#1
I'm in jazz band for my next semester at college and I've been looking for a decent guitar that is suitable for jazz. Currently most of the guitars I own are mainly used for metal like schecters and whatnot but I don't have a guitar that can get that really nice warm jazz tone. Initially I wanted to just buy a jazz box like an epiphone dot or one of the Ibanez artcores ast they do look nice and provide a good jazz tone, but I feel like they'd really only be good for jazz.

I'm debating whether I should spend 3-500 usd or so on a jazz box or opt for a strat or tele. The reason why I would want a strat or tele is simply for more versatility. I absolutely love jazz and playing it as well but as it stands now I don't intend on becoming a professional jazz musician or anything like that so I feel that if I can get a nice warm tone out of a strat or tele I can have more versatility and use those guitars for more than just jazz.

I'd shell out more money for a tele or strat, probably a mim with a budget of 800 dollars at the moment but would either of these give me anything close to that warm jazz tone? 
#2
I see a lot of locals playing jazz on teles, strats, LPs, semihollows and big jazz boxes.

I personally play some jazz on teles, some on semihollows with P90s. I even play some on my Dean Cadillac.

What matters more is your amp. Wha'cha using?
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#4
Don't know that one. Combo?

Edit: found a video. That amp should be able to handle jazz.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
Assuming you've already tried and failed to get a pleasing jazz tone out of your current gear, I'd get a guitar with 2 HBs and upgrade the pickups with either a HB-sized P90 or HB-sized Charlie Christian.

Here's a demo of each:



At the very least, the neck pickup should be swapped out. If your budget permits, either do the same with the bridge, or upgrade the HB to one that complements the one in the neck. The bridge HB/neck P90 configuration is lots of fun.*

Not many companies make HB-sized CCs- Lollar and Vintage Vibe are the only ones I know for sure, but others probably exist.

HB-sized P90s are more common. I either currently own or would buy such pickups from: The Creamery, Vintage Vibe, Rio Grande, Railhammer (they call theirs "humcutters"; they're noiseless), Lollar and Bareknuckle. Stick to the ones that are either classically voiced or slightly hotter. You don't need a super-high output P90 for jazz.

As for the guitar? Well, a G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe** can be had in the same price range as their MiM Fender cousins. They're well made, and they have coil-splitting as a standard feature. The pickups may even be up to the task of delivering the jazzy sound...

https://reverb.com/item/4794710-g-l-asat-tribute-deluxe-black
https://reverb.com/item/3588444-g-l-asat-deluxe-ii-tribute-2016-irish-ale


* bonus points, split the coil on the HB.

** The main differences between the Tribute and USA models is country of manufacture (Indonesia vs USA) and pickups (Paul Gagon vs Seymour Duncan).
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#6
dannyalcatraz

A bit OT, but have you ever played a Lollar CC? I have, in a Maton solidbody. I can't imagine a better pickup for smooth jazz. It reminded me of hot darkchocolate, nothing like any other pickup I've tried.

I personally would go for some kind of conservative-looking solidbody - with a CC neck pickup,and either a P90 or uncovered PAF humbucker in the neck, for versatility. Another option for me would be a fusion-style nylon-string acoustic.
#7
I haven't, but I stumbled on Lerch's vids demoing his Lollar CCs while looking for demos of Vintage Vibe CCs. I have a VV CC in the bridge of a Teleclone, paired with a VV Tele neck pickup.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
FWIW, here's the first guitar I owned with the bridge HB and the neck P90 (both courtesy of The Creamery):


Love it so much, I'm planning on converting at least one other guitar to that configuration.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#9
There are a few famous jazz guitarists who play Telecasters. Also, so many guitarists in general play Telecasters that finding a used USA Telecaster in your price range, or for even less, shouldn't be difficult.

So, I wouldn't settle for a MIM with hot Tele pickups or something non-traditional like that, because the USA Teles last a long time. I had an '82 that I bought secondhand around 1994 and then  played for about 15 years before selling it to another player. It's not a risk to buy a used one.
Last edited by afdgdfa at May 15, 2017,
#11
Quote by dannyalcatraz


Yeah, that works. Or even the Guitar Center website if not your local independent shop. On the GC site you can search all GC stores within say a 50 mile radius of your zip code and look at used guitars available nearby, by manufacturer, if you want to skip shipping costs. I know for sure I've seen used USA standard Teles on there near me for under $800... and they give you that trial period to play it at home before you decide if you want to keep it or return it. Hard to go wrong with that.

One of the guitars I own is still a Tele, by the way (American Vintage '69 Telecaster Thinline). Couldn't be more satisfied with it, and have played that one for about 5 or 6 years now.
Last edited by afdgdfa at May 15, 2017,
#12
For any solid body electric and amp, the closest approach to jazz tone is likely going to be when the tone controls on the amp are set to be as neutral (flat) as possible. For most tone circuits on amps that means maximizing the middle tone control and minimizing the treble and bass controls, because virtually all guitar amps have a built-in EQ bias toward a "scooped middle"... use the neck pickup with its tone full up to start. Some guitars will need the neck pickup tone control turned down a little to just remove the brightness peak on the G and B strings up around the 10-12th frets.

Try it and see how it sounds.
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#13
Quote by afdgdfa
There are a few famous jazz guitarists who play Telecasters. Also, so many guitarists in general play Telecasters that finding a used USA Telecaster in your price range, or for even less, shouldn't be difficult.

So, I wouldn't settle for a MIM with hot Tele pickups or something non-traditional like that, because the USA Teles last a long time.
So do MIMs and, even better, MIJs Which isn't to say that a secondhand USA model would be a bad idea at all, but in the case that OP wants a specific feature set that's on an MIM or MIJ model, there's no reason to feel bad about either option as they are, on the whole, great guitars.

Now, I love Fenders, and a neck singlecoil with the tone rolled way back makes a really nice mellow tone that retains a nice amount of clarity. However, please do not imagine that archtops, particularly semihollow, are a one-trick pony. Practicality can limit their utility in very high-gain applications, but besides that there's really nothing stopping them from doing rock or country or funk or whatever. Hell, I'm not particularly into jazz but I have two Teles and a big acoustic jazzbox, so go figure
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