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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Classic Player Jaguar Special HH (MIM)

Contributing Member


Born under a blackline!
Jun 10th, 2008 07:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

As I posted in the original Jag/Jazz forum thread, (MIM Fender offsets), I picked up this one from MF in Oly White within the first two days they were available, in early May. I've had it over a month now so here goes-

WOW! This is an extremely versitile and innovative setup. Parts of the wiring/switching are familiar Jaguar, and other parts are new and confusing, at first. The fact that there was a basic Strat/Tele owners manual included really didn't help. Also, when I bought it the specs hadn't made it onto Fenders website yet.

I'll start with the fit and finish. One word; perfect. Intonation and string height were perfect for me, (medium string height), and the finish was flawless. The neck was glossy but felt very smooth and quick. The Fender specs show it to be nitro lacquer, so no surprise there. The maple on my neck is flawless and tinted very nicely. These have a modern 9.5 radius but have the vintage end truss rod and no skunk stripe. Great rosewood for the board too. Dark and with some well set medium jumbo frets. No fret end issues here at all.

The pickguard and chrome bits are aligned and perfectly set. The Enforcer pickups appear to be very off-white to me, not to the point of cream colored, but not white. This looks great with the Oly White body and is offset by the tortois shell guard. Body paint was flawless and is poly according to Fenders specs.

One sentence will take care of how the neck plays. It's C-shaped with medium width, medium depth, and is a fast player with the nitro finish and 9.5 radius and medium jumbo frets.

The electronics are where this one differs from all others. The master volume and tone knobs are pretty basic. The three slider switches are mostly basic with a twist. The front two are pickup on/off switches but the rear, unlike the muddy tone cap switch of the vintage Jags, seems to be almost a low mid or bass boost tone cap switch. Very useful when using the bridge p/u alone, or when splitting the coils and going with single coil only combos. That brings me to the upper bout chrome plate controls.

#1 thing to learn here is that there is nothing on a vintage Jag like these controls at all. The upper slider is a kill switch, plain and simple. The real magic in this guitar, along with the well chosen mid output Enforcer humbuckers, are the roller pots. They are variable coil taps, one for each pickup. Think about that for a second. Why has this not become available sooner. No more on/off coil tap, but a veritable endless ability to blend full HB'ing sounds with single coil sounds. My personal favorite is a full bridge HB'er with about a 50% tapped neck p/u and the tone cap switch up. Clean, in stereo out of a Boss DD-6 in slapback delay mode through a Princeton Reverb and a Pro Jr, is KILLER!

I can't begin to describe the variety of sounds available with the setup Fender put into this one. The neck p/u is not muddy alone in full HB'ing mode, and the bridge has a great full HB'ing sound (better for me with the tone cap switch). The neck in single coil alone mode sounds very Fendery to me (a bit like a Strat), and the bridge in single mode (to me) really benefits from the tone cap switch. I'm not a huge bridge p/u fan on any guitar so please try one out yourself with your favorite amp to decide if it fits you.

These Fender enforcer pickups are capable of great clean single coil sounds, all the way to heavy overdrive, (I don't go heavier than Led Zep or early Sabbath so true nu-metal guys may want to play before purchase). The secret here is the subtle mixtures of one p/u's HB'ing sound with the others single coil sound. Once again, why have I never heard of this before! It seems so simple. But the options are many and very useful as well.

I don't use vibrato at all so I've locked it. This one is vintage all the way but moved closer to the bridge for more string break angle to allow more solid seating in the bridge. The bridge is a Fender TOM style, and as such works pretty good in this application with the flatter neck radius. Vintage Jags and JM's were designed for flatwound strings in mind, but with this bridge all roundwounds are welcome. I've had no problems with it at all, but I play with probably medium attack so you heavy handed dudes may want to deepen the slots there if you have problems. But overall a very steady setup bridgewise.

I assure anybody out there will find an excellent sound for your style if you play around with all the limitless options of pickup switching/tapping available on the best, and most innovative, guitar Fender has released since possibly the Stratocaster.

(This message was last edited by Patton at 07:51 PM, Jul 10th, 2008)

Contributing Member

Evanston, IL

Jun 12th, 2008 08:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nice review--thanks for sharing. Sounds like a very cool guitar.



Aug 31st, 2008 08:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Nice review! I have a sunburst same model. I agree with everything you said here.

Contributing Member


Born under a blackline!
Oct 30th, 2008 07:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Update: Many months later and I love this one more than ever.

I'm compiling a mental list of guitars I don't need anymore and that will soon appear in the FDP classified ad section.

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Classic Player Jaguar Special HH (MIM)

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