Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 7
Out of the box I'm giving the sound a 6 or 7. Now - here's the thing, I bought this guitar with the intention of installing new pickups and putting on heavier strings. I put in SD Alnico II Pro's and now the sound is greatly improved. I also put on .10 - .53 Ernie Ball strings. These are the two biggest improvement you can do immediately for the sound and they are dirt cheap if you go used on the pickups. Seriously though - the axe comes with .9s from Fender Factory - don't go with these, they suck. This axe needs at least 10s or better to get a quality tone. Factoring in the upgrades I'm completely satisfied with the tone now. I'd give it a 10 but since I'm reviewing the out of box factory condition guitar I'll be generous and give it a 7.
Overall Impression — 8
Out of the box - no mods I'd give it a 7 or 8. With mods it gets a 9.5 now. So happy with it. For me the short scale is so nice and worthwhile. If you have small hands and need a good guitar get this jag, you'll be so happy fo sho. Again I'm rating out of the box so the review officially gets an 8 - being generous again.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Don't play live and most likely never will but it could easily withstand a Cobain-esque smashing around. Fender always makes reliable quality guitars in my opinion. I've never had one of theirs go back and I've owned 3 or 4. The finish I great too I must add. I'm not a huge fan of silver but it grows on you everyday. Silver Sparkle!
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Action was ok - a bit high from the factory but super easy to adjust down thanks to the tuneomatic bridge. Pickups were adjusted well and everything was routed fabulously - I was impressed with that at least. It makes the blacktop unique from other jags and fenders alike. The neck was well finished and straight - honestly these MIM necks are great - almost on par with the US or Japan. The fretwork and finishing may be slightly less quality but I can't tell the difference and I'm pretty anus about that stuff. The only thing I need to mention here is that my tone pot had an issue. It was a warranty problem and the tone pot itself was unresponsive from 10 down to around 1 or 2. When I went below 1 it would all of a sudden click down to a very dialed down tone. I may be a wierdo but I like it alot actually. Very many people are having to get this fixed though. My guitar is unique due to the tone pot though and I like it.
Features — 9
Mine is a 2011 Fender Blacktop Jaguar - New out of box. - 22 Frets - 24 inch scale (wonderful for smaller hands - honest) - Rosewood Fretboard on Maple neck - Medium Jumbo Frets - Solid Alder Body w/ minimal routing (unlike an oldschool Jag or any strat) - in my opinion the sustain is enhanced here. - Two Vintage Alnico 5 humbuckers - 1 volume, 1 tone & a 3 way selector. - Regular old Fender tuners (pretty ok/good) For the price I paid I was happy with what I got so 9 here.