Price paid: $ 420.9
Purchased from: Total Music Technology
Sound — 8
I play my Jagmaster through a Marshall M15CDR and the tone is ok. You won't get a much better tone out of that amp if you plug a PRS in. The same applies to the Squier 10 Watt amp I use for my guitar lessons, any guitar in there sounds crap. I use a boss chorus pedal with the jag sometimes, and the pickups are quite good for that. The pickups are half decent, too. Much better than an affinity model with a humbucker, for example a fat Strat. The pickups are a lot better than the one on the Marshall Rocket Special I had, which cost roughly half the price. The neck pickup is quite warm, the tone is too deep to sound like an acoustic guitar, and is average on overdrive: I don't like neck pickups for overdrive, but the tone is pretty much identical to the neck pup on my friend's Epiphone LP custom if you play 'em both with the same amp. The middle setting, which uses both humbuckers, is good for clean. Not as good as a real acoustic, obviously, but not that many electric guitars that aren't semi-hollowbodies really are without an acoustic simulator or something. The bridge humbucker is a lot to write home on. It's not too jangly, it's not too deep, it roars without being muddy. The tone is lovely. Anyone who is into music from the '70s and '80s could like this tone, I think. I use it to play punk, the sound is nice and thick, and with the right amp settings you can produce raw and raunchy fuzztones. It probably isn't brilliant for nu metal, because the tone isn't especially saturated. But I don't care about that. In the punk spirit, I am going to give it 77%, which comes out as an 8/10.
Overall Impression — 9
If my Jagmaster were stolen, I would be pretty pissed off because I am not made of money and don't really have loads of money to spend on guitar products (that's what comes from having good, protective parents - they buy me stuff rather than leave me to my own devices). However, I am currently having this guitar ensured by the musicians' union, so I would use the money, if they didn't get me a new one, to get either the same guitar again, or buy a Yamaha pacifica 112, because it is the best guitar for under 170 you can buy. It doesn't look as nice as the Jagmaster, and you probably can't get it in the colour I want) but it is a very, very good axe. I asm a believer in value for money, and the 200 price range is the best guitar, this is proved by comparing it to my friend Paul's Les Paul Custom. It cost more than twice as much, and is identical, expect the jag is eaiser to play, and also it isn't as much as a pain to sit down with - all guitars will hurt your leg after a while.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have played with this live. The strap buttons aren't great, but I filled the holes with wood glue and put straplocks on. I used to unwind strings from the bridge when I played, and I thought it was the Strat type saddles, but it turned out to be my playing style, I was pulling the strings up with my pick. I think that the finish is ok. I spilled white spirit on the axe once, but it didn't come off. The think that they put extra gloss lacquer on this to make it super shiny. I wouldn't use it without a backup unless I didn't have a backup? Why? because I am liable to break strings and trip over cables onstage. One time I tripped over and kicked in a PA speaker. I would even have a backup if I played bass. I wouldn't ever advise anyone not to have a backup guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action is pretty nice. Much lower and playable than my friend's guitarists' BC rich warlock and satch Ibanez (out of the box, that is). I play rhythm guitar and vocals. Fast action is important to me because I play very fast - I play barre chords the same speed as most guitarists would play power or drop d power chords. And I don't slide my hand. I like to mention that part because if I don't I won't get taken seriously as a guitarist, and neither will the guitar. It had to be said. The guitar was set up fine, no fret buzz, until I took it back to the shop to have its free set up (you get a free setup after 6 weeks to compensate for the storage location room temperature) Skeptically, I think it was better before the free set up. But I raised the bridge and it's fine, and still quite low. The hardware wasn't rusted when I got it, but because I didn't have a proper sized case for a while, the screws of the tuners rusted a bit. So I took them out, soaked them it vodka overnight, and ta-da. The factory strings weren't great, but I wasn't expecting d'addarios. At least they didn't rust after one day like Ernie Ball's do. I haven't looked inside the axe, but if it is stuffed with wood chips, a properly manufactured model must be really amazing. There weren't any flaws when I got it, but there's a few dents in the neck now because with my well overlarge feet I am a bit clumsy, but at least they're not in a place where I feel them with my thumb when I am playing, because I get pissed off when that happens. That happened to my Rocket Special.
Features — 9
The Squier Jagmaster is one of the coolest looking guitars I have ever seen, although a lot of people think that the silver sparkle finish looks tacky. I have the old Jagmaster, as a new model has been released. I got it at the start of december, 2004, so it is almost a year old now. The body is alder, the neck is maple and the fretboard is rosewood. The hardware is all chrome. The only critism I have with the hardware is that the tuners are next to useless if you are a whammy freak. Still, even if you paid an extra 50 and got a high end set by a brand name, I doubt that divebombing relentlessly would keep you in tune unless you got a floyd rose. The guitar is very, very big. Not as big as a 355, but massive. Bigger than a Les Paul but slightly thinner. You'll have a hard time getting a case. I ended up buying a padded bass bag for mine (at no extra cost than a guitar bag, you got nothin to lose), it fits in great. You can put it in a padded guitar bag, but the top of the headstock doesn't quite fit in. The pickups on this are quite good HH) but I'll come to them later. You get one volume and one tone control as well, as well as a 3 way selector. I am not sure when it was made, but it would probably have been very roughly around 2000, and in the east, probably Korea.