#1
Last Saturday I went to the music store to buy my first Electric guitar. I was almost certain I was a humbucker guy. I tried some Les Pauls but the Humbuckers didn´t quite appeal to me after all.

So I decided to try the Fender Squier Jazzmaster guitar. My favorite guitarist, Mike Einziger from Incubus also uses a Fender Jazzmaster and I absolutely adore this unique guitar tone.

The Jazzmaster played wonderfull and it sounded incredibly awesome but I realized that the majority of artists I listen to, use humbucker pickups on their guitars and the Jazzmaster sported some sort of unconventional Single Coil pickups. I´m an extreme noob when it comes to guitar tone so I am in need of someone´s advice and/or opinion, I don't want to rush into buying a guitar that I don't like on the long term. I may like the tone, but will this fit my music preference?

So how versatile is this guitar would you rate this guitar? I want a guitar that can play things ranging from Alternative rock to hard/grunge rock.

Demonstration of this particular Jazzmaster
#2
The body is larger than that of other Fender guitars, requiring a more spacious guitar case. The Jazzmaster had unique wide, white "soapbar" pickups that were unlike any other single coil. Jazzmaster pickups are often confused with Gibson's P-90 pickups. Although they look similar, they are constructed differently. Whereas the polepieces of the JM pickups are magnets, the P-90 has its magnets placed underneath the coil. The JM coil is wound flat and wide (moreso than the P-90), in contrast to Fender's usual tall and thin coils. This gives them a warmer tone without losing their single coil clarity. The Jazzmaster has a mellower, jazzier tone than the Strat, although it was not widely embraced by jazz musicians. Instead, rock guitarists adopted it for surf rock. The Ventures and The Fireballs were prominent Jazzmaster users.


From Wikipedia. I couldn't really say it much better myself. They are called Soapbars and are similar in appearance to P-90s but constructed differently. JM pickups are kind of unique.
#4
They have wide but shallow windings. This makes them warmer than a strat pickup but much less sustaining than a humbucker. I get some great sounds out of my jazzmaster by rolling the tone down a bit, but I have the classic player, which has P90s magnets.

You can switch the pickups to a humbucker or a P90 if you want to later- I'm planning on putting a wide range humbucker made by the Creamery in my jazzmaster. There are a few firms out there who make pickups for direct replacement in jazzmasters, but you may need to look.
Dude, where's my band?
#5
The jaguar has a short scale making it somewhat of an aquired taste. The Blacktop Jazzmaster and Modern Player Marauder both have a jazzmaster neck pickup and a humbucker in the bridge. If your wallet can stretch, they're worth trying.

Concerning the original post, I would recommend going with your gut. I'm a rock/punk player with the odd bit of metal, but the jazzmaster just felt, looked and sounded right. Don't pigeonhole yourself with expectations and conventions.
Dude, where's my band?
Last edited by TomMon at Dec 5, 2011,
#6
Quote by TomMon
Concerning the original post, I would recommend going with your gut. I'm a rock/punk player with the odd bit of metal, but the jazzmaster just felt, looked and sounded right. Don't pigeonhole yourself with expectations and conventions.


Thanks, that is some really good advice!
#7
keep in mind that the squiers don't have the same tone circuit as a real jazzmaster so will sound somewhat different. the one with the humbuckers doesn't sound like a jazzmaster.
#8
Try and find a Squier J. Mascis Signature. A little harder on the wallet, but it has the upgraded pickups and the Jazzmaster rhythm circuit that the Vintage Modified JM lacks.

http://www.samash.com/p/Squier_J%20Mascis%20Jazzmaster%20Electric%20Guitar_-49945232?cm_mmc=Froogle-_-Artist%20&%20Signature%20Model%20Guitars-_-J%20Mascis%20Jazzmaster%20Electric%20Guitar-_-F1060541X
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
Last edited by kangaxxter at Dec 5, 2011,
#11
Quote by RiseTheFallen
Nope, 2 Dimarzio humbuckers i believe

A PAF style in the neck and a super distortion in the bridge IIRC.
Dude, where's my band?
#12
Quote by TomMon
A PAF style in the neck and a super distortion in the bridge IIRC.


True, but the neck pickup was originally a Seymour Duncan "Custom".

Quote by RisetheFallen
Nope, 2 Dimarzio humbuckers i believe


Also, true, though. In '92(or 91?) he swapped out the Seymour Duncan for a Dimarzio PAF.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
#13
Quote by Nollemaster
So how versatile is this guitar would you rate this guitar? I want a guitar that can play things ranging from Alternative rock to hard/grunge rock.


The Jazzmaster is basically perfect for 90s alt rock, loads of people use them. Here's a few examples:

Dinosaur Jr
Swervedriver
Yo La Tengo
My Bloody Valentine
Feeder
Pavement

J Mascis uses a JM for pretty much all of Dinosaur Jr's stuff, so listening to any of their stuff will give you a good idea of what a JM can sound like. Also worth checking out early Flaming Lips, My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. Just grab yourself a good fuzz and distortion pedal and you're good to go

Quote by kangaxxter
Try and find a Squier J. Mascis Signature. A little harder on the wallet, but it has the upgraded pickups and the Jazzmaster rhythm circuit that the Vintage Modified JM lacks.

http://www.samash.com/p/Squier_J%20Mascis%20Jazzmaster%20Electric%20Guitar_-49945232?cm_mmc=Froogle-_-Artist%20&%20Signature%20Model%20Guitars-_-J%20Mascis%20Jazzmaster%20Electric%20Guitar-_-F1060541X


Seconded. The J Mascis Squier is more of a "proper" Jazzmaster than the VM Squier one, and has the lovely trem arm for some whammy madness
Last edited by SugarRush66 at Dec 5, 2011,
#15
Quote by kangaxxter
True, but the neck pickup was originally a Seymour Duncan "Custom".



Also, true, though. In '92(or 91?) he swapped out the Seymour Duncan for a Dimarzio PAF.

Dude, where's my band?
#16
Quote by TomMon


I only know that because there was some guitar magazine that did a feature about Kurt's Jag recently. Can't remember which magazine. But I'm heading by the bookstore today, I'll let you know later.

EDIT: Total Guitar Issue 220.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
Last edited by kangaxxter at Dec 6, 2011,
#17
Just got back from the bookstore, I am actually wrong about the Dimarzio/Seymour Duncan thing.

When Kurt got the Jag it had two Dimarzio humbuckers (PAF in neck, Super Distortion in the Bridge), but in 1993 for In Utero, he switched out the Super Distortion in the Bridge for a Seymour Duncan JB. And that's the way the Jag is like now.

I had the pickups right, but the order wrong.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
#18
As long as we're all right. I have four issues of Total Guitar waiting when I get home for Christmas!
Dude, where's my band?
#19
I bought a Squier VM Jaguar a few weeks ago beleiving it was the ideal guitar for me but found that it felt a bit wonky with more neck flex than I was expecting making accurate tuning difficult. I took it back to the shop and was advised that 'all Jaguars are like that'. I don't know if that is guitar shop bs but I swapped it for a Squier VM Jazzmaster with the same fixed bridge but soapbox pickups and a full scale maple neck. This thing sounds so much more alive than the Jaguar did and the neck is rock solid making tuning far more reliable. I really thought that the Jaguar was going to be the one but my advice to anyone considering this guitar is to try the Jazzmaster too. They are both the same price and I think the Jaguar neck makes it a bit too quirky to be useful as an everyday or a main axe.