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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / American Vintage '65


United Kingdom

Jun 18th, 2013 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

So I weighed up that in the UK I could get a vintage 64/65 for £3200/3600. Whilst it would be good, I didn't want to have to deal with refrets etc and thought I'd save the extra £1500 and go for the AV '65. Boy am I glad I did.

I've had a few Jag's over the years, MIJ and CIJ. Just opening the case, you could tell this was in a different league. It smelt of quality. Without doubt the finest guitar I've bought in many years. I normally go for CS and have had a few disappointing experiences even with those. This though did not disappoint.

The neck is good and chunky- I've been desperate for a thick necked Jag. The quality over all is of the highest class. Solid switches. The box set up had action too low for my tastes. I restrung with 11's and had to do no other tweaks other than intonation and the raise the action. I had not expected a Jag to play so well. 7.25 radius and I can get the action at a comfortable place with no chocking. Bone nut is cut well- relief for me. Having secured the bridge adjusters and saddles screws with Locktite- no buzzy buzzy.

Bad points: weight. It is particularly heavy; Les Paul heavy.

Flash coat: Not sure what I was expecting. I would say it is thicker than thin skin. It will wear easily no doubt but a small chip on the back underside revealed its thickness which was more than expected. To be picky, the sunburst in places looked like it could have been blended better, as if the gun was running out of paint or something. The sunburst is dark which I like and the pickguard also very dark which may go against those that love the redness that came out of this period.

The white binding gives it a nice touch. It feels like you're playing something different. You know it's there whilst playing and so it stands out from my other Fender's.

High e tuner slips and so a replacement is being sent. Never had an issue with these before. These are Fender's imitation Kluson's. No bridge cover was supplied but stated on Fender site.

Can't comment on new voiced pickups as yet as I've not had the chance to give them a proper blast.

Also nice to see the spacer under the string tree which I usually have to add.

After reading about the 62RI, which seemed to have a lacklustre reputation, I can't imagine the same label being applied to this. I am anal about guitars and so if it was a stinker, I'd be happy to share. If it wasn't such a backbreaker, it'd be a good 9.

The smell of that nitro- umhmmm.

Of the last 12 or so guitars I've owned, only 2 have not had to go for a pro setup due to having issues that I could not address (nut work or replacement, fret work). These guitars include Gibson's, Fender's and Martin's. The only 2 that haven't and needed only minor set up work which I can do are this '65 AV Jag, and an Epiphone Crestwood Custom 1962RI (£360 which shamed many a high end guitar. Makes me wonder how much profit the big names are making).

Very impressed with this Jag all in all.

back breaker

eureka, usa

Jun 18th, 2013 06:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

the thin skins tend to be a little lighter in weight. i have one of those 62 thin skin jags and i feel the same way you do about your new guitar... just a great all around guitar! congrats on your purchase !

Doc Sarvis
Contributing Member

USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
Jun 23rd, 2013 08:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've had my '65 since age 12. I'm glad to see that Fender is reissuing them.

Contributing Member


Jun 29th, 2013 05:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

"it smelt of quality"

I'll start sniffing around here :)

Nice to hear

Tell us what you think after you have played it for a while


United Kingdom

Jun 30th, 2013 12:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

@ windmill

Oh yeah. I wanted to keep opening the case just to get a whaft of that nitro.

I will do. At the moment though, a couple of weeks in and still loving it. Couldn't think of playing one of my others. Absolutely stoked with it.


United Kingdom

Jul 10th, 2013 09:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ok, last update. Still the only guitar I'm playing and wish to play at present. Love the neck. The pickups and configurations are highly versatile. There is nothing thin or shrill about their voicing. Only gripe I've come across was that the nut was cut very tightly for 10's, so using 11's on meant that the high e and b kept going out of tune after large bends. A slight widening to those slots has rectified the issue and it is playing beautifully.

Playing at home through a Greta amp into a greenback fitted cab and the vintage tones are outstanding. I had to change the output tube as the Chinese one was either really low grade or someone cranked it in the shop without warming it up. You really have to dial in to get the tones and so the jaguar is a great match. I've never used the volume/tone controls as much, so great learning.


Rockin Gibraltar

Thou Shalt Gas !
Oct 1st, 2013 08:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

thanks for the review thinking of getting one myself so only makes me GAS even further !

And yes.. they do have that special smell

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Feb 19th, 2014 05:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

Think I have to chime in for defense of the 62's. My thin skin is awesome and I have owned some original jags 63 and 64 in the past). The thin skin is equally as awesome. I am finally getting used to the bigger frets, thinner neck and lighter guitar... it is the chunkiest sounding guitar in town through my vibro-king

my opinion on the 65's was that they were pretty much the 62 in a different shell. fender had to do something about those weakening american dollars. i was amazed at how expensive some of their amps have become over the last several years (not so easy to hide dollar devaluation) and those new american vintage guitars have sure jumped in price (almost doubled from what i originally paid for mine).

i am however glad that they still make jags and jazzmasters... they are my faves!

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / American Vintage '65

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