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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / OMG, I have a new guitar!



Living is easy with eyes closed
Dec 28th, 2012 11:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just got a 1995 Jaguar '66 Reissue (Japan). It's the one with the neck binding, block inlays and natural headstock with a sunburst body. I've never owned a Jag before — or Jazzmaster, for that matter. The Jag was a craigslist find and it was already strung with wound 10's.

I read all I could find about the Jaguar, and its accompanying noisy bridge, with most people it seems going for a Mustang bridge as a replacement.

But I had come across a number of articles and posts, though, that pointed out that the Jaguar and Jazzmaster were designed with the string gauges of the day in mind (ie: 11's and up).

Now, I haven't had this guitar set up properly yet, but I just put on a set of D'Addario Chrome flatwounds (11 to 50) just out of curiosity to see what they would be like — to see if I should switch to the recommended flats.

Well, holy doodle! The bridge buzzing is virtually gone. It would seem that the heavier string gauge (for which the bridge was apparently designed) exerts a lot more pressure on the bridge, thus eliminating the buzz. At least that's what it seems is happening to me. And after changing the strings, it's like I'm playing an entirely different guitar.

I can only imagine what 12's must do.

Oh, and one more thing. With the 11's, no strings pop out of their rightful saddle position.

Oh, and one MORE thing. The sound is much deeper, throatier and percussive with the flatwound 11's — beautiful!

I do plan to do some upgrades:
- Seymour Duncan SJAG-1's
- Upgrade all pots and caps
- Replace old bridge with a new Jag/Jazz bridge (the one on the guitar now has a fair bit of rust on the springs and screws but, more importantly, the previous owner gouged a deep groove on the low E saddle so the low E string still buzzes a bit because it's sitting lower than it should).

Anyway, what a dang sweet guitar!

(This message was last edited by Beatlefreek at 11:19 PM, Dec 28th, 2012)

FDP Data Goon

Still the reason

for the season
Dec 29th, 2012 01:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

If a Jag/JM won't run with 10s, there's something wrong with it (setup, bad bridge, etc).

The "bigger strings are a must" is something I never, ever heard before the internet - what I heard at the time from vintage shop owners was 'use light strings' on them and Mustangs because the necks were fragile. That one I don't know either, but just shows how things have changed.

It's the MIJ guitars that seem to have all the bridge problems - should add ironically that my Squier MII Jag has no issues with the stock bridge and 10s. :)

Solution to the problem altogether if it emerges is to just slap a TOM on there and be done. Cheap, effective, works.

Or you can shell out the huge bucks for a Mastery.

But I'm a cheapskate from the days when these were cheap guitars nobody wanted.



Jan 31st, 2016 05:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

Congrats on your new Jaguar, great find. I just got a 97 CIJ Jaguar myself Candy Apple Red. Ordered some new Seymour Duncan's PUs- Vintage neck, Hot for bridge, Mastery M2J Bridge & new tremolo arm (missing when purchased). After reading many many posts of the Jagaur' bridge issue- and not wanting to use heavy gauge strings, I like 10s. Decided to go with what almost everybody recommends- Mastery, with Staytrem a close second. When all arrives, will have the best shop in Los Angeles do the work/setup- Eric' Guitar Shop.


(This message was last edited by Tonysal123 at 07:47 PM, Jan 31st, 2016)

Contributing Member

It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Feb 1st, 2016 06:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

Congrats on the guitar!
My first "real" guitar was a 60's sunburst Jag. That's one I wish I still had.

Now, I've got a Thinskin (MIA) Jazzmaster.
I did upgrade the bridge to a Mastery and never regretted the move. It made a great guitar even better. Besides string stability, it also improved the tone and sustain of the guitar.

That said, I wasn't having any issues with the stock bridge, even with 10's. A proper setup will see to that. If you go with the MIA replacement bridge, you should be fine.

I do usually go with 11's on the JM now, though.
It's a fairly bright guitar and the heavier strings do give it a fuller tone with a little more punch. I've gone back and forth with flats vs. wound. The wound strings are easier to bend, but the flats are smoother seem to have more "thump" to them.

Enjoy that new offset!!

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Feb 1st, 2016 12:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like the stock JM/Jag bridge. It is part of the vibe of the guitar. Most Fender offsets need a good setup by someone who knows these guitars and their quirks.

In almost all cases the neck will need to be shimmed to allow for a greater break angle over the bridge. Set up properly you should be able to use and gage string you wish.

Using a bit of screw lock on the height adj screws and the saddle screws keeps things from moving in use and stops rattle too.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / OMG, I have a new guitar!

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