JAZZMASTER, JAGUAR, OFFSETS... MUSTANGS, SUPERSONICS
Jazzmasters and Jaguars are idiosyncratic masterpieces. Over the years, many have tried to come up with "solutions" for what are perceived as inherent. But as I found out by working with amazing players and even more amazing techs, the right gauge and the right "set-up" will make all the difference. Now with amazing gear like the Mastery Offset Tremolo hardware paired up with GTSco TremLongTwist strings, there is nothing to stop the creativity to deal with a temperamental guitar. Check out Mastery Bridge today, I don't have any business ties with them but personally use their products and am more than satisfied.
My strings for offsets feature several appointments that have made them the only string on the market specifically designed for offsets. First, the twist at the ball end (Trem Long Twist) is longer and tighter than any machine made string. This assists in stabilizing the string for better tuning and most importantly, preventing those notorious breaks at the ferrules. The second and equally important feature is also invisible. The formulations for the strings i prescribe for Offsets, Jags and JM's are designed to supply enough tension to the guitar to get more resonance, more pressure at the saddles (along with shimming the neck, the added tension assists in keeping a proper breaking angle). I don't (neither does my colleague and venerable offset wiz, Michael James Adams, @puisheen) recommend going lower than 11s on offsets, especially Jags. Leo Fender designed these guitars to be played with heavier strings. That said, I have formulations for 10s for Jazzmaster and Jaguars, too. These formulations can be used for other guitars, of course, but the sets listed here are the go to sets for offsets.
11-50, 11-14-18-30-40-50 the signature set, the best of the lightest sets for 25.5" scale offsets
11-21w-52, something old school with the wound G
12-20p-52, I got a tip that Nels Cline (not endorsed by GTSco) uses 12-52 so i devised a set, it is the analog of the 11-50 set so it is perfectly balanced for a Jazzmaster
13-22p-56, Ok, now we are headed into Mason Country-Mason Stoops, that is. GTSco Artist, Mason Stoops hung out with fellow GTSco Artist, Josh Smith, and this is the result, a tiny bit lighter in the G, by .003 and trust me, that is a big difference.
Super10s, are like traditional 10-46 sets in diameter, but are formulated to activate the tremolo. I love how they feel on the Elliott Tonemaster, as well.
I personally use a Jag, 1994 CIJ outfitted with a Mastery Bridge and Curtis Novak Pickups (my favorite for Jags next to the original 1964/65 stock).
For my own personal preference, I am using a corrected 11-50 set, 11-15-19-31-40-50 (sometimes 52 for fun). Always consider scale lengths when choosing the right set for you and your guitar.
My other recommendations for Jaguars:
11-21w-52, the lightest strings Leo Fender ever recommended for the Jag featuring a wound G. My set is 11-22w-52
10HeavyBottoms 10-48, This is the only set of 10s I would use for a Jaguar, considering the 24" scale length, They actually feel much lighter than regular 10s sets. 10-14-18-27-37.5-48
12-20p-54 is a great option. Pretty much anything 11 and above is prime for Jaguars.
So you don't own a Jaguar or Jazzmaster? But you have a floating tremolo/offset guitar? There are guitar builders out there like Paul Rhoney, Nystrum, Scero, David Ayers, Echopark, Elliott Guitars NC, Creston, and many more who are building amazing guitars building upon the unique tonal and physical features of offsets with floating tremolos. And it goes without saying that Mastery Bridge is the choice for so many builders, players and techs.
I recommend generally 11-50, Super10s-46, and 10 -48 HeavyBottoms, and 12-52.
MUSTANGS AND SUPER-SONICS
A really quirky pair of guitars that i've only just begun to delve into. Upon using a nice older Squier Super-Sonic, a few vintage Mustangs along with reissues, I've employed the formulation of the Jaguar 11-52 set for these guitars. I am mainly basing it on the scale length. I wouldn't use 10s on these guitars. Just seems too short to get a decent response from a set of super10s. i would recommend the uk10s formulation of 10-52 (a very light tension set of basses, not the same as the 52 on the set of 11-52)