Thoughts on Jazzmasters?

Discussion in 'Squier Offset Guitars' started by dbrian66, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Feb 10, 2010
    @CVSteve congratulations on the new guitar.

    So.. I am a traditionalist in that when I think of a Jazzmaster or Jaguar, I think in the form that they were first offered. I could give up on the mute or the trem lok, some of the details on the pickup output. But what was on it when they were first created? That's what I think in my mind.

    For a long time I would say "well.. it's not really a jazzmaster." but I have since softened. Because what else will they call it? Let's say they call it a Lynx. The first thing someone will say "well it looks like a Jazzmaster without a trem."

    So I've changed up to Jazzmaster and Jaguar as being family names -much like we all have for the Telecaster and Stratocaster for years!!! No one thinks twice about a Stratocaster SSS, HSS, HH, etc.. but shouldn't a Stratocaster ONLY be an SSS??

    We all know there are key features that make a Fender/Squier a Fender/Squier, same with Gibson/Epiphone.. Once one or the other steps out of that realm (the 70s Starcaster to challenge the 335) people get on about that hang up.

    I found it better to stop looking at names and just looking at the features. It keeps my sanity in check.
  2. CVSteve

    CVSteve Squier-Meister

    Dec 28, 2017
    Thanks! And I agree with all the above. More variations means more to like, collect and talk about. Also, as I said peviously, not everyone cares for a tremolo. But some do, that’s why they make both.
    so1om and dbrian66 like this.
  3. Big George

    Big George Squier Talker

    Jan 11, 2018
    North Carolina
    I hit an oddity today, playing my new VMJM through a Boss 50 and no matter what I did I just couldn't get that old "surf" sound I remembered from eons ago. Tried everything I could think of and then things I couldn't think of, and that old sound just wasn't there. I was disappointed and then, just for giggles, pulled out a 20 year old little bedroom Fender Frontman reverb amp, plugged in, turned it on and just like that, that old surf sound was spot on! Played a while and loved it. Then, replugged into the Boss 50 and....nope. It's just not there. Back to the old Frontman, and there it was, plain as day. I could say I'm disappointed with the Boss 50 but it plays my stratocaster and Washburn acoustic like dream. Guess I need to be a two amp man.
    so1om, CVSteve, fendereedo and 2 others like this.
  4. cowboy66

    cowboy66 Squier Talker

    Oct 25, 2017
    So according to your logic then a hardtail stratocaster isn't a stratocaster.
    A telecaster with humbuckers or p90s isn't a telecaster...
    kjohns339 and dbrian66 like this.
  5. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    I’m was just stating what many purists believe.
    There are those who wouid argue what you said above is exactly right (I am not one of them).

    Back on another forum years back, a member (who I believed to be progressive on guitars), argued that a Blacktop Telecaster (HH) wasn’t (and couldn’t sound like) a Telecaster because of the ‘buckers, and small sized Bridge.
    I posted some Sound samples of my Blacktop in “guess what this is” thread (My BT has a DIMARZIO Super Distortion in the neck, and a SD Pearly Gates in the Bridge), simple chords, and a little riff.
    He identified it as a Telecaster right off, and asked what pickups it had, I posted a picture of my BT Tele. Then the discourse began... saying those samples couldn’t possibly have been produced by that Guitar. The thread was eventually locked, and deleted (because of others arguing). I didn’t just leave there, I had my user ID deleted.

    I’m perfectly fine with Jazzmaster shaped guitars being called Jazzmasters, but moreso than the Tele, or Strat... the Jazzmaster Vibrato system contributes to the sound, and feel of the Guitar amplified, than either of the other two models. You can’t wail on a Jazzmaster like Joe Strummer on his Tele.
    It was built for finesse, and doing a windmill on it will likely result in strings moved in the saddle slots, or loss of tuning, for that same reason, they don’t do especially well with lighter gauge strings either (someone will likely now chime in that they use .008’s on their Jazzer with no issue doing windmills ;) ).

    On a Strat, many folks deck the Trem, saying the springs/Block contribute to the tone, and doing that sounds different/better than a hardtail...
    Guys can argue that all day, but to me, Robert Cray on his hardtail always sounds like a Strat to me... just as much as SRV, or Clapton.

    What I notice in the difference between a Strat, or Jazz/Jag with Trem, is that it feels and responds different, as does a Strat that is floating vs decked... (I decked/blocked my Strats for years, now they all float), this is true especially in the thinner bodied models, my Squier Bullet Strat vibrates against my tummy much more than my MIM Strat, or Yamaha Pacifica, and it changes the dynamics of how I play it (because I’m getting physical feedback as well as auditory).

    Heck, there are guys who would say my Bullet isn’t a Strat, because it’s thin, has a small block... or even because it’s a *GASP* Squier.
    Those types don’t last long around here.

    Besides a Standard VM Jaguar, I’ve had a few Jag/Jazz shaped (and named) offsets without a Vibrato (or a different type), and they do not feel the same as playing the real deal. While the audience doesn’t know, can’t tell, or even care... we can tell the difference ;).

    We’ve got members here who have chimed in on this (and other threads) who have owned Jazz/Jags since they came out... they believe the magic is in the Vibrato, and pickups.... at least on the Jazz/Jag I tend to agree with them.
    These are opinions, not facts. Logic does not apply here.

    BTW, Greeting and Salutations to S-T!
    CVSteve, novamax, Caddy and 3 others like this.
  6. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Well said.
    so1om and radiotech like this.
  7. VealCutlet

    VealCutlet Squier-Nut

    Aug 9, 2011
    Brookyn, NYC
    I love the functionality and feel of the traditional Jazzmaster/Jag. All those switches and that trem are just wonderful to me. I can go from crunch to creamy with a flip to that rhythm circuit, and hit that whammy (and with the Staytrem it'll stay in tune) and it's just my favorite guitar.

    That said, the VM JMs with that funky no-trem bridge - particularly the butterscotch - are stunning guitars that play great. I have the VM Tele Custom with the JM neck PUP and JM neck in butterscotch - if I didn't have this I'd be chasing one of those VM JMs.

    The only JM I can't get behind are the ones that recently came out with a Bigsby. I just can't understand why anyone would need to bolt that onto something that's already perfect in my mind.
    dbrian66, so1om and radiotech like this.
  8. kjohns339

    kjohns339 Squier Talker

    Jun 17, 2010
    I love my VM Special!
    The neck is amazing.... thick baseball bat maple neck.
    My only complaint/issue is the selector switch vs concentric pots. Kind of redundant, should be either/or.
    BorderRadio, VealCutlet and radiotech like this.
  9. CVSteve

    CVSteve Squier-Meister

    Dec 28, 2017
    Hmmm...the only trem I would have on any Fender/Squier/Gibson/Epiphone would be a Bigsby...but then, I wouldn’t have a Bigsby so I guess I’m stuck with a hardtail bridge.

    Party on, dude! :p
    VealCutlet likes this.