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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.
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Dead Thread

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.

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