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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Favorite surf guitar

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raylinds wrote:

While I have been happy with my Strat (pictured above), I liked the idea of having a surf-specific guitar. I play a lot of blues and Hendrix on it and do a lot of bending, so I didn't want to put heavy strings on it.

To be honest, I always assumed that Jaguars were just Strats without the middle pup, and the Jazzmaster was very similar, but slightly different pups.

After reading this thread I became intrigued by Jaguars, Jazzmasters, and Mosrites.

I spent a good deal of time on YouTube listening to some surf music played on these guitars. I first researched Mosrites. Funny thing was that most of the live footage of The Ventures had Nokie on Strats (and he sounded like Nokie on both guitars)! I did manage to find some proper samples of the Mosrite sound. I liked the sound but, other then the pickups being a little hotter, I didn't think it was enough of a different flavor than the Strat.

I have always loved the sound of The Astronauts, so really explored Jazzmasters. In the end, though it was the Jaguar sound that got me. I also liked the idea of the short scale that would allow me to use 12s and still have the same playability as my strat.

I think I really could have been happy with any of the three, but I just placed and order for a AVRI sunburst Jag.

The Jaguar was a major component of early Surf. Some feel that it's the ultimate Surf guitar, and while I agree that it has its own unique charms, one could make an equally persuasive argument that the Strat was the ultimate Surf axe. Having owned and played both, I would only venture to say that either guitar is quite capable of being a great Surf instrument, but they are quite different from one another.

The control set on a Jaguar is really quite appealing to me. To be able to preset the rhythm sound you want and switch in and out of that mode easily strikes me as a great idea. The main control set still functions normally and no flexibility is lost by having a separate control set for the rhythm preset. I assume that Leo Fender dreamed this up, and as was usually the case, his idea was pretty good.

One thing a Jaguar does surprisingly well is a bright, Bakersfield sound. For a while I played in a quartet and the other guitarist had a Tele. We played a Country song and I took a solo on it which ended up sounding more like a Tele than the other guitarist's actual Tele. It surprised both of us.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

raylinds wrote:

While I have been happy with my Strat (pictured above), I liked the idea of having a surf-specific guitar. I play a lot of blues and Hendrix on it and do a lot of bending, so I didn't want to put heavy strings on it.

I think heavy strings are needed only for the lower two--and perhaps just the lowest one. On my strat type guitars I use size 50 for the low E string and the rest of the strings are the same as a 10-46 set.

In the 1960s the Jag was the one Fender identified as top-of-the-line, so you should get a great guitar right out of the box.

Since you asked, the widest range of tones I get--those beyond my imagination--come with the Roland pickup (shown). I eventually figured out how to get sweet surfy-spacey tones with it and am recording with it.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Last edited: May 24, 2020 15:27:13

I bought Squier vibe 60 and it is great surf guitar. Love the sound and tone.
Exactly this one - https://www.awkwardsound.com/squier-fender-classic-vibe-60s-stratocaster-review/

Harrynp wrote:

I bought Squier vibe 60 and it is great surf guitar. Love the sound and tone.
Exactly this one - https://www.awkwardsound.com/squier-fender-classic-vibe-60s-stratocaster-review/

Those are great guitars for the money.

So I've had my MIM vintage Jaguar and Jazzmaster for a few weeks now. I put Fender Pure Vintage pups in the Jaguar and Seymour Duncan Vintage in the JM. I put .012 flats and did a very precision setup on both.

These are really very different sounding guitars, but I can see a place for both. I think I like the JM more for chord rhythms and the lead for mellower surf. While not necessarily mellow, Pipeline sounds right on the JM.

The Jag sounds great on more aggressive Dick Dale type stuff like Miserlou. I thought the scale might bother me because I am big, but it doesn't.

It's nice to have the luxury of having both. I can also leave roundwounds on the Strat for a real aggressive sound and other styles.

Last edited: Jun 19, 2020 14:21:44

raylinds Did you get Seymour Duncan 'Vintage For Jazzmaster ' ? I bought a set from an SG101-er and put them in my MIM jazzmaster and I love them ..most people go with the Antiquity series but these Vintage are great too. Just what I was looking for .
I know what you mean about very different sounding and I think it is mostly due to the scale length . I use the same strings on my Jm , Strats and Jag , and the strat and JM seem more alike than the Jag and jazzmaster even though the jag and JM have the same hardware ,similar body and electronics .

ArabSpringReverb wrote:

raylinds Did you get Seymour Duncan 'Vintage For Jazzmaster ' ? I bought a set from an SG101-er and put them in my MIM jazzmaster and I love them ..most people go with the Antiquity series but these Vintage are great too. Just what I was looking for .
I know what you mean about very different sounding and I think it is mostly due to the scale length . I use the same strings on my Jm , Strats and Jag , and the strat and JM seem more alike than the Jag and jazzmaster even though the jag and JM have the same hardware ,similar body and electronics .

Yes, SD Vintage for Jazzmaster. I liked the samples I heard better than the Antiquities that sounded brighter.

My new favourite
image

He who dies with the most tubes... wins

Surf Daddies

The control set on a Jaguar is really quite appealing to me. To be able to preset the rhythm sound you want and switch in and out of that mode easily strikes me as a great idea. The main control set still functions normally and no flexibility is lost by having a separate control set for the rhythm preset. I assume that Leo Fender dreamed this up, and as was usually the case, his idea was pretty good.

Actually, it was Freddy Tavares who came up with that switching scheme; believe it was also used on some of their steel guitars...or at least, one's Freddy had made for himself.

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most...

Bill_Ashton wrote:

The control set on a Jaguar is really quite appealing to me. To be able to preset the rhythm sound you want and switch in and out of that mode easily strikes me as a great idea. The main control set still functions normally and no flexibility is lost by having a separate control set for the rhythm preset. I assume that Leo Fender dreamed this up, and as was usually the case, his idea was pretty good.

Actually, it was Freddy Tavares who came up with that switching scheme; believe it was also used on some of their steel guitars...or at least, one's Freddy had made for himself.

In any event, it's a great idea.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Now that I have owned my Jazzmaster and Jaguar for over six months, I thought I would share my impressions here.

Despite their very similar look, these are very different guitars. The Jazzmaster has a mellower and richer sound and the Jag has a more aggressive biting sound, though the controls allow for a lot of tone shaping.

I find myself going for the Jazzmaster for most surf songs, as it has a really authentic first wave sound. However, the Jag sounds incredible when a more aggressive sound is called for and it, too, provides an authentic, but different, authentic retro surf sound.

I think I could make do with either of these as my only surf guitar, but am extremely happy that I have both.

I think strats are the ultimate in general, not only for surf. I only have one guitar and it’s a strat. However, I really want a nice Jaguar and think that will be my next axe when I’m ready to add a second guitar.

To preface this, I own a Jaguar, Strat and Tele. For Surf, I pretty much exclusively play the Jag. It's mostly because I just feel like the vibrato feels right for it, so smooth and subtle. The Strat trem feels jerky to me in comparison. Another reason is that I'm often playing melody lines on the first few frets, which on the short scale guitars is that much easier. Lastly, the tone of both pickups on gets that perfect hollow sound that just always feels right.

Strats are totally rad though and I sometimes think about using it as my main guitar. I used to exclusively play a strat out at bars when I was playing with a blues band. Then I go back to the Jag and I'm like....yep, this is the number 1 surf guitar for me.

I just bought this Fender American Pro II Jazzmaster in Dark Night... my first offset guitar and is now my #1. Love it!

photo

Nothing I've tried comes close to this. Custom Shop Jazzmaster, neck date January 15th 1998. Everything stock. Probably the first vintage spec US Jazzmaster ever made after the discontinuation, and according to the former owner the prototype of what became 1962 AVRI. Differences from the production model are vintage-style bevel on the pickguard (30 degrees), birdseye maple neck, prototype pickups. Also the vibrato feels better than any reissue offset vibrato I've tried, I guess the hardware is prototype too. Mint condition. Got this for not a lot of money (less than a new AO Jazzmaster) a couple of years ago. At least three former owners after this was ordered by Dave's Guitar Shop in March 1997, no idea how it ended up here in Norway. But I'm very, very happy it did.
image

Last edited: Mar 18, 2021 10:45:39

Outstanding! She is a beauty Wink

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most...

Bill_Ashton wrote:

Outstanding! She is a beauty Wink

Indeed! I have very strong feelings for this guitar.

This one now)
image

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

https://www.facebook.com/waikikimakaki/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1sTg2JTKUZ3Vlu44gW2OYA
https://soundcloud.com/waikiki-makaki

Soundwise Teisco Spectrum other aspects Jaguar. 2 annoying things with Spectrum, pickups are in the way and dont take very heavy strings.

image
I'm mainly a Jazzmaster man myself. From left 2019 CIJ in Torino Red, 1965 Jazzmaster, 2016 Custom Shop Relic, 2020 Nash. Lollar pickups on all except the 1965 which is original and sounds amazing.

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