It's Just Not Working

Discussion in 'Squier Offset Guitars' started by Big George, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Big George

    Big George Squier Talker

    Jan 11, 2018
    North Carolina
    I bought my first Squier in January 2018 and now, 9 months later, I'm giving up. It's a Vintage Modified Jazzmaster in white, and I've enjoyed playing it,............. some of the time. I got the bridge sorted out, ... mostly, restrung it with flat wound 11s, the best move on this guitar, fiddled with every sound possibility through a Boss 50, even with the add in online programs, and it's just not doing it for me. I can almost get the sounds I want, blues, jazz, country, old school rock and surf, ... almost. There's an inconsistency from when I get the sound right, but then the next time I plug in, the sound is off and I have to start all over again. The playabilty is not bad, but it's not great either. So, I'm going hunting for something that fits me better with an eye towards Gretsch. I know and have owned Gretsch and they've never let me down. I'll see about selling or trading the Jazzmaster, but I don't want it in the house anymore, it just frustrates me.

    Many thanks to the posters here who helped me get the VMJM to where it is now, it's a very nice guitar, but now I know it's just not for me.
    fadetoz, SquierTap, drewcp and 8 others like this.
  2. blackspider57

    blackspider57 Squier-Nut

    Mar 11, 2017
    Great Falls Montana
    Sometimes a guitar is a perfect fit
    and sometimes not.
    And when it's not,
    it's best to move on.
    Good luck with the incoming Gretsch!
    KRamone27, SquierTap, Caddy and 11 others like this.
  3. JoeInMichigan

    JoeInMichigan Squier-Meister

    Jun 10, 2018
    Couldn't say it better
  4. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    All the above expresses the truth about all things. And all words about things That there is no one "best" for all.

    I have for years and years struggled to accept this truth for myself re Stratocasters. So many love them. So much great music has been, and is today being made ,with them, but that they simply are not right for me. Not the sound. Not the feel. In truth nothing at all.

    You tried the Jazzy It wasn't you. Next....

    Just be glad you didn't have to soak your lives savings and all your guitar dreams into one. Thank Squier for that!


    horax, SquierTap, MrYeats and 11 others like this.
  5. Big George

    Big George Squier Talker

    Jan 11, 2018
    North Carolina
    Funny you should say that, Don. In my small collection there's one guitar I keep going back to just to pick up and play, and that's a 22 year old MIM Stratocaster. It does just about anything I want it to do and for playability it runs rings around the Jazzmaster. Maybe I should look into a new Player Strat instead of a Gretsch. Hmmmmm......................
  6. Dan Martian

    Dan Martian Squier-Nut

    Oct 18, 2014
    San Marcos, Texas
    Jazzmasters are notoriously difficult to set up, especially if you have little to no experience with set up and don't know all the quirks of this guitar. I set up a VMJM for a friend of mine and found that it liked .012-.054 even better than the .011 set we'd put on it. At that point, the strings stayed in the bridge slots better, it intonated better and sounded better. I also shimmed the neck, creating the necessary break angle over the saddles. Based on what you say you like to play, I could easily see another Strat in your future, and you may want to check out a tele (except for surf) or maybe a mustang.
  7. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Feb 10, 2010
    First, I have had my VM Jaguar with 9s on it since I bought it in July of 2012. They're not THAT hard to set up. That's aside the point.

    Over the last 40 years, there are some guitars I play more than others and really it is that connection -well this feels more cumbersome or I can never get the right tone out of it. But never have I nailed a tone only the next day NOT to have it. That's just weird to me.
  8. Tele-kitty

    Tele-kitty Squier-Meister

    Dec 12, 2016
    I had that problem with a ESP ec50. Wanted a Les Paul type for ever and ever. Great guitar, just something about it I couldn’t get along with.

    Then I found telecasters...found my happy with them, and now it’s all I own. :D
    Gave the LP to a friend to that wanted to learn to play...=happy for all.

    Sometimes it takes find the right guitar for you, not necessarily the one you like. :cool:
  9. Big George

    Big George Squier Talker

    Jan 11, 2018
    North Carolina
    Well, it's been 3 months since I decided to dump the Jazzmaster, and it's still here, hanging on the wall. I live in a remote area and getting to a music store isn't easy. Also, there's this thing called life that gets in the way every now and then. Anyway, a few weeks ago the Jazzy and I had a long heart to heart, I started playing it again, and though we're still not friends, we are getting along better now. I prefer playing it without an amp, which I think is helping me get used to its eccentricities. We'll see how it goes.
    SquierTap, rorygman, -r3- and 5 others like this.
  10. Davey

    Davey Squier-holic

    Mar 31, 2015
    Monroe WA
    Wow, 11's and flat wound! that must be pretty stiff. Hey if it is not doing it for you get rid of it and try something else.

    Generally takes me quite awhile to give up on a guitar.

    The honeymoon phase where I think it's great.

    The I will get used to it phase.

    The sitting in the case never getting played phase.

    And finally the ignore it and claim I will sell it later phase.... by far the longest. :)
  11. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010
    I have to say, I am once again with @duceditor on this. Love the Jazzmaster, but never have liked Strats even though many do and a lot of good music has been made with them. Just don't like the layout, the feel, and especially the sound.
    horax and ScoobySnacker like this.
  12. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Squier-holic

    Apr 4, 2015
    Jazzmasters can be finicky. Please stick around to talk guitars with us even if you don't own a Squier.
  13. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    I like 11 flats fine, but I tune down a whole step to like them. :)
    BlueSquirrel, ScoobySnacker and Davey like this.
  14. mikm

    mikm Dr. Squier

    Jun 4, 2012
    So many guitars out there! I've gone around and around with quite a few! I keep ending up with the Strat. It's the one that covers the most for what I'm looking for. Not to say that I wouldn't like to own several other models/styles that I've come across. I'm just comfortable with the Strat.
  15. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    I have a VM Jaguar set up with 9s. I really do not have any issues with my Jag like many complain about with Jags and JMs. If you do not like your guitar, maybe getting something else is a good idea. Playing guitar should be fun. Good luck finding a better guitar for you.
  16. Toddcaster64

    Toddcaster64 Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    Love both JMs and Strats. Guess I’m easily pleased.
  17. Stratlover84

    Stratlover84 Squier-Nut

    Jun 16, 2016
    Just get a Telecaster.

    You're welcome! ;)
  18. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Ah, so this thread has returned.

    Makes sense that it did since it covers, at least surface deep, an essential truth. That there is no one right guitar for everyone.

    I'll take this a step further, though, in an effort to understand it.

    The Stratocaster's enormous success is because it covers the right bases for many. That it can, and yet still be totally wrong for someone else, fits the concept of the bell curve -- the graph used to depict a normal distribution which consists of a bell-shaped line.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 8.04.40 AM.png

    To understand the bell curve we need not have an advanced degree in mathematics. In the most basic meaning it simply is a drawing that tells us that most people are basically similar in their needs, likes, desires and, yes, capabilities.

    Design an anything that satisfies most people's needs and then make it readily available at a price most people can afford to pay, and you'll have a best seller. And since most people will like it words of praise about it will get a myriad "hear! hear!"s and anyone who disagrees will be, simply by the numbers, a minority barking at the wind.

    That is the Toyota Camry. This week's top TV show. And the Stratocaster.

    Those who praise these things are not "wrong." Even if we most seriously disagree with them.

    But where does a guitar like the VM Jazzmaster fit in? Here, too, the bell curve provides a graphic answer.

    If someone who loves guitars isn't in the dark central area seen in the above chart and he finds another guitar that he or she loves, then where does it fall on that line?

    It has to be either to the left or the right of center, for center is occupied with what most people like. How far off center, be it left or right, that instrument falls will say how many "hear! Hear" comments it gets.

    The people on the other side will not like it -- likely even less than the Strat (which appeals to the majority) -- but those who fall on the same side of the curve will like it more. And that describes the VM JM perfectly. Passionately loved by a good number, but passionately not liked by about an equal number. It is 0ff center. It is designed to appeal to those who were off center. (Well, either that or the designer misread where the center then was, and maybe their misread is even more of that today.)

    How far off center on that mathematical curve something falls will show, again in mathematical terms, how many people really like it. And that is a genuine sense -- not just in a faddish one.

    There is no honor or glory connected to being in any one place on the 'what I like' chart. It is simply who and what we are.

    That later point is important because society either wants to make us all the same -- part of "the club" -- or (often true in arty circles) to suggest that being "other" is somehow better.

    That is all hogwash. Most people like the same things because we all fall somewhere on the curve and where we fall means that either few or many will be like us in our likes and dislikes.

    Yes, there are some weirdos who by simple nature are way, way off on one side.

    They are the weirdos only a few will relate to.

    They like things like Supros. ;)

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    daan, rorygman and Caddy like this.
  19. Sydney FC

    Sydney FC New Member

    Apr 28, 2018
    Okay thought I'd contribute to this thread
    Jazzmasters are a guitars that take a lot of time to understand. I got my VM JM in 2014 simply because JM's are such cool looking guitars and I always wanted one. It arrived with a decent factory set up but it had the typical Fender string choice of 9's. It starting rattling pretty soon after that and in retrospect the tone was rather thin. I took the 9's off and put on 10's. Then I had problems with the bridge moving downwards towards the scatchplate. Very embarrassing in a gig where it produces a horrible unearthly sound. I learned about Loctite and locking the bridge height into position. The bridge then started rocking out of position because I was used to resting my palm on it when muting. I then changed the strings to 12's to stop this. In the process I started to fiddle with the bridge setting to intonate the guitar. My skills were particular lacking in this area so I did a horrible job. I now had a guitar with 12's that were hurting my old hands and was difficult to tune. I decided to continue because the guitar is just so cool. I took my axe to a qualified repairman he put 10's on it and set the bridge and intonation. When the guitar was returned I Loctited the bridge again and now the guitar was sounding pretty good … except the bridge was still rocking. I took the strings off and wrapped plumbers tape around the bridge spindles that go into the thimbles. I made sure to get a nice snug fit so the bridge is stable and won't rock from my playing action. It still works excellently with the tremolo however. While I had the strings off I took the pickups out filed the scatchplate out and added some extra foam under the pups. The pups now adjust beautifully. I lowered the neck pup and raised the bridge pup to balance the sound. This work was finally finished two days ago and the guitar now sounds absolutely gorgeous. The middle pickup position on the lead setting has a real quackiness about it that leaves my American Strats for dead. It has taken me four and a half years to learn about this guitar and it has been a great journey. I have read everything I could get my hands on about Jazzmasters and have listened to all the advice (I am an avid reader of Jazzmaster threads on this forum). It still is the coolest looking guitar out there but it does need experience, patience and a lot of serious research.
    surfrodguitar, duceditor and rorygman like this.
  20. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010
    IMHO, Jazzmasters are one of the easiest guitars to get good sounds out of. Nice clean amp setting, a bit of reverb, adjust the tone pot to taste and away you go. Simple.
    BigBeav likes this.
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