Blacktop Jaguar HH review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (83 votes)
Fender: Blacktop Jaguar HH
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Price paid: A$ 400

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
It sounds great with both my amps - my Vox Valvetronix 100w and my Epiphone Valve Standard. It sounds great with distortion/ overdrive in particular, and has great sustain. The fx in built with the amp sound great, and I find myself particularly using the Bridge pickup with chorus or neck pickup with distortion/overdrive. A very rock sound and guitar, but also could feasibly suit metal, I use it mostly for rock/indie styled music and love it's sustain. I use Boss ME50, XT2, JD Crybaby (Zakk Wylde) and DOD Death Metal pedals with this guitar and overall am very happy. The only criticism is that for recording on ProTools, my other guitar has a nicer tone. I would only use it for recording high-gain sounds/distortion for this although it does sound great through quite a lot of the Line 6 Tone Box sounds.

Overall Impression — 9
Good match for punk/indie/metal but especially rock. I would buy this guitar again, although I would like a "proper" Jag too... For softer songs/ styles, it does the job but doesn't have the richness and subtlety of my Mastersound, but it's not really designed for that anyway - it's not a Vintage guitar in any way really - more a quintessential modern one. I love the neck the most as well as the action - great sustain, great for bends and fast playing.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Seems like a pretty durable and solid guitar, although compared to my other guitar (Maton MS 500) seems rather light. Would use it live, in fact that is one intention I have, although would use another guitar with it to get a variety of sounds. But if you liked the tone on this and were happy with just using one guitar for a set, then you wouldn't need a backup.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Nice action, simple features - only 3-way pick up selector (neck/ neck-bridge/ bridge) and tone and volume knobs but well set up. The Mexican guitars IMHO are surprisingly well made. Can't really fault anything here. The pickups were adjusted fine as far as I could tell (alnico dual humbuckers) and there were no flaws I could see. The guy whom I purchased the guitar from hadn't done any changes to the setup, so everything was still at it's factory appearance, even the strings.

Features — 9
I had heard some pretty good things about the Blacktop series of guitars, and I must say the Jaguar is great. Not a "proper" Jag in terms of features, even look (apart from the general body shape...) and especially in that it features double humbuckers, but as my first Fender, I am quite happy. 3-way tone selector, Tune-O-Matic bridge, medium-jumbo frets and HH make me feel as if this is a Fender to attract players that normally utilise other brands, play indie/rock/high-gain styles or want to own a Fender but can't afford to buy the more expensive models. Knowing this guitar is an "economy" model, I paid a decent price for it although it was basically brand new condition with the plastic still covering the pickguard, etc. Fender obviously aren't going to release a "genuine" Jag for the price of this one, so for what it is, I think it's great. In fact, I like it better than some other Fenders, it suits my girly hands better than a Strat etc and dual humbuckers are nice, it is almost a hybrid, yet simple and stripped down. It's not a Vintage Jaguar, but once you get past that, it's a good guitar.

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