What the hell is an “Offset Guitar”?

What is an "Offset Guitar"

If you are in the guitar community, you’ve likely come across the term “Offset Guitar” a time or two. If you are anything like me, you probably thought to yourself “WTF is an offset guitar?”, The first time you see the term, that’s a reasonable reaction.

Having been a guitar enthusiast for most of my life, I thought I had a pretty solid grasp on electric guitars, the brands, the shapes, the pickup styles, etc. I saw strats, teles, super strats, les pauls, everywhere I went. I never noticed anybody swinging around an “Offset Guitar” or whatever the hell its called. Here’s the point I’m getting at.

What is "frequency illusion"?

Example: Why do you see your car everywhere after buying it? The fact is, those cars (or guitars in our case) have always been there, but you just don’t remember seeing them. Offset guitars have been around almost as long as the stratocaster and telecaster. The reason you may not have noticed them is because of a little something called frequency illusion? It’s the laymen’s term for the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

So, your brain is the most amazing filter for this constant stream of overwhelming information we call life. Our brain knows that we can only handle a fraction of that information. So it filters out everything that is not personally important to us as individuals. Things like models of car we don’t own, or styles of guitars we don’t care for. Hence your question, what’s an offset guitar? You’ve probably seen it a hundred times, but your brain filtered it out because it wasn’t important to you.

So, What is an Offset Guitar?

Luckily for you, you won’t need to rely on my word alone to define an Offset Guitar. I asked one of my friends from the guitar community. Long Beach, California guitarist for bands Vava Envivo, Kali Kazoo Band, and Fellow Robot. He is an Offset Player, and a well known expert in the matter.

AxeDr. – What the hell is an “Offset Guitar”? Would you define it for us, in your own words?

Puisheen:

“Absolutely!

 

An “offset” guitar simply refers to any guitar with a body shape that features a markedly offset, or asymmetrical, waist. Broadly, this includes Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Mustangs, post-1964 Duosonics, the Jazz Bass, Electric XII, Starcaster, and even the Gibson Firebird.

 

However, to most guitar enthusiasts, the term is used mainly as a catch-all for Fender instruments with the Jazzmaster and Jaguar body styles, a floating bridge, and the ‘offset’ (Jag + Jazzmaster) and Dynamic (Mustang) vibrato systems, though many hard-tail guitars do certainly fall under this definition.

 

When most people say “Offset” they really are only referring to Jazzmasters and Jaguars.”

Mike “Puisheen” Adams

If that’s not a great definition, then I’ve never seen one before. Now that you know what an Offset Guitar is, let’s get into the finer aspects of these beloved instruments.

Who invented the Offset Guitar?

The first patented Offset Guitar was made by good ol’ Leo Fender. The Jazzmaster is the first official appearance of the Offset body shape. The patent he filed is not only interesting, but gives you a glimpse at what it means to file a “patent”.

What Brands Make "Offset Guitars"?

Aside from the obvious brand “Fender” there are many companies and individual guitar builders making killer offset guitars.

  • G&L Musical Instruments (Founded by Leo Fender)
  • Veritas Guitars
  • Shelton Electric Instruments
  • Baranik Guitars
  • Bilt Guitars
  • Equitz Guitars
  • Duesenberg Guitars
  • Harmony Guitars
  • Electrical Guitar Company

G&L Doheny

G&L Musical Instruments make the Doheny, a beautiful Offset Guitar.

  • CONSTRUCTION: bolt-on
  • SCALE: 25 1/2″
  • PICKUPS: Leo Fender wide-bobbin MFD single coil
  • BODY WOOD: Basswood

G&L Tribute Series Doheny Electric Guitar - Surf Green/Brazilian Cherry - TI-DOH-113R51R13

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Veritas Guitars

Veritas Guitars is a custom handmade guitar company that produces an absolutely stunning version of the Jaguar.

  • Body wood: alder
  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Bridge: rolling tunematic
  • Tremolo: Bigsby B5
  • Neck shape: medium C (.80-.85)
  • Headstock finish: vintage maple
  • Pickups: Pioneer Humbuckers

Ultimate Guide to Worship Guitar Tone Part 3: Veritas-Mini-Master

Shelton Electric Instruments:

Shelton Electric Instruments are one of the coolest builders of Offset Guitars. They are the perfect blend of classic looks with high tech electronics.

  • MADE IN THE USA
  • FINISH: 100% Nitro Lacquer Aged Finish Or New
  • BODY WOOD: Ash Or Alder
  • NECK SHAPE:Medium C
  • SCALE LENGTH: 25.5 Inch
  • FRETBOARD RADIUS: 12 Inch
  • FRET SIZE: JESCAR — FW 47095
  • NUMBER OF FRETS: 21

Best New Guitar Brands - Shelton Electric Instruments Jaguar

Baranik Guitars:

Baranik Guitars make an Offset Guitar that is completely unique to them. Its a futuristic spin on the classic jazzmaster shape.

  •  Reduced weight
  • 12′ radiused top with hand carved bevel for ergonomics and comfort
  • Angled back neck pitch for optimum bridge/tremolo height
  • Neck includes a 13″ radiused fretboard with stainless steel frets and corian nut
  • The completely unique Baranik reverse headstock

Baranik Guitars - Offset Guitars

Bilt Guitars:

Bilt Guitars make a classic offset guitar with a custom feel to it.

  • Sustainiak Pickup – Neck Position
  • Hot Lipstick Pickup – Middle Position
  • Lollar El Rayo Humbucker – Bridge Position
  • Built-in Effects – BilT Fuzz and MXR Carbon Copy Delay
  • Neck Profile: medium “C”

  • Neck Thickness (IN): 1st- .85″ 12th- .90″

  • Fingerboard Radius: 10.00″

  • Nut Width: 1-11/16″

  • Scale Length: 25″

  • Neck Details: One piece maple neck with bound rosewood board and dot inlays.

  • Pickup Measurements: neck 8.4k ohms bridge 6.7k ohms
  • Weight: 8 lbs 8 oz

Offset Guitars
hup44cj1sm1ngasswe3q

Equits Guitars:

Truly beatiful guitars, built with excellence in mind, no doubt. I’ve just become aquainted with this brand of offset guitars, but its already one of my favorites.

Inspired by the fluid lines of classic offset designs, this guitar is well-suited for classic rock, rockabilly, jazz and blues.

The base model has a solid mahogany body, carved maple top with binding, rosewood fretboard and 25.5″ scale length. Try it upgraded to a semi-hollow with a Bigsby.

Equitz Guitars

Duesenberg Guitars:

  • Body wood: Alder
  • Neck shape: D
  • Neck wood: 1-piece Maple
  • Joint: Set-in
  • Scale length: 25.5 in.
  • Truss rod: Dual-action
  • Number of frets: 22
  • Control layout: Master volume, tone
  • Pickup switch: 4-way rotary switch
  • Bridge type: Tremolo/Vibrato

Offset Guitars

Electrical Guitar Company:

Electrical Guitar Company is known for masterful use of Aluminum in their guitars. Either in the neck or just entire guitars made entirely of Aluminum.

Any asymmetrical shape is fantastic, so we developed one of our own, which features a forearm relief standard on all versions.

The Series Five guitar and baritone models feature either EGC humbucker pickups or reverse wound/reverse polarity EGC single coil pickups with your choice of cover finishes. 

The control configurations offered for the Series Five are: 1 volume knob, 1 tone knob and 3-way switching with or without a rhythm circuit.

Best Electric Guitar Brands You've Never Heard Of (2020)

Harmony Guitars:

“C” Shape Neck Profile

A favorite with seasoned and beginner guitarists alike, this neck profile offers versatility for all playing styles.

Contoured Body Shape

Every section of this guitar, from top to back and even the armrest, is crafted for superior comfort and playability.

Premium Hardware

Their half bridge with compensated saddles takes tone to a whole new level, while custom cupcake knobs pay homage to our iconic history.

Harmony Mini-Humbuckers

Custom-voiced and hand-wound, our signature pickups deliver resonant and crystal clear tone from the get-go.

Harmony Silhouette Offset Guitars

Conclusion:

So that pretty much sums up my quick tour of the Offset guitar world. Of course, there are many more brands and models out there. However, this is plenty of information to get you started. Before you go, here is the definition of an Offset Guitar.

An “offset” guitar simply refers to any guitar with a body shape that features a markedly offset, or asymmetrical, waist. Broadly, this includes Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Mustangs, post-1964 Duosonics, the Jazz Bass, Electric XII, Starcaster, and even the Gibson Firebird.

Mike “Puisheen” Adams

 

Keep Rocking,

The Axe Dr.

 

  • What is an "Offset Guitar"?

    An “offset” guitar simply refers to any guitar with a body shape that features a markedly offset, or asymmetrical, waist. Broadly, this includes Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Mustangs, post-1964 Duosonics, the Jazz Bass, Electric XII, Starcaster, and even the Gibson Firebird.

    However, to most guitar enthusiasts, the term is used mainly as a catch-all for Fender instruments with the Jazzmaster and Jaguar body styles, a floating bridge, and the ‘offset’ (Jag + Jazzmaster) and Dynamic (Mustang) vibrato systems, though many hard-tail guitars do certainly fall under this definition.

    When most people say “Offset” they really are only referring to Jazzmasters and Jaguars."

  • Who invented the first Offset Guitar?

    The first patented Offset Guitar was made by good ol' Leo Fender. The Jazzmaster is the first official appearance of the Offset body shape. The patent he filed is not only interesting, but gives you a glimpse at what it means to file a "patent".

  • What brands make Offset Guitars?

    Aside from the obvious brand "Fender" there are many companies and individual guitar builders making killer offset guitars.

    • G&L Musical Instruments (Founded by Leo Fender)
    • Veritas Guitars
    • Shelton Electric Instruments
    • Baranik Guitars
    • Bilt Guitars
    • Equitz Guitars
    • Duesenberg Guitars
    • Harmony Guitars
    • Electrical Guitar Company

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *