J Mascis' main guitar is a sunburst '63 Fender Jazzmaster with original neck and pickups (left). He replaced the pickup covers, knobs, and added a Tune-o-matic-style bridge. His main backup is a sunburst '65 Jazzmaster with original neck and pickups, also with the bridge replaced. Other Jazzmasters in his arsenal include a refinished '58 with vintage pickups and gold hardware, a refinished '63 body with '59 neck and vintage Jazzmaster pickups, and the second prototype of his signature Squier Jazzmaster with Seymour Duncan Antiquities. Mascis disengages the top toggle switch and installs jumbo frets into most of his guitars.
Mascis’ four-amp setup includes two late-’60s Marshall Super Bass full-stacks, a vintage Hiwatt DR-103 head driving two Marshall 4x12s, and a Victoria 80212 tweed Twin clone. The head shown here sits atop an ancient and battle-scarred 4x12 that he proudly says he bought for $40, minus the speakers.
Mascis’ pedalboard is built around a Bob Bradshaw-built Custom Audio Electronics switcher that gives him a multitude of effect combinations. Among the notable boxes on the board are a ToneBender Mk I-clone/Rangemaster-clone combo pedal built by Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch (bottom right corner), Mascis’ first Electro-Harmonix “Ram’s Head” Big Muff (top right), an MC-FX clone of a Univox Super-Fuzz, a CAE Twin Tremolo (upper left), a Z.Vex Double Rock (two Box of Rocks in one, bottom left), and an Electro-Harmonix POG2 that he’s using to mimic Mellotron and organ sounds from Dino Jr.’s latest album.