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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / What's the Best Jag Out There?

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

Apr 14th, 2015 07:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

I owned a 1964, Olympic White Jaguar and gigged with it for about 3 or 4 yrs before selling it. Like Strats from that era, the first and sixth strings were barely over the fretboard and I found it difficult to play cleanly.

However, I loved the shorter scale and the tone was fine into any of the numerous Fender tube amps I played through at the time.

SO… now I'm thinking about getting another Jag. Price really isn't an issue (very lucky there), but I want to get one with really good playability (not like my old '64).

What are the best ones out there? Japanese made? Mexican? USA? Help me out here!




Apr 15th, 2015 02:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've owned a MIJ Jaguar and a FSR thinskin US model. Albeit, the specs were a little different, I could feel an overall quality of electronics and fit and finish had to go to the US made guitar.

I'm sure others may disagree. But since you mentioned that the price wasn't a factor, from my personal experience, I'd lean towards a US model. Maybe my FSR had more attention paid to it since the quantities were limited? Specs weren't exactly vintage but it feels really nice and the setup and electronics are top notch. Haven't had a need to swap anything out or go "under the hood" to look at the wiring to compare to the MIJ model.

Good luck, let us know what you end up with.



Apr 15th, 2015 02:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

Not to tempt you, and no affiliation, here is a site that has a couple of models like mine left in stock.

Like mine

Contributing Member

It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Apr 15th, 2015 06:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm going to second hideawayblues' suggestion, only because I have a ThinSkin Jazzmaster that is absolutely gorgeous.
Probably the nicest Fender guitar I've ever played and certainly the nicest one I've ever owned.

p.s. Mine was the last White Blonde that came from Dave's Guitar Shop.


Lakeside, CA

Apr 15th, 2015 09:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

I love my Johnny Marr. I feel the playablity, versatility, and sound are superior to the other Jaguars. However, there are more choices in the colors offered in other models. Side by side comparisons might help you decide.

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

Apr 15th, 2015 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks guys!

Surf dog: I've played the Johnny Marr Jag and like everything except the color. Might find a used one and repainted the body?

Those thin skins above look great!


back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Apr 15th, 2015 01:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

third on the thin skin. I have a aztec gold thin skin 62av jag from Daves. I have owned a black 64 and 62 olympic white pre CBS and I find this to be a better those two. I think they still have a couple left at Dave's if the website is up-to-date.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Apr 15th, 2015 05:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

Anything in the AVRI series should float your boat. Set up is the key to playability with a Fender offset. Make sure it goes to someone who knows the quirks of setting up a Fender offset.

My '62 AVRI is amazing. My Squier MV Jag gets the vote for bang for the buck and sounds quite good. There is no real comparison in true feel of quality however.


Lakeside, CA

Apr 16th, 2015 06:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you like the Johnny Marr maybe you can get a quote on a special order color from Fender. In the 1960's it was a 5% up charge but no idea what it would be now. What ever you decide, if you get what you want the price difference won't matter.

I prefer the American Jaguars to the imports for what it's worth. My friend had a 1990's that he sold because he didn't like its tone. Maybe his strings were to light of a gage. There was a great difference between his Jaguar and mine in both sound, quality and playability. Another friend has a Japan Jaguar that he put the Danny Gatton (blanked out on the actual name) pickups in and a blade switch. After this customization the Jaguar has become his new favorite guitar.

So maybe try to play the different models and post what you think of them. A short time with the guitar in your hands and you will know what you like. If you do this I would like to hear your observations on the different guitars.

Good Luck
Jim Schmitz

FDP Data Goon

When I sin

I sin real good
Apr 16th, 2015 10:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

The MIJ are *very* overrated.

They should cost what the MIMs go for (and frankly, these days, I'd take a stock off the shelf MIM baseline over a MIJ).

Anything midrange for the country of origin should get you in the ballpark (from the lowly Squiers to the MIM CP stuff to the mid-range US models)

Contributing Member


Apr 18th, 2015 05:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

The best one is the one I have in my hands at the moment :)

Possibly the Johnny Marr is better than the AVRI and the Thinskins but the difference is so small I may change my mind tomorrow.

The MIJ is well made but doesnt sound as good.

Don't know about MIM or the other recent variants.

FDP Data Goon

When I sin

I sin real good
Apr 19th, 2015 02:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

My MIM (early) Classic Player HH is stupid good at any price point and has everything right - the burst is even cosmetically decent, the rosewood board doesn't look or feel cheap, and the faux tint on the neck isn't orange terrible or sticky (and the no truss hole/skunk stripe makes me happy)

Rob Jai

Calif Cap City

"Jai" pronounced "J"
Apr 20th, 2015 01:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

Another vote for the Johnny Marr Jag. I don't care much for the orange or green one, so I got the "off white" model and I love this guitar!



May 3rd, 2015 07:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

Personally I think I would go for the Classic Player Jaguar or Jaguar Speciall HH.

I prefer the bridge design and with the HH model the blend control for dialing in/out the coils between humbucker and single coil modes. That blend function reminds me of what Peavey had patented in the 80's with their T60 guitar.


Lakeside, CA

May 13th, 2015 02:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

6L6, Any luck on your search for a Jaguar?

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / What's the Best Jag Out There?

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