JTZ-130 review by Jay Turser

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 0 (0 votes)
Jay Turser: JTZ-130

Purchased from: Reverb seller barely used

Features — 9
Jay Turser China JT-Z130 (D-Ziner series) with passive H/S and wrapover bridge. V and T knobs and non-locking sealed tuners. Gloss body in black and satin all maple solid neck. General Strat/LP type shape and thin like an SG. 3 way switch. Pickguard is well fitted and a small semi-circle. The white edge could be lightly colored with a magic marker (like antique yellow or amber). Well shot gloss body is nicely routed at the neck pocket, which is snug. Bolt on neck is maple in satin and 1 piece... no scarf joint. Well mounted sealed tuners are nice, but nothing special. I make sure to use a 10mm end wrench to snug the headstock face nuts up.

Sound — 9
It is good enough sounding to keep the pickups. I would have liked slotted pole pieces for the rear poles of the HB, but, nope. The pickups are a good combination; there is no coil split, but a replacement GFS HB and a push/pull tone pot would give 2 additional tones and is easy to do. But the stock pickups are surprisingly good. My Turser SG also has good stock HBs, so I gather that the China Tursers are pretty well outfitted. The middle position is clear and strong and almost 'pretty'. Neck single coil needed to be raised closer to strings and to match the bridge pickup clarity. A 'Stratty' type neck pickup needs to be close to the strings and then gradually lower each side under open volume until the 'woofiness' of the bass stops and the treble is less piercing.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Setup as received used was wrong. It needed the fretboard flattened a lot and a couple of business card thickness shims staggered thicker to thinner back to front in about 1/2 the pocket. Like a Strat. The frets needed to be buffed clean with fine paper and fret 1 barely was loose at treble side and repaired with SuperGlue and a clamp for 30 minutes. All fret ends needed a touch of corner smoothing. No high frets noted thus far. I set the 12th fret top under string bottom at 1/16". Nearly flat relief. Rating is '8' since the factory setup was undone by an owner, but not anything extreme. I put 1 wrap of the thin pipe seal thread tape on the threaded posts to eliminate rattle in their threaded sockets in the guitar body. Note which way the pieces turn and wrap opposite that to keep the tape snug on the posts.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Very solid like an SG and handles well. Good neck and rosewood board feel. Chrome on hardware is average or better, but not cheap like many Epiphones. A guitar that will tolerate getting banged around and the tailpiece has intonation screws for the tailpiece itself on the 2 posts to get close then dial in the saddles. Easily a '9' since it is all solid. I use a Qtip shaft to get a coat of yellow glue in the screw holes for the neck at the plate. One was too loose (stripped out a bit), but any bolt on can use that tweak to stabilize it.

Overall Impression — 9
I rate this one '9' because it is such a good value... neat and small pickguard fits well, wrapover tailpiece with saddles in it already, pretty good sealed tuners, fake bone nut just needed minor smoothing to pass the '3rd fret test', but the original owner may have had that mostly done. I dialed it in as Fralin's luthier pal showed me (in Richmond VA). As a used guitar in like-new shape, with pretty darn nice pickups and good feel and looks, I like it a lot. For a casual guitar, it's hard to beat and you have little to no money invested. I could sell it this week and make some money since it is all set up and adjusted. Pickups adjusted adds a lot of value, as relief and nut slots tweaking does.

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