Price paid: £ 500
Purchased from: Private Seller
Sound — 9
My style of playing varies from fast death-metal runs to melodic harmonization: and pretty much everything in between (whether I'm any good at playing them is a different matter!) This instrument happily handles slapping and popping, picking and plucking all day long - and if you think you'd like to go deeper, the Jaguar will take you there, if you need a more piercing treble, the Jaguar run you up there and lets you keep the very pleasurable lows running at the same time. Its very diverse. I sometimes play through a distortion, and the series/parallel helps make everything nice and crunchy. I do get some noise every now and then from the tone knob, but its generally a couple of plays a fortnight thing, so I'll take a look at it soon. Possibly a loose connection. I play through a Fender Rumble combo amp and have played through PA systems too, the Jaguar loves it all.
Overall Impression — 10
For me, this bass is perfect. If it isn't perfect for you, you will find the perfect bass. The diversity of it, the way it fits my body and my hands is what works for me. If it were lost/stolen, I'd buy another or possibly an american Stingray or american Active Jazz if I had the cash. But this instrument is amazing value for a very strong rival of the top guns in the bass field. The colour, HOT Rod Red tips this bass off the edge for me - it looks beautiful and sounds even better. It was either this, a Fender Standard Jazz or a Sterling Ray - and after playing them all the Jag won hands down for me. I hope to have a long and happy life with this bass.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This instrument seems sturdy, strong and well build - and I will trust it now and at many live sessions in the future. I would say without a backup, but I'll always bring one incase of a broken string mid-song etc. The hardware seems tough, but I've never been a fan of plastics, and I imagine they will need replacing every few years (lets say 10?) if you plan on keeping this instrument for that long, and it all depends on the weight of your hand! I am currently using strap-lock strap buttons, and didn't use the stock buttons for more than a day or two. So I wouldn't like to judge, I've always preferred strap-locks. The gloss and paint is unworn as of yet, and I imagine the bass is around 3-5 years old, can't really comment on what I think deterioration will be like. Its all down to how you play. The active/passive means that should the battery die, you aren't on your ar$e and means you can finish the song before replacing the battery. Although I believe that the battery cavity may be a bit fragile whilst open, so you must be precise and not too heavy handed - as it might lead to trouble.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I am unsure as to the out the box set-up of this bass, although it was absolutely mint when I bought it, apart from one scratch apparently caused after a drunked night out - not from the company. The placement of hardware suits me very well, but everyone is different, it'll fit some people like a glove - others like razor wire: but there isnt really much we can do about that! The only problem from me here is a bit of neck dive, which was solved with a more grippy strap, setting me back 15 and now it isnt a problem.
Features — 9
My Japan-made Jaguar was purchased used from a friend of mine around 6 months ago. This has given me time to get used to my bass before making this review. All of these basses have the same factory features: 20 Frets; Rosewood Fingerboard with aged White Pearloid block markers; Mint green tinted white pickguard; Alder body; 1 piece maple gloss finished neck; Standard 4-saddle bridge. As for the electronics we have: Tone and volume knobs; Series/Parallel pickup switch; On/Off for each pickup; Active On/Off, Treble boost roller (active), Bass boost roller (active). I have had no trouble with any of these features - although have had the circuits grounded and shielded, just in case. I had no addition accessories. I have had no problems with any of the features. I do believe, however, that a pickup blend configuration and smoother tuners wouldn't go a miss.