The Parable of the Jazzmaster and the JaguarIn the beginning, Leo created the Telecaster. Keith and Bruce were happy. On the second day, Leo created the Stratocaster. Jimi and Eric were in ecstasy. On the following days, Leo created the Jazzmaster and the Jaguar, which, although intended for jazz, found followers within the surf music scene of the 60s and the rock music scene of the 90s. Today we'll be testing the 2008 edition of these mythical guitars ... Read more…
Buy new Fender Classic Player Jaguar Special
Fender 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, 3-Color Sunburst (141703300)
This was a Fender Jaguar with single-coil pickups, finished in Candy Apple Red.
Primarily a singer, I've been playing guitar for about 10 years, been in a band (drummer!), and have continued to record and play with other musicians on a non-professional basis. My styles range from folk to hard rock, with heavy power-pop leanings -- Big Star, not Green Day.
I played this guitar for 10 minutes at Guitar Center in Hollywood, CA. It was selling for $800 or so.
The short scale length of this guitar means it's not difficult to play (though it has severe limitations -- see below). It looks nice, with a well applied finish and hardware that inspires confidence. It has a certain thin, wiry sound that is signature to a certain kind of music -- the Television/Elvis Costello sound.
There are guitars that you pick up by chance and they instantly feel like old friends. Then there are guitars you fall in love with and can't put down because their sounds draw you in. This Jaguar is neither.
I've been fascinated by Jazzmasters and Jaguars for years, and unfortunately they've always rubbed me the wrong way once I picked them up. The Jaguar has so many switch combinations, none of them intuitive, that I felt like I was playing a computer console rather than a guitar. There are at least four or five switch combinations that would turn off your guitar completely. Not sure if that's a design thing or if some of the wiring on this particular guitar is broken, but not good either way -- I don't need five kill switches on my guitar. The Jaguar shares some features that are on two Brian May models I own (one Eastwood copy, one official Brian May Guitars model), and the Brian Mays are far easier to figure out, with much more useful on/off and phase switches that make sense.
The Jaguar has a short scale (24") is like the Brian May guitars. But while the shorter length of the Brian May models make the guitars slinkier, more responsive, more comfortable on the left hand and marvelous for bending, those advantages aren't on the Jaguar at all. The frets feel very unfriendly for vibrato and bending; maybe they're too skinny, but it's probably also because this guitar has a long string path, which increases string tension. And this body shape doesn't feel comfortable -- there's so much space after the bridge that you feel like you're lugging a lot more weight outside of the playing areas.
Despite its other shortcomings, construction quality is good. The Candy Apple Red finish looks splendid -- one of Fender's masterstrokes -- and all the hardware appears to be well fit. Visually, it's beautiful.
The Jazzmaster and Jaguar designs continue to leave me cold. While the Jaguar does have a certain signature sound, I feel I can get the same sound with my Brian May guitars or my Gretsch, and the Jaguar's legion of faults just make it very unappealing to me. I applaud the construction quality and aesthetics on this guitar while being completely unimpressed by its player-comfort and design dimensions. To me, this is just a guitar that's designed wrong, getting wrong all the details that the Fender Telecaster (for sound, utility and layout economy) and Stratocaster (for ergonomics and comfort) had gotten so right. I think the Jaguar is perhaps Fender's greatest failure.
It is a made in mexico, a jaguar classic if not higher and the radius of the system tone o matic type bridge. Otherwise all the usual adjustments jaguar ... (Short scale, body offset, tone volume, a circuit up to the neck pickup with volume and tone) a circuit for a low selector lever to 3 (used to it quickly) with volume and tone.
The finish quality is not great but frankly I had a gibson, fender, bc rich, and others, and it's really in the middle, in fact the only criticism I have to do as on most guitars today (except strangely Squier) is that any pet the paint is peeling badly as if it adhered to the body (ps so the maximum score). I color sunburst, very well done, but unlike japan where gradient is more marked, we like it or not ... Cons by Fender continues with its brown shell pickguard or I do not know what, as the coup is a model not very common these made in mexico hard to find a red tortoise pickguard (well ... not hard ...)
Little damage: the vibrato is closer than usual on the jaguar, so we may always fun to scrape the strings behind the bridge but it will be less powerful and easy because the angle is quite high. But it certainly avoids the buzz and it still needs to better respond to the strings at the bridge and therefore the wood to give it more character.
I used the Jazzmaster and I love my bc rich, and I had bad memories with the jaguar, but then there! Very comfortable, not too heavy, a nice round for all styles of play, very well balanced. Both sitting and standing it holds well. The controls fall easily to hand and we play almost without noticing it.
Note that the handle to the tone with short scale o matic is a fabulous find! The agreements are linked together easily, and apart from the edge of the right hand that "tickle" if wholesale abuse of palm mute, everything is so good that I'm thinking about leaving one of my Jazzmaster for another jaguar made in mexico but with humbuckers that time.
So there I stayed on my ass. I bought some by mistake, I was already disappointed that I was mistaken and taking the microphone to simple (and fairer to purchase I found myself with a lot of bills to pay ) However: Actually the original pickups are just perfect! Strangely the style that suits him best is the black metal (admittedly rather old school)! Looks like she is really made for this: snapping, a little cold and smooth distortion of darkthrone to marduk it can really go far. In his clear and crunch for the big rock that goes very well too, but only if the couple distortion (or overdrive) with a normal fat overdrive well and with great personality, if need be with a kind of residual clear sound not necessarily unpleasant but that will not go with many styles. The tone controls are effective, but this bridge pickup original ... excellent! A very honorable exit for a single microphone, it sends a lot less superdistortion example, but really good job, and with the stroke volume of the hair he happens to be a blend of choice on single-channel amps (I stated more than my other guitars that have pickups hi gain is almost unthinkable to use a single channel or background other than zero). The neck pickup is pretty good too but it's a position I rarely use so I am a bad judge. It sounds clear, crisp, chattering. It will be really comfortable in all styles except maybe the big death or great thrash dripping well (and even if they rule well behind the receiver, which moderates the tone on the guitar, and go let's be crazy, it puts a Proco rat before the amp, it should pass as the fat of a dead ...).
Everything is perfect on it, I really have no complaints. I am perhaps the one that fell on an exception to the series and has exceptional quality, at least at the beginning if I had the idea to sell it (because need money) I quickly changed opinion and trying to sell something else. I keep and for a while! And my next guitar will definitely be another classic player jaguar (good if I come across a vintage at the same price for the legend ... but I count on it too much above)