The Jaguar made its debut in 1962, and with it Fender hoped to attract interest from surf guitarists who were then dominating American popular music.
Dripping with vintage vibe: A 1962 Fender Jaguar in fiesta red, serial number 79584.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Fender Jaguar. The Jaguar made its debut in 1962, and with it Fender hoped to attract interest from surf guitarists who were then dominating American popular music. The Jaguar had the same offset body as the Fender Jazzmaster, but offered a 24" scale length, as opposed to the Jazzmaster’s 25 1/2" scale length.
Both guitars shared the dual-circuit scheme designed by Forrest White. On the upper bout, a 2-way switch selects between rhythm and lead circuits. The rhythm circuit has a master volume and master tone control (both are roller knobs mounted into the upper bout’s metal control plate). On the lower bout, another metal control plate boasts three 2-way switches. Two of these are on/off switches wired to the neck and bridge pickups, respectively. A third 2-way switch acts as a high-pass filter, which is often referred to as the “strangle switch.” Volume and tone knobs round out the Jag’s lead circuit.
1. Fender added notched metal side plates around the pickups to reduce single-coil hum. 2. Fully dressed: This Jaguar sports its custom color on the headstock, too. 3. The Jaguar’s floating tremolo also includes a sliding tremlock button. Engaging it locks the tremolo bridge into a fixed position. 4. Located by the bridge, the Jaguar’s string mute caused tuning problems for some players. Many guitarists simply removed the mute mechanism.
In an effort to remedy hum issues associated with the Jazzmaster’s single-coil pickups, Fender made the Jaguar pickups smaller and enclosed them with notched side plates to improve RF rejection.
Though Fender used the same floating tremolo and tremlock system as on the Jazzmaster, the Jaguar was also equipped with a string mute. This soon proved problematic with players, who found it knocked the guitar out of tune. Many Jaguar owners opted to remove the string mute from the guitar altogether.
Unfortunately, the Fender Jaguar never gained as much popularity as the Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster, and was finally discontinued in 1975. But in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Fender Jaguar experienced a resurgence after some popular bands of the time were seen using them. Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine, and Sonic Youth were among the groups who found that Jaguars worked well for them sonically, and were also very affordable.
Around this time, Fender offered a less expensive line of Japanese Jaguar reissues. Then in 1999, the company introduced the American Vintage ’62 Jaguar and Jazzmaster reissues. Now in 2012, Fender is offering a 50th-anniversary Jaguar model, as well as the Johnny Marr Signature model. This guitar has made quite a comeback!
To discover more about the history of the Fender Jaguar, check out Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970 by Martin Kelly, Terry Foster, and Paul Kelly.
$398, plus $52.50 for hardshell case
Current estimated market value:
$6,500 to $8,000
Dave ’s Guitar Shop
Dave Rogers’ collection is tended by Laun Braithwaite and Tim Mullally and is on display at:
Dave’s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601
Photos by Mullally and text by Braithwaite.
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Dunable announce new Minotaur model featuring Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners.
The Minotaur's DNA is rooted in their classic Moonflower model, which Dunable discontinued in 2017. However, they have long since wanted to create a fresh take on a carved top guitar design, and various attempts to rework the Moonflower led them to a brand new concept with the Minotuar.
Dunable's goal is to give the player a guitar that plays fast and smooth, sounds amazing, and gives maximum physical ergonomic comfort. The Minotaur's soft and meticulous contours, simple and effective control layout, and 25.5" scale length are designed to easily meet this criteria.
- 25.5" scale length
- Dual Humbucker
- one volume, one tone, push pull for coil splitting
- Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners
- Grover Tune O Matic bridge with brass Kluson top-mount tailpiece
- jumbo nickel frets
- 12" fretboard radius
This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA
MLA Pedals AC/OD - Music & Demo by A. Barrero
Energy is in everything. Something came over me while playing historical instruments in the Martin Guitar Museum.
When I’m filming gear demo videos, I rarely know what I’m going to play. I just pick up whatever instrument I’m handed and try to feel where it wants to go. Sometimes I get no direction, but sometimes, gear is truly inspiring—like music or emotion falls right out. I find this true particularly with old guitars. You might feel some vibe attached to the instrument that affects what and how you play. I realize this sounds like a hippie/pseudo-spiritual platitude, but we’re living in amazing times. The Nobel Prize was just awarded to a trio of quantum physicists for their experiments with quantum entanglement, what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” Mainstream science now sounds like magic, so let’s suspend our disbelief for a minute and consider that there’s more to our world than what’s on the surface.
I recently spent a day filming a factory tour of Martin Guitars in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. After we wrapped, we discovered that Martin has this amazing museum that showcases more than 170 historic instruments. We decided to meet at the museum at 7:45 a.m. the next morning to film a few choice pieces before catching our flight in not-too-near Newark, New Jersey, that afternoon.
These were not ideal conditions for a performance. Neither my brain nor my fingers work well before 10 a.m., plus I hadn’t slept well the night before. Even so, we loaded into the museum, met the curators, set up the shoot, and began rolling by 8 a.m.
The first guitar was an 1834 gut string, perhaps the oldest Martin in existence. It was beautiful but had some tuning issues and did not project very well, so playing it felt more like work than music.
Next was a prewar D-45 worth over $500k. The strings were ancient with that rusty feel, like you’ll need a tetanus shot after playing it. I’m sure it sounded great, but I was tired and thinking more about making our flight than playing guitar. Wonderful instrument but uninspired performance on my end.
Then, I played a 1953 D-18 coined “Grandpa” by Kurt Cobain. I picked up the deeply sacred D-18, and my hands went to an A minor. This sounds like hype, but honestly, I closed my eyes and connected with a deep, beautiful sadness. The feeling was palpable as soon as you picked it up. This guitar pretty much played itself, leading me to a sad version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” I don’t know if it was any good, but I know I felt something deeply. That’s why I started playing guitar in the first place. I don’t have to play well to feel moved.
I later talked to the museum director, who told me the D-18 was given to Cobain by his 1991 girlfriend Mary Lou Lord. Cobain played it on tour before and after Nirvana’s Nevermind. It was returned to her after Cobain married. Shortly after that, Mary Lou loaned the guitar to Elliott Smith, who played it until his death.
When I’m sad, I make myself play guitar to feel better, because it usually works. This 70-year-old guitar spent a lot of time literally pressed up against the hearts and chests of two artists who were so tormented by their emotions that they ended their lives. That’s heavy. You can’t explain those feelings that make the hair stand up on your arm, or when you feel like crying for no reason … but hitting that A minor made me feel it.
We had to split for the airport, so Chris Kies and Perry Bean started packing up. As they did, I saw this cute little 1880 Martin 000 that belonged to Joan Baez. In the photo next to it, Joan looks like my mom in the ’60s. I asked the curator if I could play it, and Chris grabbed his phone to do a quick Insta video. I swear there was a happy vibe coming off this tiny guitar. It felt like watching my mom dance—like a warm hug I needed after Cobain’s D-18.
In Chinese culture, there is a superstition that antiques may hold evil spirits, and chi (energy) transfer can bring this negativity into your home. Feng shui is all about objects carrying good or bad chi. Here’s how I see it: All matter is made of atoms. Atoms contain energy. Ergo, everything contains energy, or, more aptly, everything is energy. Ever walk into a room and feel powerful emotion: joy, sadness, fear, tranquility? That’s energy. We all have felt energy coming from people, places, and things. But that’s what I love about old guitars: Their atoms spent the first few hundred years as a tree in the forest connected to nature. Then, they’re turned into an instrument that makes people happy or consoles them when they are sad. That’s the kind of chi I want around me.