Going into the little big brothers of Fenders models, both the Jazz Master and the Jaguar model are incredible instruments, which even though they may look like a lot, they have an enormous difference in tone and sound.
They have different fretboards, and they are thought to be used in different types of music, while the Jazz Master has a transparent sound which much more output, the Jaguar has a more rounded, percussive and balanced sound.
These guitars may be a bit more expensive when comparing their price to a similar model from their brothers, the Stratocaster mostly. Thus, the quality of sound is awesome, however, especially for recording, this difference in sound may be a bit “weird” to your sound. Musicians and people are so used to the Stratocaster sound, that sometimes going outside the grid brings special and mixed feelings about it. However, great albums and great songs were recorded with these amazing guitars.
The best feature of the Jazz Master is probably the bone nut and narrow-tall 22 frets. These frets make this guitar a perfect instrument for long bendings with extra feeling. Great for those long jazz bent notes, the whammy/ tremolo bar is also screwed into the body so you can push it without worrying about breaking it and keeping it off in your hand.
The Jazz Master also comes with the treble bleed circuit that will make the guitar maintain the highs and its natural tone when reducing the volume. This may not sound as much or even useful, but the amount of feel and personal touch you can add to your sound with this feature is amazing.
Finally, if you do not want to go away from the Fender Stratocaster sound very much, then the Jazz Master is a nice model in between the Strat and the Jaguar. It comes only with a three position switch for their mics (Bridge, middle, and neck) and only two knobs, volume, and tone.
Even though the coils may look like Gibson P90 coils, have in mind that at the end they are Fender Single Coil’s mics. The extra add-on on the mics provides a warmer thicker tone without losing the single coil clarity, and it ultimately they also provide a hum canceling especially in the middle position.
When we are talking about the Jaguar model, there are so many around that this article should be much longer than this to cover them all. However, we are going to stick with the mainstream Jaguar American Model.
The Jaguar has a shorter scale and a different tone than the Jazz Master, and the main difference with the Jazz Master is the pick up selector. The Jaguar comes with a 4-position pick up selector, in which the main difference is the fourth position in which you will get both mics active at the same time but wire in series giving a fuller sound.
Plus, on the upper side, you will find an extra tone selector (two positions) similar to a phaser is going to kick a nice funky/ wah sound great for country music. Of course, when using this switch you will alter the sound despite the main mic position you are in, so you have hundreds of sound combination whit this guitar.
Finally, the treble bleed circuit allows you to keep the tone and bright even when you are not at full volume. This is a great feature when you just want to hit long chords and just want to let them ring; you can play with the volume knob while still keeping the tone.
The whammy bar is screw in, so you don’t have to worry about ripping your guitar off when you are going crazy on your solos.
|24.5″ Scale||Same scale as the strat (25”)|
|22 frets||21 Frets|
|Individual mic selector||Single Coils|
|Extra Switch for low filter (Less middle frequency)||Similar toggle switch as Gibson|
In this case (And I like it), we are comparing great instruments; this has a clear pro and con on my end. The pro like I said is that I have to say great things about both guitars, the con is that it is difficult for me to give you a conclusion on which guitar to buy or play.
They are both incredible guitars by Fender, that for sure made rock and roll history, so as usual, I am going to say that the model you should get should be defined by your objectives and goals in both sound and style.
If you want to play a nice jazz tune, and you like those long bending notes with clean and easy to understand sound, if you are not a guy who goes straight into the amp and starts pumping up all the knobs (Especially the distortion/ overdrive one), then the Jazz Master by fender is going to be your friend and buddy for a long time. Even though some southern American tunes were stolen with this guitar, mostly country, and folk, it is a great guitar for these kinds of music.
If on the other hand, you would like a more percussive sound, to add more distortion and get that dirty but beautiful sound, then the Jaguar is the place to go. Besides having an extra fret, it comes with similar coils to the Stratocaster plus the “Claws” system that reduce the noise while playing. This way, even though you will be on an overdrive position, the sound out of the guitar will still be beautiful and easy to understand.
Finally, most models of both guitars have a great tremolo system allowing you to get that wave sound when you are power chording, or you are bending!
We are getting into more powerful stuff here, so more than ever if you have any comments, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to read them and reply to them as well.