The perfect Jaguar setup? Part two. Let’s face it. It’s the bridge – isn’t it?

One of the "received truths" about the Jaguar - seems to be that the original bridge design is at fault for just about everything - (although there are a whole series of common mods which address some sonic characteristics as well). With the bridge however - many of the "fixes" appear to cause problems, or unwanted knock-on effects, themselves. ...what does that mean for the setup itself? Is there a way to achieve a perfect balance between archtop form, and solid-body function?

The perfect Jaguar setup? Part one. Appreciating the design, and architecture.

Comparing the various Jaguar bridge options got me thinking. I just couldn't work out what that Fender Tune-o-matic bridge was trying to achieve. Since I plan to have a few offsets to set up over the next few months, I need to work out how to solve some of the technical differences which make Stratocasters and Jaguars so, apparently, different. I began to realise, I'd have to look at things in a different way...

Natural Ash Stratocaster – Another setup.

I try to make improvements to the playing "feel", every time I set the guitar up. In fact - every time I change strings - there's a chance to tweak things a little. I've already set the Ash Strat up a few times now. This time - the new body has meant there's a better geometry at the neck pocket, and I can do away with the shim that was there previously. That provides an opportunity to really give things a good shake out.

The Ash Stratocaster – More modifications and upgrades

My Ash Strat is now a couple of years old. As I've built other projects, I've learned a lot - and I'm constantly looking for ways to refine and upgrade previous builds. This being my first real build - I've always been pretty happy with the way it evolved but, compared with some of the Fender bodies I've worked with, the two piece Ash body just feels wrong somehow, and I'm constantly reminded of the small compromises I had to make to bring the guitar together. Time for another upgrade.