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Vintage Modified Jaguar ...Should I?

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by dwt77, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. dwt77

    dwt77 Strat-Talk Member

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    Looking at a possible VMJ (sea foam green) ...Might be able to talk the guy down to 200. Seems like a really great deal. I'm supposed to go look at it tomorrow possibly. Anything special to look for with Jags as far as potential problems? I've never even touched one before...

    Seems like a steal at 200 considering these are all in the 399 neighborhood or higher new.
     
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  2. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of Dilligaf Strat-Talk Supporter

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    If you can get along with the 24" scale, then its a good price.
     
  3. Stratoholic

    Stratoholic Senior Stratmaster

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    I don't have a lot of nice things to say about Squier anything. It'll have soft frets, if the nut is original, it'll be very soft, and the VM's were made of basswood. A lot of people will say Basswood is okay, but I have a VM Jazzmaster, almost every screw hole was stripped out when I got it, it's simply too soft of a wood. I also saw a photo once of a VM JM that had been stripped. Underneath the finish was a lot of wood putty.

    Now, a jag is a 24" scale guitar. Not 24 3/4", just 24. To operate correctly it'll need 12's. That's not just to have some tension on the strings so they don't flop around, it's also because the strings have virtually no break angle over the bridge. Almost every problem associated with the Jazzmaster/Jag bridge is because of user error mainly using light gauge strings, and also using the saddles to set the string height (that's a no no)

    Now the Jag is a very very bright guitar, the pickups are like strat pickups, but they use 1meg (1 million ohm) pots. Which means they don't filter out much if any high end. Then there's the "Strangle" switch, which removes as much low end as possible. Due to the short scale, and the trem/bridge system, they have very little sustain. It was all designed that way, Leo sought the input of the local surf guitarists. They liked the Jazzmaster a lot, but wanted a brighter and shorter guitar, so Leo had it built.

    You should be prepared for it's shortcomings, and you'll need to learn how to set them up properly. A lot of folks like to eyeball their setups, that will not work on a Jag or a Jazzmaster, or anything with that bridge/trem. They really do require a very specific set up.

    Anyway, here's a prime example of a Jag:
     
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  4. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

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    I would check out a Jag first to see if you get on with them.

    I had a Classic series (different bridge) but I personally didn't like the short scale, heavy body and plinky plonk sound.

    After a while I realised that for ordinary use for me it was inferior in all respects to a Strat.

    YMMV but please try one before buying.
     
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  5. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of Dilligaf Strat-Talk Supporter

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    A 25.5 scale Jag would be cool.

    Paired down...no weird switching.

    Volume/tone/3 way switch.

    Stationary bridge with roller saddles. Kinda like the MIJ J Mascis JM.

    Oh well....They won't do it. LOL

    Mike sounds good on his though.

     
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  6. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster

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    jags are like marmite, your either gonna love it or hate it. a VM is probably a good way to have a play and see what you think before commitng to a more expensive better made model. The Johhny Marr Jag is arguably fenders best standard production guitar (IE non-custom shop). Ten minutes with one and you might never want a strat again!
     
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  7. Eugenio Gonzalez

    Eugenio Gonzalez Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi, I have a new vm jag with a bridge improvement (Mustang bridge) and the strings (10’s) Hit the upper part of the bridge making a “ding” kinda rattle. Action is not even close to low, so I assumed lighter strings would solve. But reading your post im gonna try 11s or 12s. Also, how would you adjust height? If not with the saddles
     
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  8. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    I have a. V. M. Jag, I like it a lot. The setup is different, and that means there's a bit of a learning curve.

    I have flat wounds 12s on mine, seems about right. Insufficient break angle at the bridge causes some weird rattles, and worse if the strings are too light.

    I gave 240 for mine, but it was basically an unplayed guitar and came with a hard shell case. $200 could be a bargain, depending on condition etc.
     
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  9. dwt77

    dwt77 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for all the tips and input... I'm definitely treading cautiously w it. I just love the unique look of the guitar, but it sounds like this is a quirky guitar and being used could even bring more unwanted problems... I felt like 200 was a good price to get my feet wet with a Jag to see if it'd be a good fit... I don't like the idea that I'll have to shell out more just to get it set up right though. Hmmm.... I'll probably go meet the guy and check it out.
    I've heard that about the Mustang bridge. I wonder how much it would cost for the part and labor. The body looks good on this thing though. No apparent damage.
     
  10. Caddy

    Caddy Strat-Talker

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    It would be surf green, not sea foam green, if it is a VM Jaguar. I actually have one in that color. Really nice guitar, IMHO. Also have the VM Jazzmaster (sunburst) and VM Mustang (sonic blue). Like them all. Fun guitars. Had them since they first came out.

    Nothing needs to be replaced, just a setup that you can do yourself. I did put a set of Fender Vintage '92's in the Jazzmaster and Fender Vintage '65's in the Jag. Not because they needed them, only because I owned a Jag and Jazzmaster back in the early 60's and wanted them to sound like the old ones. The VM's have hotter bridge pickups than the originals.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  11. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    It has no unwanted problems, and you soon won't find them used for less than 300....you need to jump on it!! the stock bridge is fine, I had a Mustang with the same bridge and never had a single issue.....
     
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  12. hexnut

    hexnut Strat-O-Master

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    I have two jags, a Johnny Marr and a classic 60s. I also have a traditional 70s Mustang MIJ. I use 10 strings on all three. They play great and sound great. I have no issues what so ever. They are my favorite Guitars.
     
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