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Fender Jaguar - American Vintage Versus Japanese Reissue


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Most people will probably tell you that in the long run it's most cost effective to get a japanese one and upgrade all the hardware and electronics (as I am in the process of doing). The AV Jag is much better quality as is, but it's just parts really. A Jap Jag + the cost of the AV parts doesn't add up to

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Before you get rushed by all the jaguar owners, i'm gonna throw my thoughts in and tell you what i think about this even if bummers start flaming me for it!

I don't own a jag, so i don't know what it's like to live with and play every single day but i have played a couple.

Stock jaguars, both american and japanese have poor electronics, the american is better yes, but not to my taste. There are craftsmanship differences and maybe some other things a jag-head will tell you about because i'm not sure of the specs of the two.

Now, a japanese jaguar with a super distortion installed in it kicks the #### out of a stock american one, but the jag purists would say it wouldn't sound like a jag anymore and it's a crime against the guitar lord whatever bollocks! To me it was a vast improvement, so the two questions i'd ask you to help you on your decision is.....

1: Do you want a jaguar for the jaguar sound?

2: Do you want a jaguar because it looks cool?

Think about it, don't worry about coming off as shallow if you just like the design of it and like it because Cobain had one, the answer you give will affect the rest of your life.

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Thanks for the replies guys....

I want a Jaguar because I play in a Surf band...I've got a nice Gretsch for the Rockabilly stuff and I use a Mosrite copy at the moment for the surf/instrumental stuff but common consensus is that if you wanna play surf then a Jag is the way to go....The Kurt Cobain thing holds no interest to me...

So I'm selling my 52RI Telecaster and a Vintage Icon "Les Paul" to finance a Jag....it's that Surf sound I want...

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I dont think the price difference is justified. But you may want to ask roberts opinion because he has owned both.

They both use alder bodys and there is'nt much difference in the necks.

Basically you are paying for better quality electronics, the Fender hard case, Strap & eye candy, the mute, and the decal.

Being as you play in a surf band you may want the 'mute', i dont know. But i will say i fitted one onto my CIJ Jaguar and to be honest they are a bit problematic. I dont think they ever gained any popularity.

The best bet would be to go to a store and try a few out, and a Jazzmaster (another popular surf guitar).

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If you can find a Fender Cyclone II I highly recommend trying it. It's a great surf guitar as well. In fact it's one of the things that sold it to me. It's got three AV Jaguar pickups in it and is much better for surf than the stock Jap Jag in my opinion.

But an upgraded Japanse Jag will surely be great as well. And the option for a mute is certainly a plus considering the style you'll be playing.

I've only played an AV Jag once so I probably shouldn't say anything about it. But I liked it better than the stock Japs I've tried. Not enough to make it worth paying that much more though.

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the american jaguar is loads better than the jap, i had a 2004 OTC jaguar that i had to sell due to financial problems.

these are the main points that i feel are worth pointing out.

1. the copper shielding on these things is full proof, no buzz, no noise, perfect.

2. the pickups are like boosted strat pickups and preform beutifully clean and really well overdriven,

3. the laquer body and and neck feel better to me than my current jap jaguar, and the overall feel of an amican is way better than a jap.

look at it this way.

i got my american for 900 shipped

and my jap for 610.00 shipped.

if i wanted to upgrade my jap jag to american standards i would be throwing at least 300.00 into it.

that includes buying a mute, buying a case, re-doing all the electronics with new wire, new pups, new pots. and i would probly get an american trem becuz even tho they are almost identical in design the america flows much better.

my advise, get an amican, you will never think about replacing anything on it.

as with a japanese it will always be in the back of your mind.

im not saying that the japanese jaguar is a bad guitar at all, its a great guitar, its just nothing like the american, and trust me on this, i played my american jaguar almost every day for over 2 years and became best friends with it, and i have been playing the jap jaguar for a lil over 3 weeks now, i have had both of them completely apart, set both of them up in an array of different fashions,

there is actually one thing that the american has over the jap that i have not heard anyone speak of.

the american neck is slightly taller than the jap and the neck pocket is minimally smaller, therfor there is no need to shim the neck, or use a buzz stop with an american, the break angle and overal tension is perfect.

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i got my american for 900 shipped

and my jap for 610.00 shipped.

I assume that's in USD? It's hard to get those prices over here in Europe.

A new Jap Jag costs about $1000 while a new AV Jag goes for $2500.

And there aren't that many AV Jags in the used market. There's currently one listen on Ebay located in the UK, and he's asking for $2107. There's plenty of Jap Jags, and they go for about $800.

I'm sure you can get a great deal on an AV Jag if you look hard and long enough though. And there's always the option of importing from the US, but then you need to pay import taxes and stuff.

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There you have it. I do have a vintage american Jag that is way better than my CIJ but its not right to compare that with a reissue.

Good point made by quilted though. Over here your lucky to get AVRI for under $1,700, where as my last CIJ sold for $500.

Sometimes it can be economical to import from the US as i have done on numerous occasions, but shipping, import tax and the whole waiting game have to be taken into consideration. It can be very frustrating.

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wow!

thats alot of cash for the same thing,

thats not right. i guess i can undstand the u.s. stuff being higher since its shipped from the u.s. to europe, but tha jap stuff is already on a boat/plane, why doen't they just make a dropoff round your parts?

that is rediculous tho, i feel bad for you guys. fo those prices you can find a vintage jaguar over here.

well, maybe if you looked hard enough, around the 2500.00 range

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Well based on all the (excellent) comments and advice on herer and my own research in other areas I feel as though I might as well push my finances a little bit and go for the AVRI.

Fran, you mentioned that you could get an AVRI Jag in the UK for around $1700, that would be about

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