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Jazzmaster & Jaguar At The Music Zoo
Buy Player Series online now from The Music Zoo! We have a great selection of guitar gear available in our Jazzmaster & Jaguar product collection. Awesome customer service and secure checkout are always included with your Player Series purchase.
The offset craze of the new millennium may not have ever come to be, if it wasn't for Fender's original "offset" models - the Jazzmaster and the Jaguar. The Music Zoo's selection of these offset darlings spans all price points and design aesthetics, from value-packed Squier models all the way up to vintage-reissues and Fender Custom Shop creations. The Jazzmaster and Jaguar has seen a major resurgence in the past couple decades, and while not exactly "Jazz" guitars, they've found their niche! Today, these offset guitars are found in a variety of pickup and bridge configurations, and have even been used for metal!
Jazzmaster & Jaguar History
The Jazzmaster pre-dates the Jaguar by a few years - it was first introduced in 1958 and as many would guess from the name, it was marketed to jazz players. It was a much more complex and higher-end guitar - and featured a new "floating tremolo", as well as the new "lead" and "rhythm" electronic circuits. It also featured new "soapbar" style pickups that were often confused with P-90s -yet were very different, and were more like a typical Fender single coil, with a bit more of a mellow/warm tone than chimey or twangy Strat or Tele single coils. The switchable rhythm and lead circuit were designed so the player could have a "standby" rhythm tone ready. While the lead circuit was controlled by the 2 standard knobs, the rhythm circuit was controlled by the unique thumb-wheels.
The Jazzmaster was almost immediately snubbed by jazz players, but it ended up being adopted by surf and indie rock guitarists, which led to the design of the Jaguar in 1962. A similarly styled offset, the Jaguar was set apart most importantly by it's shorter 24" scale length, new pickups and modified lead/rhythm circuit designs. The Jaguar was specifically marketed as a surf guitar - following in the footsteps of what the Jazzmaster had become. The Jaguar pickups also were designed to reduce noise, like the Jazzmaster pickups, but were sized more similarly to Stratocaster pickups - yet they boasted notched metal covers for feedback reduction. The Jaguar was marketed as a top-of-the-line guitar, and boasted "chromed out" cosmetics, plus a new string mute system - though it never really caught on. The "Lead" circuit also had extra switches for selecting the bridge or neck pickups, and a bass cut switch.
Custom color Jazzmaster and Jaguars with matching headstocks appeared throughout the '60s, and these models also saw many of the typical CBS era "upgrades", but both guitars never quite sold well enough to warrant continued production. The Jaguar was discontinued in 1975, while the Jazzmaster saw the end of it's original era in 1980. the Jazzmaster was reissued as a Japanese-made 1962 reissue model a few years later in 1984, but the Jaguar wasn't reissued until 1999, when both models had seen a resurgence thanks to the '90s grunge and indie rock era. 1999 marked the first year of the "American Vintage" series - USA made reissue guitars. The Jazzmaster and Jaguar were both featured in this new series. With the increasing popularity of these offset models in the new millennium, in 2017, Fender introduced USA production model Jazzmaster and Jaguars as part of the American Professional (previously American Standard) series. Notable Jazzmaster players include J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., Robert Smith of The Cure, and Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine. Kurt Cobain, Thurston Moore, and John Frusciante helped the Jaguar regain popularity in the '90s as well.
The Music Zoo is an authorized Fender and Squier dealer, and our used inventory is packed to the brim! Our offset guitars are individually photographed and weighed, and undergo a rigorous inspection by our team of technicians, so you can be sure that wood grain you just fell in love with will look the same when it arrives at your doorstep, and the guitar will be ready to play right out of the case. Make your next offset purchase online at The Music Zoo, or visit our New York showroom to shop today!