Discussion in 'Squier Offset Guitars' started by madmodder, May 8, 2016.

  1. madmodder

    madmodder Squier Talker

    Mar 21, 2014
    new england
    It seems this topic (incited by Fender in the first place) is a very confounding one. I have never found so much contradictory information on a guitar issue as in this case. I am considering adding a VM Jag only because I like the PUPS, the switching and the scale. But I am confounded by this bridge issue. So, I have a couple of direct questions to you seasoned Jag Dudes out there:
    1-Can I put a Gibson-style TOM bridge on a VM Jag IF I LOCK DOWN THE TREM?
    2)-Is the Mustang bridge replacement a viable fix? Does it hinge on locking down the Trem?
    3)-IF SO...which model or brand of Mustang bridge should I use (price matters)?
    4)-I use .09's...IS THIS A DEAL BREAKER?
    I am sick and tired of all of the conflicting videos on YOUTUBE. Maybe one of you kind people can help.
    Thanks in advance.
    Dr Improbable and Flyer91 like this.
  2. Look at the J. Mascis Jazzmaster for answers to your Jag TOM bridge question (the regular non- J. Mascis JM and Jag use the same bridge/trem).
    The J Mascis JM has a TOM bridge 'and' the JM/Jag trem.

    I can run 9's on my J Mascis JM.

    I've left my Jag alone so far, and am running 11's on it with no problems, but am seriously looking to mod it to be the same as my J. Mascis, because IMHO the Squire non J. Mascis JM, and especially the shorter scale Jag's floating/tilting bridges are too restrictive when it comes to running light strings, and (once again IMHO) their bridges just totally suck!
    It seems that although some can use lighter strings, most can't.

    So, in summary .... "Yes we can!" ;)
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
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  3. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Squier-holic

    Apr 4, 2015
    I don't know that you can lock down the trem....
    Mustang bridge is not the perfect replacement. it is a different (non adjustable) radius.
    If you're going to use 9's I'd go with a Mastery or Staytrem bridge.
    Good luck!
    Flyer91 likes this.

    LOSTVENTURE Squier-Nut

    I installed the "Buzz-Stop" and have been trouble free ever since. So much so that I also put one one my AVRI65.
    Dr Improbable likes this.
  5. madmodder

    madmodder Squier Talker

    Mar 21, 2014
    new england
    Thanks guys...for the info.....I never did hear of the" buzz-stop" that its commercial name? Putting on a TOM would be my first move....if it will fit the studs on the Jag without modification........thanks again...
  6. John L Rose

    John L Rose Squier-Meister

    Mar 16, 2016
    Sackville, NB, Canada
    There is no trem lock on the VM Jags.
    It might even be easier for you. I use .011's, and as a result I run out of room with the intonation adjustment screws. I've had to use shorter screws (and shorter springs) because as you pull the saddles towards the tail, the tip of the factory-installed screws tilt up until they touch the string.
    That's the only problem I have with my VM Jag. I don't get fret buzz, and the strings don't jump around in the saddles.
    With .09"s you probably won't have this issue (of adjusting the intonation). I swapped my factory strings for .012"s right away (then switched to .011"s later), so I didn't notice if there was a problem.
    Flyer91 likes this.
  7. You can just drop in a TOM but if not a tight fit into the old holes, you will need to fix it in place by adding something like teflon tape to the TOM's studs to make it a tight fit, so it does not tilt/rock anymore.

    Or you can pull the old stud inserts and install the new ones for a TOM by doing the following.

    This is from an old post I made last year when the subject of how to remove the pressed in stud inserts came up ..

    Get a bolt that will thread into the insert, and a nut for that bolt.
    Then a stack of washers (or a socket) that have holes (or nut cavity if a socket) that's larger than the insert's OD.
    Place a few layers of tape on the body over the insert and cut out a hole in the tape around the outer edge of the insert.
    Place a stack of washers (or a socket that is large enough of a drive to to pass the bolt through, and has larger inside nut cavity diameter than the insert).
    Then thread the nut all the way up to the head of the bolt.
    Place the stem of the bolt through the washers/socket's drive end (with at least one washer between the socket's nut cavity edge and the body of the guitar, so the edges of the socket will not press into the body) and then thread the bolt into the insert.
    Then once the bolt's in far enough, turn the nut as you would to remove it off the bolt while holding the bolt with one wrench and turning the nut with another wrench.
    The nut will be pressing against the stack of washers, or the drive end of the socket.
    As you continue to turn the nut while holding the bolt, it will pull the insert out of the guitar.

    Make sure the socket and any washer ID holes are larger than the OD of the insert.
    I think you can get the idea of how this will work ........

    I've pulled lots of pressed in threaded inserts and studs from all sorts of things, using this method.
    You just need to make sure the "foot ring" (washer) is large enough to provide enough of a foot for the pulling force, so nothing digs into the surface you want to protect.
    You could even place something like popsicle sticks between the washer and the body if you feel it's needed, but a few layers of tape should work just fine
    It's also good to place the washer with the rounded/rolled edge towards the tape and the sharp edge facing upwards, away from the guitar's body.

    A piece of pipe/metal tubing that is larger ID than the insert will also work with a large washer on the insert end, and a smaller ID washer on the other end that the bolt passes through, and the nut is tightened against.
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  8. The problem I had trying to use 9's on my Jag was that the floating bridge would not go to the same place after using the trem.
    If I tuned and set intonation then exercised the whammy bar, the bridge would not come to rest at the same angle each time I let go of the bar, and the tuning/intonation would not be on anymore.
    That ... and light strings just would not stay in the same saddle grove, and/or would pop off the saddle altogether if I got ... inspired. :cool: ;)

    Then, I followed some good advice on the proper way to set it up, and went to the advised 11's, which cured it all.
    But alas ... I just don't really like 11's at all. :(

    So, I'll probably swap out the stock bridge and just drop in one from a J. Mascis Jazzmaster and be happy with it running my fav E.B Super Slinky 9's. :)
    Dr Improbable likes this.
  9. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    If staying with nines is critical than the Buzzstop would be the solution.

    Yes, they change the feel of the trem, just as do Bigsbys that use the 2nd cross bar for similar purpose. But some people actually prefer the change.

    I have such on my Cabby w/Bigsby, and yes, it is a bit different. But not IMO a deal breaker.

  10. John L Rose

    John L Rose Squier-Meister

    Mar 16, 2016
    Sackville, NB, Canada
    I forgot to ask - which bridge issue are you confounded by?
  11. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010
    You may be used to 9's on normal Fender scale guitars, but I wonder why you are set on using them on the Jag with a shorter scale than normal Gibson scale. 11's would feel more like 9's on the Jag due to the scale.

    I have had both the Jazzmaster and Jag for over three years, both stock and no issues ever. You say you have heard a lot of info on these bridges, etc.

    Based on my experience it seems that those that encounter problems probably bought the wrong guitar for their playing style, or type of music. They are what they are, which IMHO is a great thing! String them up and play them as they were designed to be and zero problems.
    Toddcaster64 likes this.
  12. BTW: Here is a commercial version of my homemade puller that I described above.

    So if you decide to replace the entire bridge an go with a TOM, this is basically the same method as I posted, but IMHO ... a lot more awkward and cumbersome to use. ;).

    Or sort of like this ... but 'never' do it exactly like this guy does.
    Use a nut on the bolt, and only thread the bolt in far enough to get a good grip, otherwise you might bottom out and either spin the insert (if it's not drilled all the way through) or press out on the back of your guitar if the insert's hollow.

    Turning the nut away from the head of the bolt is what should pull the insert, not the turning of the bolt.

    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  13. Toddcaster64

    Toddcaster64 Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    Camarillo, CA
    Could not possibly agree more.

    Typical scenario: Person buys Jaguar. Decides the floating bridge sucks, which it does not, and gets rid of it. Tune O Matic. Or puts on a buzz stop. Wants to lock up trem entirely. So much for that aspect of the design. Next, puts 9s on a short scale, which just doesn't make sense to me. Scale really too short for 9s, and was never designed for them. So much for that aspect of the design. Never ever uses the rhythm section of the switching meaning not much different from any other guitar. So much for that aspect of the guitar. About the only thing left that is really Jaguar is the pickups. At which point I ask hmm, why not just get any guitar and fit some Jag pickups on it? That way you get the configuration you want from the start and can just add the pickups.

    I probably sound like a jerk, and I don't mean to, but I just never quite get this.

  14. I don't think you sound like a jerk at all.
    Just different strokes for different folks.
    J Mascis had a TOM put on his signature JMs, and Billy Gibbons uses 7's on everything ... including Gretsch Pro Lines ....
    There are a lot of things people do and/or believe that I just don't get.
    But I learned a long time ago that if it works for them ... then that's all that really matters. :)
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  15. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Squier-holic

    Apr 4, 2015
    Amen bro!
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  16. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Which gets us back to theme. The "definitive answer" is to use the guitars as it was designed to be used for what it was designed to be used for. The perfectly acceptable other answers have been well described above.

    Wonder if J. Mascis went to the web to learn how to overcome his problem? If so Bear could have helped him. Others here too.

    That he was/is seen to be a successful guitarist -- enough to have a guitar incorporating some of his ideas and bearing his name -- adds, I suppose, a legitimacy to breaking the mold as he did. But if he didn't and hadn't we've still have Bear.

    Breaking rules is part of the game. Looking for permission to do, or an instruction manual to help us may be as well. Just not in the weird little world I live in.

    I ask "what did the designer have in mind?" and then, if that doesn't get me where I want to be I throw away the manual and take my own path.

    Others could well ask "why reinvent the wheel?"

    "'Cause spokes suck."


  17. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Squier-holic

    Jul 4, 2012
    Technically "yes" to all questions, personally, I say "no."

    The parts of a Jag are what make it a Jag. I'd leave it alone. But that's a personal choice.

    Since it's a short scale guitar, it would be more stable with heavier strings. Light strings would make sense if you wanted to play screaming lead with lots of bends, but if that's what you want, the Jag isn't the guitar for you.

    But there are exceptions to every rule.
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  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Squier-holic

    Oct 5, 2014
    Gilbert, AZ
    1. Yes you can, but I' not sure what you mean by locking the trem down. Fender's 'Trem lock' isn't on the VM. If you don't want to use it, simply take the trem arm out. There are a few things you could do to the spring mechanism to block it up, but none of this matters toward installing a TOM.

    2. Yes it is, but most people who do this don't need to lock "down the Trem"---its a simple drop-in install. The main concerns Mustang bridges address is the saddle 'rattle down' effect and minimizing string popping. Depending on the exact Mustang bridge you buy, the down side is mismatched radius and string popping (still). IMO, the Staytrem is the "smart and final" revision to the Mustang approach. It's a floater too--designed for use with the trem.

    3. Depends on your budget. There are no 9.5 radius Mustangs out there to my knowledge except the Staytrem and the adjustable saddle Mustangs. In your shoes, I'd get a Staytrem, but only because you're limiting the question to "Mustang" style bridges.

    4. No, never a deal breaker. How much you modding you want to do, how much you're willing to spend, and how many foibles you are willing to put up with determine this--its personal preference.

    Basically, there is no one "definitive answer" to the Jag/JM bridge "issue." Everybody is going to give you advice based on their own preferences, which is why you might frustrated. There are plenty of options out there today, all of which address playing style, setup style, and hair style :)

    Here is what I'd do in your case: Shim the neck (full pocket shim of course), save up/sell gear and get a Mastery. Slap on 9s. Enjoy.

    Since you mentioned that price matters, I'd try the 9's on the stock bridge (with the usual tweaks, including taping up the bridge posts to minimize rocking) and a shim that's at creating a pitch of at least 1 degree or more at the neck. I'd use 1/16 inch maple stock. Shimming increases the break angle, which can also be increased with a Buzzstop, but doesn't add any more resistance (its another string contact point). I'm thinking as if you want to use the Trem, but I get the feeling you don't...

    Hope that helps!
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  19. WRT: What a guitar is, or how it "supposed" to sound ... I like the looks, size, controls ... and the way my Jag feels with 9's on it.
    To get the sound I want from any of my guitars, I basically do the same thing Billy Gibbson's tech does in this viddy starting at ~8:42.
    Play a chord on one guitar (or capture the sound of a chord from any source I desire) let the spectrum analyzer display it, and then match another guitar playing the same chord to that spectrum using a 31 band graphic and/or a 10 band parametric Eq. and then store that in memory, then play through it before my FX.

    I use a $300 device that carries the dreaded name of Behringer :eek: ... their Ultracurve Pro model # DEQ2496 to effectively accomplish the same thing (certainly at an admittedly lesser degree of effectiveness that's commensurate with it's significantly lower price ;)) and store the results in up to 64 memories (which at last count coincidentally ... if not curiously ... matches the actual number of guitars I own ... hence no tag line with my "stuff" listed, least I take up an entire ST page every time I post). :D

    I'm not very convinced that any solid body guitar is ever played as it's "supposed to sound".
    If it was, then wouldn't it really have to come with the same amp used to design it, with the same tubes, played at the same volume and etc ... and then only played in a certain anechoic environment that mimicked the place it was originally designed/tested in?
    Wouldn't these variables have about as much effect on it's sound as changing strings from 11's to 9's and using a TOM in place of the Jag's original bridge?

    IMHO: You can totally do what you want to do ... :)

    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  20. late2guitar

    late2guitar Squier-Nut

    Feb 5, 2016
    St. Louis area
    The Mustang bridge is not, to me, viable. There are string spacing issues and string height issues related to the neck radius of the Jag vs. the Stang. I'm seriously considering a Mastery or a Staytrem. They are, almost universally, lauded as the best solutions. I've spent a few dollars on cheap solutions and imitations (a Mustang and a Chinese knock off of a Mastery) and I think I'm done.

    The Mustang bridge does not have height adjustment screws and the radius is set for the Mustang... The Jag is different. So there is a neck radius/string height issue going on. Additionally, my MAIN problem was string spacing at the bridge was way too wide and the tension on outside the strings to pull toward the middle was enormous enough to make the high E string pop toward the B string and the B to pop toward G with alarming regularity while I was playing it.

    I opted for a Chinese bridge which had some similarities to the Mastery, but the height adjustment screws are wont to back out. I will try Loctite before pulling the trigger on a higher dollar solution. Honestly, the bridge is great. Fits well, sounds good, price was right ($15 I think). But it's definitely a poor man's Mastery. With tweaking it may make a good solution. But I'm tired of tweaking (and that's not a drug reference).
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