Blacktop Jaguar HH review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (83 votes)
Fender: Blacktop Jaguar HH

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
This guitar is great for someone who is into a lot of different music. It handles anything from bright, crunchy, percussive, smooth, heavy etc. The amp I use it with, a Behringer GMX110 which, this guitar has made my amp sound better than ever. The pickups are quiet, no feedback, switches easily. It has the most variety of any guitar I've played thus far. It has a full tone and fortunately never sounds thin, like I've heard of others sounding.

Overall Impression — 9
I play anything from indie-rock, metal, blues, pop-punk, and anything inbetween and it's a great match. I've been playing for 4-5 years and this is now my favorite piece of gear. I love the neck, nice and slim but not paper thin and, I also love the simplicity of the electronics. Very simple to use but delivers great tone. I would definitely buy this again if it were stolen or broke, it was a great deal for the price.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It feels like a solid guitar, but only owning it for a week I can't really say if it'll well it would be on stage. Although, I have seen several artists using the Blacktop series. I do think I could depend on it for a gig but, I wouldn't gig any guitar without a backup. The strap buttons seemed solid, but I put straplocks on within a few hours. The finish also looks great, doesn't chip easy either. I've knock it off a few things and no chips!

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The set-up was good, no buzzing, everything was in tune. No dings, scratches, and it played very well. The action was a little low but that's no biggie and can be easily adjusted. Everything is in order, nothing loose, seemingly good quality, and all to a bit of my surprise considering the price.

Features — 8
Mexican made Fender Blacktop Jaguar. I got mine in the black which I think looks nice, only problem is how easily it catches prints. I was quite impressed when I brought it home, it had a nice warm tone immediately when I plugged it in, especially considering my not-so-great amp. The hum bucking pickups give it great versatility. It can go from super clean to surprisingly heavy for a Jag. It only has one volume and tone control which, makes it incredibly easy to dial in on your tone. To a bit of my disappointment though, I didn't receive any accessories. Not sure if that's just a GC thing or not.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Doesn't seem like a bad guitar, in fact I liked the one I played as much as my Les Paul, but it kind of pisses me off that they're calling it a Jaguar. It has nothing to do with Jags except the body shape and scale, none of the features or tone that most Jag lovers want. Hardtail bridge? Just volume and tone controls? Grumble grumble curmudgeonly comment about damn guitar companies ruining our guitars or whatever grumble.
    AeolianSeventh wrote: It has nothing to do with Jags except the body shape and scale, none of the features or tone that most Jag lovers want. Hardtail bridge? Just volume and tone controls?
    It's a guitar for those that are on a budget. They're not going to a put a Jaguar that costs $1500, but is all original hardware/tone/etc on it and then slab a $450 price tag on it. Someone going in for the original Jag is probably expecting to pay at least 1000 dollars, and probably wouldn't buy this guitar. Similarly, someone who want a decent guitar for a decent price may see an original Jag and go "Whoa, this is way to much, but what about that Blacktop, it's only 450". It's all just a matter of marketing and budgeting guitars for those with a small budget. Guitarists in the 60's didn't have nearly as much of selection as today, especially when it comes to price.
    Electric Pluto
    Eh, I bought a used Classic Player Jag, MIM just like this Blacktop, for only around $475 and it basically was like a budget original. IMO if I was going for a Blacktop of any kind, it would only be because I was on a 90s alt rock kick due to the humbuckers. But if that was the case, I would go for the Blacktop Jazzmaster for the shape and bridge humbucker (plus the scale size on the Jag is not for my fat fingers, but I digress). But this particular model seems like a strange HH Jazzmaster with a shortened scale. But no three slidy switches? Just knobs instead of the unique rotary wheels? No trem? And without a real Jag's weird floating bridge, it makes it easier to use, yeah, but it also loses its personality. Figuring out how to use one, to make it sound good, and to use all its tricks, is intrinsic to being a Jaguar player and this Blacktop, to me, just sidesteps all of that.
    This is my first Fender, and whilst I agree that it really is nothing like an original Jag in terms of pickups, bridge, features, etc, it's still a solid quality guitar. The neck feels a little wider than other Fenders I have played (albeit briefly, in music stores etc) so I always previously had a preference for Gibson (or Gibsonesque lol) type guitars for the wider fretboard and the double humbuckers. To me, this guitar is aimed at people who like the look of the guitar, and who are into music by people who modified such guitars with humbuckers, etc (certain 90s alt rock artists come to mind...). They seem to be wanting to either provide a guitar for people who want a Jag but can't afford one, and play distortion-based music, or to attract a new market who normally wouldn't get a Fender. And hey, the price is right. It's a solid guitar that feels great to play and also sounds great clean with an amp that gives each pickup option the ability to shine. A few demos on YouTube demonstrate this better than I possibly could- so I would recommend checking out some online views. The only thing I notice the first time I played it was how light it felt compared to my Mastersound MS500. That made me initially think it was perhaps kinda cheaply made (and in a way it is) but that impression has now changed to one of lurveeee. It really is still a quality guitar. IMHO, this suits more overdriven rocky lead playing, suiting string bending etc whereas my more solid Maton is an excellent all-rounder with more of a vintage edge. I'm very happy with it.
    i'm sure it's a fairly decent guitar for many applications and styles. they should just call it something other than a Jaguar. it's actually much closer to a Fender Tornado, they should've just call it a new version of that.
    The body style is that of a Jag, so its a Jag. . . I don't see the problem. Just because an LP has a Floyd Rose and non-traditonal LP pickups don't make it a different guitar, why should this be any different? I think it looks sweet, I wanna play one.
    Stone Agean
    milwaukeerocker wrote: it's actually much closer to a Fender Tornado,
    It's actually called a Toronado, but you're pretty right. I have no idea why they didn't just update the Toronado - awesome guitars.
    I have no idea why they didn't just update the Toronado - awesome guitars.
    Because Kurt fans want Jaguars.
    famous cow man wrote: does anyone know if this is a available with a wammy bar?
    Maybe look at the Blacktop Jazzmaster?