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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > May 2019 > THE MODDING CROWD 26 ESSENTIAL OFFSET-GUITAR MODS

THE MODDING CROWD 26 ESSENTIAL OFFSET-GUITAR MODS

Our essential tips for squeezing every last drop of performance out of your Jazzmaster, Jaguar or other offset guitar – covering everything from new bridges and pickups to vibrato ixes and supercharged electronics…
From string mutes to a new vibrato unit design, a fresh approach to circuitry and a body shape optimised for player comfort, Fender crammed endless innovations into the Jaguar and Jazzmaster
As this in-depth tips feature demonstrates, Fender’s ofset models are prime platforms for modiications and improvements

Jazzmasters and Jaguars – and the many similar offset-bodied guitars they inspired – are tailor-made for modding. Not only do the players who gravitate toward them tend to be experimental types, the guitars’ design begs for personalisation. Everything from hardware replacement to retroitting non-standard pickups is par for the course in the world of offsets. Here, we share some of our favourite alterations for these two great Fender instruments. Treat this article as a primer for your own ideas. And trust us, there are many more where these came from…

THE BASICS

1STRINGS

Given that Leo Fender originally meant for these guitars to be used with the heavy-gauge latwound strings of the day, installing a set of 0.011-0.048 orabove will vastly improve the feel and response of your loating-bridge instrument. Tuning will be more stable, the vibrato will feel smoother, and the tone will rise like proving dough. It’s also a good idea to solder the inish wraps of your plain strings for extra durability in the event that they come into contact with the pivot-plate screws directly beneath them.

2NUT

A properly cut nut is the irst line of defence against pesky tuning problems. Even on a signiicant proportion of brand-new guitars, factory-stock nuts aren’t necessarily slotted and seated properly. Have a luthier cut and shape a fresh one speciically for your instrument and string gauge, and you’ll ind that your guitar sounds and stays in tune better. We recommend unbleached bone, brought to a high polish, for its hardness and beauty, but Tusq will sufice for those with a vegan lifestyle.

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