Jaguar Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Jaguar
An individual on/off switch for each pickup and a subtle high-pass filter switch round out the Jag's tonal versatility. Maple neck on alder body with rosewood fretboard and vintage-style floating trem.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.8
 Features: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 8.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.4 
 Users rating:
 8.2 
 Votes:
 168 
reviews (10) pictures (2) 32 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Jaguar Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
11 of 14 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1330

Purchased from: musicians friend

Features: This is an American Vintage series 62' Jaguar reissue. I replaced the single coils with d'marzio evolution humbuckers. It's a 3-color sunburst finish with a Vintage floating trem tail piece and a removable mute bar. Sorry, no picture provided. It has master volume and tone controls, three 2-position on/off phase swithches (two for lead circuit, one for rhythm circuit). On the top left side of the guitar, there's two sliding volume controls for the rhythm circuit, and a 2-position rhythm/lead circuit selector Switch. It's unusually shaped alder body gives full access to the upper frets. Made in japan, 22 frets, 24" scale.It looks like the Jag-Stang without the cutaway and with a thicker body. Weighs 8 pounds. // 10

Sound: This guitar was made for surf and rock, but the pickups didn't work well, so I replaced with humbuckers, like the Jaguar (not Jag-Stang) Kurt Cobain used. I play mostly metal, hard rock, and grunge. This suits my style perfectly. On the lead circuit the guitar functions normally, the knobs are active and so are both pickups. The rhythm circuit gives you just the neck pickup so you have a brighter tone and the sliding controls are active for the neck pickup. The lead circuit is good and all, but where it really shines is the rhythm circuit. This guitar suits most styles of music (I haven't anything but what I normally play). // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up perfectly at the factory. Even though I replaced the pickups, the guitar performs prefectly. The did not need any adjustment. I don't often use the trem bar because to much usage will really put the guitar out of tune fast. The finsh is perfect. Enough said. I play through a Fender Twin Reverb amp With a DigiTech Grunge distortion pedal. It is just amazing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I replaced the strap buttons with strap locks, just because I like the locks better, I didn't really need to. I've bumped it a few times and not a single scratch. I would definetly gig without a backup. The hardware is made to last. I totally trust it. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing for a little more than a year. I got the money to buy it, along with the amp, from a slot machine. Lucky, huh? I also own a standard tele, a Jag-Stang, and an Ibanez jetking. I picked this one because of my Jag-Stang. My favorite feature is the rhythm circuit, it's amazing. If it was stolen, I'd definetly get a new one, particulary black finsh. The other amp I have is a Fender Princeton 65 DSP. It definetly sounds better through my twin reverb. What can I say, this is some of Fender's greatest work. // 10

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overall: 10
Jaguar Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 732

Purchased from: peter cooks

Features: This is a Japanese made Fender Jaguar. It has a rosewood fingerboard on a maple neck and alder body (I think). It has a floating trem style bridge and two Jaguar single coil pickups. The pickups are arranged for rhythm and lead circuits. The lead circuit can utilise both of the pickups whereas the rhythm only uses the neck pickup. Both circuits have a volume and tone control, whether it be two wheels or knobs. The lead circuit has two switches to turn on or off the pickups, and a Switch to bring the two pickups out of phase. Lots of stuff. // 10

Sound: This is certainly one of the most versatile guitars I've played. It provides anything from a 60's twangy rock sound to a relatively mellow sound. The lead and rhythm circuits provide many different combinations of sound. The trem-bar is also very good, you can get some great surf sounds from it. The phase Switch can provide a subtle difference to tone too. I use this with a chorus, phaser, overdrive and an equalizer. I have a crate gx-65 amp for practice and a vox amp for stage use. It works excellent for both transistor and valve amps. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This was set-up at the shop perfectly. The action was mid, good for lead and rhythm work. The strings jumped out of the saddles during postage-no biggy. Everything worked, and still works fine. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would definitely suit live playing, both for sound and playability. The strap buttons seem to work well for my strap, but I got strap locks just in case. I doubt I would need a backup, it's strong, solid and very dependable. The finish is excellent too. The only minor concern is the bridge. If you are a hard player, really hit the strings, the strings are occasionally liable to slip off the saddle grooves. This can change the tuning of the guitar slightly and the strings are in odd positions. This is notorious only on the jags. So what I intend to do is to replace the bridge with a Mustang bridge which resolves the problem nicely. This is a problem only if you play hard. // 10

Overall Impression: I know you supposedly dont show glowing reviews but honestly, I spent ages looking to flaw this guitar and all I came up with is the slight bridge problem. I played several guitars before purchasing and in the end it was a toss up between the jag, and a jazzmaster (similar but with humbuckers). If this were stolen I would slaughter the thief(lol) or just buy another. This is truly an awesome axe, so versatile even for passive electronics. Once I get the Mustang bridge it would be completely flawless. Its purely a matter of personal taste of the colour, but I like surf green, especially with a matching coloured headstock. It's like marmite, 'you either love it or you hate it'! // 10

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overall: 9.6
Jaguar Reviewed by: lithium26, on november 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1100

Purchased from: Singapore

Features: American Vintage '62 series, American made. Ocean turquiose finish. 22 Vintage style frets. C-shaped neck, nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Alder body. The bridge is a Vintage style floating trem, and it has a button to lock your trem. The controls were quite confusing to me at the begining when I first acquired my Jaguar. On the top left side, there is a Switch so you can Switch from the rythm and lead. There are 2 sliding-control-thingys to adjust volume and tone. On the top right side, there are 3 switches, which will work only when the lead circuit is used. One to turn on the neck pickup and one to turn on the bridge pickup.The third Switch is a lead tone modifying Switch. On the bottom right side, there is a volume and tone knob for the lead circuit. The tremelo arm is floating, and very easy to use. The guitar comes with a brown hardshell case with a few cleaning accessories, a guitar strap which I don't need and an extra set of Jaguar strings. // 10

Sound: I play a lot of different kinds of music. Mainly hard rock, rock, alternative rock, metal, blues. This guitar is extremely versatile. I rely a lot on it's cleans. With my Laney LC15R, the cleans sound really good. This guitar can get into metal territory too, though I use an EHX Metal Muff. My favourite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I can roughly get John Frusciante's great tone. I still have to experiment a bit. It is quite trebly, but that's expected of a single coil Jaguar. I kinda expected it to be really noisy, but to my suprise, hardly any noise can be heard from the Jaguar. I rely a lot on my rythm pickup. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got it, it was setup badly. There was newspapers stuffed into the body. However, the fault was not the guitar's but the store's. The colour coat feels great.The neck also feels really great. The power of nitro cellulose. People complain about the Jaguar bridge, but the guitar sting will only slip out of the bridge's grooves if it's poorly set up. I experienced that problem too, but after I sent it to a setup, I didn't experience that problem again. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The Jaguar dosen't go out of tune when I use the trem. Once I decided to try out it's tuning stability. I abused the trem, and it still was in tune. I was really suprised. However, once, before a gig, my strap (now I use a locking strap) gave way, and my Jaguar fell. Ouch. No dents or scratches or anything. My guitar went horribly out of tune. Luckily I went to do a triple-check on my tuning right before the show, so I saved myself from horrible humiliation. Other than that, it is very reliable. I dropped it a couple times, banged it against corners, walls accidentally, etc, but no dents at all. // 9

Overall Impression: The Jaguar is my second electric guitar, my Mexican Strat being the first. The Jaguar sounds and feels lot better than the Strat. After I got the Jaguar, every other guitar I've tried sounded inferior to the Jaguar. Including a Gibson Les Paul Custom that belongs to a friend and a custom American Fender Telecaster that my singer/rythm guitarist uses. If it were stolen or lost, I would definitely get the Jaguar again. A second choice would be to get a Mustang. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Jaguar Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I usually play alternative/pop/punk rock (a lot of U2 and Muse, some Franz Ferdinand) with the occasional metal indulgence (Metallica), and I usually use Line 6/Vox amps. The guitar really isn't a feedback machine like a lot of Fenders, if you're really going for the heavy stuff, it's not going to screech at you the second you kick in distortion (like the usual, run-of-the-mill Strat or Tele). It does still sound pretty typically Fender in the lead circuit, so the more intense metal-heads will probably want to change out the pickups or stick with the rhythm circuit.This Jag can pull off some pretty mean, gritty sounds in the rhythm circuit and it really wails in the lead circuit, so you can go for the dark, background kind of bassy verse/chorus stuff and then kick in the lead circuit for your crazy-ass solos. The versatility of this guitar is really one of the coolest things about it. You can cut between Gibson-style and Strat-style sounds with the flick of a switch. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar required absolutely no work out of the factory. I literally plugged it in and jammed away (well, to be fair, I did tune it first). My dad, Who has been playing guitar for fifteen or twenty years, Who was very skeptical about the quality of a Japanese guitar that was "messing with a classic design," was very impressed by the out-of-the-factory quality. The whole thing was really pretty picture perfect from the get-go. It is at least on par with my American-made Stratocaster, maybe a little better. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The pickguard, with it's mirror-like finish, is really prone to little cosmetic scratches. You certainly won't be putting any horrific dings in this thing if you treat it pretty nicely, but I can see the little scratches from my pick when I look at the guitar in direct light. I've pretty harshly (and accidentally) bumped my Jaguar into a chair or two and the occasional cabinet/desk (I know, I'm just terrible) and the thing still looks just about like new, so the body finish is pretty durable. Also, in light of the very mirror-like finish of the black and the chrome hardware, it's prone to getting very finger-printy and dirty looking without some upkeep. Those very minor cosmetic flaws aside, the biggest problem (and by that I mean the only problem) I've ever had playing Live with this thing is that sometimes, if you're not careful, your hand can bump the pickup switches when you're playing in lead circuit, which will turn off the pickups, which means that your guitar will, embarrassingly, stop making noise. I've done this twice so far, and it's primarily because my left arm just really gets moving when I'm plowing away in the chorus of the song. Just keep your picking hand towards the bridge (or under control) and this guitar will never lead you astray on stage. I did change out the strap buttons for locking ones, but that's just personal preference. // 9

Overall Impression: I've been playing guitar for a good three years. I've got an '88 American Standard Stratocaster and a "rat-rod" Telecaster that we built in addition to this guitar, but I reach for this one first every time. I was torn between this Jaguar and the U.S. '62 Reissue, but this one finally won out because of the humbuckers, the killer looks, and the price! It's a lighter, maybe slightly less quality version of the '62 for half the price, and minus all of the '62's problematic features. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Jaguar Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This particular guitar is a 97' Jap-made Jag, making it an alder body, as opposed to earlier-model basswood, or 'kitchen table' wood, lovely 3-colour sunburst, making the guitar look like a smoker's index finger. Features are the same as stated in other reviews, separate lead and rhythm circuits with volume and tone selectors for each, pick-selector, and what is essentially a bass-cut switch. Floating tremolo system. Two single coils with shielding claws. Front of body input jack. And one very dodgy bridge. // 10

Sound: The sounds from this guitar are as nice as they are varied. With ease, the guitar can flick from scag-head Babyshambles to Television (Tom Verlaine used them) most punk, '70s rock, and a very nice funk, is perfect for RHCPs, Frusciante used one extensively. Of course, the guitar does a sheer perfect surf sound, being designed primarily to be Fender's top model to the players of the '60s, thus surfy jangle. Any reverb on this guitar, any at all, and before you know it you will be wearing naff '60s cardigans and saying 'Cowabunga', 'Surf's up' and many other obnoxious phrases. Due to the seperate circuits with their own volume and tone, the guitar can flick between preset rhythm (through the neck pickup, the Switch for which lies on the upper horn, along with volume and tone rollers), lead (through the bridge, or bridge and neck pickups, selected through switch under neck pickup, with volume and tone knobs in bottom right corner of body next to jack), or simply both pickups neutral 1 (switch next to lead circuit switch up, lead and rhythm off). The final switch feature is the bass-cut Switch. The sound of this guitar is inclined to be rather cutting, due to single coils, and a 1 meg potentiator. Personally, I love this sound, the guitar is very distinct, and ideal for overshadowing a fellow guitarist's noise at a gig heh. With appropriate adjustment, the sound is perfect for near any style, except shredding and high-gain thrash, though this is true for most single-coils. Each circuit gives a quite individual sound to any other circuit's noise. The rhythm is, to be honest, the weakest sound feature on this guitar in my experience. Depending on what you are playing of course. To me, it seems a little too indistinct. Clean, it is alright, very '60s/early '70s. Distorted, The murky sound it provides can be nice, but difficult to do much with, though I wouldn't dismiss it entirely. Lead, though produces one of the best sounds I have produced in any guitar. Clean, it really shines through other instrument noises in a good way, an inexplicably happy noise. Distorted though, it really shines. This sound can do anything, Hendrix noodling to Marilyn Manson pounding. Very cutting, with enough fuzz to make it versatile. The guitar played through no particular circuit, just through pickups is my particular favorite at the moment. It's a noise very much like a lot of recent fashionable bands, Bloc Party, Razorlight, Franz Ferdinand, wiry guitared dance-Indie stuff, but with more bite. Works very well for Libertines and Babyshambles. Another fab feature is the bass-cut Switch. This Switch, when on, minimises the lower end frequencies, and creates a much more substantial sounding high. This doesn't mean it kills bass off, it doesn't ruin heavy chugging at all, just changes it. I have this thing on all the time, it sounds wonderful. Adds great definition to palm muting, another surf-tastic throwback. Now onto one of the Jaguar's flaws. In an effort to reduce feedback from the single-coils, Fender placed them in little metal claw contraptions. This kills the sustain significantly, while not doing an amazing amount to kill feedback. Enough, but not much. This isn't necessarily too bad, you just learn to facillitate this in your playing, forces you to add flourishing trills and twiddling in the gaps where a Les Paul player would hold the note till their fingers hurt. It is just a change in style. The overall tone on the guitar is improved over many others by it's slightly shorter scale neck. While significantly shorter than Fender standard 25.5, it is barely more shorter than most Gibsons. This is an excuse to use higher gauge strings, thus improved tone without sacrifice in playing. Shielding is also improved by plates inside the body, though these are missing in more recent models. All in all, sound is fine, dandy and flexible. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this second-hand, so no idea of initial set-up. The colour and coating is nice, fairly durable. The turning pegs I find a bit awkward, though it is not much of a problem. Now onto the worst part of the guitar, and one which managed to get the guitar's production run scuppered after something like 8 years; the infamous Jaguar bridge. Basically, it is useless after half an hour's playing. It cause bass strings to buzz without constant attention to it, the grub screws fall out of the guitar, and the threaded barrels mean the strings slip constantly, and it can be difficult to get intonation perfect. It can be tolerated while playing, in the same sense that it is possible to play guitar with diarhoea; you are not going to be able to play comfortably, it is only a matter of time before you are going to have to do something about it, and it will end up messy if you dare to play live with it. Slotting in a Mustang bridge fixes all these troubles, and it's only about 20 from eBay, worth it to get the guitar working. It is all fine with this guitar except for that pesky bridge. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Guitar is very comfortable, a pleasure to play live. Playing live with this guitar, as with all single-coil guitars, can be problematic, but with practise the feedback can be helped, especially with this guitar's claws and plates. Finish slightly more durable than most. No problems really, as long as the stock bridge is out of it and a Mustang or Tune-O-Matic is in. Mustang is easiest option, same as stock in shape and measurement, but not poop. // 8

Overall Impression: When I first started shopping around and noticed this, I was afraid the circuit swithing and shape were all gimmicks to sell an average guitar, but further education on it shown me it isn't. That was the only thing stopping me buying one sooner. Overall, the sound is amazing and very flexible, if the sound had to be compared to something more mainstream, then slightly like a Telecaster, but capable of more. Neck is fairly thick, but with the scale is not noticeable, feels more natural than most stratocasters. Lovely sound, looks, and extremely comfortable. Sounds and looks both stand out at a gig. The bad; some won't like the single-coils, not too old-style metal suited, though fine for hard punk and hardcore, a bit of a challenge to rewire due to sheer amount of electicky bits in it, and the bridge is unnacceptable. I can't see a metal player buying this anyway. Well worth it, a lot of fun, highly recommended. A 10 ONLY after bridge change. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Jaguar Reviewed by: StuLovesMusic, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1400

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is a gorgeous American made guitar. The body is made of Alder and it has a "C" shaped Maple neck. It has a rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays, and 22 Vintage style frets. It has unique '60s styling, and chrome hardware. It is equipped with 2 Special design American Vintage Jaguar single-coil pickups in the neck and the bridge. It also has 2 on/off slide switches for each pickup, and Fender/Gotoh Vintage style tuning machines. For the bridge it has a Vintage style Floating tremolo with tremolo lock button. it's scale length is 24". And it comes with a great Deluxe Brown hardshell case. And also a strap, cable, and meguiar's mist and wipe kit. // 10

Sound: This guitar sounds great. I play anywhere from blues, jazz, indie, rock, and hard rock, and even some worship. Each sound I've tried to get I have achieved. This guitar's many options for different, yet solid and great sounding tones are a main reason why I bought it. I play through a spider 212 and it sounds good, also when my band plays through the Mackie speakers it sounds great. But when plugged into a Fender or Marshall Tube amp, you get the one of the greatest sounding guitars I have heard. I have had no problems so far with excess noise. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar had to be special ordered for me from my good friends at Guitar Center. It came all the way from Massachusetts. When it arrived it was set up just right, I could not believe how well the action was set coming straight from the factory. There were absolutely no flaws on this guitar. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've played this guitar Live numerous times and it's traveled in the back of a packed bus, a small Sante Fe, my Jeep, and others, and it still looks and sounds great. I have used this guitar in gigs with and without backups, I haven't ever doubted this guitar, and I still don't. The finish is beautiful (I have the Olympic White) and strong. The strap buttons are sturdy and fit all of the straps I have used. Including my Fender seatbelt strap. The hardware seems like it will last, but it smudges easily (like the back of a new iPod), this seems to be the only problem. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar is incredible I greatly recommend this guitar! I have been playing for about 2 years and I have played Epiphone Les Pauls, Silvertones, and Gibson SG's live but I prefer the Jaguar over all of them, it has the best overall tone and the most versatile tone. Also this guitar is the perfect weight and just straight up looks awesome. If I lost this guitar, I would definitely buy another one, once I got the money. // 10

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overall: 8
Jaguar Reviewed by: Haemoglobin, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 700

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features: It's a Made In Japan version, BUT it's made around 2007-2008. I guess the Japanese Fender has started to put "MIJ" on their necks once again. It has 7.25 neck radius and 24" scale, which is great to play, as I have quite small fingers, BUT the neck itself is thicker than my Ibanez so reaching some notes in wider range gets tricky when playing standing up. It's got sunburst finish, which is beautiful, however the wood grain doesn't match in some places, but it's barely noticeable. Still annoying though. I guess you all know about the switches and stuff. It really isn't too complicated as it may seem at first. And they are quite useful. Except the bass-cut Switch, but Jaguar was designed to wear flatwound strings, which are much more mellower and bassy, so the bass-cut in that case does make sense. And you all know about the bridge - it sucks. Some people may say that it needs to be set up properly, but it isn't worth it. The design is just bad and you need to replace it. Either the Mustang saddles or the whole bridge or some tune-o-matic (but tune-o-matics doesn't match with Jaguar's 7.25 radius) so I recommend Schaller STM roller bridges, which are fully adjustable, with the radius and everything. // 7

Sound: I play Placebo, Sonic Youth and stuff like that and mostly with the neck pickup. When on clean channel I use the normal neck position, but with distortion (DigiTech Grunge. It just owns with this guitar) I use the rhythm circuit, which is basically neck pickup, but the sound is more.. well.. duller WHEN on clean, but with distortion it makes sense. It also owns with EHX Big Muff. My amp is Vox Pathfinder 10 (which is also worth checking out) and the cleans rock. The guitar is quite noisy, because as I've read the Japanese ones aren't shielded. It may also be a grounding problem, I have to check it out. But generally all SS configuration guitars are a BIT noisy, so it doesn't bother me at all. It's not unbearable or anything. Lot's of variety with the sounds. Surf, alt-rock, jazz, even metal (but certainly not mainstream metal, get your LP or sth for that). Oh and I'm also planning to change the stock pickups to Seymour Duncan AntiquityII's, because the Japanese Jaguar stock pickups are with quite low output and simply just the worst of all the Jag pickups. But not worst of all the pickups. It still sounds good, but it could be better. It's way too thin. Check out some Seymour Duncans to suit your taste. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It was really bad when I got it (it was shipped) but I don't mind setting a guitar up on my own. 30minutes or sth and it was ready to go. Had to do some adjustments to the bridge, but everything you do to the bridge will only be temporary. The screws start to fall apart, etc, etc. It's not worth all the hassle, so get a better one. The pickups, umm.. need a bit adjusting to be honest, but it hasn't bothered me so far. When it's time to change the pups and pop her open, then I'll fix it along with the shielding and grounding issues. And no flaws in finish, just as I said before, the only problem was the mismatching wood. Oh, and the offset body is reeaaally comfortable. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Get a new bridge and it will withstand Live playing. Other hardware seems to be OK. And yes, I can depend on it. And I don't gig without the backup, but the logical backup guitar for this would be Squier Jagmaster, hah. The Japanese ones have poly finish, so it will last. // 8

Overall Impression: If it were stolen, I'd hunt the bastard down, but I doubt someone would steal it, because Jags seem to have quite low reputation. Who knows tho. The thing that I love about this guitar is that it's an outcast. Strats and Teles are the most famous of Fenders and Jaguar was never well received. It makes it somehow special. It sounds weird too. It's all good. As for the flaws.. I don't see them as flaws. It's the "character" thing. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Jaguar Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 400

Features: I believe the Jaguar was made by Fender Japan; it has an alder body, maple neck, 24-inch scale, 22 frets, a Sea Foam Green finish, the idiosyncratic 'floating' tremolo system. It has master volume and tone controls, and three 2-position on/off phase switches; two for the lead circuit, one for the rhythm circuit. It has two Fender singlecoil pickups. All in all, an extensive set of features; the controls can be a little confusing at times, but they are workable once you get acclimatised to them. // 8

Sound: My style is mainly alternative rock/punk/post-hardcore, and I must admit when I first started to play the Jaguar, I was a little nonplussed by its sound, as my playing hadn't developed beyond the 'whack the gain up to 10 and wail on the thing' stage. However, I've discovered the Jaguar has a wonderful, inimitable tone that is a result of its unique construction style and components. I play it through a Marshall MG100 DFX. Although it produces a raw-boned, trebly snarl under high gain, I've found it best suited to lower gain levels, as it responds superbly to playing dynamics; strike it hard with some gain on the bridge pickup, and you're rewarded with a trebly, nuanced twang - think Ian D'Sa from Billy Talent, or J. Robbins from Burning Airlines. Switch to the neck, and you find a darker, warmer character. Played clean, the Jaguar delivers those glassy, pristine Fender tones in spades, especially on the bridge with the tone on full. I think you could probably use it for most types of rock music, although metal might be a push, as the singlecoils are noisy when pushed with too much gain. But then again, piling on too much distortion loses that wonderful twang that the Jaguar does so well. In short, it has a brilliant sound, albeit one that may not be for everyone. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up very well indeed, with a low, eminently playable action and excellent intonation. I do find that the low E buzzes somewhat, but it's not much of a problem, as a lighter pick absolves any issues with the saddles. The finish is excellent, and the neck feels great. The tuners are also very serviceable, and easy to adjust. Apart from the string buzz, a very well-put-together guitar. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would easily withstand live playing. It is solid, weighty, and dependable, and the hardware feels built to last, as does the finish. The strap buttons are solid, but I have added straplocks to them just to ensure the strap doesn't come off during more spirited playing. I would happily use it at a gig without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: All in all, the Fender Jaguar has won me over; despite my initial indifference, I have found that the guitar has slotted very well into my style of music. I've been playing for about two years now, and the only other guitars I own are an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, which is great for harder rock music, and a Tanglewood FST 32 Strat copy. There isn't much I would change about the guitar, except for maybe the bridge saddle system, as it can be a little problematic at times. But on the whole, the Jaguar has a character all of its own that can't be ignored - I think I actually prefer its shape to the more vanilla Stratocaster. A great guitar. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Jaguar Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 900

Purchased from: Music Store

Features: I bought my Jag in the early 80's and it was my second guitar. It is a 1965 Vintage model, neck stamped Mar '65. It has the 22 frets, typical of the shorter scale Jags and Mustangs. It has the Candy Apple custom colour with matching headstock, alder body and rosewood finished neck. The guitar was all original, and I have never replaced the pots or pickups. The Jags have the twin circuit, so that the rhythm side is controlled by two rolling dials for Vol/Tone. The lead side has an on/off switch for each pickup, and a tone switch for the treble. Volume and Tone knobs for lead side as well. Has the original Kluson tuner knobs and bridge. The Jag was the top of the line Fender of the day, and the fit and quality of the components is amazing. I never wanted another guitar. I have played this guitar regularly for 30 years, and it has never let me down. Many don't like or understand the switches and what they do. Once you try them out, you get the hang of it pretty fast, and the sounds it can make are great. A very versatile instrument. For many the weakest part of the Jag is the bridge and the tremolo arm arrangement. Since I don't use a lot of whammy bar in my playing, that issue is fine. As for the bridge, it does need to be set up right or it will buzz and /or strings can hop out of the grooves. When it is set up, even under heavy playing I don't have any issues. Setting up the bridge is done by adjusting the height screws found underneath it. Be patient, and try it again and again if need be to get the right balance of bridge height and string tension holding the bridge in place. Too light and it buzzes and the strings can hop out; too heavy and the action drops too low for sustain and tonality. Once it's set up, wow, it's all performance. // 9

Sound: I play blues, RnB, Surf, Classic Rock, indie music and some heavy metal. I use my Jag for all of it. I generally run through a Vintage 63 Bassman Amp with a distortion box. Very Loud! For smaller gigs and for PA, I run through a Fender Champ, which has a fine built in gain and reverb. The tone and power is phenomenal, especially through the big Bassman, and you can really hear the surf sound pouring out of it. I tend to run on the lead channel with medium volume for normal playing and then switch to the rhythm side for solos (the preset volume rollers are great). This gives the solo a rawer tone and I love the way it roars. I seldom use the treble switch. The guitar is only noisy through the Bassman as the amp isn't grounded through a three prong plug (there is a polarity switch on the back which solves any noise issues). The guitar can go from very twangy to throaty mellow in a heartbeat. I can wail on a solo and pulse out rhythm licks. I took the decorative plate off the bridge and use a lot of palm mute rather then the built in mute bar (which isn't much use and gets glommy). // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar is Vintage and I have reset the action myself a few times. As said above, it is a delicate process and needs some knowledge and gumption. Once set up, it plays gloriously. The original single coil pick ups remain, and are pretty hot. This guitar was built in the Fender factory by hand in 1965, and has excellent fit and finish. There are a some understandable nicks and scratches (fell over a chair in one solo but kept on playing) I've banged it into walls and corners, all with no real damage. The original paint is in superb condition for a 46 year old instrument. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I play this guitar regularly. It is not a museum piece, but a working guitar. The hardware and knobs and tuners are all excellent. I rarely find it goes out of tune. The strap buttons are fine and it has never slipped off them. I definitely depend on this guitar and it is a trooper. When I gig, this is my instrument from the first song to the last one of the set. As mentioned the finish is very resilient and doesn't even look faded. Just some wear and tear marks. // 10

Overall Impression: The Jag is a wonderful instrument and having played other guitars, I always go back to the Jag. I can play all the music I like on it and feel confident and comfortable with it. I have been playing for 35 years and have owned this guitar for almost 32. If it were stolen, I would get another Jag after weeks of weeping and grief. I love the way it looks, the way it plays, the way it feels, and I am so comfortable with this instrument. My favorite feature is the two sides, each with separate volume/tone controls. I've come to terms with the bridge and find medium/heavy strings work best. I wish I had the original case-the only thing it is missing. If you want a great Vintage Fender and can't lay out the cash for a Strat or a Tele, consider the Jaguar. Kurt Cobain did. // 9

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