Squier VM Jaguar vs VM Mustang

Discussion in 'Squier Vintage Modified models' started by Smokijo, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. Smokijo

    Smokijo Squier Talker

    Age:
    37
    83
    Jan 11, 2017
    GB
    Hi all,

    So I'm already the proud owner of a CV 50s Tele, but I'm looking for something with more of that 90s Grunge feel. The obvious choices are the VM Jaguar or the VM Mustang. Now they both have their quirks, the mustang probably being slightly nicer as stock but the jaguar being better with a bit of initial set up. My question is how do they last? I've seen some reviews on other sites where some people say after some heavy use they can be having issues from 12 months on.

    If they do I'm tempted by the new Fender Duo Sonic HS model even though the colours suck :p

    Any advice?
     
  2. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    Age:
    70
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    How do they last? As well as any well made guitar.

    I read things like this and shake my head. (No, not at you. You are merely repeating and inquiring.)

    My Jag and Jazzmaster are only 2 1/2 years old. But they are better today than new. Better because they have been carefully set up.

    But my Affinity Tele and Strat are over 12 years old and they, too, are still fine.

    I also have a 10 year old Epi Junior -- on of the least expensive guitars Epiphone has put on the market -- and, apart from the tuners it, too, plays like new.

    I have had guitars that needed things like the jack and a switch replaced. The former was an upscale Gibson -- old enough to justify a part failing (30+ years) -- and a few years old Fender Tele from Japan where basically all the electrical components became problematic and needed to be one by one replaced.

    Those who say Squiers don't last are speaking -- well, from another universe than I any I have inhabited. I kind of wonder why they do so.

    -don
     
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  3. Danhedonia

    Danhedonia Squier-Meister

    277
    Dec 30, 2015
    I worked with some of the artists you probably admire - get the Duosonic or new Mustang. They're far superior to the VM's (sorry, fellow Squier-a-holics).

    And the colors are fine.
     
  4. novamax

    novamax Squier-Meister

    306
    Aug 18, 2015
    I have no experience how long a Mustang lasts because I just bought it shortly - But from my Jag I can tell you that issues depend less on “lasting“ after a few years but rather on understanding the guitar in the beginning and a good setup and maybe a few modification (like Don said)

    I suggest you approach it from where you want to go with it:

    The Jag is a thing of its own, a real typical offset shape: Long body to accommodate much longer strings behind the bridge (less break angle and likely less sustain, but more overtones from behind the bridge - some seek that, some despise it). For me most importantly: The JM/Jag vibrato (“tremolo“) with its long arm to the far away trem point is much smoother / finer resolving than a Strat but with less pitch range, closer to a Bigsby, I guess (perfect for vintage surf music, less ideal for hard rock dive bombs). This for me basically defines an own identity if electric guitar and is essential to the offset feeling. It also has quite unique pickups and circuitry (the strangle switch and the Jazzmaster's rhythm circuit).

    The Mustang to my feeling is much more Strat like, some offset elements like a more offset body and also a third bridge, but shorter like a more offset Strat, with more standard SC pickups, a steeper break angle / shorter behind-bridge-strings, and a straight forward pickup selection, with the added bonus of two identical, thin-sounding out-of-phase-positions (again seek or despise it, might be the grunge sound you're looking for). And a much more Strat-feeling vibrato with quick action of high pitch range and not-so-fine resolution and the typical short Strat wiggle stick...
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  5. Smokijo

    Smokijo Squier Talker

    Age:
    37
    83
    Jan 11, 2017
    GB
    Thanks that's good to know. My old epiphone is still amazing after 20 years so I know that they can last a long time if looked after. Only damage to it is a chip in the headstock where I thrusted it into the ceiling in the first day I owned it lol.
     
  6. Smokijo

    Smokijo Squier Talker

    Age:
    37
    83
    Jan 11, 2017
    GB
    The new mustangs look good but I miss the switches which were part of the charm, and the duo sonics are great but I like the hs set up and those colours aren't great.

    If only I had unlimited funds and a wife who didn't mind me having lots of guitars.....
     
  7. Smokijo

    Smokijo Squier Talker

    Age:
    37
    83
    Jan 11, 2017
    GB
    Thanks novamax. I've read a lot of articles about the jag set up and they recommend an immediate bridge swap. Did you do this? I'm thinking of dropping a mustang bridge in.
     
  8. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    Age:
    70
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Play it first. I'm a True Believer when it comes to Jag/JM bridges. Other equally experienced guitarists hate 'm. YOU will need to decide.

    String spacing and radius of the typical Mustang bridge is not correct. Some overlook that - I never would. Again, learn through use. Not just forum posts by me or anyone else.

    -don
     
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  9. novamax

    novamax Squier-Meister

    306
    Aug 18, 2015
    No, I didn't, because I wanted to keep its sound (clearly defined two point contact with two height adjustment screws per saddle rather than saddles sitting directly on the bridge base, muffeling the vibration) and its options (threaded saddles to adjust string spacing plus individual saddle height adjustment). After all, the Mustang was the entry scholar model at that time...

    I did exchange strings to 11's with more tension and the intonation screws for shorter ones (like the AVRI bridge has) to keep them from contacting the strings and rattling, and I put some sewing thread into the threads to compensate for their less accurate tolerances (also causing rattling) - many use blue loctite instead. I'm happy with that. I did get my hands on a used AVRI bridge which I will test one day, but I don't have much time for that at the moment.

    I'd say shorten, set up, and fix those bridge screws, and you're good to go. I play moderately hard, but not super hard on those strings in shallow thread grooves (I didn't even file them down), I don't need flimsy 9's on a short scale, and others might like it more simple with a drop-in Mustang (or better modified Mustang) bridge, so YMMV.
     
  10. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Oct 5, 2014
    Gilbert, AZ
    From the standpoint of 'Grunge' feel, there really is no discernible or significant difference between these models. Both are short scale, both are single coils, so lots of noise with dirt/gain. Both have trems/vibratos. Both have quirky switching systems. In this case, thinking stock vs stock, I'd go with a Jag. You won't have as many issues out the box with a VM Jag, and no you dont need to swap bridge with the VM Jag, but I think you do with the VM Mustang. Use a new bridge if you want light strings or like to bang away on it and/or use the trem wildly/frequently. Both have the same import electronics--these are the weak point and probably where you'll have something go out. Both guitars will outlast you, given the right treatment. If you go 'grunge' on it, I give it 1 to 2 year before some surgery is needed.
     
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  11. Smokijo

    Smokijo Squier Talker

    Age:
    37
    83
    Jan 11, 2017
    GB
    Cool thank you. I wanted to go to 11s as well so that's good to confirm they will fit well.
     
  12. Smokijo

    Smokijo Squier Talker

    Age:
    37
    83
    Jan 11, 2017
    GB
    Well i won't be going full grunge in it. Far too expensive a habit. Thanks for the information though. Still undecided but at least when I do decide it will be from an informed view point.
     
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  13. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Oct 5, 2014
    Gilbert, AZ
    Let me clarify a bit, I'm in a rush: go with your gut and even how it looks to you, the small differences are as novamax explained. I find these diffs, in the context of something DIY like 'grunge', to be not that significant, hence his suggestion of going with the new Fender short-scales. Don has the good advice of learning by use--that can't be overstated. But we are a guitar forum, so we gotta talk about guitars :)

    If you want the nuances, then you might be like many of us, owning both--I'm sure the lady will understand;)
     
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  14. Smokijo

    Smokijo Squier Talker

    Age:
    37
    83
    Jan 11, 2017
    GB
    I guess I'm just going to have to play all 3 in the shop in the day and pick whichever suits my mood at the time (and my wallet). I'll post some photos of whatever I do get.
     
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  15. so1om

    so1om Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I got my VM Jaguar in July of 2012. Set it up and never looked back. Tons of miles on it and no issues.

    I equate it to a car. If you have a basic fiat or a Audi. You still have to do oil changes, take care of tires, fluids etc. you know... taking care of it.

    I made a comment on a Facebook group not long ago. Some guy said they weren't road worthy because the strap button came loose, a bridge piece was too low, a pot came loose. What the heck?

    Once a week I look over EVERYTHING on my main instrument. Then a glance before and after a gig. You know why my guitars and basses never have those issues of it holding up? I take care of them.
     
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  16. Danhedonia

    Danhedonia Squier-Meister

    277
    Dec 30, 2015
    Hey, I have Jaguars and Jazzmasters, and Squiers at that.

    However, those new Mustangs and Duosonics just have more solid components. Better electronics, better pickups, and better wood (although that's always a roll of the dice with VMs, they can be incredible).

    Frankly, bedroom players probably don't use the guitars in ways that emphasize such differences, so if that's where you are: make yourself happy. But if I were trying to gig, and could only choose one, I'd go for the more-solid instrument that has fewer set up issues.

    Either way, you'll be happy.
     
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  17. Smokijo

    Smokijo Squier Talker

    Age:
    37
    83
    Jan 11, 2017
    GB
    I've kind of settled on the Jaguar, I don't gig and just live those switches, plus its £100 cheaper than the duo sonic.

    Hoping to put a deposit down on one next week. NGD will follow soon after
     
  18. so1om

    so1om Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    All guitars have the same set up issues that need to be addressed. Perhaps a nut from one model may need more filing than another or another's bridge may be closer to intonation than another, but ALL guitars have essentially the same checklist that needs to be addressed.

    Giving a blanket statement that Mustangs and Duos have better everything. Please. I've had enough.
     
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  19. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Squier-Meister

    I have several Jaguars, two vintage and one VM.
    Bad news (?) is they all share a very similar bridge. But good news: D'Addario has introduced a new gauge of strings, 10.5 - 48.
    This has proven to be an incredible balance for me, particularly when setting up the Jag. This new set is heavy enough to tame the bridge issues, and still bright enough to deliver the tones that I'm looking for. And they are pretty comfortable on the Jazzmaster as well.
     
  20. so1om

    so1om Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    Now this I may be interested in trying. I use 9s on my jag with great success, so I am hesitant to get out the files and sandpaper. I'm keeping this in the back pocket though!