hi guys

so i'm close to commiting to buying a jaguar (still not sure whether a tele/jazz/jag)

anyway.. when looking at the CIJ (all i can seem to find used) what things am i to look out for, i'd hate to buy a dodgey one with my saved cash!

anyone care to explain the main differences between the 62" RI and the others? mexi/jap? cij/mij ?

I'll see if I can help you out, as Jags are my preferred guitar.

Japanese: MIJ Fenders are older than CIJ Fenders and there's more than a few people out there who think the MIJs are of a better quality. Personally I highly doubt you would hear or feel a difference. Aside from that, CIJ Jags are very nice guitars as far as their build quality goes. However they have a poor reputation as far as pickups. I don't know a lot about the inner workings of pickups but I find the MIJ Jag pickups to be pretty tinny... too much treble.

Mexican: Mexican Jaguars use hotter pickups than the AVRI and Japanese models. They also feature flatter fretboards (9.5'' vs 7.25'') more akin to modern Fender guitars. They pickups are good, they just aren't very true to the Jaguar sound IMO. Like I said, they're hot... noticeably so IMO.

American: The AVRI Jaguars are set to 1962 specs. They have pretty faithful recreations of the pickups and a vintage (7.25'') neck radius. They are also (I think) the only Jaguar that comes with the string mute.

I'd buy a CIJ/MIJ Jaguar or Jazzmaster over a MIM. But I'd be going into it knowing that the pickups would need replacing. However this is coming from a guy with two American Jags, so I guess I'm just kind of predisposed to their sound; YMMV. I know quite a few people who are very happy with their stock Japanese Fenders. I would also look into other people's opinions on the Jaguar bridge. I personally have never, ever had an issue with mine, but a lot of people despise them.

Anywho, hope this helps!
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster | Fender Deluxe Reverb
Jaguar | Stratocaster | Telecaster | Jazzmaster
Crafted in Japan.^

The CIJs/MIJs are the same, its just an indication of the time period they were made. Theres no difference between the guitars except i some of them use basswood, some use alder, but it being CIJ/MIJ is no indication of this, just the date it was made.

The AVs frankly dont feel any different from the CIJs, upgrade the electronics and pups on a CIJ/MIJ and you pretty much have somehting to the same standard as the MIAs... Except for the trem is a little smoother and the saddles are cut a bit better.

The MIMs are pretty much a players version, they dont come with the hassle of a 7.5" radius, they have an AOM bridge so you dont need to replace the saddles, hot pickups, and the trem is a bit closer to the bridge to help increase the break angle so you can use some lighter strings. They arent real jags, but theyre interesting. Ive not tried one...

If you go for an MIJ/CIJ make sure you use at least 10-52/11 gauge strings, replace the saddles with some mustang ones, the graphtech ones are pretty good, replace the bridge pickup ASAP, the neck pup isnt too bad.

I swapped the low cut/strangle switch for a series/paralell switch for a much meatier sounding option.

Generally the QC of japanese fenders is pretty good, so you shouldnt have much trouble finding a good one. Things like buzzing from the bridge are problematic with like 99% of them, its just the screws in the bridge saddles vibrating, they tend to come loose after a while so you deffinately want to replace the saddles.
i've been really contemplating a jag, i'm just not sure if the pups will give me a warm enough sound when clean, yeh i like the drive tone from a jag but i'm not 100% convinced on the clean tones?

in terms of trying one, i really can't see me finding a jap one to try, only usa/mexi...

i've also been considering usa standard/highway1 teles.... hmm
The mexi ones pups are a bit overwound, so i guess they wouldnt have as much high end.

Pickups are always replaceable...

They have 1 meg pots on lead mode aswell so theyre pretty bright in general, you might be better off with the jazz. In ryhythm mode (300kish pots, i cant remember) (the switch on the top plate) its pretty warm and dark.

If you live in the US its pretty hard to get CIJs over there...