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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / Jazzmaster with a Strat Bridge?

Bigfoot
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Indy

The floor is getting farther away...
Mar 6th, 2016 09:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Some would say that the Strat bridge is superior to the JM in giving more bendable range, holding tune, being void of rattles, and a sharper break angle. Would it make sense to put the Strat bridge on a JM?

MLC
Contributing Member
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It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Mar 7th, 2016 06:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No.

Part of the JM sound is due to that trem/bridge assembly. And for me and my JM, I have plenty of "bendable range," no tuning issues, no rattles, and no need for a sharper break angle.

Retrofitting a Strat bridge onto a Jazzmaster would require some serious modification - new body routes and a number of existing holes and routes then left exposed, requiring more mods to cover up.

If you prefer the Strat system, get a Strat.
Personally, I find them DIFFERENT, but I don't know that one is "superior" to the other. The trem on my JM is one of my favorites.

There IS one option, if you really want to go that route - you can order a Warmoth JM body with a Strat bridge route.

Bigfoot
Contributing Member
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Indy

The floor is getting farther away...
Mar 7th, 2016 09:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

MLC: I should have mentioned that I am thinking about making my next guitar, with the idea that I would blend the best of the best. I found that you can order a JM body with a Strat tremolo bridge on the Warmoth site which would eliminate some of the issues that I read about with the JM bridge and tremolo system.

I have never experienced the alleged shortcomings so I am speaking completely from a perspective of my readings. Perhaps the big question would be how would a Jazzmaster sound with true JM pickups and a Strat bridge? The Strat bridge is part of a non-hardtail Strat's tone mystic. It certainly can't be bad.

I have a Strat but don't have a JM. I am inclined to build my own JM, which also means design my own. Why build a Strat to original specs, why not just go buy one? Similarly, why not pick and choose what design elements you like best (eg, pups, bridge, neck, body shape and contours, etc.)?

Originally I was thinking about making a Strat to my specs, which would be Strat pups middle and neck, Tele pup in the bridge, then either a Tele hardtail bridge or Strat bridge/tremolo with an acoustic piezo pup. But I have a wonderful stock 1957 Strat so my next guitar will be to my design - good or bad, right or wrong.

It is interesting to hear that a JM bridge and tremolo can be set up to work well, and that many enjoy the feel of the JM tremolo. So I have not ruled out a true JM bridge.

Thanks for your input to my project.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Mar 7th, 2016 10:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Many players are not satisfied with a Jazzmaster vibrato system because the guitar has never been set up properly for everything to work correctly. Many guitar techs are not familiar with the JM, set it up like a Strat and it is an epic fail.

I love the feel of the Jazzmaster body shape the way the vibrato works and the overtones created by the tailpiece and bridge.

Good nut work, shimming the neck for more break angle at the bridge and using a bit of thread lock to keep everything in place on the bridge is a necessity.

If I wanted a really surfy Strat style guitar with a Strat bridge, vintage or modern two-point, I'd build it with 2 or 3 P90 PUs. Jazzmaster PUs will work however better if you made a rear route guitar without a pickguard.

(This message was last edited by Hammond101 at 06:43 PM, Mar 7th, 2016)

MLC
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It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Mar 7th, 2016 10:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nothing wrong with building your own hybrid, Bigfoot. Could be an interesting project.

"Perhaps the big question would be how would a Jazzmaster sound with true JM pickups and a Strat bridge?"

That is the question. My guess is that the sound would be somewhere between the Strat and the Jazzmaster. Certainly not bad, just different.

"... blend the best of the best."

And the question remains - what defines the "best"?

I considered a similar build project before I found my Jazzmaster (a Thinskin model from a few years ago).
Now that I have a "real" JM, I don't think I'd be interested in a hybrid. I like my Strats and I like my JM. They each do what they do exceedingly well. And I firmly believe that the bridge/trem assembly of the JM contributes significantly to its unique tone... and feel.

Full disclosure - I did put a Mastery bridge on my JM. I never had any stability/buzzing issues with the stock bridge, I just liked the concept of the Mastery and had the funds available at the time to spring for it. I will say that I believe it made an already great guitar even better. And it is much simpler to maintain than the original.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Mar 7th, 2016 03:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yea, it will not sound much like a Jazzmaster.

I'm reminded of the Blacktop "Jaguar" that had a stoptail - it sounded nothing like one.

BrentD
Contributing Member
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United States

Mar 12th, 2016 06:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think it would be more Jassmaster-y than many here seem to. But one thing about the JM/Jag trem is its limited range. The typical music played on these guitars relies on subtle dips, not Hendrixy madness (brilliance too). If you just want the body shape then go for it, but for other variables it's good that you're informing yourself. If there's a dealer nearby it might be helpful to play a JM.

60CycleHum

USA

Mar 15th, 2016 05:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I would think you'd get a tighter sound, less open and less sympathetic resonance. I'm guessing it would sound more like a tele or a firebird, given the amount of body wood.

Bigfoot
Contributing Member
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Indy

The floor is getting farther away...
Mar 15th, 2016 08:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I played a J Mascis the other day and it was quite nice. I did not experience any issues with the bridge but Guitar Center removed the tremolo arm so that prevented me from playing around with the tremolo. I want a Jazzmaster with true JM pups and a 9.5" radius neck. I also do not want any problems with tuning, vibrations, and what-not. It's also time to build my own to get it just like I want. I would think that the JM pups have more to do with its tone than the bridge but I don't know from experience. Again, the Mascis played fine at least without using the tremolo. I didn't even hear the sympathetic resonance.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Mar 15th, 2016 09:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The Mascis is just fine.

Most of the "problems" with the trem are internet hyperbole.

Doc Sarvis
Contributing Member
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USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
Mar 23rd, 2016 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't have issues with Jag and JM bridges but then I grew up with a '65 Jag and just had to figure it all out. Players swear by the Mustang bridge switch out too but I never felt the need so I'm not inclined to consider a Strat bridge either.

Bigfoot

Indy

The floor is getting farther away...
Mar 23rd, 2016 10:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What does the Mustang bridge solve?

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Mar 24th, 2016 04:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It was readily available and dropped in (when people lost their bridges for the Jag/JM). Saddles are different.

The "ease of replacement" was the reason they caught on IMO.

BrentD
Contributing Member
*******

United States

Mar 25th, 2016 10:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think the notches on the saddles are deeper on a Mustang bridge than the threading on a Jag/JM bridge, so they also reduce string jump with light gauge strings.



Doc Sarvis
Contributing Member
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USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
Mar 31st, 2016 09:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I think the notches on the saddles are deeper on a Mustang bridge than the threading on a Jag/JM bridge, so they also reduce string jump with light gauge strings.

Correct. I grew up with a Mustang too.

uncleuncle

USA

Tootall
Apr 10th, 2016 03:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've played Jaguars and Jazzmasters,since the early sixties. No tuning problems, no string slippage. The trem is smooth and adjustable for tension and height.I prefer it over the Strat or Bigsby. (The Bigsby is a close second though). I've read many complaints over the years about the Jag/Jazzie bridges and all I can say is I've never experienced it.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Apr 11th, 2016 02:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yea, I don't understand it myself.

Never had an issue a good setup didn't solve.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Apr 11th, 2016 06:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I built one a buncha years ago (link).

People that thrash away and strum hard sometimes have issues with strings popping out of the threaded-rod saddles on the traditional Jazzmaster bridge.

Wave Spy

Morgenholz

Indiana/USA

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever.
Apr 30th, 2016 08:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I could jabber endlessly about this but in the end I am in total agreement with MLC.

A strat is a strat and a jazzy is a jazzy. That sad, if I wanted the jazzy sound with a strat trem, I think I would try to drop Jazzmsater pickups into a strat prior to attempting to put a strat bridge on a Jazzmaster.

(This message was last edited by Morgenholz at 10:50 AM, Apr 30th, 2016)

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / Jazzmaster with a Strat Bridge?




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