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Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Synchro, Jul 7, 2020.
This particular cat species is very wild.
I didn't need the feline hints. I knew from the get-go exactly what it is...
You're such a " cool cat " yourself , I though perhaps it was part of the riddle ( as a play on words )
You got some EP stuff from Graceland. Good job my friend.
And proudly so.
Signed Sealed Delivered, I'm Yours.
Cat scan process.
Last step before final approval.
So here it is. A Vintera '60s Jaguar Modified HH. Basically, I wanted a little hot rod with a short scale. The Humbuckers can be used in single coil mode, giving it the right sound for a Jaguar, but the HB mode isn't so bad either.
Up to this point, I have set the intonation and given it a test play. It seems pretty decent, right out of the box. The vibrato tailpiece seems to work well, and the horror stories I've heard about the T-O-M bridge don't seem to be holding true. There will be modifications, if and when needed, but so far, it's pretty nice. The Ping tuners really surprised me, in a good way.
Now, back to the business at hand.
Me Yelling at Cloud
Yeah. Old "E" and I go way back.
Crazy. I was just looking into one of these. Beautiful guitar. Congrats!
I'm pleasantly surprised. The big attraction for me is the Trem being closer to the bridge, for greater break angle. It seems to work.
I have the same quality control inspectors. They do a great job on guitar cases!
Yep. It takes a real pro to do the job right.
Big time. Plus as you mentioned the scale length which is very appealing for Jaguars.
Congrats again sir!
That's surf green? Is there some lighting aspect messing with the hue? Wonderful! Congrats, Mark!
Oh my, how did we not get that on the first try? Lovely. I was really hoping it would go through Abilene (Dave Alvin) - that is one of my favorite songs.
I want that
Congrats on finally getting your Jag, looks good.
So, I put it on the amp. The pickups wanted to be raised, but that's no big deal. I have it fairly well balanced at this point. Amplified, its surprising. There's a balance between bright and warm. Through a mellow pedal, such as an EHX Soul Food, it's surprisingly mellow, even in single coil mode. Just a bit of drive makes this guitar into a Soft Rock monster. You can drive it harder and get the tones of the Hard Rock era, but I was astounded by how mellow it could get with just a bit of drive to take the edge off.
With nothing but added reverb, the crisp Fender single coil sound comes straight through and the Telecaster DNA proclaims its presence. I will risk being charged with heresy, but Jaguars and Telecasters are actually more closely related than first glance might lead you to believe. In the mid sixties, it wasn't unusual for a Country Guitar-slinger to use a Jaguar. That's probably more what Leo Fender had in mind when he developed it, given his tastes in music.
A bit of Fenderology might be in order. Leo Fender started out making amps and lap steels. He took the lap steel design as a basis for the Telecaster and gave the electric guitar a new voice. The Stratocaster was designed as a replacement for the Tele, but the bridge/tailpiece design gave the instrument different characteristics, which made it another new voice for the electric guitar era. The Jazzmaster was actually designed to be an archtop replacement, but instead came away as yet another voice in the electric world.
The Jaguar came along 4 years later and, IMO, was probably an attempt to get back to the original Fender sound. It was not likely that Leo was thinking Surf Music when this guitar was in development. Surf was really just coming into its own about the time it was released and I would assume that there was some development time involved, so it may well have been conceived in the late '50s or very early '60s, which was before Surf was a thang. There may have been some consciousness of Duane Eddy's sound, but as far as the cranked Showman, 6G15 Tube Reverb (with all the dials at 6) Surf sound is concerned, that probably wasn't the game plan when Leo Fender was crafting this design.
Anyhow, I said all that to say all this; even the humbucker equipped Jag' is a twangmeister of the highest order. It may not have precisely the Tele sound, but it's definitely a favored descendant in the Tele family.
The humbuckers seem somewhat out of place on a Jaguar, and are probably a nod to the Grunge often played on Jaguars. They are strong and will earn their keep if you are looking for a distorted sound. But they are also capable of a strong, clean sound. As full sized humbuckers go, they seem not to suffer from a muddy nature, but retain a nice balance of clarity and strength. Fender calls these the Atomic Humbucker, which would bring to mind images of a brute which melts the grids right out of 12AX7 tubes, but it's actually fairly well behaved.
The transition from humbucking mode to single coil mode does not produce a significant change in volume. This makes the ability to switch back and forth actually useful. My Custom Telecaster FMT HH has great humbuckers that can be split down to single coils, but the volume change is quite significant and switching modes in the middle of a song would require a major change at the volume pot. No such problem with this axe.
One thing that has changed in the matter of newer guitars, is the fretboard wood. Rosewood is restricted and many manufacturers are turning to alternatives. The Pau Ferro fretboard is a new experience to me, but I like it, like it, yes I do. It's a pleasant color, somewhat lighter than rosewood, but quite attractive. The feel is perfect.There is an interesting character to the woodgrain, as well.
Overall, it's an appealing little guitar. Compared to the 16 & 17 inch Gretsch I'm accustomed to playing, it feels small, almost toy-like. It's kind of a fun little guitar to toss around while playing. I could see this being a lot of fun on stage. It may not pass the muster among Surf purists, but I came away with the impression that it is actually pretty decent sounding for Surf. The trem' works as a trem' should and the overall function of the guitar is excellent. It's a versatile instrument, although I don't know that I could coax a credible Gretsch sound from it.
It's noticeably smaller than the average guitar. I like it.
It bends very easily with the OEM 10s, I couldn't imagine going lighter, unless I was possessed by the spirit of Billy Gibbons.
Nope, Surf Green, to match it's surf-like personality.
I'm feeling a little cheated that I didn't get to use By The Time I Get To Phoenix".
BTW, Abilene is a great song.
BTW, I manage a firewall in Brisbane, so I "visit" there from time to time. Nice folks, on site.