Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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redielg
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Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by redielg » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:29 am

What's up guys.
I've been wanting a Jazzmaster for the longest time. I have a Gretsch G2622T and while I love it, Fender necks just feel much more like home for me. I've had my eye on a Fender Classic 60s Lacquer but its just out of my budget. So I think I'm gonna settle on Squier model. Most likely a VMJM in Sonic Blue or white. I have a couple of questions.

If you've owned a VMJM, how have the held up over time? I have a squier affinity strat someone gave me forever ago and it just fell apart. I assume the VM line is leagues better than the affinity.

Did the Vintage Modified Jazzmaster ever switch from rosewood to laurel? (I'd rather have rosewood)

What exactly are the different specs between the classic vibe and vintage modified jazzmaster besides the bridge, fretboard wood and body wood? I'd rather have basswood than poplar.

Is the bridge that comes with the classic vibe available as an aftermarket part? If not, whats the best alternative.

Will I have to shim the neck for a proper set up?

I appreciate any help!
jut breathe yo.

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MKR
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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by MKR » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:37 am

They're OK and very much a case of hit and miss. If you can score one at a good deal second hand then sure, go for it. I would go for a mascis over a VM if that's an option.

I think some of the more recent VMs have laurel, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

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patski
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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by patski » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:00 am

Honestly...I've played numerous Squier JMs and almost *immediately* set them back on the rack.

Something about the neck...I have yet to find a Squier JM neck that feels good.

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by Zork » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:40 am

The CV bridge is available on reverb. Just search for "steel mustang bridge". Chrome is currently out of stock but it has the correct 9,5" radius.
I had a VM Jazzmaster briefly and liked the neck, but the sound was dull and uninspiring to me. I love my VM Bass VI, though. My 2c: Just get one second hand, play it for a while without any mods and see how you get along. These are easy to resell if you don't like it.

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by timiscott » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:30 am

The Mascis JM has a really good neck - feels quite similar to an MIJ one.

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by pikmin » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:06 am

patski wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:00 am
Honestly...I've played numerous Squier JMs and almost *immediately* set them back on the rack.

Something about the neck...I have yet to find a Squier JM neck that feels good.
The neck of my J.Mascis Jazzmaster is great .
Did you try it ?

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by jakeisjake » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:47 am

I've had a couple of VMs and a couple of JM Jms...

I've enjoyed them all. But the JMascises are definitely better and have competed with the Fenders I've had (60s Lacquer and AVRI).

I just saw a couple on Reverb for 315$...awesome guitars.
If I was a byrd, I'd be mighty sore every time they shut the door and I don't think I'd sing...

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by jvin248 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:32 pm

.

Having watched JMs for a while, including Squier, the JMJM is always popular and positively rated, reflected in their continued strong pricing on the used market too.

Besides the neck, figure out what pickups you want (you can always mod though), there are the classic alnico pole style and the steel slug with ceramic/alnico block magnets (often miss named P90s), or the Gibson style P90 soapbars/dogears, or standard humbuckers.

Depending on your budget ... you can scavenge a Squire neck and a JM body and build your own partscaster. Here is a prototype I have have been messing around with waiting for the weather to get warmer in my shop. It's basically a Les Paul Junior in a JM and uses a Squier Strat neck (modded with a zero fret and sanded headstock since this picture) and a fabric covered pine body with flamed maple binding.

Image

.

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by Surfysonic » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:23 pm

I agree of the Squier JMs, the J Mascis is my fave of the Squier JMs. However, the stock pickups are more P90 in tone than your traditional Jazzmaster tone. If that doesn't matter to you, then you'll get a great guitar for a low price.

Since I'm a surf music player, I swapped out the stock pickups for Fender Pure Vintage '65 pickups to get the traditional Jazzmaster tones (making it more surfy for me). The overall cost of buying the Fender Pure Vintage '65 pickups and getting them installed into a Squier JM JM or the VMJM by yourself or a tech would still would be less expensive than buying the Fender Classic 60s Laccquer JM.

I have had a VMJM but eventually sold it (even after mods). The VMJM pickups would get you closer to the traditional Jazzmaster pickup tone. Some would argue you would still have a way to go to get to that Fender Jazzmaster pickup tone with the VMJM pickups.

All that said, I'll throw this out FWIW: If you have had your heart set on the Fender Classic 60s Lacquer JM, socking away the funds and saving up for a little while will eventually get you what you want. Painful, but worth the wait. The Fender Classic 60s Lacquer JM wasn't available as an option at the time I purchased my Squier JMs. If it was, I'd have waited. But that's just me. I prefer a nitro finish over the poly, but it's not a deal breaker by any means either. There at least 3 Fender Classic 60s Lacquer JMs available on Reverb now starting at $800 - 850 (some with extra shipping costs).

Another consideration is that the Squier J Mascis JM or Squier VM JM both have 9.5" radius necks and the Fender Classic 60s Lacquer JM has a 7.25" radius neck. Like a lot of folks who use roundwound strings, you may not like the stock bridge and will need to buy an aftermarket 9.5" radius bridge, where some of them can be pricey such as Mastery or StayTrem (my fave). Warmoth has a modified Mustang bridge suitable for 9.5" radius at a lower price point, but I personally couldn't stand them. As for the 7.25" radius bridge, the easy and far less expensive replacement fix is to get a Fender Mustang bridge from Fender parts sellers like Darren Riley online.

Alternatively, some folks like the stock bridge, especially if they prefer flatwound strings. Then you're good to go with the stock bridge.

Finally, of course - try all of these guitars out in person to help you in your final determination if you can. Hope any of this helps!
The doofus formerly known as Snorre...

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patski
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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by patski » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:03 pm

pikmin wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:06 am
patski wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:00 am
Honestly...I've played numerous Squier JMs and almost *immediately* set them back on the rack.

Something about the neck...I have yet to find a Squier JM neck that feels good.
The neck of my J.Mascis Jazzmaster is great .
Did you try it ?
I did. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. And I've picked it up and played it several times.
I love how it sounds and I'm one of the few that loves the gold pg against oly white :)

I'm partial to vintage specs it seems (though not always!)
Last edited by patski on Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by patski » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:11 pm

I'd play as many different models as you can get your hands on, and as many different fretboard radiuses (is that a word? radii?), neck types and frets. I realize this is tricky depending on where you live. But I'd give it a go and see what feels good and sounds good.

I played a ton of different JM models and got a TVL eventually – one year later, I got a Tele. It felt good to play and was a load of fun. It has a 9.5" radius, a modern-C neck and medium jumbo frets. The TVL is a 7.25", a C neck and vintage frets. Now I'm comfortable with either.

A quick note on the Classic Lacquer 60s JM: this is a killer guitar with an awesome and fast neck. It was hilarious fun. I just couldn't get with the colour. But it's astonishingly great value for how great it sounds and feels.

Having smaller hands makes these things really noticeable and you'll just *know* when you've got a easy and fast neck that makes playing fun as heck! (that rhymed, I did not mean it to)

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by loveinathens » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:38 pm

Tbh I've had better luck just saving for a good Mexican model. I'd love to have a Vintera I could play out of the box. I've had Squiers and currently own a CIJ Jaguar, but the janky electronics always made me feel less confident with the instrument. The CIJ would be amazing if I got around to replacing the electronics with better quality parts though.

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by redielg » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:52 am

Maybe I'll save up for a classic 60's lacquer. I haven't found one in the wild though. I know the hardware is better. I'd much rather have a rosewood neck (pau ferro doesn't look good to me, I know its dumb) and a lacquer finish. I just know i'd have to pay more for that. I've played jazz basses with a 7.25" radius and i loved it but I don't know how I'll feel about it on guitar. I've always tinkered with a lower priced guitar. My MIM jazz bass and Gretsch streamliner are heavily modified. That's why I figured I'd go that route.
jut breathe yo.

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by SAVEStheDAY » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:39 am

As a modding platform you can't really go wrong with the VMJM. As a player from stock it's still pretty damn good too. The pickups are probably the weak point. The bridge sucks too. I like the neck on mine a lot, but I don't have a lot of stock parts left in it anymore.

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Re: Squier Jazzmasters. To buy or not to buy.

Post by Larsongs » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:03 am

I went thru several New VMJM's & sent them all back for poor Quality issues that were either not repairable or Fender wouldn't repair under Warranty. I would avoid them.

The JMJM is a much better choice.. They require a serious Setup as do every Indonesian Squier I've played. But, a pretty good Guitar. The Pickups are subjective. IMO they need to be replaced with better sounding ones of your choice. AV65's or good P90's or whatever you think sounds great. But, the Stock ones are just OK. IMO

Other than the Pickups I wouldn't change much if anything..

But, if you can swing a Lacquer 60's you'd be much better off. They are very nice Guitars.. And, I own an AV65 JM....

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