1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

surf guitar: Jaguar or Jazzmaster?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Direwolf77, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Direwolf77

    Direwolf77 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    I want to get an offset for purely surf guitar. My (untested) theory is that the Jazzmaster is considered a superior and more versatile instrument, but the Jaguar may be better suited for surf. I already have a Tele and a Strat for other uses (and the Strat works fine for surf), but between the Jag or the Jazzy, which guitar better captures the surf vibe?
     
    Boreas and Fendereedo like this.
  2. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,108
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    I'd say that if you have a strat you already have a great surf guitar.
     
  3. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    3,517
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    Third rock from the Sun
    Jazzmasters are amazing guitars but for twangy surf spy action you can't beat a Jaguar. Very different to other fenders and loads of fun.
     
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    11,543
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Literally anything can be used for surf guitar, but for purists I think you need a Strat, a JM and a Jaguar :)
     
  5. sudogeek

    sudogeek Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    378
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Location:
    Palm Beach FL
    You’ve got a strat so you’re basically there. I had a Tele with a JM neck pickup and that was great for most surf, spaghetti western, rockabilly, etc. No dive bombs but 90% of surf etc. was doable.

    Now I have a Doheny (the MFD pickups can range from Jag to JM sounds with adjustment of the PTB and reverb unit tone) and a Tele with a strat neck pickup. That covers the waterfront pretty well.

    Maybe a Teisco or a Hallmark (Mosrite clone)?
     
    Fendereedo likes this.
  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,432
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    I would say Jaguar moreso out of the two, though Jazzmasters have been used heavily in surf. However, if you have a Strat or a tele you can make it happen too. I play surf on the middle or parallel position of a tele. Haven't owned a strat since I started dabbling in surf, but I would imagine a strat would be even better as they are more or less the same pickups (though the architecture of a Jaguar lends itself considerably to the sound). The Surfrajettes, one of the best current surf acts out right now use a strat against a jag for their sound and it works very well.

    I would say explore the guitar/guitars you have first. Surf is more about a sound and a sensibility than one specific guitar. If you can get in a particular tonal neighborhood, and with the right amount of reverb and tremolo, you can probably use quite a palette of different instruments.
     
  7. Racer5

    Racer5 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,503
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    This. I play a decent amount of surf and have been around the block with Jags and Jazzmasters but a strat with a proper floating setup is the best.

    Rewire or swap the middle/neck or middle/bridge pickups to get a neck/middle position and you'll have the perfect surf tone/guitar
     
    Mojohand40 and JL_LI like this.
  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,000
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    Surf is technique and tone (usually plenty of drippy reverb). It's not a guitar.

    The only time the guitar matters is when it's a fashion accessory.

    There are many surf sounds, and this is the benchmark I always use.

    And it's a Squer Strat with stock pickups.

    Mikko is a monster.

     
    SbS, Gevalt, BorderRadio and 7 others like this.
  9. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    882
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Location:
    Three Rivers, CA
    Back when I first started, the Fender Jaguar was the flagship model for Fender. They were quite a bit more expensive than a Stratocaster, upwards of $400.00 vs around $300.00 for a strat. I wanted the Jag, but due to tight funds had to settle for the strat. This was in early 1965. Funny, after all these years I have never owned one.
     
  10. Oxidao

    Oxidao Tele-Meister

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    321
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    PNA, Spain
    BED082EB-E3D1-48F6-B481-0B6C7D672344_4_5005_c.jpeg

    Oh my!

    Jaggie today
     
  11. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,543
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Location:
    10-uh-C
    I picked up a JM a few years ago and I couldn't help myself; played "Pipeline" and "Walk, Don't Run" right there in the store in front of everybody.
    That said, a strat will get you there, no prob.
     
    Bob M, Telecaster88 and Fretting out like this.
  12. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    8,081
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    JAZZMASTER!
     
    Southpaw Tele likes this.
  13. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    8,081
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    Technically if you go by the American original series they still are top of the line/most expensive
     
  14. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    436
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Location:
    Post Falls Idaho
    Jag's are 24" Scale vs. Jazz and Strat at 25.5. I have a Jag Neck in my Mustang, which has the old Radius of 7.25. Love that Scale!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
    pugnax likes this.
  15. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    3,053
    Joined:
    May 1, 2018
    Location:
    Tewa Land NM
    My advice would be spend some real time with a Jaguar before you pull the trigger if you're leaning that way. I'd played a couple, but the one I bought last October has been disappointing for me. Fine guitar, just don't work for me.

    For either guitar, I'd get familiar with setting them up. Puisheen and/or Haze Guitars are great resources, but the Jaguar (a Vintera 60s) in particular was pretty bad from the factory in terms of playability.
     
    Twang Deluxe and beyer160 like this.
  16. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,385
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    You really need to play them both- one will feel right for you in a way the other won't. I have a very nice Jaguar that I enjoy playing, but when it's all said and done I'm a Jazzmaster man.

    A lot of people don't know this about the Jaguar and Jazzmaster being the top of the line in the early/mid '60s. Then in '67 this kid from Seattle with his guitar backwards came along and changed everything.
     
    Sax-son likes this.
  17. J. Bonkosky

    J. Bonkosky Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    434
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    Seattle Washington
    I like the Jazzmaster best for surf.
     
    6String69 likes this.
  18. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,560
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    As others have said, you can cover surf really well with a Strat (particularly a SSS Strat). One case cover it adequately with even a PRS (or, gasp, a Tele if you don’t HAVE to use trem). However, if the choice is a JM or a Jag, I would opt for the JM. However, that is because I have never gotten used to the 24” scale of a Jag.

    As others have noted, I have thought about getting a JM, but really between Strats and a couple of PRS I have, adding a JM seems superfluous. Though, I have thought about building a “JazzCaster” a couple of times. A Mastery tremolo with Tele pickups. But, I have a Strat with a Tele bridge pickup, so again that would be more or less superfluous for me.
     
  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    26,959
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    For traditional surf, if not the strat, then the Jaguar.
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  20. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,000
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    I've never really liked the Jazzmaster's vibrato, bridge, and excessive knobology, but the pickups are so smooth and round-sounding...like a hi-fi P90. So I built a compromise: a Jazzmaster with a Wilkinson VS100 vibrato. Not exactly the same as a Jazzmaster (different vibrato and controls), but it works great for me.

    Surf At Own Risk :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.