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Reviews Electric solidbody guitar with JZ/JG body

Fender Modern Player Marauder & Jaguar Review

Modern Players Like No Others This time, Fender comes from an unexpected direction! The Fender Modern Player series includes four different guitars (Marauder, Jaguar, Telecaster Plus, Thinline Deluxe) and three different bass guitars (Jazz Bass, Telecaster, Jaguar), while trying to distinguish itself from the countless Standard Stratocaster and Telecasters variations available either as reissue or special versions (with different neck width, wood type or pickups combination). read more…

Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar Review

Smells Like Cobain Spirit Come on people now! Smile on your brother. Everybody get together. Try to love on another right now! To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the launch of Nirvana's Nevermind, Fender presents a reissue version of the guitar bought by Kurt Cobain a short time before the recording of this album. read more…

Fender Blacktop Series Review

Fender Puts On a Spurt Instead of launching the umpteenth reissue of a catalog instrument, Fender decided to innovate by mounting high-output passive humbuckers on a new series called Black Top. This new product range includes a Telecaster, a Jaguar and a Stratocaster equipped with the same pickup combination based on two humbuckers. The Jazzmaster gets a more original pickup combination with one humbucker (Hot Vintage Alnico Bridge Humbucking Pickup) and one P-90 in the neck position. read more…

User reviews on Electric solidbody guitar with JZ/JG body products

Squier's come a long way! (Squier - Vintage Modified Jazzmaster)

By TeleFunk, 17/06/2014
I often go to my buddies apartment to play his million guitars and test out his home studio. When he told me he made an exchange to get a squier jazzmaster, I told him 'you lost me at squier'....this is because nearly 9 years ago when I bought my first guitar, I remember the god awful noise that emanated from the squier teles and strats.

I decided to give it a try and was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by it. The tones were very diverse and always pleasing, the pickups (to my knowledge but I could be a little off) are the same as the original jazzmaster (which was originally created by Mr. Fender himself as the ultimate guitar in his product line), and regardless of playing fuzzy, clean, reverb, distorted etc, I was never disappointed.

To find out that this guitar costs only $299, when the original Jazzmaster costs upwards of $800, makes me wonder why would anyone ever choose the original over the squier.

With that said, the 2 drawbacks I would say are the fact that it shows Squier's logo (instead of Fender, which is just a turn-off even though it sounds great haha), and the fact that, the way they made comparable high-quality sound come from this guitar while still making it affordable was by using cheaper parts (I've often heard the bridge pops out, but this is easily fixable by replacing it with a cheap fender mustang bridge)
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A magnificent guitar, but not straight out of the box... (Squier - Vintage Modified Jaguar)

By jaymes.moore, 18/07/2014
To really understand the appeal of this guitar, you have to know the story behind the Fender Jaguar. It has a unique and tumultuous past much like the underground musicians who have embraced it over the years. The Jag, as it is affectionately known, was introduced by Fender as the streamlined, retro-futuristic follow-up to the Jazzmaster and was marketed directly to the rising Surf Rock movement in the early 60s. While it enjoyed a great deal of success around this time, the rise of Blues and Classic Rock by the end of the 60s saw the Telecaster and the Stratocaster reclaim their thrones. As a result, resale values for the Jaguar and Jazzmaster plummeted as they were ultimately discontinued.

Falling out of favor with popular music, the Jag would have a resurgence in the late 70s and early 80s during the rise of Post-Punk. Artists like Jonny Marr and Rowland S. Howard made them their signature instruments. This trend continued in the late 80s and early 90s, as their lower prices attracted startup underground bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth, before ultimately become a defining instrument of Shoegaze by My Bloody Valentine. Since the turn of the century, it has continued to be an icon of Indie music with ever-growing popularity.

Because of the Jag's resurgence over the past two decades, vintage models have become as expensive as comparable Teles and Strats, whose "collector-item" status has stripped away much of that underground appeal. The Jag's pedigree has also been tampered with by the introduction of several modified variations over the last 10 years. Therefore, finding a vintage-spec, untouched Jaguar at a reasonable price that you wouldn't feel bad modifying has become impossibly rare.

This is the unique void that the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar fulfills! Though built at lower-cost factories in Indonesia, the design and build diagrams seem to follow the vintage specs very accurately. As a result, many American Vintage Reissue parts made by Fender are directly swappable. Combined with good initial build quality, this means the Squier Jag is the perfect platform for customization and personalization.

So we know that this guitar is affordable, surprisingly well-made and easy to customize, but what about out of the box? This is the one caveat that might cause a lot of people to overlook these guitars. Firstly, the setup in most examples I've seen has been atrocious. While the frets seem to be finished nicely, the nut, bridge, neck relief and intonation should all be thoroughly addressed. In doing so, the ludicrously light .09 strings should be swapped for at least .11s (remember this is a short, 24" scale guitar, so don't hold back on loading up some heavier strings!). I replaced the strings immediately with D'Addario's Heavy-Top/Medium-Bottom strings (.11-.52), which are ideal if you occasionally play in drop tunings. I then replaced the bridge with a standard Fender Mustang bridge, which facilitated my ability to intonate the guitar properly. However, I ran into issues with the nut being too high. Surprisingly, it was not on the thicker lower strings that were a snug fit, but on the lighter, higher strings where their shouldn't have been an issue. I don't have access to proper nut files, so I'll have to one day take this to a luthier for proper adjustment. In the meantime, I have to endure a few sharp notes now and then when playing near the first and second frets. Also, because of the problem with the nut not being cut correctly, it is difficult to assess how well the tuning heads stay in tune.

Aside from the setup having to be readdressed, I found the pickups to be more than adequate. Sporting Seymour Duncan's name, these pickups are wound a little hotter than vintage spec but certainly have more life and character than comparable Japanese-made Fender Jaguars. They also sound more period-correct than their closest rivals, the Mexican-made Classic Player Jaguars. However, the controls and switches are certainly of lesser quality. The tone control for example on the rhythm circuit broke and spins freely, so that will need to be replaced. Being a project-guitar, I plan to replace most of the switches and knobs with AVRI components.

Like the Japanese-made Jags, the Squier also features the vintage floating tremolo in its original position. However, the Classic Player and the 50th Anniversary Jags have been altered and their tremolos have been moved closer to the bridge. This to me is the most crucial element of the Jaguar and ultimately the reason why I decided against the Classic Player series Jags. Because the pickups of the Jaguar are essentially Strat pickups with additional shielding, their signature sound comes more from their other design components, particularly the tremolo. Even when not in use, the distance between the bridge and the tremolo allows for immense string resonance, which is an effect that is dampened when the tremolo is moved closer to the bridge. This resonance is crucial as it gives the guitar a natural reverb that is essential for driving the splash of a Fender spring reverb in surf rock and for the expansive tone when combined with alternate tunings in shoegaze and indie rock.

With some adjustments made, the Jag is a breeze to play. The shorter scale makes it effortless to explore the fretboard and the pick-up circuit combinations allow for a variety of different tones. The upper rhythm section, with its warmer tone is perfect for vintage jazz sounds or as a compliment to it's more aggressive tones in a recording situation. The Lead Section will probably see the most mileage. The Neck PU is great for rhythm and blues lead and the pick-ups together have that signature, Strat-like sparkle with the added resonance of the tremolo. Combined with the mysterious third switch on the lead section controls, which actually triggers a capacitor that serves as a high-pass filter, you can achieve really crisp, sparkly chord voicings that are ideal when combined with spring reverb or modulation effects.

Surf Rock Clip: https://en.audiofanzine.com/embed/audio/473506

Blues Clip: https://en.audiofanzine.com/embed/audio/473508

The bridge pick-up packs a more modern punch and can be used to great effect with overdriven riffs. The high-pass switch can also-really help clean up the low-end when using heavy distortion.

Distortion Riff: https://en.audiofanzine.com/embed/audio/473509

In any pickup configuration, the guitar responds equally well to riffing in unorthodox or dropped tunings.

Drop D Riff: https://en.audiofanzine.com/embed/audio/473507

The bottom line is that at this price-point, the Squier VM Jaguar is unbeatable. It may seem a profound statement, but from the point of view of a purist, it's closest competitor is the Fender American Vintage Reissue Jaguar, at 10x it's cost. The Classic Player Jags are heavily modified from the originals and the Japanese reissues are infamous for their anemic pickups and in both cases they are more than twice the price of the Squier. Ultimately, with some additional investment into upgraded components and a thorough setup, the Squier VM Jaguar is a magnificent guitar that is easily deserving of a Fender badge on its headstock.

Pros:
+Affordable Price
+Ability to easily upgrade components with those from other Fender Jaguar Models
+True to Vintage Spec Components and Design
+Surprisingly good build-quality and beautiful finish
+Great sounding pick-ups that are more than acceptable until a more substantial upgrade is made

Cons:
-Poor setup from the factory
-almost unusable vintage bridge that should be immediately replaced by a mustang bridge
-cheap, plastic electronic components that will likely break and need to be replaced
-no locking mechanism for the tremolo
-the "Squier" name on the headstock
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That "Squier" logo is starting to become a point of pride. (Squier - Vintage Modified Jaguar)

By optofonik, 09/01/2016
I agree with most of the reviews praising this guitar.

You should play more than one to be sure you're getting the best of the lot but it shouldn't take long. I played three, they all played well, sounded good, looked good, and none had QC problems. The setups were typical factory setups but all such things being equal all three played well OOTB. As a result, my choice between the three was rendered arbitrary.

Like any mass produced guitar, the cost a set up is part of the drill. Get a bone nut while you're at it. Choose the strings of your choice then play the **** out of it. Rock that logo with pride because it says you got a real Jaguar (compare it to an original) without paying the luxury fee for a "Fender" logo.

After the brief initial "Squier series" offerings in the 80's, Squier quickly became synonymous with POS. Today, however, Squier is doing something right and slowly changing their reputation as a result.

As an aside, I also own a Squier '51 VM and it's an equally solid guitar OOTB.

Considering some of the criticisms leveled at the big two regarding QC on their instruments costing thousands, owning a "Squier" is becoming something of a statement. A bit two fingers in the air, if you will.
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News Electric solidbody guitar with JZ/JG body

[NAMM] Fender Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster

Published on 01/23/14
Fender debuts new Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster at NAMM 2014.

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