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How much can a Mustang or Jag approximate a Strat tone?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by srblue5, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    I know Leo Fender designed different pickups for each guitar but I've heard Mustang pickups are similar to Strat pickups but with flat poles. Not quite sure about Jags though.

    My question is, how close can Mustang or Jag pickups get to a Strat sound? Obviously, I know each has their own thing and in-between settings are not possible on the Mustang and Jag because they only have 2 pickups instead of the Strat's 3 (which is why I once passed on a Jag -- stupid, stupid me!), but with the neck-only or bridge-only settings, how do they compare?
     
  2. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    Mustang pickups are essentially strat pickups unless you want to get really picky, but to my ears they sound quite different... but that might be because of the scale, their relative location and the bridge?

    .... actually if you stuck either pickup in strat I think the guitar would still sound like a strat of some kind.

    sorry, that's no help just my musings. :D
     
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  3. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    The 25.5" scale and the weird bridge are a very important part of the Strat sound.
     
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  4. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Not very well, due to the differences in scale length.

    The Jazzmaster can do quite well at sounding like a Strat, though.
     
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  5. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I disagree with the others. I removed the copper foil from the pickups on my Mustang (which was killing the highs), and after that, if I record something using one of my Strats and my Mustang using the same amp and overdrive pedal, with the same settings, I honestly can't tell the difference without writing down which was which. This is my Squier CV Mustang on the neck pickup, and it sounds just like my Strats to me. I should point out that the rhythm part IS a Strat, but the overly self-indulgent lead guitar is the Mustang.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  6. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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    Jazzmaster with large single coils
     
  7. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Well, I always thought Mustangs and Jags sounded quite different. What one with a V-8 with a cross plane crank and the other with an inline 6....

    Oh, wrong forum.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve had probably 25 Mustang pickups and 100 Strat pickups, swapping the two types in and out of same guitars.
    I hear a different sound from Mustang pickups even compared to later ‘70 flat pole low wind Strat pickups. Mustang always sound thinner and weaker.
    Jag pickups I’ve had a few of and I think they sound closer to a Strat pickup, but the Jag scale and trem throw that way off.
    So neither really, but with a little dirt they can sound damn near the same.

    Recordings are not the same as playing the guitar though!
     
  9. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    I can see that being the case too, I guess it depends on the actual guitars... my Mustang never had that 'thing' that strats have on the bridge pickup, that brittle 'glassy' thing or whatever you want to call it. It was much softer and nicer sounding to me. I always presumed that was the bridge/trem/scale set up but maybe it wasn't.
     
  10. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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    Fender Mustang
     
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  11. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Meister

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    I've owned a Squier VM Jag and have now the Johnny Marr Jag. I cannot get a Strat-like sound from it. The bridge pickup is really spiky, more like a Tele bridge pickup but with less sustain and "plonkier." The neck pickup can come a little closer to a Strat, but any discerning ear would know it's not a Strat. The Marrguar wiring is different than standard Jaguar wiring. It doesn't have the treble rolloff dial the standard Jag has. With that, you might get closer to the sound of a Strat neck pickup with the treble rolled off.

    I use .11s on my Jag. The thicker strings, along with the shorter scale just make for a different sound than a Strat.
     
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  12. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, I'm a neck pickup guy, and I'm on the neck pickup on all my guitars, even my Teles, probably 90% of the time.
     
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  13. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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  14. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Ha. My garage band as a teen ... I had a 1970 Strat and my bud had a 60s Jaguar. We could get the same sounds out of both guitars ... with the same type strings through the same amp.
    You'll find Strats that will sound as different from each other as any Strat from a given Jag. Mostly has to do with what pickups the Strat has, how the pickups are adjusted, tone settings and amp settings. The differences based on model are subtle.
     
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  15. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    Modern Mustangs dont have pickups like old ones. The new mim ones have mediocre, covered, strat pickups. 60s and 70s Mustangs sounded different than the early 2000s competition reissue. Mellow but distinct.

    If you want a strat sound out of a mustang shaped guitar, the old cyclone and cyclone IIs could kind of do that.

    No idea about jags. I've never wanted one to sound like a strat, and I've probably played one or 2 old ones.
     
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  16. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Not a big difference. The 1meg pots on a Jag make a bigger difference then the claw.

    Big ups to the Mavericks and Blasters posts \m/
     
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  17. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    There's way too many pickup variations to say new Mustang pickups are inferior, I don't even consider that a quantitative thing. I chased a silly dragon with my VM Mustang Dave Alvin tribute. I had Buddha wind me some early 60s, hot-ish pickups with formvar and A5 just to see if that matters or just out of principle. Didn't matter. Turns out Dave replaced his Mustang with DiMarzio whatevers and eventually got a Strat. Shame on him! lol.
     
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  18. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    My 66 Mustang does not sound like either a Tele or Strat. Doubt I could get those sounds out of it.
     
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  19. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    Funny enough, Dave Alvin -- and to a lesser extent Johnny Winter, Pee Wee Madison, and Mike Bloomfield (who played a Duo-Sonic early in his career) -- is the reason I went for a Squier CV Mustang. Awesome player/band. I wondered whether the pickups on his Mustang were stock (with the covers removed) or replaced. Now I know. :)
     
  20. fraser

    fraser Tele-Afflicted

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    My only real observation on this-
    I own a 71 bronco that i didnt have a pickup for.
    I restored the guitar and popped a texas special strat pickup in it.

    the bronco is similar in contstruction to a mustang, but the bridge is different. It does still have a whammy bar though.

    the guitar, while it does sound rather strat like, its got its differences. The shorter scale length means less sustain. And the guitar sounds twangier than any of my strats.

    its a great sound though.

    i have a jaguar as well, and while i can coax very stratty sounds out of it, the scale length and tailpeice/bridge setup just makes it something different.

    in the end, i think either can pass for a strat though, going on voicing alone.
    Any differences are pretty subtle
     
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