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FENDER JAG VS JAZZ
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roger
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#1
25th June 2007
Old 25th June 2007
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FENDER JAG VS JAZZ

i moved to the uk not long ago and i had to leave a lot of my stuff back in australia...i am a strat-man really but i just bought a tele 72 for a change which i am just getting used to - but i miss my strat!

i still wanna resist getting another strat for now - PLEASE help me decide between a jaguar and jazzmaster.

does the jag sound pretty strat-like with it's two single coils? if so i think that would be pretty cool - i saw wilco play recently and the lead guy was playing one - didn't sound like a traditional strat but i still liked it!

re the jazzmaster: how do those soapbars sound? are they a bit in between humbuckers and single coils?....i remember fruciante is 'playing' a jazzmaster in the Under The Bridge video from way back now (gettin old!) i think just for show......what do you reckon?

give your 2 cents worth - i would love some suggestions!
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25th June 2007
Old 25th June 2007
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OK...I'm more of a Gibson guy, but have, and have had plenty of Fenders. My take is that the bridge design of both is terrible and won't hold the strings in place. If you strum hard, you'll have issues with the strings jumping off the bridge as the design just doesn't put much tension on the strings. There is a better bridge design that you can install. Most supply shops have it. I think it's based on the Mustang bridge design.
All that aside, the Jag has that shorter scale which is fine for smaller hands, but just seems a little too...I don't know how to put it....like a mustang? Not that that's bad, just that's what it is. I think the sound is a bit more trebly/jangly than a Strat. A Jazzmaster is a bit more full-bodied, but still not quite a Strat.

Here's my .02....both are nice little additions, but Leo just nailed it with the Strat and Tele. One of each of them to add to a Gibson or similar and you've got a nice palate to work with.

m
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25th June 2007
Old 25th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chetatkinsdiet View Post
My take is that the bridge design of both is terrible and won't hold the strings in place.
+1

It's the same bridge they used on the Coronado. I think I might have liked both of those guitars better with a different bridge.

The angle that the strings pass over the fulcrum has a great deal to do with the sound of the instrument. Case in point: Gibson's headstock design vs. Fenders. And look at a Coral Sitar; super shallow angle and a lot of contact area with the fulcrum.

It's hard to get much bite out of a Jag or a Jazz if you're used to a Strat.

Also, IMO the Jag and the Jazz were designed for 012 or heavier strings; without a wound G they get really wimpy. You can change the pickups but it doesn't affect the source of the sound much.

Although older Tele's used a similar saddle design, the strings were anchored immediately behind the bridge on the Tele which meant the strings wouldn't jump off the saddles; on the Jazzmaster and the Jaguar, the strings are anchored all the way at the back of the body; this also greatly affects the tone; nothing at all like a Strat.

IMO the Mustang is a much better alternative Fender; better for rhythm than lead playing, though, since they have small radius fingerboards. They sound lovely.
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25th June 2007
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maybe it's a freak, but my buddy recently bought a 60 Jazzmaster here in nyc and we have been getting ridiculous tone from it at my studio. Totally surprising is the "in your face" bite of this thing, cranked thru a Super Reverb. Like my Goldtop, without all of the low-end, which makes the track sit beautifully in the mix. I didn't think I'd like it at all, being a Gibson-type player, but this guitar has a particular sound that is rich in harmonics and still detailed.
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25th June 2007
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Jazzmaster is a great rhythm gtr , the jag not so.... tele and strat: diff piece of cake.
If you re a strat player you wont be happy with either jazz or jag....get a strat or a tele....
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#6
25th June 2007
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the bridge is less than perfect....but i have always enjoyed playing and hearing jazzmasters. if set up well and not played with total brutality.....you can get very cool sounds.

for evidence....listen to the nels cline album "interstellar space".
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25th June 2007
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jazzmasters have more of a P90 thing, jaguars have their own thing which is more tele like although still different. If you want a strat get a strat. The tele has it's own magic between the bridge pickup sound and the bridge and neck combo. Personally I own both
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25th June 2007
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I own a strat and a jaguar. They sound nothing a like in my opinion. Everyone knows what the strat sounds like so I wont expound on that.

I think you'll either like the Jaguar or you wont. The dual switches on the pickups can let you go from a ripping lead to a real laid back just barely on sound. It gives you some flexibility. I personally bought it for the bridge tremolo system. If you were ever into shoegazer type music the "slowdive" the tremolo can add to sounds with delay and reverb is very cool. The neck is a bit slimmer than the strat but I like that, it fits my hand well. Overall I like it, but I personally like the sound of a strat. Its like anything, it provides a sound, its what you like. I personally find it useful for alot of playing, it can sound wicked, clean, atmosphereic. From what I remeber the jazzmaster can sound a little more vintage? Anyway, I really like the jaguar, but it may be because I have a strat if I need that too.
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25th June 2007
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Why do you want one?

Is it for tone/playaiblity or because of how they look?
I don't have any problem with the latter- I'm a guitar junkie and the visuals are part of the appeal for me (but only part of it).

Did anyone see QOTSA on the Henry Rollins show recently?
Troy was playing a badass jaguar.

The bridge design is a complete pain in the ass if you are used to hitting hard- you'll pull the strings right off the bridge.
It is unsurprising that the indie goth rockers favoured these guitars as they do sound good when player lightly.

If you want something you can really dig into then why not buy a warmoth body and put a stop tailpiece and tunomatic bridge on it with your choice of pickups and a warmoth neck?
It won't be exactly the same mojo of a jazzmaster or a jaguar but close enough for rock and roll and won't have the playability issues.

As far as choosing a guitar- well, are we talking an original or a reissue?

I love the nitro finish Jaguars which were made up from '62-'67- the poly finished came in then- although between 1965 and 1967 a lot of the models had a weird nitro finish that feels sticky to the touch. All the colours were messed up- due to the change in the manufacturering process although any of the poly finish jaguars were fine until the mid 70's - after that CBS really started to cut costs and the models suffered.

An early 60's Jazzmaster is probably too expensive nowdays- but would be my preference if I had unlimited funds.

Choosing between a jazzmaster or a jaguar really comes down to what you prefer as as far as scale length goes.
24 vs 25.5 (jaguar vs jazzmaster).
The Jazzmaster will come closer to strat-snap land but it isn't going to nail it.
Try playing a few different ones and go from there.

Hope this helps.
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25th June 2007
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Don't want to be pedantic or anything but here's my rant:

the bridge: if it is setup properly a jazz/jag bridge is not a problem...The most common trick is to give more angle to individual saddles. dead easy to do. also you can tighten the vibrato spring, it helps. having medium gauge strings helps too (010. 46 or 011/52)

The jag is a 24' scale so it does have a different feel than a strat, also the pickups are closer to strat pickups than anything else. the shorter scale and the different bridge/ tremolo unit give it a different sound .
the Jazz is a 25.5 scale, the neck profile is like a strat (actually both were interchangeable in the 60's until the jazz neck was redesigned adding binding and square inlays/ larger headstock in '65/'66.)
the pickups are unique, larger single coil than a gibson p90. great deep tone, more bass but still crystal clear highs...less medium bite than a strat.. quite similar to a jazz bass compared to a precision bass if that makes sense.

the rythm circuit is the same as the jag. the jag has a "kill switch" ie off phase preset. the jazz has the usual 3 position toggle.

Both have an off waiste body but are slightly different.

Both are great guitars but my fav is the Jazz...
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25th June 2007
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Jag has MANY cool sounds. Tom Verlaine used one pretty much exclusively back in the day... If you are not familiar w/ Television look them up and hear LOTS of colors!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool View Post
Jag has MANY cool sounds. Tom Verlaine used one pretty much exclusively back in the day... If you are not familiar w/ Television look them up and hear LOTS of colors!
He used both Jazzmasters and Jaguars... Still do.
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25th June 2007
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thanks for the hot tips boys...

i think i might go for the jazz...it isn't gonna suck is it?! and it sounds like it will sit nice in contrast to the tele.....if my mum ever comes over to visit me i will get her to bring my strat but it's gonna be good for me to have to sort out some new tones!

cheers again!
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I love my Jag. Put some heavy strings on there and it sounds punchy as hell. Jazz is also a sweet guitar. Agree that the bridge is OK once you set it up right.
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25th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger View Post
thanks for the hot tips boys...

i think i might go for the jazz...it isn't gonna suck is it?! and it sounds like it will sit nice in contrast to the tele.....if my mum ever comes over to visit me i will get her to bring my strat but it's gonna be good for me to have to sort out some new tones!

cheers again!
i have to say...it is a little odd to buy a type of guitar that can be found in shops but you have never played. you should try one before buying. lots of shops have at least one around.
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