somewhere else on the neck or the problem could somehow even get worse. It's in the lap of the Gods but it's a chance I have to take. I was very aware of the reasons Florian was reluctant to take the job on and let him know I wouldn't be blaming anyone if it didn't fix the issue but this was the only way I could think to change the way the guitar resonates.

After a bit more discussion Florian finally agreed to take the job on, this was in 2022 and so I asked to be put on the waiting list and paid a deposit to hold my place. I was given a date of February 2024. That seemed like a lifetime away but sure enough it came around.
 
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Revolver1

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Feb 7, 2024
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341
Soon enough January came around so I contacted Florian to make arrangements. My initial plan as I said was to make it a Rail trip but sadly it's quite expensive compared with flying. I was going to go with my Wife but she had work commitments and Florian couldn't see us at the Weekend, it was becoming a bit of a head ache to arrange and keep everyone happy but in the end it was just me which was alot easier to deal with.

I was a bit nervous about the neck if I was going to fly so I did some reading up. Do I need to loosen the strings? Does the neck need adjustment? I read a really good article on flying that pointed out it's all nonsense and probably stems back to the 70's when the hold wasn't heated. Its heated these days, animals are transported in the hold.

In the end I had the neck set as I normally would and had it tuned to standard pitch 440#. I took my tuner along and checked it when we landed and it was perfectly in tune, no problems.

Either way, I've worked as an Electrician in Heathrow Airport in the baggage halls and I've seen the baggage handlers in action and also the conveyer belt ride the baggage takes to the Plane. Depending on the Terminal there are some huge drops where the baggage transfers from one conveyor to another. Some people are happy with their guitar in the hold but maybe they haven't seen what I have, so I would definitely have to buy an extra ticket and carry the guitar on with me. Very Rock 'N' Roll....

I also dug out the sales receipt for the guitar not knowing what to expect at Customs but I couldn't find an email confirmation for the import duties I'd paid and I couldn't find the hard copies. I was a bit nervous about that but as it was it wasn't an issue.

I bagught two Plane Tickets to Munich and I booked a room for the night in Munich and one for the night in Oberstdorf. I planned to fly out on the Sunday, stay overnight in Munich then catch the Train down to Oberstdorf, see Florian that afternoon. Then stay the night in Oberstdorf, make the Train journey back to Munich and fly out on the Tuesday.
 

Revolver1

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Feb 7, 2024
Messages
341
On the Wednesday before I flew I was told Friday would be my last day at work. I had been told to expect it so it wasn't a shock but I was kinda hoping for a couple of weeks work after I got back but it wasn't to be.

The night before the flight I get an email for check in to get the boarding passes but it wouldn't let me do it because I had the same Passport for two seats. I would have to see someone at the Terminal. I started having nightmare visions of being turned away at the service desk.

The day had finally arrived. I was all packed traveling light with guitar and a small back pack. I did pack thermals though as I was told from someone who once lived in Munich that it would be cold.

So this is it the journey begins from my front door.
 
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J T

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Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,524
Yes a few people here have had their guitars over to Florian. Do a search on florian and you'll see them.

Good luck wit your journey. Keep us up to date!
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,650
The adventure begins!

Keep up posted, looking forward to seeing progress if Florian provides intermittent status updates.

Good luck!
 

Revolver1

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Feb 7, 2024
Messages
341
Hey guys nice to see you and thanks for the encouragement. I had a few problems getting the photo thing together but it should be all good now.

A shot of the R6 pre make over.



So this is where the journey begins, my front door....

 

Revolver1

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Feb 7, 2024
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341
So I get to Heathrow but because I didn't have my boarding pass I didn't know which Terminal to go to but I looked it up and it seemed like all the Lufthansa flights are coming out of Terminal 2 so I went with that.

I found the service desk and they directed me to the check in. They were really great, it all went smoothly and I was greatly relieved.

So I get through customs and begin the wait for the gate to be announced for my flight.

 
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Revolver1

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Feb 7, 2024
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341
Gate gets announced and I'm queueing up to get on the flight and it hit me I'm really doing this...

Lufthansa were really awesome, very friendly and helpful. I've read that some airlines can be not so accommodating when flying with a guitar but Lufthansa were great.

Kinda funny though, I get in and sit by the window and strap the guitar in next to me in the middle seat on the floor. I put the seat belt through the handle and round the case and one of the stewards comes by and says I need to strap it in on the seat so I give it a go but it's not going to work like that. Then another steward comes by and says I need to have it as I did before. Then another comes by and says its blocking my escape route.

I'm kinda thinking if the plane goes down it's all over anyway so I'm not that bothered. Anyway I swapped seats and the R6 got the window seat.

I don't think they have had many people buy a seat for their guitar but they were really great.




And that's my ugly mug..... ready for take off.
 
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Revolver1

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Feb 7, 2024
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Take off.... leving O'l blighty.



Coming in to land, if you can zoom in you can see the Alps in the distance. It really was quite spectacular how flat it was and then the snow capped Mountains dramatically rise.



Touch down, it was a great flight. I was reading the Lives of Brian, Brian Johnsons Biography, it's a great read highly recommended.

 

Revolver1

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So I get through Customs no problems and then I try to find my way out which was a bit of a mission. My fault really, I usually know a bit of the language when I travel at least enough to get by but I know very little German.

I get out and then make my way to the Train. I sussed out which train to get but it wasn't completely straight forward and in trying to make sure I'm getting on the right Train I forgot to buy a ticket so I jumped off at the next stop and got myself a ticket on the platform. I jump on the next train and the conductor comes by, I show him my ticket and ask if were going to Munchen (Munic) and he say no and gestures to the other side of the track.

I jump off at the next stop and the board on the other side of the platform is showing all sorts of other destinations other than Munchen HBF. I can see another platform on the other side than looks like it says Munchen HBF but theres no one on the platform. I go over there but I'm starting to feel this isn't right so I came back and a Train pulls in. I asked a guy if it's going to Munchen and he kinda gestures yes so I get on.

By this time it's been about 2hrs for what should have been a 45min journey. I'm starting to feel like I'm on the wrong train so I'm standing there looking at the Train map trying to make sense of it but it's really not straightforward. Luckily a very nice young girl asked if I was O.K and she reassured me I was on the right Train.

I get in to Munchen and make my way out of the Station and it's dark. My Hotel is quite close but I didn't want to risk walking off into th night in the wrong direction with my Guitar in hand so I just got a Cab, too easy...

I get checked in and find my room, I then checked the guitar over and it's all good, still in perfect tune.




That's not my bed by the way, it's my Guitars bed.....
 
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Revolver1

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Feb 7, 2024
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All I wanted now was a Beer. So I found a bar. It was a bit different to England in that most places were restaurants that served Beer but I felt a little out of place being on my own, I just wanted a bar I could sit quietly in the corner.

So I find this place, it said sports bar. It was very quiet only a few people inside. The T.V wasn't on, I think they save it for special occasions. These guys don't look like they've ever had a game of sport in their lives but they are feverishly gambling away at the slot machines that are equipped with heavy duty comfortable seats obviously designed for long sessions.

They weren't really speaking German it was a mix of Itallian, Portuguese and a bit of German.

Anyway 7 Lowenbrau's later I got a couple of take outs and went back to my room.

I finished them off watching Risoli and Illes in German which amused me after a skin full of Beer and then had a great nights sleep.

 
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Revolver1

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Got up reasonably early, the Train wasn't until 09:20 but at this point I didn't want to leave anything to chance.

Went down stairs filled my cup with Coffee and checked out.

I then made my way back to the Station which was really quite easy.

Can't see any ticket machines but there looks like a ticket office so I head in. I take a ticket and wait in the queue. Theres about 12 tills but only 2 serving, there all just sitting there looking bored. So it gets to my number theres no one else waiting and then the calling board jumps past my number to a much higher number, I'm thinking WTF???? I went up to the till but the lady says no it's not my number. Theres none else there except the 12 people behind the tills doing nothing.

I go back to where I got the ticket and they say my ticket has expired so they give me another but by this point theres now people in front of me. I'm looking at the time and it's about 09:05 and I'm starting to get a bit edgy. My first queuing experience took 40mins.

 

Revolver1

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My number comes up and the lady is very helpful, she showes me exactly where I need to go. I think it was about €25 so not bad for roughly a 2 and a half hr journey.

I hit the Starbucks grab another Coffee and have a last Cigrette before getting on the Train. All's good, I'm on the Train to Oberstdorf.



Read my book for a bit and then the scenery opened up. The country side was absolutely stunningly beautiful. It was like something out of a fairy tale, snow capped mountains came into view as we headed into Bavaria.

 

Revolver1

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I really got lucky with the weather it was unusually warm and bright, cold at night but beautiful days.

Then an announcement came over the tannoy and from what I could make out the Train was going to split in two with one half going I don't know where and the other half going to Oberstdorf. Oh dear here we go.... Luckily the lady sitting opposite that I had earlier helped lift her suitcase in the overhead rack reassured me I'm in the right part of the Train. Few....

Then we come in to Oberstdorf, wow this Is a long way from Acton Town and couldn't be more different.

 

Revolver1

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I find a Cab to take me to Florian's. With Guitar in hand he knows exactly where I'm headed.

It's not far and I'm there. Get out and ring the door bell to be given a very warm welcome from Florian as he welcomes me in.

 
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Revolver1

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We hit it off straightaway as he showed me around his beautiful home as he explained to me how he came to build it. Theres two Mountain streames running either side of the house with the Mountains in the background. Its stunning. I think Florian has a very enviable life style.

He makes me a great espresso and we go to smoke a few cigarette's talking about all sorts of things.

 
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