Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar – Vintage Style in the Affordable Range

4.7 out of 5 stars

Jaguar is one of the more outlandish models Fender has produced so far and Squier did a good job replicating it on their own. This is a fairly complicated design and definitely one of the more interesting axes you can pick up for less than $500.

Body & Neck

Jaguar body belongs to what are known as ‘offset’ guitars. This means that the lower and upper parts of the body are asymmetrical and offset to a certain extent. This design brings some difficulties in terms of intonation and overall dynamics of the guitar, which was a major concern for Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar. However, the guitar came out fine.

Tonewood they’ve used for this model is basswood while the neck is made of maple. Speaking of which, this is a short scale neck, which makes it a bit easier to play for beginners while at the same time benefiting those who are into jazz.

Hardware

Another different aspect of the Jaguar is the hardware. Instead of the standard fixed tail bridge, or a synchronized tremolo, you get a vintage style trem bridge where these two components are divided. Tremolo sits all the way back, just like a tailpiece, while the bridge is a separate unit closer to the pickups.

Some of the Jaguars had issues with hardware which were mostly caused by the asymmetrical design of the guitar itself. Although rare, these problems can be fixed by a skilled guitar tech. Tuners are old school die cast type, which you can find on a number of Squier models.

Electronics

This is where things get interesting. Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar comes packing two single coil pickups. That’s not the interesting part. What they are wired to is where the crazy starts. Instead of having several knobs to adjust the tone of the guitar, you have dual circuits. There are two modes available – rhythm and lead.

Each of these has its own set of controls, which allow you to significantly impact the tone of the guitar. On top of all that, you get the standard Tone and Volume knob. The amount of versatility crammed in this guitar is impressive. There’s just so much maneuvering space to work with.

Sound

Jaguars have always had a different sound compared to your regular Strat or Telecaster. With its complex circuitry, you can dial in a wide variety of tone configurations. For example, this is a perfect guitar for surf rock or similar vintage genres. However, you can still play good old rock and roll. Since this is a short scale guitar with a highly adjustable circuitry, you can even pull off a rather decent jazz sound with little to no effort. In other words, Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar is a Swiss army knife of guitar tone.

Conclusion

Many doubted that Squier was capable of delivering a true Jaguar replica that would actually work. Although they definitely managed to do this, it’s not a perfect product. On the other hand, when it comes down to most basic bang for the buck equation, this Jag is a steal!

For more info about the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar, click here.
For more electric guitars under $500, click here.


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Comments

  1. Tim Myer says

    The “Offset Body” of the Jaguar causes absolutely no problems in intonation or playability. The only Jaguar problem has been down pressure and break angle on the bridge – nothing to do with body shape.

  2. Ed Martin says

    Tim Myer is 100% correct: The body shape does nothing to hinder any Jaguar guitar.

    It is the short-scale length of the body and shallow break angle that has been famously known to potentially cause issues, such as strings slipping out of their saddle grooves, and potentially, intonation screws vibrating loose out of their fixed positions.

    These issues can be addressed with heavier gauge strings, providing more downward tension, or adding a neck pocket shim and raising the bridge to create a larger break angle at the bridge, providing greater string tension.

    Players are also known to add thread locking compounds to the saddles screws, such as blue loctite, or even clear nail polish, to prevent screws vibrating loose. This has also been known to resolve buzzing issues that can be caused by metal on metal contact with the floating bridge, bridge saddles and string tension

    Another method is replacing the bridge with an aftermarket unit that has more pronounced string grooves.

  3. Nicholas Evans says

    I bought my mij jag in 94. I wish these were out then. I tried the varnish/loctite on the saddle trick, but even with 11 flat wound strings they popped off. So I put a Mustang bridge ,Seymour Duncan pickups (Jap p/ups are very weak) and shim in neck pocket. Plays much better.

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