Can you school me on Jaguars? I'm buying one soon

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by williamisthisit, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. williamisthisit

    williamisthisit Member

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    Hi,

    I'm buying one Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar in the next days. I've tried one today and love the sound of it, but all the switches and knobs seemed very complicated and I couln't understand them very well.

    I heard there are two circuits, the rhythm circuit and the lead circuit, but I don't know what they do to the sound and how they work. What are the differences between them?

    Next, I don't know what does the first switcher on the bottom do. I realize the other two are the pickup switchers, but I couldn't understand the first one. Also, it seemed that the pickups were out of phase, cause when I turned both on the sound became a lot less powerful and became quieter.

    When I turned both pickup switches off, the pickups were turned off when the switch for the circuit was down, but when I changed it, the pickups started working, even with both pickups switches off. Is this normal?

    So.. As you see, I'm really a noob when it comes to Jaguars. I've used a Tele all my life (I've been playing for 10 years now, not much I know) but I want something new and other sounds to explore.

    Can you school me a bit and respond to all my questions?

    Thanks all and sorry for the long post!
     
  2. goodwater

    goodwater Member

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    tried one...it looked great and I really wanted to like it but it just wasn't for me
     
  3. williamisthisit

    williamisthisit Member

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    Yeah, but.. how do they work?
     
  4. Spence25

    Spence25 Member

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    I don't know anything about them myself but you can find everything you want to know at offset guitars.com
     
  5. zerothirtythree

    zerothirtythree Member

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    The switch on the top activates/deactivates the rhythm circuit (neck pickup only). Then the roller switches are volume and tone. When the rhythm circuit is activated it totally bypasses all the other knobs and switches.

    The lower switches are your lead circuit switches (neck pickup on/off, bridge pickup on/off) and then the last switch is your low end filter switch. Then the two lower knobs work like any other guitar you've played and are your lead circuit volume and tone.
     
  6. williamisthisit

    williamisthisit Member

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    Thanks man, that was helpful!

    What's the diference between playing in the rhythm circuit or playing in the lead circuit with the bridge pickup turned off?

    What does the low end filter do?

    I think that's all I need to know! :)
     
  7. zerothirtythree

    zerothirtythree Member

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    The low end filter/strangle switch will cut bass frequencies.

    The rhythm circuit and lead circuit have different pots, so when the rhythm circuit is engaged the neck pickup will sound much darker and warmer then if it was engaged with the lead circuit.

    I heard the VM's come with 9's or 10's, so you will probably want to put 11's or 12's on it.

    Cheers! Enjoy your new Jag!
     
  8. williamisthisit

    williamisthisit Member

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    Thanks!

    I use 0.9 strings on my Tele, so I'll probably use 0.10 on my Jag. I don't like heavy strings.

    The low end filter only works for the lead circuit, right?
     
  9. CRWolf

    CRWolf Member

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    The first VM Jaguar I played had the pickup switch plate mounted upside down or wired backwards or something. I'm not exactly sure. Sounds like the one you played has something similar going on. The one I ended up buying works like it should. That is, the switch closest to the headstock is the neck, middle is bridge, and last is the strangle switch.

    Also, as far as strings go, you might find that 10s on a Jaguar feel looser than 9s on your Tele. The shorter scale length makes a pretty big difference. My Jag has flatwound 12s on it (read: much higher tension). All my other guitars, which have longer scale lengths, are strung with 10s or 11s.

    All in all, the VMs are really fun guitars. Enjoy!

    Edit: Yes, the strangle switch only works for the lead circuit.
     
  10. edwarddavis

    edwarddavis Supporting Member

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    Just buy a telecaster
     
  11. TheWayfarer84

    TheWayfarer84 Supporting Member

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    Minimum 11's on a jag. Jags are great guitars. If you get into swapping pickups, Curtis Novak winds really great ones

    I actually intentionally flipped my lower controls so DOWN is on. Much less likely to cut your signal from strumming too hard!
     
  12. williamisthisit

    williamisthisit Member

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    I'm pretty sure that in the one I played the pickup switch plate was mounted in the right way: the switch closest to the headstock is the neck, middle is bridge, and last is the strangle switch.

    But, for some reason, when I had both pickups off, in the rhythm circuit they still worked like they were on. Is that normal?

    All the VM Jaguars are wired the same way, right?
     
  13. williamisthisit

    williamisthisit Member

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    I have one already. It's my main guitar and will always be :)
     
  14. zerothirtythree

    zerothirtythree Member

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    Yes, the rhythm switches only work with the rhythm circuit and the lead switches only work with the lead circuit.

    Also if you're going to use the stock bridge you will want at least 11's. If you were to swap out the bridge with a Mastery you could get away with using 10's.
     
  15. williamisthisit

    williamisthisit Member

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    Yeah, I'm thinking about replacing the stock bridge, but I haven't done any research about it yet.

    I'll guess I'll just play it first, check it flaws, and then I'll think about what I need to replace or if I even need to, in the first place.

    Anyway, what bridges do you suggest to put on a Jag? I'm from Europe, so they must be sold here. Also, looking for something cheap.
     
  16. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Member

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    They aren't rocket science. 3 switches on the lead circuit... 1 for each pickup (on/off) plus a strangle switch. Your standard strat/tele style tone volume knobs control everything on this circuit.

    switch on top to turn on the rhythm circuit...which is a fancy term for "Neck pickup only" with roller controls for volume and tone.

    That's it... no hoodoo voodoo. use whatever gauge strings you like. Definitely don't gotta use .011's if you don't like, they work fine with .009s or .010s if you don't set the bridge too close to the body. Shim the neck a little if you need to, but keep that bridge up off the body and you'll eliminate 99% of the so called problems people claim a Jag bridge has.

    Jaguars are great guitars, and can make sounds unlike anything from a Tele or Strat....buy can also sound just like them when you want it to.

    The fact that they're the coolest looking guitars Fender ever made is just a bonus.;)
     
  17. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    Best bridge option would be a staytrem, they cost about £60.

    Otherwise if the guitar has a 7-1/4" radius fretboard a common Fender mustang bridge will work fine and can be had for about $20.

    They are awesome guitars! I always pick them out when I'm demoing pedals in my local guitar shop.

    And you really don't need to worry about the rhythm circuit you can just keep it turned off.
     
  18. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Member

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    A Vintage Modified has a 9.5" radius. They do make a 9.5" staytrem, but they cost half as much as the whole guitar and you don't need one if you get the stock bridge set up properly.
     
  19. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    ^^^ there's your answer! Keep the stock bridge. As Joeybsyc says as long as you have a decent break angle you'll be ok.
     
  20. CRWolf

    CRWolf Member

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    Sorry if my first post wasn't clear, but no, that is not normal. TOTALLY NORMAL. I can't remember exactly what the problem was now, but there was a surf green Jag I played at the Sam Ash here that had something funky going on with the pickup switches. They didn't work like normal and would be on when they were supposed to be off. I picked up the sunburst one on the wall next to it, and it worked fine.

    All the VM Jags should be wired the same way, but there are is at least two one out there that seems like it isn't. As for why we haven't heard about more of them like this, my guess is because not that many people understand how they work in the first place, and the bad apples are probably few and far between.

    Edit: Thanks for the clarification Deed_Poll.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015

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