Guitar Review

Fender Jaguar Review

Author: Scott

Jaguar Classic Player Special HH - First Impressions

I have had this guitar for about 4 hours now and let me say I am VERY pleased with my purchase.

I have wanted a jag for about 2 years now but have held off due to the hefty price tag. I finally decided that I would pay the dough and get the guitar I've been dreaming of; an Olympic White '62 RI American Jaguar until I came across the Classic Player Jaguar HH.

I had seen the black and chrome HH and was completely turned off. When I saw the Olympic White MIM version, I started getting turned back on.

In reading everything I could on the AVRI, I had resigned myself to the fact that, at a minimum, I would likely be replacing the bridge. When I saw that the MIM had an Adjust-o-Matic, I was pretty excited.

The major difference between the AVRI and the HH is of course the humbuckers. While the AVRI is ultra cool and a classic, one of my concerns was that it wouldn't have enough oomph for some of the heavier styles of music. I am certainly not into metal or shredding but I do like distortion. In my opinion, the early 90's produced some of the best music this side of the summer of love. I was 18 in '92 and Nirvana is still one of my favorite bands. The MIM with it's humbuckers, was looking more and more like the guitar for me.

After calling around to every guitar store in my area listed on Fender's website I found a store that had one in stock. I figured the cost savings alone made it at least worth a look even though I new these had some significant differences from the American.

So now to the good stuff...

Sound: In a word "versitile". This guitar is capable of a large variety of tone and texture. With the upper humbucker blend knobs you can make it full and warm or light and bell-like. With the main tone control, the pickup selectors and the bass-cut or strangle switch, there are literally hundreds of combinations if not thousands. Clean is CLEAN, with distortion is just plain old rocks.
The sound has a quality I can't describe but image its the result of the tradmark "Jaguar" sound though probably not as pronounced as the classic AVRI. There is very little hum to be heard. Despite what a lot may say, this guitar CAN surf. A large portion of the surf sound can be achieved with loads of reverb but my MIM Jag does it better than my American Standard Strat. Remember Dick Dale?

Features: Lots of knobs to mess with, AWESOME short scale neck (first time playing a shorty for me and I love it), comfortable offset shape.

Action/Finish/Feel: Action is okay, a bit high but easy to play. Could be lower I'm sure with pro setup. Finish is really good. Better than I expected by not as good as my Strat. Pick guard fits well, chrome is good, vol and tone pots could be better but nothing to be alarmed about. Switches feel solid and crisp.

Reliability/Durability: N/A as this is my first day with my new love, however, the guitar is very solid. I have no concerns about this guitar lasting a long time.

Overall I am extremely happy I decided to check this MIM Jag out. At a fraction of the cost and with the upgraded bridge and humbuckers, it isn't the classic Jag many are looking for but it was a perfect choice for me. If you like classic groovy looks, good quality and enjoy rawking out as well as playing clean, this may also be the right choice for you...and oh yeah, IT DOES NOT BUZZ, RATTLE, BEEP, SQUIRT or make any other noise other than what you tell it to.

Thanks for reading!

NOTE: On the HH, the upper switch next to the roller controls is a master cut switch. It turns the whole guitar "off". It's really kind of useless unless you are Tommy Morello and is my only real complaint.

Scott's Ratings
Sound:10 out of 10
Features:9 out of 10
Action/Finish/Feel:8 out of 10
Reliability/Durability:8 out of 10
Overall Rating:9 out of 10

Submitted: 2008-09-04   Number of views: 4806