Jimmie Vaughan Tex-Mex Strat review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (20 votes)
Fender: Jimmie Vaughan Tex-Mex Strat

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
This may be the best part of this guitar. The Tex-Mex pickups are amazing, they're the reason I bought this guitar. I love having the tone on the bridge instead of the middle. The hot bridge is very nice and doesn't really cause a volume issue with the other pickups. I'm using a Hot Rod Deluxe with a DS-1 and a Slash Wah. I think this guitar sounds infinitely better than the Standard American and American Vintage pickups, and maybe just the tiniest bit less the American Texas Specials. This thing has pure Strat tone, you can do any Stray tone perfectly with this thing. I play mostly rock, and this guitar is perfectly suited. I also dabble in metal and for my money this holds up well, but probably shouldn't be a metalheads first choice. With the three single-coils and the five-way selector you have infinite tone possibilities.

Overall Impression — 10
I play mainly rock and blues and some metal, this guitar is perfect. I've been playing for about 3 years and I absolutely fell in love with this guitar the first time I played it. I had been searching for a replacement for my Squier and tried many guitars, which all disappointed, except for this one. If it was lost, I be very upset, but I'd save up for an Eric Johnson Strat. I love the pickups and the neck, but the tuners fell short. Overall, a great buy, maybe a bit too much for a first guitar, but a great buy for number two or anyone looking to add a guitar that plays like twice it's price.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a Fender, thus durability ensues. I have had only one issue with this guitar, and that was a damaged middle pickup when I swapped out the pickguard. I took it to a shop and got her fixed for about 30 bucks. I drop it and beat up quite a bit, yet the guitar seems fine and I've had no issues since. The finish seems durable. I'd play Live with the puppy with no back up and no fear. It came with strap locks so no issue there. Overall, superb Fender craftsmanship.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This is where this guitar falters slightly. The fretwork, neck, bridge, and nut were flawless and well setup, but I had some issues with the Vintage tuners. Not only was replacing strings difficult, but I seemed to be having tuning issues. I replaced them with lockers and have had no problems since. This guitar can with a crappy 1-ply pickguard so I replaced it with a fancy silver pearled 5-ply deal making it infinitely nicer. The tremolo is wonderful and doesn't cause too much tuning hassle, it's no floyd-rose but by no means is it a lemon either. The color (black) and the finish are superb, and I love how the neck doesn't have that dead bleached look that many other Mexican and even some cheaper American maple necks have, it is a very healthy blonde and a dream to play on. It was adjusted slightly high from the factory, but I prefer it like this so it was perfect. Also, it's soft V shape is fairly meaty and which I instantly loved, although others may not like this. Other than the lousy tuners and the crappy pickguard this would be a 10.

Features — 8
This guitar plays like an American Strat for half the price and all the tone. Soft "V" 9.5" radius maple neck, Mexican Texas Special "Tex-Mex" pickups, hot bridge pickup, American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo, Vintage style "slotted" tuners, and complete with Jimmie Vaughan signature on back of headstock. Wide open middle pickup, 2 tone one for bridge one for neck, single volume control. Basically everything I could ask for.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Tele LeSg
    I played this guitar the other day. It plays like a real American made strat, but has a lower cost because it is made in Mexico. It is American made parts but constructed in Mexico. Jimmie must not have cared that it was made in Mexico, but in my opinion it is just like an American strat but it is a signature series. I give this a guitar a 10 on 10.
    I have this guitar and like it except for the pick ups and can be hard getting down on the lower frets. Pickups are good for southern rock but are lacking when it comes to distortion for metal and heavier rock music and they suck for pinch harmonics.
    Yap, you're totally right! I compare it to LPs and Kramer Powerstrat. The Fender JV is a really good guitar! But not the best for metal oder heavy stuff!
    I have owned this guitar for awhile now and had no problems at all with anything. I don't care much for the single ply pickguard but you can change that easily. The neck has a very "nice" feel
    i like it the guitar sounds great even with distortion. great finish because i dropped mine a few times withou any scratches.i like the neck and the pickups sound a little hotter and better than standard pickups. I play mostly nirvana,pixies and that stuff but also a lot of classic rock and racer x and satriani and it works great for all of these
    last week 1-23-13 i was in a sam ash store in nj there on the floor was a 2009 white jimmie vaughan tex-mex strat i sat down and played for over an hour then i knew that this guitar was for me,this guitar was so clean i thought it was new. what a sound from blues country rock etc this guitar has everything you need , and now i feel like i have the ultimate guitar
    half of the people saying that these "hot" vintage wound pickups are weak do not realize that Vintage Wound is more geared for a Bluesman looking for a SRV type tone.. if you want Metal from a Strat- use EMG's or something else that is actually meant for Metal..
    I own two of these and use them regularly for gigs. The first one I bought new in 1996. I changed the bridge pick up to a Duncan Hot Rails and put oil in paper caps in it. It is a great all around player and can dish out amazing rock and blues tones as well a the heaviest high gain tones you can think of. The second one is a 2006 that I bought used. I have experiment with this one, but it is my #1 for live gigs. Right now it has a high output (10k) GFS dual rail pick up in the bridge, noiseless single coils in the neck and middle, orange caps, a brass tremolo block, CTS pots, and hardened steel roller saddles. I also modded the wiring so that the 2nd tone effects the middle and bridge. These mods were done over the years, sometimes just to see if really improved anything. I love the necks on these guitars, and they are a bargain on the used market. If I could keep the neck pick up and have the humbuckers, I would, but I need the humbucker more. Between the two, I can cover almost any style and get every live tone I need.
    So far I 'only got the pick ups ; Great for blues and trad rock stuff, - planning to get the rest of the guitar sooner rather than later.
    erock82190 wrote: I have this guitar and like it except for the pick ups and can be hard getting down on the lower frets. Pickups are good for southern rock but are lacking when it comes to distortion for metal and heavier rock music and they suck for pinch harmonics.
    You don't know anything about this guitar. The pickups are high out-put. Pinch harmonics are simple, if you know how to do them. I can play metal with this strat no problem.
    I own this guitar now for one year and I am really satisfied. I compared it with a Les Paul Studio and a Godin Progression (Strat-Style) and a few 80s Kramer Powerstrats all in a similar price range. In my opinion the Godin is a bit "hotter" and better for distortion riffs. The Fender JV has a "warmer" tone which fits better for clean and blues stuff. Pinch harmonics are possible, but all of my other guitars can do it better!