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Shortscale opinions please: Squier Jag SS vs Gretsch Junior Jet II

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Hi All,

In the (very limited local) market for a decent shortscale and both of these options are currently available to me 2nd hand.

I've had a chance to go and play the Squier at the seller's place. It is a lovely bass. He has put some rather nice new strings on it (he couldn't remember which ones) and a new white pearloid pickguard too (original black one included) also.

The Gretsch is further afield and I probably wont get a chance to try it out first (essentially an eBay type situation). I have heard nothing but good things about these instruments.

Difference in price:

Squier equivalent to 200 pounds and can be collected locally

The Gretsch about 175 pounds plus shipping (about 20 quid)

 

Which would you go with, and why?

 

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I have owned a SS Jag and very nice it was to. Stock, it played nice, spent a few quid on tuners and a bridge but kept the original pickups and it was a cracking little bass. Should have kept it but hey ho. If you have played the Squier, I would go with it as they can range form dreadful to great and you seem to like it.

There is a large thread on the Jag on a US bass forum :ph34r:

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You’ve played the Squier and liked it, rather than chance the Gretsch I’d go with the certainty of the Squier.

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I've got both. The Gretsch utterly trounces the Jag. The active bass boost circuit on the Jag is muddy, boomy and horrible, with a lot of messing around, and trial and error, you can just about get a workable sound from it. The neck is nice and it actually plays ok with a bit of setting up. The problem is you won't have it for long before you feel like you need to upgrade it. I'm currently trying to decide whether to put some new pickups and electronics in and do away with the bass boost circuit, and maybe add a high mass bridge to make it a viable instrument, or just get rid. I can never quite get over the poor man's Fender feel of the Squier.  

The Gretsch on the other hand is superb straight out of the box. The build quality is astounding considering the price. It should be at least twice the price it retails at, and even then it would be a steal. 

If you absolutely need that Precision or Jazz sound then go for the Jag. 

If you want a well made instrument with it own sound then get the Gretsch.

If it's good enough for Royal Blood and twenty thousand people at Glastonbury then it'll do for me. 

 

Edited by Newfoundfreedom
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I think you are talking about the long scale Jag NewF? The short scale as far as I know is only passive?

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Exactly what @Newfoundfreedom said. I owned the SS Jag and got rid of it within a month or two, I  tried the Gretsch just a week or so back and it is delicious, trounces is the right word.

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21 minutes ago, jezzaboy said:

I think you are talking about the long scale Jag NewF? The short scale as far as I know is only passive?

Ah yeah. Mine is the long scale. I assumed the electronics were the same in both versions. 

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Gretsch hands down, I agree with the others that the most suitable word here is trounce . It has loads of character in its sound and is very versatile for a shortscale ... the Jaguar is ok but a bit safe and normal really for want of a better description!... I had a 5 string Jaguar for a while… nice to look at, but that's about all it has going for it imo! I'm in the process of getting another Gretsch as I stupidly sold my other one and have badly regretted it ever since !

Or to put it another way... if you want to blend into the surroundings with no one taking a blind bit of notice of what you are playing or even being remotely interested in what your role in a band actually is : get the Jag. If you want to look well cool, sound great, be the envy of your bandmates , attract loads of groupies etc : get the Gretsch.

 

🤪

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12 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

Ah yeah. Mine is the long scale. I assumed the electronics were the same in both versions. 

I had the Jag SS and confirm it was a passive PJ.  I've also had the 'Indonesian' Long Scale Jag which was also a PJ passive.  I think the active versions were long scale and MIJ/MIM?

Anyhow, the passive PJ  short scale was easy to dial a good sound on, very clear and punchy, preferred it to my Mustangs in many ways but just didn't like the neck dive.

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I played the Gretsch and liked it but didn't buy.  I prefer the s-s Jag sound, look and feel with its lighter, chamfered-edge body.  As already mentioned though, the downside of that is a touch of neck dive - not like an SG but still noticeable.  I fitted a set of Hip Shot light-weight tuners to correct that on the grounds that I can always sell them separately if I move the bass on.

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I've owned both. My impressions with flats fitted:

Jet II - is a well made bass and no need to upgrade tuners, pu's, etc. Heavier with a slab body and nice feel to the neck. Meaty tone, (sometimes referred to as heft).

Jag - a beginners bass, some folks upgrade tuners and pu's. Lightweight and comfortable, narrow neck it's tone is OK-ish.

Eventually I settled on a  Squire Mustang. Better build, (no upgrades necessary), preferred tone, similar narrow neck to the Jag.

The feel of the necks is quite different due to the slightly wider nut on the Jet which is nearly 40mm. The narrower Squire neck, about 38mm, takes a bit of getting use to. I actually preferred the wider Jet neck. Those 2mm are noticeable.

My other SS is the Hofner HCT Violin which has a 42mm nut. If you haven't tried one please do. You'll end up either loving or hating them as they appear to attract strong reactions.

Hope this helps.

 

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