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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. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The Bronco in my avatar has a fairly Stratty tone with its Mustang pickup but If I put 11s on to increase string tension I’d get it a little closer. Some Mustang pickups are weaker than average factory Strats of any era. I’ve read of Mustang pickups below 5k. A clean boost on the Bronco gives it a bit more juice and body.

    Jag pickups are pretty similar in tone to Strats but in a Jag the bridge isn’t angled and the electronics are different. That’s harder to get the exact Strat tone in the bridge compared to my Bronco but the Neck position is similar. Jags are their own beasts, even more so than the Jazzmaster. I would turn to mine last for a Strat-like tone - my JM has the scale length and my Bronco the closest pickup - but you can still get close if you use your tone and amp controls.

    Strats sustain a bit better in my experience, but there are set-up tricks to improve the sustain on the offsets. Still, the difference is bridges and trems does have an impact in various ways.

    In my experience how close you can get them all to sound depends on what you want to play and what tone you’re aiming for. But the big differences come in configuration of the guitars not the pickups themselves.
     
  2. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    My Mustang had the usual super low wind pickups and was not rich like a strat.

    I've played a few jaguars that have had some strat bite in the bridge and sweetness in the neck so I'd say they can be closer all things stock.

    YMMV
     
  3. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    My Bronco is over 5.5k, which takes it into late 60s Strat territory and a clean boost gives it some nice snap. But the volume pot was replaced with a 500k at some point which adds some tonal options.
     
  4. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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    Fender Duo Sonic
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  5. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Also a Duo Sonic:

     
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  6. thechad

    thechad Tele-Meister

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    I have a MIJ 69 competition mustang reissue, the pickups have a pretty low output and I have never thought it sounded much like a strat at all. No quack to be found. Can’t say about a Jag though.
     
  7. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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    Fender Player Mustang with neck pickup removed
     
  8. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are 3 others pickup settings besides the "quack" settings on a Strat!
     
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  9. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I bet it can be tweaked close enough that a vast and overwhelming majority of non guitar players won’t hear any difference.
    Nor will they care.
     
  10. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Afflicted

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    My Squire Mustang doesn't sound like a Strat (even though it has Wilde Bill 'n Becky pups in it) at all, neither does my Jaguar with MoJo Tone 62 Jag pups. Scale length is definitely a part of the equation. Liked 'em before and more after being modded. That short scale just appeals to me.
     
  11. Barley3

    Barley3 TDPRI Member

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    I have a 73 Mustang and a 2015 American Strat. I play mostly with the neck pickup. Both have the same humbuckers (lil 59) and they both sound great, however the Mustang does sound a bit sweeter and it really plays like butter in my small/medium hands.
     
  12. pugnax

    pugnax Tele-Meister

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    I've got a custom Mustang with a full length 25.5 neck. For a guitarist who is familiar with the different instruments, it doesn't sound or feel like a Strat, which kind of surprised me. It is much closer than a LP, obviously, and it has the nice punchy single coil sound, but it's darker than the average strat. Most importantly, the bridge in a Strat, and especially the effect the springs have inside that big body are a big part of the feel/sound IMHO. The Mustang is a nice, flat slab of wood with everything mounted on top.
     
  13. imtxn

    imtxn TDPRI Member

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    Wait a sec, if what this post implys is that scale length will affect tone!
    Do any of you folks have an opinion about this?
    post is saying
     
  14. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    Well maybe not directly the EQ (TMB balance) of a sustained note but the dynamics (attack, sustain etc.) make a 25.5" scale really different from a 22.5" scale guitar.
     
  15. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    Correct. I play my strat about 60% of the time on the neck pickup, 30% of the time on the bridge pickup, 10% on the middle pickup, and 0% in positions 2 and 4.

    Those aren't defining strat sounds to everyone.
     
  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Vintage Mustang, through a Tweed Pro 5E5-A 15", I think. This vid is what prompted me to build my 5E5-A. Sounds pretty Stratty, to me. I'd have to hear it through a Twin Reverb to really say. :D


     
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  17. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    i've barely spent any time playing strats but i like a good jaguar as much as a good tele.
     
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  18. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    True, but the Mustangs with the 200 and 250 cu. in. straight sixes can sound pretty close to a Jaguar..
     
  19. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Here’s a 25.5” Jag, more or less. Not a million miles away but a bit more bite. Yet, part of that is going to still be the different pot/cap values and some of the character is less sustain and the strings behind the bridge vibrating.

    You’d need to hear these in a Strat to compare. I wonder if the big shield claws affect anything?

    I still think Mustang pickups are likely closer IF you can find some in the higher output range for those (about 5.5k - which is still a bit weak). As far as I can tell other than number of winds, the 70s Mustang pickups were identical in construction to the 70s Strat pickups, which were also flat-poled. 70s Strats sounded Stratty, just a bit weaker in output than a lot of 60s Strats.
     
  20. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve seen exceedingly few I-6 Mustangs, but you are right, those few did sort of have an (emasculated) Jag sound.
     
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