We usually talk about Stratocasters and Telecasters when we talk about Fender guitars. The Fender Jazzmaster and the Fender Jaguar, on the other hand, are two popular guitar models, especially among individuals who want to stand out in a crowd. So, Jaguar guitar or Jazzmaster which one is better for the beginner. Let’s answer this question in this post!!
Quick overview about guitar Jazzmaster Vs. Jaguar
The Fender Jazzmaster performs ideal for jazz. When Fender launched the guitar in 1958, it was the whole point. While the guitar never caught on with jazz musicians (it simply couldn’t compete with traditional archtops), it was a popular choice among surf guitarists.
Two guitars have a similar model but have evolved into more genre-specific instruments. Nonetheless, the Jazzmaster’s single-coil pickups provided excellent bass and mid-range response, as well as sufficient treble clarity for most players.
Fender responded and produced several important changes to the Jazzmaster, introducing the Fender Guitar Faguar four years later.
Surf rock, shoegaze, and other alternative music subgenres are best served by the Jaguar nowadays. Today’s Jaguars have a twangy tone that is a little more “classic Fender,” which is why alternative rockers love them.
Are you still curious about the differences between these two timeless beauties? I’m ready to dissect anything for you!
Comparison between Fender Jazzmaster Vs. Fender Jaguar
They appear to be practically similar guitars on the surface. However, as you go further into both of them, you’ll see some significant discrepancies.
Unique Sound & Tone
The Jazzmaster was initially developed for jazz performers, which is why the treble tones are rather clear. However, when you play the guitar, the bass and mid-range tones resonate more, which isn’t necessarily ideal for jazz. However, that balanced Fender sound is fantastic for rock and pop songs.
A Jaguar guitar has a twangier tone, sounding like a cross between a Strat and a Telecaster.
Both guitars are 8.5 pounds on average. This makes it a little heavier than a standard Stratocaster or Telecaster, but far lighter than a Gibson Les Paul.
All these instruments feature single-coil pickups, but the overall tone is different. Humbuckers are available on some variants of both kinds. The Fender Jaguar Pickups have superior clarity and sound a touch brighter since the Jaguar has a metal claw that helps cut down on unwanted hum.
In comparison to a Stratocaster, which has a pickup height of 7/16 of an inch, the Jazzmaster’s pickup height is just 1/8 of an inch. The loud bridge pickups on these guitars can be remedied by insulating them.
The Jazzmaster pickups, which are not to be confused with P-90s, have a chunkier sound. It’s easy to mistake those single-coil pickups for P-90s when you hear rock-a-billy music. If the factory pickups aren’t quite right for you, you can get the greatest Jazzmaster pickups here. Some folks use Strat pickups on their Jazzmaster guitars.
The scale length is a significant distinction between these two masterpieces.
The Jaguar guitar has a 24 inch gap between the nut and the bridge, while the Fender Jazzmaster has a 25.5″ standard scale length. The Jaguar guitar has just 21 frets, but the Jazzmaster has 22 frets, due to the lower scale length.
Finding harmonics might be more challenging with a shorter scale length.
The offset body form on each of these guitars is the first thing you’ll notice. We’re so used to the Stratocaster and Telecaster’s symmetrical appearance that the offset body takes us by surprise at first. However, it’s likely why so many players were drawn to these guitars in the first place.
There are Jazzmasters on the market with double binding, which adds depth to the guitar’s body.
The bridge on both guitars has been a source of frustration over the years, despite Fender’s efforts to fix it. The most serious problem is buzzing, which may be alleviated by using a buzz stop.
Some customers replace the bridge on their Jazzmaster with a Mustang bridge because they believe it is of higher quality.
Both guitars have comparable necks (mostly maple), however there are a few subtle variances.
In comparison to most Fender guitars, Jazzmaster necks have block pearl inlays rather than single dots.
Some players are dissatisfied with the Jazzmaster neck and have it replaced, resulting in a large number of Jazzmasters with Tele and Strat necks.
Both guitars use the same tremolo mechanism, which may require expert setup.
If a string breaks on the Jaguar or Jazzmaster, the tremolo lock prevents all strings from going out of tune. After utilizing the whammy bar, the “lock” also aids in keeping your strings in tune.
This tremolo is better for that vibraphone-like tone than for massive nose-bomb dives like on heavy metal guitars.
These guitars have Fender’s famous headstock, which can also be seen on a Stratocaster and Telecaster and has been used by the company for the previous six decades.
Circuits And Controls
Two guitars are equipped with a complex dual circuit and controls.
A “rhythm” circuit is included in the Jaguar, which produces a darker sound. For the individual rhythm circuit, there are distinct volume and tone settings.
The Jazzmaster features a rhythm circuit as well, albeit it’s much easier to use with a three-way switch.
A mute switch, which doesn’t really mute the guitar but gives it a distinct palm-muted sound, is also unique to the Jaguar electric guitar.
The pickguards on these guitars are particularly distinctive due to the offset body construction. Both are frequently seen in a dark red tortoise hue.
You can’t put a Jazzmaster pickguard on a Jaguar or a Jaguar pickguard on a Jazzmaster due to the different scale lengths.
Best Strings For Fender Jazzmaster & Jaguar
I recommend a heavier gauge string, such as 009s, due to the complicated tremolo mechanism. You may absolutely go lighter, but 009s sound the finest.
Jazzmaster Vs. Jaguar: Which Is Best?
Is there truly a clear winner between these two offset guitars? In my opinion, the Jazzmaster gets a little edge over the Les Paul because of its longer scale length and superior overall tone. Jaguars are capable guitars that fit a specific kind of music, but if you had to choose between the two, I’d recommend the Jazzmaster.
What I Would Do After Buying The Jaguar?
Change The Bridge
Soon after getting it, the Jaguar began buzzing and generating a harmonic ringing! Many individuals advised to try using stronger strings (most people suggested.11 and above!), but it didn’t help. After reading this post from Premier Guitar, you should try to change the bridge height and individual saddles on your own when that didn’t work. Couldn’t seem to get it properly. It was tough to figure out which notch in the bridge screw rings to put the string on (the Jag’s bridge had spherical coils on which the strings sat).
So we eventually chose to get the set up by a fantastic music business in Nashville, and it was amazing for one day until the setup changed! “Did you guys alter something when you went home since the set up we did is strangely not there anymore…” they asked when clients returned it. They played it for almost an hour and attempted to play it even lighter than usual! The seller reinstalled it, and it began ringing again a week later during a rehearsal!
So, because many don’t enjoy the sense of having to be so careful with a guitar or worrying about it randomly buzzing, here’s what you are going to do now:
Replace it with a Mastery Bridge or even a Staytrem Bridge. Because they are both around $200, I was considering swapping out the bridge for a Mustang bridge, which I noticed was a popular upgrade, but I read that this didn’t cure the issue for a lot of players, and I’d rather leave the instrument sharp!
Use .10 Or .11 Strings
The buyer could still utilize it when they had their own setup. Despite all the advice on the internet to merely use, better decided to use ten strings. 11 lbs. or more as despising the world. It should stick with .10s because there are 11 strings.
Get A Thicker/ Cushy Strap
Okay, understand why this instrument was intended for Gibson enthusiasts; it’s a hefty lil bb! People adore my Basiner Strap, and the locks are fantastic! It’s quite fluffy! They once wore another strap for a 2-hour workout and the next day their shoulder felt uncomfortable.
Notwithstanding the bridge adjustment we want to make, I don’t believe the Jag would be as difficult if I had known all of this beforehand! I would still strongly advise purchasing a Jaguar guitar since the tone is noticeably different from that of other guitars I own.
It’s a beautiful clear sound, and I adore the tone! It’s also the most stylish guitar I own! Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments section below. Thank you for reading!