jaguar vs. jazzmaster

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by QuickDraw, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    i'm looking at vintage jags and jazzmasters and i cant decide which i like better, i'm starting to lean twords jaguar, any insights on both? i'm talkin' pre-CBS('62) through '69ish vintage.

    please, don't say get a strat, me and strats don't agree on a few things.

    Thanks offset experts!
     
  2. Antero

    Antero Member

    Messages:
    1,448
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Would you be comfortable with the Jaguar scale? It's pretty darn short.
     
  3. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

    Messages:
    7,415
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Greater San Jose Metroplex
    Aside from the body, totally different guitars. The scale-lengths are very much a factor, and so are the pickups.

    The Jazzmaster rings like a damn piano and has big output compared to the Jaguar.

    And from my limited experience, the trem is unusable on both! :)

    That being said, I love my Chapin JBird (Jazzmaster style). It just sounds BIG and surf-y twang-y.
     
  4. Unburst

    Unburst Member

    Messages:
    4,221
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Personally I'd get the Jazzmaster, I have no problem with the shorter scale of the Jag (I ave a '65 Mustang with 24" and I like it just fine) but to me the Jazzmaster is more disttinctive tonally and will always have better resale because of the scale length being more conventional.
     
  5. 6ringing

    6ringing Member

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2005
    I played a '64 jag a few years back...in 2 words:
    It SUCKED!
    I'm not a strat fan at all, and this thing sounded thinner and crappier than even a strat. Go with the JM!
     
  6. Seditious

    Seditious Member

    Messages:
    1,802
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Darth Side Of The Moon
    Do you have any pictures of the JBird you could show me?
    Pretty please.
     
  7. Antero

    Antero Member

    Messages:
    1,448
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    I want a Jazzmaster. Yes, this is motivated primarily about the Costello association. :p
     
  8. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    thanks for your feedback, i have played both guitars, and i like both for different reasons, the short scale of the jag doesn't really bother me, they each have their own voice, which are both different from the norm, i think i'm going to keep my mind open to both guitars and see which one ends up being "the one", I'll post some pics when i end up with one. jags and jazzmasters need some more love 'round here.

    ;)
     
  9. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    any comments on pre-cbs vs early cbs guitars?
     
  10. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    I have to stick up for Jags too...

    If you've played a Jaguar and thought it was thin-sounding, low output or wouldn't stay in tune, it wasn't set up right... period.

    I used an all-original '65 sunburst Jaguar as my main (mostly exclusive) gigging guitar for about four years, and it was none of those things. It was quite punchy-sounding and powerful, actually slightly more so than a Strat, and extremely stable - probably the most so of any vintage-type trem-equipped guitar I've used, and I did things with it that Leo probably never imagined... though to be fair, the trem doesn't have the range of a Strat's, so it isn't quite a fair comparison.

    But for some reason a lot of techs don't seem to be able to set them up properly - and I agree, a badly-set up Jag can be awful. I'm not quite sure why they get set up badly - it certainly needs a sightly different approach from a Strat, but it's not that difficult.

    The reason I stopped using mine wasn't because it was a bad guitar - just that my music style and band changed to the point it just wasn't the right sound any more. It didn't have the 'ringing' sustain I needed - they do actually sustain quite well, but it's a very different type of thing from a Strat or a Tele - there's a very sharp initial peak and decay, followed by a long but much quieter sustain. This makes them IMO not very suited for smooth semi-overdriven tones, or bluesy bends - the notes seem to die too quickly, because you only really hear the attack. But they're great for percussive, choppy clean tones and heavy fuzz - because the note separation is much better than on something like a Les Paul under a lot of distortion. I would describe it as an alt/grunge/indie/punk guitar, basically (as well as surf)... although they have quite a nice twang and chime too. Better as a lead guitar than a sole guitar though... and I went from being a lead guitarist to a sole guitarist.

    The Jazzmaster is a little more conventional - although it shares the same bridge and trem system, the longer scale makes it easier to set up 'like a Strat'. I just don't like them as much - they feel a little long and awkward for me, and they are more prone to noise than the Jag. They do sustain more conventionally though, so if you're going to be playing more bluesy/country/rock stuff it's the better choice IMO.

    I don't like the CBS Jags and Jazzmasters - not that they're bad guitars (in fact they stayed 'good' longer into the 70s than strats did), just that I don't like the block markers and bound necks - or the CBS headstock, which is not the same - the pre-CBS Jag shape is my favorite of any Fender.

    I do miss my Jag occasionally, but I had to make the break and I needed the money... though I did buy a '72 Mustang recently which has helped a little ;). I may one day have another Jag...
     
  11. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    excellent!!!! thanks John, I always enjoy reading your posts. i'm getting pretty excited about this, i've seen a few jags and jazzmasters (early CBS era) recently that are in my price range, and the blocks are really growing on me. for the past 8 or so years ive only used my '52 tele RI and an epiphone "dot" i have'nt played any trem, since i gave my strat away years ago, i'm not a big trem player, but i do like the trem on these guitars. i'm going to play some more and see what i end up with. so i guess ideally i'm looking at jazzmasters and jags either all original early CBS era or pre cbs refins.
     
  12. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

    Messages:
    7,415
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Greater San Jose Metroplex
    Yup!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. dumb donnie

    dumb donnie Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    About how much did that set you back? Also, has any body ever swapped out the Jazzmaster's 1M pots with 500k's? If so, what did you think about it?
     
  14. johnmfer

    johnmfer Member

    Messages:
    1,057
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix
    I have a MIJ Jazzmaster which I bought over ten years ago. It was my only guitar for about seven of those years. The only thing I don't like about the jazzmasters is the hum from the pickups in higher gain situations. They sound amazing, play great, look cool, and are incredibly sturdy. I even built one from Warmoth with some updated hardware and features, but really what's gotten me away from them is the pickup hum. Someday I'm going to have someone wind me a set of noiseless JM pickups.
     
  15. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

    Messages:
    7,415
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Greater San Jose Metroplex
    Re: the pots, Bill tested a bunch to find the ones that would sound best - no idea what values he ended up with.

    Re: the price - it's hard to say. A bunch of guitar orders, down payments, horse-trading went on that led to my getting that guitar. I'm really not being cute here - in the churn of making deals and selling gear through him to pay for it, the price never got nailed down. I just ended up with the guitar.

    www.chapinguitars.com - Bill'll set you up.
     
  16. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

    Messages:
    2,144
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    this is the truth!
     
  17. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,284
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I have a '69 Jazzmaster that JUST KILLS !!! And the trem works GREAT, never goes outta tune, etc..

    I have a Buzzstop installed - which helps w/ sustain, the strings popping of the bridge etc..But bone stock - the thing was unbelievable

    what problem are you guys having with the trem ?? Mine is WAY better than Strat I ever owned
     
  18. Antero

    Antero Member

    Messages:
    1,448
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Oh man, that JBird is HOT
     
  19. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    well i got a CIJ jazzmaster on loan from a friend who's selling it, ive got a week or 2 to decide if i want it or not, it's got Seymour Dunken Hot jazzmaster pickups in it and a mustang bridge, it's a really nicely put togther guitar, no weird issues. the scale feels pretty comfortable, and i love the pickups. i may have a new guitar. funny i go from pre CBS to CIJ. but it's a player and that's really all i'm looking for, something that plays great and sounds great.
     
  20. lefchr

    lefchr Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Location:
    central ny
    I like the jazzmasters scale better, the jaguar is too short for me. I'd rather have all the tone controls of a jaguar.

    The jazzmasters is the one I would end up bringing home.
     

Share This Page