Price paid: £ 449
Purchased from: Dawsons
Features: This is a review of the P90 version of the Blacktop Jaguar which was released last week (Feb 2012). The guitar is pretty much identical to the original Blacktop Jaguar so Mexican made, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, shortened 24" scale and tune-o-matic bridge, but with this edition you get P90s instead of Humbuckers.
Purists will tell you that this guitar is a Jaguar in name and shape only because the complex wiring and controls have been stripped out in favour of a simple 3 way switch, tone and volume combo. It you are one of these people then this guitar is probably not for you, but if you want a good quality Fender guitar at a low price point then I highly recommend it. // 9
Sound: As well as this guitar I currently own a Squier Custom Vibe 50s and an Epiphone Custom SG. The sound made by the Jag fits nicely between these two and I'm actually thinking of selling them not only because my wife is pissed that I bought another guitar but also because I can get twangy tones of the CV50 and the growl of the SG all on my new guitar!
I am pushing the sound through a Vox Valvetronix 30 amp as well as a Zoom G1N which both have loads of amp modelling settings which mostly sound better than my other guitars but some of the heaviest amp models are a bit muddier. I'm not a metal fan so its no problem to me but if you are you might want to look elsewhere. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I'm not sure if the guitar has the factory setup or if it was done by Dawsons before it was put on the shop floor but the set up is perfect for me, a low action but no fret buzz. The finish on the guitar looks and feels really nice. This is my first proper Fender and its clear to see the difference in quality between this and my CV50. The maple neck and rosewood fretboard is a work of ART and its so easy to play. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I have not yet played live with the Jag but I'm sure it would withstand the rigours of live playing. Unless you decide to go all Pete Townsend on its a-s! I wouldn't recommend doing a gig without a back up guitar even if I was using a top of the range Fender. For those among us without a roadie on tap, a few minutes of silence while you swap out a snapped string is not a good thing! // 9
Overall Impression: Overall Impressions, or should that be first impressions as I have only had it a week are that this guitar is a perfect fit for me. One of the reasons I went for a Jag is the shortened scale as I am only 5'6" and I find the stretch to do a F chord a bit uncomfortable on my CV50. Its only 1.5" shorter but this makes the Jag much more comfortable to play.
As mentioned earlier I love the fact that the guitar can produce both the twangy tones of a Tele and the growl of a SG. The fret board is amazing - its so much easier to play than my other guitars which makes me think that if I bought a 2000 guitar I'd be as good a guitarist as Slash! The guitar is a cheap way to buy a proper Fender and Jags have always been the cooler alternative to a Strat... Johnny Marr vs Hank Marvin - you do the math. // 9