Price paid: € 700
Purchased from: Thomann.de
Sound — 9
I play Placebo, Sonic Youth and stuff like that and mostly with the neck pickup. When on clean channel I use the normal neck position, but with distortion (DigiTech Grunge. It just owns with this guitar) I use the rhythm circuit, which is basically neck pickup, but the sound is more.. well.. duller WHEN on clean, but with distortion it makes sense. It also owns with EHX Big Muff. My amp is Vox Pathfinder 10 (which is also worth checking out) and the cleans rock. The guitar is quite noisy, because as I've read the Japanese ones aren't shielded. It may also be a grounding problem, I have to check it out. But generally all SS configuration guitars are a BIT noisy, so it doesn't bother me at all. It's not unbearable or anything. Lot's of variety with the sounds. Surf, alt-rock, jazz, even metal (but certainly not mainstream metal, get your LP or sth for that). Oh and I'm also planning to change the stock pickups to Seymour Duncan AntiquityII's, because the Japanese Jaguar stock pickups are with quite low output and simply just the worst of all the Jag pickups. But not worst of all the pickups. It still sounds good, but it could be better. It's way too thin. Check out some Seymour Duncans to suit your taste.
Overall Impression — 10
If it were stolen, I'd hunt the bastard down, but I doubt someone would steal it, because Jags seem to have quite low reputation. Who knows tho. The thing that I love about this guitar is that it's an outcast. Strats and Teles are the most famous of Fenders and Jaguar was never well received. It makes it somehow special. It sounds weird too. It's all good. As for the flaws.. I don't see them as flaws. It's the "character" thing.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Get a new bridge and it will withstand Live playing. Other hardware seems to be OK. And yes, I can depend on it. And I don't gig without the backup, but the logical backup guitar for this would be Squier Jagmaster, hah. The Japanese ones have poly finish, so it will last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
It was really bad when I got it (it was shipped) but I don't mind setting a guitar up on my own. 30minutes or sth and it was ready to go. Had to do some adjustments to the bridge, but everything you do to the bridge will only be temporary. The screws start to fall apart, etc, etc. It's not worth all the hassle, so get a better one. The pickups, umm.. need a bit adjusting to be honest, but it hasn't bothered me so far. When it's time to change the pups and pop her open, then I'll fix it along with the shielding and grounding issues. And no flaws in finish, just as I said before, the only problem was the mismatching wood. Oh, and the offset body is reeaaally comfortable.
Features — 7
It's a Made In Japan version, BUT it's made around 2007-2008. I guess the Japanese Fender has started to put "MIJ" on their necks once again. It has 7.25 neck radius and 24" scale, which is great to play, as I have quite small fingers, BUT the neck itself is thicker than my Ibanez so reaching some notes in wider range gets tricky when playing standing up. It's got sunburst finish, which is beautiful, however the wood grain doesn't match in some places, but it's barely noticeable. Still annoying though. I guess you all know about the switches and stuff. It really isn't too complicated as it may seem at first. And they are quite useful. Except the bass-cut Switch, but Jaguar was designed to wear flatwound strings, which are much more mellower and bassy, so the bass-cut in that case does make sense. And you all know about the bridge - it sucks. Some people may say that it needs to be set up properly, but it isn't worth it. The design is just bad and you need to replace it. Either the Mustang saddles or the whole bridge or some tune-o-matic (but tune-o-matics doesn't match with Jaguar's 7.25 radius) so I recommend Schaller STM roller bridges, which are fully adjustable, with the radius and everything.