Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

New to the board? Start a post to tell us about yourself and/or learn more about our other members.
Post Reply
User avatar
Viking Power
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:09 pm

Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by Viking Power » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:23 pm

Hey everyone,

I haven’t owned an offset but want one. I currently play a Gretsch and it is cool but I’ve always loved Fender and the offset guitars!

Would love some recommendations. I like to play surf, rockabilly, punk, psychobilly, garage kind of stuff. Which offset might work best for me?

I have been researching obsessively but come to you guys knowing that I will get some great advice. At least that’s what others in the interwebz have told me.

Thanks in advance and thanks for adding me to the forum!

PS Currently considering:
-American performer JM
-American Pro JM
-American Pro jaguar
-classic player JM special
-American performer mustang
-American strat or tele? Not offset cool but keeping my mind open.
Last edited by Viking Power on Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Singlebladepickup
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1985
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:12 am
Location: U.S. of fuckin' A.

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by Singlebladepickup » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:30 pm

Squier Jay mascis jazzmaster or one of those new squier 70's jaguars

User avatar
marqueemoon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2460
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by marqueemoon » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:44 pm

60’s Lacquer if you’re on a budget. American Original if you have more money to spend.

If you’re cool with a Strat-style trem, a G&L Doheny, or the Tribute version.

User avatar
Kent
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 616
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:56 am
Location: Vienna, Austria
Contact:

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by Kent » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:49 am

You'll want for nothing if you get the Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster.

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3419
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by mbene085 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:48 am

The biggest difference between a Jaguar and a Jazzmaster are in the feel. A lot of Gretsches have a 24.6" scale length. The Jaguar will feel closer to this, but is a bit shorter at 24". The Jazzmaster will feel much longer with its 25.5" scale length. Whether you enjoy a shorter reach, lower string tension and warmer tone or a longer reach with higher string tension and brighter tone is a matter of taste.

I'd play a few of each model before you make the Jaguar/Jazzmaster decision. Only then should you worry about specific models. Jaguars and Jazzmasters just play too differently to lump them in as an either/or. Some people have a strong preference for one over the other. I have at least three Jaguars/Mustangs for each of my two Jazzmasters, because I prefer the way they play.

User avatar
Viking Power
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:09 pm

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by Viking Power » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:06 am

Thanks everyone for the quick replies! I really appreciate it!

@Singlebladepickup - I hesitate to get a Squier though I've heard the quality is at an all-time high. Thanks for the recommendations!

@marqueemoon - I played a '60's Lacquer the other day and I liked it a lot. I already have a green guitar (Georgia Green Gretsch) and I just can't do another one. The American Original is just too much to pay. I can't convince myself to pay $2k for what is really just a hobby. Though I've considered the American Professional at $1.5k. Thanks for the recommendations!

@Kent - I just can't get an artist's model guitar. Thanks for the recommendation though!

@mbene085 - I did play an Am Pro Jag the same day I played the '60's Lacquer JM and I actually kind of like the shorter scale. I have a funky, disabled fretting hand index finger so wonder if the shorter scale might actually help my guitar playing...my only concern with the Jag is that it won't get the aggressive sound I need for some genres I want to play. Thoughts? Thanks for the advice!

User avatar
parry
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 7882
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:08 am
Location: Ontario, CANADA
Contact:

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by parry » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:12 am

How handy are ya?
You could build something on par with an American Professional (or whatever they call it now) for a little north of a grand.
And you get to build it the way you like.

Also, welcome to the forum!
NEW USER FAQ ANSWERS: Mastery trem, Staytrem bridge, Spitfire tort, replace electronics, replace pickups, match headstock, replace Squier logo with Fender, witch hats, amber switch-tip, flatwounds (heavy)

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3419
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by mbene085 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:13 am

I don't know about that, I don't find Jaguars any less "aggressive" sounding than JMs. Both have very trebley bridge pickups, which sounds like what you might want for the genres you listed. Both guitars are absolute naturals at some of the styles you listed like surf and garage. Offsets aren't as popular in the psychobilly world as Gretsches but you already have that covered and they're certainly capable. Absolutely anything with strings can play punk, otherwise you're doing it wrong.

A lot of the styles you mentioned are just a matter of having the right amp/pedals if your starting point is any single coil Fender guitar (including the strat and telecaster you listed).

User avatar
Viking Power
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:09 pm

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by Viking Power » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:15 am

Oh man, that is so tempting...I would love to do that. Maybe an idea for a later date.

I barely have time to play a little guitar 4-5 times a week though much less build one (new dad, busy job, you know the drill).

User avatar
Viking Power
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:09 pm

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by Viking Power » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:21 am

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:13 am
I don't know about that, I don't find Jaguars any less "aggressive" sounding than JMs. Both have very trebley bridge pickups, which sounds like what you might want for the genres you listed. Both guitars are absolute naturals at some of the styles you listed like surf and garage. Offsets aren't as popular in the psychobilly world as Gretsches but you already have that covered and they're certainly capable. Absolutely anything with strings can play punk, otherwise you're doing it wrong.

A lot of the styles you mentioned are just a matter of having the right amp/pedals if your starting point is any single coil Fender guitar (including the strat and telecaster you listed).
Thanks for the detailed response. I was afraid that the Jaguar might be "thin' sounding compared to the JM but reading your post sheds a bit more light on things for me. Of course this just means the field is even wider open (since as you said, the strat and tele are options) which means I have more thinking to do before I take a plunge in any direction.

One thing I did notice too about offsets is that they sure feel comfortable to play when seated as compared to my Gretsch and even Teles that I've borrowed.

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3419
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by mbene085 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:33 am

Yep, offsets are definitely one of the most comfortable body styles to sit with. Some of them (especially jags, but JMs too) can be on the heavy side, though Mustangs are often as light as a feather if that's your thing.

JM bridge pickups are kind of notoriously thin sounding, especially relative to the neck pickup. I definitely have jags that have thicker bridge pickups than your average JM, but of course everything can easily be tweaked with aftermarket pickups. I'd say the average JM neck pickup in thicker sounding than the average jag neck pickup, but the reverse is true for bridge pickups (though by a smaller margin). Jags have a natural warmth to the scale length that contributes to this, and I'm referring to vintage style pickups (the J Mascis and Classic Player JMs, for example, have P90-style pickups that have a thicker bridge tone than your vintage style JM or jag).

And one person's "thin" is another person's "cutting" tone. A bridge pickup on a jag or JM going through the right pedals/amp are a tone I'd love to use for psychobilly, for example, but maybe someone else would find them less desirable for that. I love the strong string attack you get by running a vintage style JM or jag bridge pickup through heavy OD/fuzz/distortion, but it wouldn't quite fit a GnR cover band, you know? Everyone's goal is a bit different.

User avatar
Viking Power
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:09 pm

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by Viking Power » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:20 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:33 am
Yep, offsets are definitely one of the most comfortable body styles to sit with. Some of them (especially jags, but JMs too) can be on the heavy side, though Mustangs are often as light as a feather if that's your thing.

JM bridge pickups are kind of notoriously thin sounding, especially relative to the neck pickup. I definitely have jags that have thicker bridge pickups than your average JM, but of course everything can easily be tweaked with aftermarket pickups. I'd say the average JM neck pickup in thicker sounding than the average jag neck pickup, but the reverse is true for bridge pickups (though by a smaller margin). Jags have a natural warmth to the scale length that contributes to this, and I'm referring to vintage style pickups (the J Mascis and Classic Player JMs, for example, have P90-style pickups that have a thicker bridge tone than your vintage style JM or jag).

And one person's "thin" is another person's "cutting" tone. A bridge pickup on a jag or JM going through the right pedals/amp are a tone I'd love to use for psychobilly, for example, but maybe someone else would find them less desirable for that. I love the strong string attack you get by running a vintage style JM or jag bridge pickup through heavy OD/fuzz/distortion, but it wouldn't quite fit a GnR cover band, you know? Everyone's goal is a bit different.
Thanks. I get what you mean about “thin” vs. “cutting”. Makes me think about Joe Strummer with his tele.

Thanks for all the help in this. Lots to ponder. More guitars to demo.

Any love for Mustangs from you? I know you mentioned they’re super light. Any other thoughts?

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3419
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by mbene085 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:38 pm

I'm a huge Mustang fan. They took a while to win me over, since they're really analogous to jags in a lot of ways (24" scale, two single coils, vibrato) and I just find jags prettier, both in shape and in quantity of chrome (and availability of finishes)

But once I got over that, I came to appreciate Mustangs as their own thing. They're certainly lighter than jags and a whole lot easier to play standing for long sessions, and the strat pickup form factor of standard mustangs has infinitely more aftermarket options for tweaking than a stock Jag rout (which can't take strat pickups because of their triangular baseplate).

The new alnico 6 pickups in the American Performer Mustang sound really great to me in demos, but I haven't had the chance to try them (or the redesigned vibrato) out yet.

The Dynamic Vibrato of the Mustang is a very different beast from a Jaguar vibrato. The Jag excels at subtle warbles whereas the Mustang has kind of a more Strat-like immediacy to its action. There are, of course, hardtail Mustangs available, too - the vintage-correct term for those would be Duo-Sonic IIs, but Fender has discarded the vintage naming convention and is calling the current hardtail Mustang-shaped guitars Mustangs.

Notably, there is a P90-equipped Mustang in the affordable MIM Offset series. If you're serious about Gretschy tone, TV Jones makes all his pickups available in P90 form factor, from his TV Classic filtertrons to his T-Armond Dynasonic clones. But they lack vibratos, so that'd be no dice if you're serious about surf like you mentioned.

User avatar
Viking Power
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:09 pm

Re: Hi! I wanna be an offset owner!

Post by Viking Power » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:19 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:38 pm
I'm a huge Mustang fan. They took a while to win me over, since they're really analogous to jags in a lot of ways (24" scale, two single coils, vibrato) and I just find jags prettier, both in shape and in quantity of chrome (and availability of finishes)

But once I got over that, I came to appreciate Mustangs as their own thing. They're certainly lighter than jags and a whole lot easier to play standing for long sessions, and the strat pickup form factor of standard mustangs has infinitely more aftermarket options for tweaking than a stock Jag rout (which can't take strat pickups because of their triangular baseplate).

The new alnico 6 pickups in the American Performer Mustang sound really great to me in demos, but I haven't had the chance to try them (or the redesigned vibrato) out yet.

The Dynamic Vibrato of the Mustang is a very different beast from a Jaguar vibrato. The Jag excels at subtle warbles whereas the Mustang has kind of a more Strat-like immediacy to its action. There are, of course, hardtail Mustangs available, too - the vintage-correct term for those would be Duo-Sonic IIs, but Fender has discarded the vintage naming convention and is calling the current hardtail Mustang-shaped guitars Mustangs.

Notably, there is a P90-equipped Mustang in the affordable MIM Offset series. If you're serious about Gretschy tone, TV Jones makes all his pickups available in P90 form factor, from his TV Classic filtertrons to his T-Armond Dynasonic clones. But they lack vibratos, so that'd be no dice if you're serious about surf like you mentioned.
I feel myself being pulled toward a Jag and away from the JM. I wish they had a Jag in the Performer Series though. Better price point for me. I played a Jag Pro Series and actually liked the short scale. Weird since I don’t have what you’d call slender fingers. Haha.

I haven’t played a Mustang yet so will have to give them a shot too.

So, tried to get a surf tone on my Gretsch tonight and though it gets close it always seems a bit twangy. Not sure if the amp in the end is making the difference or it really is the guitar. Prior to demoing the JMand Jag the other day I was fairly happy with the surf tone I was getting with my Gretsch. I think those offsets ruined me!

Post Reply