Special Edition Jaguar Thinline Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 12/12/2013 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Special Edition Jaguar Thinline
This Jag sounds great with the type of music I play. While it lacks some aggression that harder forms of rock would require, still, cleans sound sweet, and distorted tones remain clear. I would always prefer notes over dirt, and this guitar does this well.
 Features: 10
 Sound: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.6 
 Users rating:
 7.3 
 Votes:
 7 
review (1) pictures (2) 17 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Special Edition Jaguar Thinline Reviewed by: Ynfiniteblyss, on december 12, 2013
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1099

Purchased from: eBay

Features: Made in Japan. Features standard Jaguar features you'd find on a typical Jaguar (specs can be viewed at the fender website). The only difference is that this features a semi-hollow body with white bindings on the edges. I got mine in black and it just looks sexy, especially with the F-hole emphasising the hollow feature. This is my 3rd Jag and I have never experienced any problems with the Jaguar's stock bridge like rattling and strings falling out of the grooves, but nonetheless I always replace the stock bridges for enhancement, rather than for solving a problem. For this Jaguar, I've replaced the bridge with a mastery. Huge improvement over the stock one as the mastery give a noticeable amount of added sustain and clearer string resonance. The trem system is also nice for surfy trem effects, but obviously not for divebombs or whammy madness. The electronic configurations are also highly useful. The pickup selection with the rhythm, lead, and mid-cut switches give you wide tonal options, and are also nifty when it comes to live performances. Rhythm circuit gives a nice background support in a band setting, then flipping it over to the lead circuit would give you a boost to cut you through the mix. I had the mid-cut switch replaced by a parallel-series mod which now gives you an aggressive humbucker tone for even more tonal variety. Maybe the only downside I could say about this guitar is that for a special 50th anniversary run, it should come with a hard shell case instead of just a box. // 10

Sound: While this guitar with all its switches and settings would have many tonal varieties, these varieties are still limited to its "Jaguarness." You would not expect this guitar to perform well in a metal setting, nor will it be your best bet for shredding, or any type of music that requires screaming pickups and a fast neck. I had the stock pickups replaced with customs pickups which I ordered from Bullock Guitar Pickups (www.bullockguitarpickups.com). The replacements are enhanced Jaguar pickups, meaning, they still follow the traditional Jaguar tone, but waaaaay better than stock ones. Being a Jaguar, the pickups does not scream, and those who require a lot "chugging" in their music may not find satisfaction in this guitar. But taking the Jaguar as it is, with it's signature jangle and brightness, this is a great guitar. Of course, for those into surf music, this is THE ultimate choice. It also does well for Jazz and other genres where pure clean tones shine. I'd also recommend this guitar for shoegaze. The tone of this guitar plus some modulated delays is just so surreal and "spacey." A little drive is also nice for more aggressive sounds. Crunch distortions give just the right amount of dirt that even with the gain past 12, you can still hear the every note and character of the guitar. The hollow body feature, which is what makes this Jag special, gives a little more body to the single coils compared to the traditional solid body Jags. Also, it has that woody tone so that the sound is more organic rather than too electric. Practicing with a hollow body also has an advantage since you can hear the acoustic sounds so you don't have to plug into an amp every time (hurray for the neighbours). I'm giving this an 8 since I still had to replace stock pickups to get the sound I want, nonetheless, the stocks were just the typical good-but-not-great. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything is great out of the box! The neck was just a tad bit warped, but that's understandable considering it came from a long shipping trip in multiple cargos. Action is rather subjective, some people like it high, some people like low, the action on this guitar is exactly what I prefer right out the box. Comfortably low enough, but not too low that strings would buzz. Pickup heights are perfect as both pickups are well balanced in terms of volume and high enough for good volume without causing magnets to suck out string vibrations. Being single coils, they do have the typical single coil hum especially when using distortion, but that can be easily fixed by wax potting or other tinkering remedies. Craftsmanship is very good. I see no flaws whatsoever in the guitar from the paint job to hardware. Everything is very good. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This seems to be a well built guitar. I use this both in practice and live gigs. Everything seems to be tough and tight and I don't think that I need to have a backup guitar in fear that something will go wrong with this guitar. As early as now, I couldn't really say too much about durability since this is still new. But I think it would be safe to say that being a Japanese made guitar, this should be durable enough to be passed on to your grand children. My other Japanese Jag was manufactured during the '90s and still everything is as solid as it should be (although pickup and bridge changes have been made). If this guitar would be stolen, I would definitely buy the same exact thing without hesitation. // 10

Overall Impression: Being a '90s kid, I play rock, classic rock, alternative, hard rock, and all other sorts of rock, except metal. In the past years I've switched to Jaguars as my main guitar. I also have a 2 other Jags, a Japanese '60s reissue and a Mexican HH Special. My non-Jags are an Ibanez S series, a Gibson Les Paul Studio, a Squier Strat, and a Greco Mirage (the Greco Version of the Ibanez Iceman). I believe I've found my tone in Jaguars. This particular Jag sounds great with the type of music I play. Although it lacks some aggression that harder forms of rock would require, that can always be compensated by pedal settings. Still, cleans sound sweet, and distorted tones remain clear. I would always prefer notes over dirt, and this guitar does this well. If this would be stolen, I'd buy the exact same guitar any day! // 10

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