The Best Offset Guitars

The Best Offset Guitars

In this article, we'll dig into the best offset guitar models.

Offset body electric guitars are known for their distinctive shapes that set them apart from more traditional designs (such as Strats, Teles, ES-style guitars).

These guitars often feature a body that appears to be shifted or "offset" from the centerline, giving them a unique and often more ergonomic feel. And they straight up look damn cool.

Some of the most iconic models in this category have been embraced by genres ranging from surf rock, to alternative and indie music, and more.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every offset electric guitar model. The goal is to narrow it down to the best offset guitar options (including models in various price points, and including options from large-scale guitar builders and small batch boutique guitar builders).

Fender Jazzmaster

Fender Jazzmaster Guitar

The Fender Jazzmaster stands out due to it's quirky offset design, original pickups, and versatile sound.

Leo Fender first introduced the Jazzmaster in 1958 as a guitar intended for jazz - and jazz players largely ignored it.

Surprisingly, it instead became a favorite among surf rock musicians, and later found a home in the hands of alternative and indie rock players (go check out Nels Cline).

The Jazzmaster features a unique floating tremolo system, which allows for expressive pitch bending, and its dual-circuit design offers a wide range of tonal possibilities.

Other than the unique offset body shape, the Jazzmaster is known for it's pickups. While often mistaken for P90's, the Jazzmaster has wide soapbar-style pickups that are unlike any other single coil guitar pickup, giving a fatter, more hi-fi sound.

Fender produces a wide range of production-model Jazzmasters, ranging from the vintage-spec'd American Vintage/Original line, to American Professionals, and several offerings from their Mexican factory, as well as low-priced Squier models.

Standout Features:

  • Large single-coil pickups that sound warmer and fatter than traditional single coils, but not quite as hi-fi sounding as most P90 pickups.
  • Contoured body that is comfortable, especially when standing up.
  • Unique lead and rhythm circuit controls
  • Floating tremolo bridge system

Check out the Fender Jazzmaster

Fender Jaguar

Fender Jaguar Offset Guitar

Known for its distinctive offset body shape and shorter 24-inch scale length, the Fender Jaguar is a unique and versatile guitar.

While it's also offered with humbuckers, most Jaguar models have two single-coil pickups that deliver a bright, cutting tone, and have a complex switching system that allows for a wide range of tonal options.

The shorter scale length makes it easier for people with smaller hands to play, and the floating tremolo system gives it an iconic look and feel that make it a favorite among surf rock, punk, and alternative guitarists (such as Kurt Cobain and Johnny Marr).

Fender offers a variety of Jaguar models at different price points, including through it's budget-friendly Squier line.

Standout Features:

  • Typically features single coil pickups that cut through the mix well.
  • Shorter 24" scale length.
  • Complex switching system featuring eight onboard controls, letting you switch between rhythm and lead tones.
  • Floating tremolo system

Check out the Fender Jaguar

Fender Mustang

Fender Mustang Offset Guitar

Closely related to the Fender Jaguar is the Fender Mustang.

First released in 1964 as a redesign to Fenders student models, the Duo-Sonic and the Musicmaster, the Mustang features a bit of a more compact body shape than the Jaguar, but also has a shorter 24" scale length.

While its now offered in a few different pickup configurations, The Mustang has historically featured two angled single-coil pickups, each with a 3-way on-off-on switch, and a master tone and volume control.

Standout Features:

  • Offset waist body
  • Custom single coil pickups that give it a unique sound
  • Shorter 24" scale length.
  • Available with P90 pickups

Check out the Fender Mustang

Languedoc G2 & G4

Languedoc offset guitar

Best known as the guitar built for and played by Phish's Trey Anastasio, the Languedoc is guitar craftsmanship at its highest level.

Before you get too excited, it's important to point out that Paul only produces a handful of guitars a year (if that), not to mention they now sell in the neighborhood of $20K, but they are arguably among the best guitars ever made. There are also now some alternatives to get this style of guitar in a quicker time frame, and at a lower price point.

Paul Languedoc began building guitars at age 18, leading to him building hundreds of guitars as a luthier for Time Guitars in Burlington, VT. He then went on to become the chief sound engineer and house mixer for Phish, leading to Trey working with to build him his ideal custom guitar. After only building guitars for Trey (and Phish bass player Mike Gordon), Paul started taking custom orders in 2006, so we've started seeing Languedocs show up on stages in the hands of a select few lucky guitar players in recent years.

Featuring an offset body shape that looks somewhat similar to a shrunken-down Fender Starcaster, the Languedoc was designed to have the meaty middle of something like a Les Paul, the bite of a Strat (due to the 25.5" scale length), and the sustain of a hollow body.

Languedoc's are fully hollow, with bracing like a violin (it doesn't have a small block in the middle like typical hollow-bodies).

The goal was to get a smaller-bodied fully hollow guitar that is rich in sustain, won’t feed back a ton, and has a bunch of electronic versatility (2 humbucker pickups plus two mini-switches that allow for individual coil splitting and series/parallel options).

While getting a guitar built by Paul has typically involved having to email him a few times (often over the course of a few years) to get onto a wait list, there are thankfully now some alternative options.

Paul Languedoc recently started collaborating with Vermont guitar company Circle Strings to have them start producing small batches of the Languedoc G4 model. They're priced similar to guitars made by Paul (the first batch is listed at $16,500), but at least gives some people the chance to buy one without as long of a wait list).

Other guitar companies such as Phred Instruments, RM Olson, and Eastwood also produce much more budget-friendly Languedoc clones that are also worth checking out.

Standout Features:

  • 24 frets
  • Hand-made from select woods
  • 1 11/16 nut width
  • Ebony Fretboard
  • Seymour Duncan '59 humbuckers with coil splits

Check out Languedoc Guitars

PJD St. John

PJD St John offset guitar

We're big fans of UK-based PJD Guitars, and their offset St. John is possibly our favorite model of theirs.

With a body style that sits somewhere between a Jazzmaster and a Mustang, the PJD St. John draws inspiration from some of the Fender-style offset guitars mentioned above, but also has it's own thing going on. It's a simply stunning offset electric guitar.

While it's offered in a dual-humbucker pickup configuration, we love the P90 neck pickup paired with the bridge humbucker, as it really helps the St. John stand out tonally.

The 25.5" scale length, bolt-on neck feels right at home for Fender guitar fans, while getting a wide variety of tones that sound great both clean or with overdrive.

The Standard St. John features a satin finish on the body, a nitro finish on the neck & fretboard, and is offered with either a maple or rosewood fretboard. The PJD Custom Shop offers an Elite model, which takes an already great guitar up a notch, with flamed maple tops, and optional semi-hollow body, and other customizations.

Standout Features:

  • 22 frets
  • High-end pickups
  • Belly cut and arm rest contours
  • Wonderful neck
  • 25.5" scale length
  • C shape neck
  • 10" fretboard radius

Check out PJD Guitars

Kauer Korona

Kauer Korona Offset Guitar

The Kauer Korona takes some of the best parts of the Telecaster, and re-imagines it with a slightly offset, curvier body - and the result is a thing of beauty.

Featuring a super playable C-shape neck (that has some heft to it), a comfortable contoured body, and a variety of pickup configurations, the Kauer Korona is an incredibly well-built boutique guitar.

The Korona is an upscale, unique, versatile "T"-style guitar with a range of options not available in any other format, packaged into a stylish design.

Standout Features:

  • Offered in various pickup configurations
  • Thermo Pine body (Standard) or offered with Pine body/ Maple top but more snap
  • 25.5” scale neck, medium C profile
  • Comfortable contoured body
  • Bound Wenge fretboard, 1.65” nut width, 12” radius, 22 med/jumbo frets
  • Two bridge options: Full T style w/ brass compensated saddles and half T bridge w/ brass compensated saddles
  • Universal routing under the pickguard with near limitless pickup options from Lollar, Wolfetone, TV Jones
  • Locking Tuners
  • Plek’d in house

Check out the Kauer Korona

Yamaha Revstar

Yamaha Revstar Offset Guitar

The newly-updated Yahama Revstar is one of our favorite guitar releases from recent years, and guitarists such as Matteo Mancuso, Chris Buck, and many others have taken noticed and have made it their primary guitar.

There's admittedly a bit of a gray area on what's considered an offset guitar, but the Revstar has a slight offset body, and is killer guitar.

Yamaha has long been a bit of a sleeper guitar brand (what other musical instrument company also makes jet skis and motorcycles?), but it is by far the largest musical instrument manufacturer in the world. They make great-quality guitars, with value typically far exceeding their prices.

The Revstar features a double-cutaway design with a hip retro vibe (with some amazing color options). A maple cap over a chambered mahogany body makes the Revstar lightweight, and a joy to play either sitting or standing.

Offered with either a pair of P90 pickups or a pair of humbuckers, as well as a 5-way switch, and a push/pull tone knob for a passive boost, the Revstar is an absolute tone machine.

One of the many highlights of the Revstar is it's super fast and smooth neck, which fills your hand at .82" depth at the 1st fret, and .94" at the 12th.

The Revstar is offered in Element, Standard and Professional models. The Element and Standard are manufactured in Indonesia, while the Professional gets special attention from Yamaha’s Japanese factory. The Standard features a carbon-reinforced neck, while the Professional has a carbon-reinforced neck and body. The Professional also includes a hard case, compared to the gig bag with the Standard, cut the specs are largely identical between the two, and the Standard is one of the best values going in electric guitars.

Standout Features:

  • Chambered body with an acoustic design
  • Offered either with dual humbuckers or P90 pickups
  • 5-way pickup selector
  • Focus/boost switch
  • Maple and mahogany body
  • Various finish options
  • Carbon-reinforced
  • Wonderful neck
  • 22 frets
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge

Check out the Yamaha Revstar

Reverend Double Agent

Reverend Double Agent Offset Guitar

Reverend Guitars seep with quirkiness, creativity, & value, and the offset Double Agent stands out with it's cool design and versatile tones.

The Double Agent is offered in 2 styles: the OG (Original Guitar) and the W. The main differences being the OG has a single-cutaway body & a stop tail bridge, while the W has a double-cutaway of sorts (with a long horn) & a tremolo.

The combination of a P90 in the neck position and humbucker in the bridge is arguably an ideal pickup combination, giving a variety of great tones.

The roasted maple neck gives the Double Agent some added brightness and stability. The fretboard is offered in either rosewood or roasted maple. The various color options gives you plenty of ways to suit your style.

Reverend is known for selling guitars at affordable price points, while including features typically seen in high-priced guitars, and the Double Agent is no exception.

Standout Features:

  • Korina body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • 12" fretboard radius
  • Proprietary custom pickups
  • Bass Contour (Passive bass roll-off lets you tighten up the low end, or re-voicing the pickups to make the humbucker sound like a single-coil, or give the P-90 a classic twang sound)
  • 43mm bone nut
  • 25 1/2" scale length

Check out the Reverend Double Agent

Novo Serus J & Mirus J

Novo Serus J & Mirus J Offset Electric Guitar

While we haven't felt the need to list some of the various companies that make their own version of the Fender Jazzmaster here (and there are lot of great ones), Novo put a bit of their own twist on the classic JM design with their Serus J, and the semi-hollow body version, Miris J.

Novo is a high-end guitar builder, and their Serus J is for fans of the Jazzmaster looking for something that stands out from the crowd, and that will be a lifetime guitar.

Aside from the unique body shape, the Serus J P90 pickups give it a different sound from the typical Jazzmaster. It also being offered in a semi-hollow option is something you don't typically see if this style of offset guitar.

With a master volume and tone and a three-way toggle pickup selector switch, the controls are simple, while the pickups produce monster tone.

Standout Features:

  • Light distress 
  • Fralin P-90 pickups
  • Mastery M1 bridge and NV vibrato with lightning bolt arm
  • Medium ‘C’ (.830″) neck shape
  • 25.5” scale length        
  • 1.65″ nut width
  • Tempered pine body    
  • Tempered maple neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • 9.5″-14” fingerboard radius

Check out the Novo Serus J & the Miris J

Jennings Voyager

Jennings Voyager Offset Electric Guitar

Jennings is a somewhat of a lesser-known boutique guitar builder, but that's quickly changing, due to luthiers Chad Jennings and Devin Murdoch churning out a variety of beautiful, high quality guitars.

The Voyager (and the semi-hollow Voyager Deluxe), features a well balanced offset design made from hand selected tonewoods, with a fast neck.

The semi-hollow Deluxe version offers a bit of a more transparent, articulate tone, covering everything from jazz and blues all the way to hard rock and even metal.

The Voyager was designed to get our of the way, and let you fully express yourself..

Standout Features:

  • Offered in a variety of tone woods
  • Smooth, medium depth neck
  • Offered in a few high quality pickup options
  • Available with a Bigsby tremolo

Check out the Jennings Voyager