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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Jazzmaster VS Jaguar

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by teleblueman, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. teleblueman

    teleblueman Tele-Meister

    Dec 7, 2009
    I've been looking for a used Jaguar because I like the shorter scale length and the funky vibrato and , they can be had relatively cheap on the used market compared to Tele's & Strat's. Some folks are telling me I should be looking for a Jazzmaster instead because they are "better" & more versatile" than a Jaguar. I've never played a Jazzmaster & our local music store does not carry them so I have no way to compare.
    Anyone here have an opinion? Are the Humbuckers & langer scale length of the Jazzmaster better for tone or too overpowering?
    Also, what are the best years for a Jaguar on the used market?


  2. bigmuff113

    bigmuff113 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 22, 2012
    San Antonio tx
    Jazzmasters. They are single coils and are very nice sounding guitars. The longer scale makes it easier to cross from a strat or tele to a JM. The tone is mellow and thick on the neck but bright and still mellow in the bridge

  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Go for the scale length that you like.

  4. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    I have a (edit: Classic Player) Jag and and Jazzmaster. Switching between scale lengths / necks is no problem and barely even registers as a thought.

    Jazzmaster (p90) is a lot hotter in the pickup sound than the Jag / single coil I believe.

    I say I beleive becasue my jag is the HH model with the tone roll off that gets close to single coil (but how close I don't know yet...) I am waiting for Relaible Fender to get in a SC Jaguar Loaded Pickguard with the Single coils because now I have the Jazzmaster I have the hotter sound covered and LUST for the more real Jag sound.... :)

    I LOVE both guitars, very playable, lovely sounds. My strat and tele have not had a look in since they arrived over a year ago....

  5. echoSE7EN

    echoSE7EN TDPRI Member

    Apr 21, 2012
    I have a '62 AVRI Jazzmaster, and it's been my number one guitar for the past six months. The saddles can be problematic. The tremolo is the exact same as the Jag. Plan on some heavy strings. I have .12 Flatwounds. Talk about a "different" feel the first couple of times you play it.

  6. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    There are no P90s on a regular Jazzmaster!

  7. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    P90 ish..?

    I don't know, hotter than a single coil whatever they are...I think the CLassic Player is p90 though...?

  8. winny pooh

    winny pooh Friend of Leo's

    Jan 24, 2006
    South London
    Jags generally sound thin, unless you want to sound like a new wave band then avoid.

  9. mal paso

    mal paso Banned

    Nov 24, 2011
    Bloomington, IN
    I'm curious at to the difference as well. Which guitar is furthest in tone and playability from the tele?

    This new Squier line has me itchin' for a 2nd guitar!

  10. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    Both are different in tone and playability from a Tele or a Strat.
    The necks feel similar, Jaguar is a real short scale , shorter than Gibson scale, the Jazzmaster has the same neck as a Strat really.

    The difference in feel is the body -which is shaped much different than a Tele or Strat, and mainly IMO the bridge and tremolo unit, which has a floating tuneamatic style bridge.

    I find that Jaguars and Jazzmasters don't seem to have the same sustain as a Tele / Strat , they have their own voice.

    Of the two, I prefer the tone and feel of the Jazzmaster with the longer scale neck.
    The Jaguar pickups are pretty similar to Strat pickups in construction and size.
    Jazzmaster pickups are NOT P90s, they are a wide thin single coil, at least on the original models, not sure what some of the RI's are.
    I've read that the pickups on the Jazzmaster were first used on some of Fenders steel guitar models.

    My brother had an old Jaguar for many years, it sounded good, I just didn't like the short scale neck , I had a mid 60s sunburst Jaguar for a while, it sounded good but again I didn't care for the short scale, YMMV.

    AND again I am talking about vintage Jags and Jazzmasters, no experience with the newer models, some have humbuckers, most do not have the same wiring / controls, bridges, so they are not the same guitars.

  11. teleblueman

    teleblueman Tele-Meister

    Dec 7, 2009
    Thanks for the info., much appreciated. Seems most prefer the Jazzmaster for different reasons. I found a '62 custom shop Jazz w' slabboard neck for sale in the city . I'll have to make the drive to check it out.

  12. Prison Rodeo

    Prison Rodeo Tele-Meister

    Dec 19, 2009
    State College, PA
    I have the non-HB Classic Player Jag, and love it. It has a non-pivoting TOM-style bridge, and the trem is a bit closer to the bridge than vintage; if you're a stickler for those things, these are bugs, but I prefer them.

    It is a pretty big change from a Tele, but in a good way. Less sustain, more percussive, darker. I actually find the two circuits pretty usable. It's actually a very versatile guitar, especially with a bright amp (they go great with a Vox).

    JMs are nice, but I prefer the change in scale.

  13. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Both are sweet and different animals. Try both..don't take anyones word on here about spending your money...are ears and personal preference with your money :eek::lol:

    Good luck and enjoy your quest

    Heres one guy who always has his Jazzmaster in hand onstage


  14. Mekhem

    Mekhem Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Oct 31, 2010
    I have both and I will say - The difference in scale doesn't bother me much. The offset body shape is the most comfortable imho

    They sound much different though. Very different. I am stealing someone else's description but Jaguars due to scale or pickups are more "percussive" than a jazzy, or a strat or tele for that matter.

    a couple of things to try:
    If you like the short-scale try a Johhny Marr model, an AVRI or a 50th anniversary model. Cheaper option is the MIM Classic Player. That will cover the current options for sound and specifications

    For Jazzmasters - there are fewer options to try, AVRI or Classic player or the MIC Squier J Mascis (which does have very p-90 ish pickups).

    But for both models there are a lot of options for aftermarket pick ups if you want to tweak the sound a bit.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012

  15. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 28, 2006
    NELA, Ca
    Concurring with the others a Jazz isn't 'better' than a Jag - just way different.

    As a Tele and Strat player primarily I opted for a CIJ Jazzmaster (w/SD vintage JM pkups). Great guitar! Totally different than anything else I have. I rarely leave home w/o it.

    *Awesome Tommy James vid - amazing vocals!!! and 'classic' JM clean tone.

  16. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    Mekham, does or does't bother you much...?

    not being smart just wondering....

  17. Mekhem

    Mekhem Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Oct 31, 2010
    Sorry - doesn't. For some reason - likely because I am not that good - switching the scale is less of a problem for me than switching body styles if that makes sense.

    I am a horrible typist and should probably be banned from all keyboards

  18. Magnawolf

    Magnawolf Tele-Meister

    Dec 21, 2009
    I own two Jags and they're awesome. Pick whichever one looks cooler to you.

  19. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

    Aug 13, 2007
    I recently wanted to venture into the world of "offset" guitars - for a different sound and feel from all my Teles and Strats. Tried several Jazzmasters and Jaguars and listented to a lot on YouTube, etc. The different scale length wasn't really a problem or need for me.

    I ended up getting an AVRI Jazzmaster because I liked the sound best - especially the 2 pickups together on the "lead" circuit. I absolutely love the sound and feel of this guitar........and it is much different than Strats and Teles. The Jags sound a bit closer to me, but still different - and good. Like I said, really love the Jazzmaster..........but am also looking to pick up a Jag. Both are unique. Seems like both are getting more attention and interest these days, too.

  20. Gareth John

    Gareth John Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 10, 2006
    I've owned a few jags, I think they look awesome. The vintage style bridges can be a bit of a pain though, especially if you play very hard. Moderate strumming is not an issue. The Japanese Jaguars have a tendancy to be a little microphonic, and later models have reduced shielding which increases the amount of hum. The Jag sounds most similar to a strat. I haven't owned a Jazzmaster but that extra length on the scale can only help with the bridge issues the Jag has. I really like the offsets but have got bored by Jags now, so I think I'd go for a Jazzmaster....maybe you should too :)

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