We are perhaps talking about the most famous brand of guitars and
instruments in history and it’s quite tedious that within pop culture and the
world of professional guitarists as well, just 2 of their models are the most
seen, over and over again in advertisements, movies, rehearsal halls in your
area, and in massive concerts. So today we’re going to speak of a Fender beyond the universe of the Stratocaster and Telecaster.
In fact we are going to focus, on their most affordable models outside this duo of guitar designs. Here we have 4 ‘other’ Fender guitars that have remained in the shade of the other 2 iconic Fenders.
Fender Duo Sonic
In his day Leo Fender tried to mix his two previous precious designs, the Tele and the Strat, in this model. On a body similar to the Stratocaster, yet a bit smaller and a shorter scale (there are times when they refer to this guitar as the ¾ scale) two simple pickups as on the Telecaster are added or, as in this case, an humbucker in the bridge position. Simplicity and a smaller size on a guitar that was originally thought to reduce weight and dimensions (likely with younger buyers in mind). However it has been the choice of on many occasions with artists such as John Frusciante, David Byrne, and Liz Phair.
In its day the Mustang, with the same design as the Duo Sonic, had a whammy bar added to this model, and especially a position switch between pickups that could be turned on phase or out of phase which provided a range of various tones on the model. We figure that to keep the prices around 500€, as in today’s Mustang’s case, they have had to omit some features from the past, and on this model, practically the only difference with the Duo Sonic is a pair of pickups that comes with a 3-position switch instead of the one we mentioned on the original 60s model.
Originally conceived as a better version of the Stratocaster, the Jazzmaster joined the party around 1958 and brought some tasty novelties with it...not all of them applauded by the way. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this guitar was its two independent circuits, ‘lead’ and ‘rhythm’ which allow you to switch very quickly with a drastic change in tone, (thought to make it easier to go between solo and rhythm tone). This together with its long scale and whammy bar made it a favourite with rockers instead of jazzmen, for whom it was designed. And especially with the surf guitarists in the early 60s. Lastly, we must add that, as you can appreciate in the photos of this model, although the pickups look like P-90s, they’re not. This version is fitted with 2 Vintage Style 60s Jazzmaster Single Coils.
This design is very much like the Jazzmaster but with a shorter scale and sounds more like what we typically expect from a Fender. While the power knobs and the special pick up winding pads of the Jazzmaster got close to the sound of the P-90s and therefore it could be said to make a ‘fatter’ sound on a single Fender coil, with the Jaguar, the brand left its lifelong sound in a design as widely praised as the Jazzmaster. So we have been able to see throughout history that many have chosen this model to delight us with their music. We’re talking about artists, not too ‘surf’ incidentally, like Kurt Cobain and Johnny Marr.