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Japanese Jaguar or Jagmaster for me ?


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Hi,

I'm new here so here's some boring background first :

I'm more of an electronic musician than a guitarist, I mostly make (often improvised) droney/melodic/noisy electronic music with gameboys, toy keyboards, synths, effects, circuit bent devices, loopers, etc.

I don't have a guitar right now but I used to have an Epiphone SG for a long time, though I have to admit that once I bought my first analog synthesizer the guitar got quite neglected :). I actually still own the SG but it's in a friend's apartment in Paris and I live in Tokyo now. So, not really ideal to make noisy noises at home.

The only non-electronic instrument I've used recently is an electro-acoustic uke. I wanted to get a solid body electric uke but these things are either hard to find or insanely expensive. Or both. And a few days ago, I had a sort of small revelation : why not buy a nice Fender Jaguar ? I have more money to spend now than when I was a student and I deserve a nice and shiny new toy :).

After some browsing, I discovered the existence of the Jagmaster and of this forum. So, here I am....

And now, my questions :

As I live in Tokyo, it seems to be a good idea to find a guitar "made in Japan", right ?

I'm paid in yens, so I'm not really worried by the current exchange rate that's quite unfavorable for the Euro/Dollar.

Apart from the awesome look (and feel), what attracts me to the Jaguar is all these nice knobs and switches, and the electronic routing underneath.

And even though the Jagmaster has a much simpler setup, it seems to be the perfect guitar for experimentations/modifications. I make and modify electronic instruments and I'm definitely not afraid of a soldering iron, so as long as the mods stay in the electronic realm (i.e. no woodwork, etc.), I could do everything by myself if I decide to mod it.

As I haven't really played guitar in quite some time, I'd rather not get something too expensive. A new Jag HH is about 80 000 yens here, which is more than what I intend to spend (I also have to get some small amp or amp simulator, apartments are small here).

So, what would be in your opinion the best for me :

- a secondhand japanese Jaguar, and if so which version and at which price ?

- a secondhand Jagmaster (old japanese version) that would quite likely end up being modified later

- a new or secondhand Jagmaster (chinese version) that would also quite likely end up being modified later

- something else ?

Thanks for any advice/opinion and for the forum, I spent a few hours reading stuff here and digesting lots of valuable informations...

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Great post!

For me a used made in japan jazzmaster for 500 - 600 euros, or maybe even cheaper in Japan, (don't know how much's that in yen) would be a great choice. You will have to upgrade the pickups though (plus 200 euros), but maybe that won't be necessary since you're into more experimental sounds.

I think if you like more trembly sounds the MIJ jaguar is even better as a choice.

What amp do you have in mind?

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I'm more of an electronic musician than a guitarist, I mostly make (often improvised) droney/melodic/noisy electronic music with gameboys, toy keyboards, synths, effects, circuit bent devices, loopers, etc.

I love you already <3 welcome to the forum!

not going to answer your question yet because i didnt read further than this in your post. Any youtube videos/myspace of your stuff? and pictures of you're gear? I love this kinda stuff so so so much but have never gotten into it really... never had the right equipment and never found anywhere to but it!

Private Message me if you wanna have a chat!

henry

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Hello again,

vastrange :

Why a Jazzmaster more than a Jaguar/Jagmaster ?

If I'm not mistaken, the Jazzmaster had a 25.5 scale instead of 24 for the other two, right ? To be honest, I'm not certain that this would make a difference for me but I'll have to handle the instruments to really see that. The guitar I used to play (SG) is right between 24 and 25.5 and all of these are much bigger than a soprano uke anyway :). I would instinctively tend to gravitate toward the smaller scale, but that's mostly because I like small instruments. I'm not sure the 4cm difference is really important for me.

What I'm even less sure about is the pickups. I also instinctively tend to think of humbuckers as a better option, not just because more is better but because in a Jaguar for example you can blend from single coil to double for each pickup. This does not take into account the actual quality of the pickups, of course. Is this a resonable assumption or am I missing something obvious there ?

These are the main reasons that made me think about a Jaguar rather than a Jazzmaster...

I will try to go to Ochanomizu this week-end (the Mecca of guitar shops in Tokyo, there must be at least 20 of them in the same street) and I'll see what's available there and try to handle as many different models as possible to see what the differences feel like. If I can find a nice japanese Jaguar for about 40 000 yens, that would be perfect :). I'm not sure that's possible, though...

As for amps :

I don't have any right now and I'll need something to put between the guitar (and lots of effects) and my mixer. I was initially thinking of getting a Pod or some similar amp/cabinet simulator. Any advice about that ? Keep in mind that I'm definitely not after a specific guitar sound, I just want something decent that will not "destroy" the guitar's sound (that's the job of my effects ;) ).

I could also consider a small amp, if something really small and cheap enough (i.e. same price as a basic pod) actually exists. A magic little box with some nice tubes in it would be cool, but I may be dreaming here.

gilmourish :

There are some old bits of sounds here (mostly live stuff, the first link is the most representative of the kind of stuff I do) :

http://www.oscillateur.com/boringmachine/sounds

I seriously need to update my website...

And this is a small video of a concert at last year's Bent Festival in NY (not the most exciting live performance ever, I warn you...) :

If you have any questions about electronic noisemakers, just ask... :).

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I love you. Will you marry me?

The only stuff i have for noise is a yamaha pss-130, korg kossilator. stylophone, small tape walkman (although i have no tapes really) A mass of effects pedals and I think this afternoon i may go into the basement and find my dads old transistor radios.

Your stuff is great. Do you make your all your own equipment? some pictures would be fantastic...

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Single coils handle effects better than humbuckers. Humbuckers are totally gross sounding to me. Jazzmasters have a fatter and fuller sound than Jaguars. And if you're used to playing an SG you would be used to playing a JM neck, as they are both standard neck sizes as you said. So, if that's not too big for you, you should be fine. I vote Jazzmaster as well, even though you didn't list it.

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Smut said it all there.

From my little experience the jazzmaster is less capricious compared to the jag i mean.

But it makes no diffirence since you are not looking for a particular sound in your guitar. Both guitars are great. You will be happy with either one of them.

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Without reading through everything i'd say Jaguar. It has way more tonal possibilities than a Jagmaster AND a better tremolo system, that's just the beginning...

Just a note: Agata does quite well with a basic SG and shedloads of FX in Melt Banana :wink:

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Without reading through everything i'd say Jaguar. It has way more tonal possibilities than a Jagmaster AND a better tremolo system, that's just the beginning...

Just a note: Agata does quite well with a basic SG and shedloads of FX in Melt Banana :wink:

And about a Billion other bands.

but fuzz does sound better through single coils.

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Thanks for all the feedback.

I went to Ochanomizu yesterday and to a few other shops in Shibuya today to see what's available.

There are a lot of Jaguars, mostly japanese ones, and some Jazzmasters (I even saw a secondhand Lee Ranaldo version, still far too expensive for me :) ). I did not see even one Jagmaster, unfortunately. Looks like they're not that common here.

A few of the Jaguars were secondhand, and of course in excellent condition (it's Japan...). One of them was quite tempting : a JG66 version, sunburst + red/tortoise pickguard. It was a bit cheaper than the other ones I saw : 60 000 yens (the other ones were about 70 000).

It's basically the same as this one :

http://www.digimart.net/images/1800/DS00740861_1.jpg

The price of this one new is about 90 000 yens, by the way. The new Jazzmaster price is similar, i.e. over my budget.

I also have to check another shop that's a bit further away but that seems to have one or two similar jags (notably a white one) for an even better price : 50-52k. If I can manage to go there tomorrow and the white one is ok and still there, I could very well pick it up...

And even if it's somewhere else, I might end up buying one of these secondhand JG66 jaguars. They seem to be the best thing in my price range.

When I was in the shops, I noticed quite a lot of relatively inexpensive small amps (Vox, Fender, etc.), between 5 000 yens and 10 000 yens. Are any of these good ? My other option would be an amp modeler. The Vox Tonelab series look interesting, and there's even a small tube hidden in them :). Any advice for this one ?

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I just came back from the other shop, I would have taken the white JG66 but there was a small electronics problem (looks like the capacitor from the rythm circuit died). The guy will take care of this tomorrow I think and I'll go back there to test it again and if everything's ok I'll give him some money and bring the jaguar home :).

It's this one btw :

DS01032834_1.jpg

DS01032834.jpg

As for amps/etc. : the Vox Tonelabs ST seems to be exactly what I need, does anyone have any comment about this one ? As I plug all my other instruments in a 16 tracks mixer, something like that is better than a small amp I think.

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listened to your samples---i love your stuff!!! :lol: reminds me of throbbing gristle, neu!, aphex twin, radiohead, even john frusciante/omar rodriguez's electronic stuff and more...i love that ambient robotic noises

i used to dream of doing this kind of stuff and experimented on pc softwares like Cakewalk and Fruity loops' samples & noises

good choice on the guitar man 8)

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Hello.

I have no willpower, I went back home with the Jaguar :).

The guy from the shop rechecked and fixed all the electronics this morning and emailed me just after that. And he told that if I have any problem or something that sounds weird to me he could fix it free of charge. Good service.

For anyone interested, this shop ships overseas and the owner speaks english. The yen is a bit strong these days but he regularly has japanese Jaguars for about 50 to 53k yens, which is the best price I've seen in Tokyo so far.

http://guitar-shelter.com/

And you can also search online on digimart (there are many other sellers, use google translation if needed) :

http://www.digimart.net/new_gk_list.do?shopNo=70&s=SHOP_NEW

By the way, if you search on digimart, the following kanjis in red next to the price mean "already sold" : ??? :).

I'll try to take a few pics with the electronic noisemakers I have here...

Paltic : these are extremely nice references, your comment is duly appreciated... It's the first time someone mentions Throbbing Gristle, but that's not a bad thing at all ;). Thanks.

I really have to get some amp thing soon (Tonelab ST I think), because right now if I want to hear the Jaguar when I plug it in my mixer I have to put the shredmaster and boss EQ at full volume and it ends up being a tiny bit noisier than intended (well, I like it noisy but I'd rather have more control over my noise...).

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its not a comparison cause nothing compares to Neu!..what i meant was - the vibe reminds me of the band

that guitar is very versatile...I saw a bunch of Jaguars being thrown in the air in The Wave Goodbye Tour of Nine Inch Nails when they had their concert here in the Philippines...hell even Club 8 had that same instrument when they came here 8)

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its not a comparison cause nothing compares to Neu!..what i meant was - the vibe reminds me of the band

>_<

that is a comparison.

When I think of Neu! I think of the motorik beat and noise on top of it, there are only a couple of noise only tracks on each Neu! release iirc, and they aren't really like this guy's in texture or progression.

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^whatever suits you man...think the way you want to think 8) i dont need to prove my point for you. i don't need to sound geeky and exact in everything (soundwise), i am just clearly appreciating both artists' music---thats the bottomline :roll:

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ze monsta is too cool for manners...his taste is superior and on top of the food chain. ill have to agree on all his points and never disagree again(curse you free will)...he is the most perfect human being besides thom yorke :| oh, i have to go & take a poop now

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