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Squier vintage modified jazzmaster vs squier j mascis jazzmaster

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by russpurdy, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. russpurdy

    russpurdy Tele-Holic

    Feb 11, 2007
    Got a jones for a jazzmaster, any big differences between these two? Seems mostly cosmetic and a different style of bridge.

  2. Cuauhtemoc

    Cuauhtemoc Tele-Meister

    Dec 11, 2012
    SC/NJ (college)
    According to this, pickups are of a bit different character (sound clips included) and a pickguard screw is in a different location.

  3. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Nov 28, 2006
    And the JMJM has a tune-o-matic stye bridge, which is a huge improvement. Most people have to do something to the original ones anyway.

    But I bought the JMJM because its build quality is head and shoulders above the VM. My only negative thought about it is that the pickups are a p90, not a traditional jazzmaster voice. But they sound just fine. Been thinking about getting another and sticking some normal JM pickups in it.

  4. KeithJ

    KeithJ Tele-Meister

    Jul 27, 2012
    I got a Mascis and it very quickly became my favorite guitar, it is amazing, but I have never had a chance to try a VMJM, so I can't speak about those.

  5. TheFullMonty

    TheFullMonty Tele-Holic

    Dec 27, 2012
    Dead on. As for the pickups, I really love P90s so I had no problem with them. Give them both a try in store, I can almost guarantee the JM will knock your socks off.
    Mulevaline likes this.

  6. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
    there are a few differences: the VM's have traditional Jazzmaster pickups (although the bridge is really hot, around 13k! it's the import version of the SD Hot for Jazzmaster pickup), while the Mascis pickups are basically P-90's under Jazzmaster pickup covers. the Mascis has the Tune-o-matic style bridge and the trem is moved closer to the bridge, which slightly improves the break angle of the strings (this adds a bit of sustain, but does change that classic Jazzmaster sound. not better or worse, just different.) the Tune-o-matic on the Mascis can make string changes slightly easier because the saddles only have one slot, whereas the traditional Jazzmaster bridge has threaded saddles (not really a big deal, but some people find the Tune-o-matic a bit more convenient to string up.) also, the Mascis has jumbo frets, whereas the VM has pretty standard medium-jumbo.

    otherwise they use the same hardware, same wiring, and both have maple necks with basswood bodies. really, they're both awesome guitars and it just depends one which one you think fits you better (and whether or not you think the Mascis is worth the extra $175.) i went with the VM because A) i prefer the mostly-vintage style, B) i'm a sucker for the Fender pastel colors (mine is sonic blue) and C) i just can't get along with jumbo frets.

    i wouldn't say that "most people" have to do anything drastic with the stock bridge. there are plenty of us that have no problem with them once they're set up properly, and there are tons of people over on the Offset forums that'll say the same thing. shimming the neck fixes most of the annoyances with the stock bridge and all it takes is a piece of an old credit card and five minutes' time.

    i also wouldn't say the JMJM is "heads and shoulders" better when it comes to build quality. i played both and decided on the VMJM because i wanted a more traditional Jazzmaster. having compared both side-by-side, i'd say they're pretty comparable in the quality department. every guitar is going to be different though, and i will say that it seems like the Mascis models have more consistent quality, whereas the initial run of VM's had some quality control problems that seem to be have been sorted out.

  7. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008

    Where in this World, did you come up with this conclusion :eek::lol:

  8. Starshine

    Starshine Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 20, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Yeah. I've never played the Mascis model, but my VM doesn't leave a lot of room for improvement with build quality. Very impressive in a $300 guitar.

    As for the bridge, I put in a Warmoth fully adjustable Mustang-style bridge (not because I thought anything was wrong with the stock bridge, just because I had one lying around). It ended up being a step down in quality and I eventually put the stock bridge back in. Like others have said, a proper setup and a neck shim will eliminate any problems with the bridge. The neck shim will also improve playability and allow you to get the action nice and low.

  9. momotrucker

    momotrucker Tele-Meister

    Aug 11, 2006
    i've had both...liked the neck better on the mascis...the vm was thinner

  10. purpletele

    purpletele Friend of Leo's

    I've played both, and I prefer the VM. I really want to like the Mascis better because I had a MIJ J. Mascis that I NEVER should have sold. There's something about the feel of the VMs I just like better though. I think they hit it out of the park with these.

    My advice, play em' if you can.

  11. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    I wanted something like the real thing, so I bought the VM. Yeah, it's quirky, but that's why it's great. I swapped out the hot pickup and loctited the bridge and all is well... but I'd entertain an JMJM as well if I stumbled onto a good used one...

  12. I have one of the VM Jaguars in seafoam green. I like it except for the bridge which is the same as the one on the VM Jazzmaster.


    First thing I did was remove the cheap rattle prone bridge and replaced it with a Mustang bridge (also put a bridge cover on it just for looks). Much more stable with the Mustang bridge and I don't have to worry about the strings popping out of those grooves. Tried the JM Jazzmaster, which was okay, but suffers from the same ills that the VM Jaguar does and I definitely prefer the J Mascis Jazzmaster over the VM Jazzmaster. The neck feels better and has a nice satin finish rather than that glossy finish on the VM and Classic Vibe Squiers. And the tune-o-matic bridge on the J Mascis Jazzmaster has given me zero issues. I love that guitar!



  13. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
    it's important to mention that putting a Mustang bridge on one of the VM Jags or Jazzmasters isn't totally ideal: the Mustang bridge is designed for a 7.25" radius, whereas the VM's have a more modern 9.5" radius. you'll never be able to get the action as low and as even with that setup (unless you somehow shim some of the Mustang bridge saddles to the 9.5" radius.) also, the Mustang bridge puts the strings out closer to the edge of the fretboard: some people don't mind, but some people don't like it. the Staytrem bridge fixes both of those problems while maintaining the best parts of the Mustang bridge...but they also cost $100.

    a Tune-o-matic solves some of those problems, but also potentially adds one of its own: because of the saddle shape, sometimes those types of bridges can cause the strings to get hung up on the saddles during trem use. if the saddle slot is properly cut and polished, it's usually okay. but keep in mind that Tune-o-matics with roller saddles were invented specifically to combat that problem, so you're sort of just swapping one potential issue for another when you use a Tune-o-matic with the offset trem. a lot of people on the Offset forums have swapped the Tune-o-matics on their JMJM's with ones that have roller saddles because of that. with the round saddles and rocking action of the stock bridge, you don't run into that problem. to me, installing a regular (non-roller) Tune-o-matic is more of a lateral move rather than an upgrade.

    as for the bridge rattling, that can be an annoyance with any offset, but it's easy to fix. part of the rattling is cause by too little down-pressure from the strings, which shimming in the neck pocket greatly helps with (even Fender has shimmed their Jags and JM's from the factory for years.) otherwise, you can get a $3 bottle of BLUE threadlocker/Loctite and put a dab on each screw. a drop of clear nail polish on each screw works too.

    yes, there are some (minor) issues with the stock Jag/Jazzmaster bridges. this is not a new thing or unique to the Squier versions. the $2500 AVRI's have the same problems. but it takes just a few minutes to fix and it's easy to do. while there are a lot of great aftermarket bridges, i think someone should at least give the stock bridge a try first to see if they think it's worth swapping out. it's a little disingenuous to imply that the stock bridge is unusable or that it needs to be replaced, and there are lots of us that get along just fine with it.

  14. saxoftenest

    saxoftenest NEW MEMBER!

    Jun 16, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    The JMJM and VMJM have some pretty significant differences, as has been discussed. The VMJM looks like, feels like, and sounds like a jazzmaster. The Mascis has the shape, but the rest is modified/tweaked.

    If the OP wants to use 9's, isn't much of a trem user, or doesn't want a stock jazzmaster sound, I'd say go with the Mascis. If you're comfortable rockin' 11's and willing to educate yourself on how to properly setup a traditional jazzmaster, go with the VMJM. Both are an insane amount of git for your money.

    For the record, I own three Jazzmasters (none of which have a TOM or the relocated vibrato) including two VMJMs. The only "mods" are a slice of business card to shim the neck and a drop of loctite on the bridge. I've tried a fair share of Mascis jazzies, but the bridge, pickups, relocated vibrato, and neck finish are a no-go for me.

  15. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

    I just picked up a Squier J. Mascis Jazzmaster for a friend from out of town and am just starting to compare it with my own Vintage Modified:



    The VMJM is Olympic White, but the JMJM is warmer in a Vintage White.

    Haven't plugged them in yet to compare, but I'm looking forward to hearing them side-by-side.

  16. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

    OK, I've done some time on the JMJM and it is a somewhat different guitar from the Jazzmaster that I grew up with. Jumbo frets aren't a deal-killer for me, though I'm more used to medium and vintage frets.

    The trem is a subtle difference with the closer position to the bridge and the Tune-o-Matic has things going for it with its simpler adjustment method. The strings may hang up/break more easily on the sharper saddles over time, especially with heavier tremolo use.

    I didn't measure the necks yet, but both felt fine My guitars have a wide variety of shapes and thickness, so I'm used to adapting. It didn't feel like there was much of a difference in size/heft.

    It doesn't really sound like a true Jazzmaster to me, but the sounds it makes are excellent. So many songs over the years were played on P90 guitars. It's a great pickup. The JMJM gives you 4 different and tasty tones without going into knob fiddling, there's something useful for most musical formats. Listen to Dinosaur Jr., the guitar works.

    PearlJamNoCode likes this.

  17. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
    i know a lot of people have replaced the TOM with a roller type to take care of that potential saddle issue. i think the Wilkinson w/ post locks is a drop-in fit and even works with the original posts, so you can just detune the strings, swap it out and set the intonation. 10-minute job, and a lot of people on the Offset forum seem to like it as an upgrade from stock. i think it only runs about $25.

  18. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

    Good tip, Cat MacKinnon!

    The JMJM isn't my guitar, it's for a friend that lives a couple of islands away. I do have a couple of TOM bridges with rollers and I'll see if they'll fit on his Jazzmaster in case he decides to go for the modification.


  19. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

    We've had a few sessions now, with the J. Mascis and Vintage Modified Jazzmasters. You can't go wrong with either, but I'm happiest with my VMJM, as it is closer to my old '62 (even more so now that it has new pickups, wiring and tremolo).

    My buddy, Dana loves the JMVM. It's his first offset (first solidbody with a tremolo) and he loves the tones and playability of it. New switch, pots, cap & jack made it more reliable and took some of the icepick off the lead pickup, as he wanted a warmer tone.

    PearlJamNoCode likes this.

  20. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
    that's exactly the bridge i was talking about, although i suggested the Wilikinson just because it's about 3x cheaper than the Schaller;). no doubt the Schaller is a much nicer bridge though. the cool thing about that bridge design is that if it doesn't match the fretboard radius, you can just pop off the saddles and shim some of them with little square pieces of thin brass or aluminum (a cut up soda can would probably work.)

    i felt the same way when i played both, which is why i ended up with the VMJM. the Mascis isn't a bad guitar by any means, but i just like the close-to-vintage spec of the VM. i really like the SD Vintage for Jazzmaster bridge pickup i put in, as well as the 500k audio taper pots i've put in. i do have some 250k pots on the way just because i'm curious to see what those sound like. i was already ordering a few things from AmplifiedParts and i figured i'd just toss in a couple of their Bourns pots since they're cheap and i like the quality. they should be here today or tomorrow, so i'll let you know how they sound compared to the 500k i've got now and the stock 1Meg pots (which i've always hated.)

    i think at this point i've basically replaced almost all of the electronics in my VM...not because it really needed it, but just because i could:D. tomorrow will be the wire itself (replacing with nice Hi-Temp PVC from TubeDepot in 22AWG and in the proper wiring colors.) i'll pop in the 250k pots while i'm at it. aside from that, the only thing that'll be stock are the rhythm roller pots: i need to replace the tone pot because i buggered it up, but i'm trying to decide whether to modifiy the knobs to fit regular mini-pot 1/4" shafts...or buy AVRI knobs and CTS mini-pots with the ultra-thin shafts. i'm leaning toward option #1 just because it's the easiest and cheapest, and i won't need to use pots with specialized shaft diameters anymore. once i open up my guitar tomorrow i'll take a look at the knob hole :oops: and see how much bigger it would need to be.

    i still have the stock neck pup in it though...i like the way it sounds:D

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