Jaguar /Jazzmaster history

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Lankytwang, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. Lankytwang

    Lankytwang Strat-Talker

    Mar 17, 2020
    Lancashire englandSTRAT
    For some insane reason known I'm sure to Many forum members I'm beginning to suffer from the irresistible urge to buy another Fender...either a Jag or a Jazz...already have Strat and Tele.....I would like to find out more about the Jazz and Jag...modifications,where manufactured,any different special releases,problems etc etc. Can anyone help with leads to online /literary sources of info? Plus of course any advice ,pointers from current owners. Thanks
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014

    There's a forum called "offsetguitars", check it out. Reddit has a subreddit on offsets too.

    Big swaths:
    -JM & Jag were Leo's premium models when launched
    -JM has 25.5inch scale, Jags have a short scale like 24inch. Same body profile.
    -Jazz players never took to the guitars, they believed too much in hollow body models from other brands.
    -Surf players picked them up, the Beatles killed surf and thus the offset guitars languished. Strats had Hendrix.
    -Nirvana found Jags in pawn shops for cheap in the 90s and made them popular
    -Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth found JMs in pawn shops for cheap and made them popular
    -Bridges are often a problem, Mustang bridges were an early fix, I think the MIM Player Series and Vintera models use a revised version of this having the correct fretboard radius, some 3rd party bridges exist Mastery and Staytrem.
    -Locking and non-locking tremolos are out there
    -Two primary types of JM pickups: alnico poles like a Strat/Tele but with large area and thin height bobbins or the same bobbins but with steel slugs and alnico or ceramic bar magnets. The latter confuse players into thinking they are P90s, and they are not, the P90 bobbin is much taller with nearly fifty percent more wire windings.
    -Many players don't use the rhythm circuit, there are some mods for it. Some players hit the switch by accident during a gig.
    -Johnny Marr has a 4-way switch on his signature Jag to give the series pickup option, like a 4-way in a Tele.
    -Sonic Youth started the 'Jazzblaster' models by putting in Tele Wide Range humbuckers. People put in regular humbuckers.
    -Ergonomics are different such that the guitar bridge and neck are shifted a little more to the left of a Tele position, your arm lays on the top of the guitar when sitting rather than over the edge like Tele/Strat, and picking generally falls between the pickups instead of by the saddles on a Tele for twang.
    -JMs can be bright, due to the 1Meg volume pots.
    -One Country player currently uses a Jazzmaster. A heavy metal band uses a Jazzmaster.
    -Parts are generally expensive compared to Tele/Strat. Guitars are generally more expensive
    -Best inexpensive factory model is the Jay Mascics JM "JMJM" by Squier, chunkier neck and well liked player. There is a Thurston Moore model that is higher Custom Shop price end.
    -Many current Indie alternative bands can be seen playing Teles and JMs together.

    dogletnoir, Ted J, Bladesg and 3 others like this.
  3. tukoztukoz

    tukoztukoz Strat-Talker

    Jan 18, 2016
    Robert Smith made Jazzmasters cool in the early eighties also.
  4. TomH8

    TomH8 Senior Stratmaster

    May 1, 2014
    Definitely get a mastery bridge with either
  5. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 20, 2018
    Murfreesboro, TN
    The root of Jag/Jazzmaster bridge troubles is the low break angle at the bridge--which results in very little downward force on the bridge and consequently rattles and buzzes. Which, hey--some people see that as part of its charm. The two basic ways to increase down force on the bridge are to use heavier strings or to lean the neck back with a shim and raise the bridge to keep the action right. However, note that increasing the downforce on the bridge also (a) increases the transmission of string vibration into the body, making it feel "livelier," and (b) makes it harder for the strings to slide across the bridge, which at a certain point means strings bind on the saddles and go out of tune when you bend or use the trem. Kind of a physics trade-off. For my preferences most of these would benefit from a shim.