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Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

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Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby dead ed » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:19 pm

I currently have a les paul. After a hiatus from playing electric, I'm now back. I love the sound of the les paul and i'll have it with me until I die. However, I now search for a companion for my paul. I'd like something with a contrasting sound (single coils) that is also easier to practice with. The les paul weighs a ton ('75) and is not so ergonomically shaped. I like the range of tones that I hear from jaguars/mustangs (more so than the teles or strats). The les paul came from the days of thrashing hardcore and now I'm more of an experimental/indie type of guy. I do play with a lot of distortion/delay/chorus etc.

1) The mustang seems to be a lower end type of model, but will I still be satisfied with what I get from it?

2) I'll probably have to settle for a reissue - should I try to hold out for an original? Or are the reissues improved in some ways without sacrificing? I hear of the 'buzzing bridge' issue with the jags.

3) Here's the 'am I crazy' part - I'm starting to think that to get what I want, I'm going to need to go ebay or some sort of mail-order. I'm also considering used - I just don't think paying for a brand new electric is really worth it and I don't mind some wear as long as it plays well and can be set up correctly.

I haven't played too many of these yet as they seem harder to find.

Thanks for any feedback you can give or where you can send me to get some answers.

d.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:34 pm

A Jag or 'Stang isn't going to sound anything like a Les Paul not that that's a bad thing. Fender's current lineup of Jags are a lot of mid level imports or Custom shop re-issues. The mid level imports are The classic series (mexico) and Special Edition (Korea). The Classic can be had with single coils or humbuckers. You will probably prefer the humbuckers. The Korean models from Fender have humbuckers but have never really done anything for me personally. Classic Series has always been decent. not sure where you'd find one to play. GC shys away from anything interesting that Fender makes. Full Compass sells them but doesn't have any of those listed in house. They do have a sick Elvis Costello model Jazzmaster though. The neck on that will be the same but the body is walnut and a lot heavier than what you'd get out of the classic or special ed jags.

The Mustang was originally a student model. You don't have many options for new and its not going to sound very big no matter what series or vintage you buy. It's a Strat light almost like a Bronco or a Bullet. not a fan personally.

Theres at least some info if no help at all.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby Exploding Pinto » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:07 pm

Far from crazy, my friend. Far from crazy. But, it all depends on what you are looking for out of that guitar.

I would definitely play a Mustang or Jag before buying one, if you are used to a Les Paul. They’ve had one of the light blue reissue Mustangs at Good ‘N Loud on Atwood for awhile. I imagine it’s still there, if you can make your way through all the Samicks without passing out.

As you pointed out there is the weight thing, but the neck is really going to feel a lot different too. For me, I like these two Fenders because they are short-scale: they have a 24 inch neck vs. your 24 ¾ inched Les Paul neck vs. 25 ½ inches on Stratocaster or Telecaster. The neck profiles and radii are going to be a lot different too.

Shortscale.org has forum worth checking out. I’d go for a reissue myself purely because of price. A certain deceased Pacific Northwesterner has helped drive vintage Mustangs to stupid prices. Fender put out a Squire Duo Sonic Classic Vibe a year or two ago that is short-scale, has the body of Mustang, and is more affordable. I never found one around here to try out, but it’s probably not quite as nice as a Japanese reissue Mustang anyhow (at least electronics/hardware-wise).

On another note, I’d like to give one of those new Epiphone Wilshire reissues a whirl…
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby Kyle Motor » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:48 am

It's a drive, but Dave's Guitar in LaCrosse probably has by far the widest selection of Fender products in the area, which is great if you really want to play different models and feel the differences for yourself.

Also check out Greg's on Atwood. I know he's had a Mustang or two in there somewhat recently and he's usually got a line on interesting stuff.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby Deitrich » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:23 am

Here's a budget Jazzmaster with p-90s befor you drop the big bucks:

http://store.guitarfetish.com/xvoffltrp90p.html
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:59 am

Vintage Fender stuff is currently waaay overvalued, IMO, and depending on the year that stuff can be pretty spotty in terms of quality (70s stuff is notoriously hit or miss). Buying off eBay is going to be especially pricey and dicey. There are a lot of fakes out there masquerading as the real thing, so if you go that route, make sure you pay attention to sellers' ratings, etc.

Fender reissues tend to be pretty decent, but again, quality is going to vary and I personally wouldn't buy one without first being able to get my hands on the thing. You can find imports that are easily as nice as US made stuff, but you may have to try a bunch to find the one.

I second the recommendation to head to Dave's in LaX. Great shop. It's been too long since I've been there, but that's probably a good thing.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby dead ed » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:59 am

thank you everyone, i knew that i would get some quality feedback here. I'm keeping the les paul and I want the new guitar to sound different. The jag or mustang will probably be the guitar that I play the most once I get it. I don't plan on playing the same music on both guitars - they each have their place.

i've had a telecaster in the past, so i know a little bit of what I'm getting in to.

Dave's website has one jag listed right now. Any thoughts on mexican vs. japanese?

interested to hear what anyone else has to say.

thanks,
d.
Last edited by dead ed on Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby juanton » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:00 am

I always thought folks complained about the 3 bolt neck Fenders as being the dicey bunch of 70s Fenders? I have had numerous 4 bolt Fenders from the 70s, both guitars and basses, and have never had any issues with build quality. My dumb ass wishes I never would have sold them.

I've spent the last few months looking at all things used and Fender on eBay and other cities' Craigslist and I have to say that used prices for 70s on up Fender are headed down. 60's Fenders? Forget about it. Rock star lawyers have ruined that scene.

In bassland, I have been seeing Mustangs go for several hundred dollars or less. The short scale basses are dropping in price, so I would imagine the guitars are too. I feel it's a buyer's market right now, if you have the patience and know how to wade through the crap. A lot of people are currently hard up for cash. Search eBay daily.

Good luck.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:10 am

Japanese made Fenders and even some Squire's (from the 80's) are top notch. I'd rather buy one of those than an American one honestly. They don't have many commercially available here though. You can buy them direct from Japan though via eBay. Just search for Fender Japan.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby juanton » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:14 am

fisticuffs wrote:Japanese made Fenders and even some Squire's (from the 80's) are top notch. I'd rather buy one of those than an American one honestly. They don't have many commercially available here though. You can buy them direct from Japan though via eBay. Just search for Fender Japan.


Yep. The MIJ guitars are usually pretty damn nice.

I'm currently awaiting the arrival of an 85 MIJ Fender Jazz that's a 62 reissue. I can't wait.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:39 am

dead ed wrote:Dave's website has one jag listed right now. Any thoughts on mexican vs. japanese?

The general opinion seems to be that the MIJ stuff is more consistent in terms of quality than the MIM stuff. But I've personally "auditioned" MIM basses that were great playing and sounding instruments.

The nice thing about doing business with Dave is that you know you're going to get a guitar with a quality setup, functional truss rod, etc. His reputation is top notch, and this is a guy who attends guitar shows all over the country, so that reputation is pretty far reaching. I've never heard a bad word about the guy. He's not going to try to pass off a piece of crap on you.

On thing to watch with Jaguars, Jazzmasters and Mustangs is that the bridges on those things are not the most rock solid design Leo ever engineered. So if you try one out, play it like you mean it. How well and how long the thing stays in tune could have a lot to do with your playing style, and they may not be the best choice for a heavy-handed player. Again, it's going to depend a lot on the guitar as well.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:06 pm

I've got no substantive response, but can I just--

dead ed wrote:i knew that i would get some quality feedback here.

Ba-dum TSSSSH.

Thank you.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby ilikebeans » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:29 pm

Uncle_Leaver wrote:On thing to watch with Jaguars, Jazzmasters and Mustangs is that the bridges on those things are not the most rock solid design Leo ever engineered. So if you try one out, play it like you mean it. How well and how long the thing stays in tune could have a lot to do with your playing style, and they may not be the best choice for a heavy-handed player. Again, it's going to depend a lot on the guitar as well.

The first thing I do with a new/used Fender bass is replace the stock bridge (usually a Leo Quan Badass Bass II). Makes a world of difference, at least for the models that have the traditional flimsy thin sheet metal with screw-threaded string supports. Sustain is better, tone is better, and it stays in tune more reliably. Plus, the strings won't shift on you laterally like they otherwise tend to when hit hard.

I imagine the same is true for guitars, and is possibly even more important, considering guitars naturally go out of tune quicker than basses.

Many replacement bridges use the same screw holes, so keep the original around for vintage value, if you're concerned about that. You can just drop in the old bridge before selling.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby juanton » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:50 pm

I know of some people that swear by these for replacement bridges: http://www.masterybridge.com/home.html

It's a lot of cake, yet I hear it solves all the issues with the crappy weak bridges on some of these non mainstream Fenders.
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Re: Finding a fender jaguar or mustang - am I crazy?

Postby flanneljammies » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:41 pm

Never had a problem with the bridge on my '62 Jazzmaster. I suppose YMMV.
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