- Lacquer Finished Alder Body
- Bound Neck
- Mid-‘60s C Neck Profile
- Modern 9.5” Neck Radius
- Pure Vintage ’62 Jaguar Pickups
- Lead/Rhythm Circuit with Bass-cut “Strangle” Switch
- Vintage-correct Hardware
- Vintage-style Hardshell Case Included
Worship, music, and the magazine business are all about relationship. While Fender has been around for a long time, the brand has always reflected the people behind the scenes. In mid-November 2017, we were fortunate enough to have been invited to a press-only event in Los Angeles where Fender debuted their American Original Series, months before they were released at NAMM. There I got a chance to hear and play these great new instruments as well as spend some time with key members of the team at Fender. As a worship musician, it matters to me that Fender sees the House of Worship as more than a market segment, and they’ve done a great job of cultivating an authentic relationship with us that we value and appreciate.
One of the highlights of the “Fender Media Preview” event was getting a chance to play all the new gear and hear directly from Justin Norvell, SVP Fender Products who commented, “American Original guitars are a tip of the hat to Fender’s timeless designs, which remain enduring and relevant tools of creative expression.” As I played through each of these new instruments, I got an unexpected surprise when I got to the Jaguar. A vintage Fender Jaguar was my first electric and all nostalgia aside, one of the things I remember most was how poorly that instrument played. What excited me most about the American Original Jaguar was how much I absolutely loved playing this guitar. Since then, our friends at Fender sent up a review instrument which is every bit as good as the guitar at the press event.
THE NECK The first thing I noticed was how incredibly comfortable the 24” short scale is to play. It feels very natural and is a great option for female players where the scale of an instrument like a Jazzmaster is an issue.
THE FEEL By all appearances, the body is virtually identical to my Jazzmaster, which in combination with the ‘60s C neck shape is why this instrument doesn’t feel small. Playing wise, the vintage-tall frets provide that extra bit of fingerboard articulation that never made me miss the traditional 25.5” Fender scale.
THE SOUND And speaking of the Jazzmaster, the Jaguar is bit like its younger sibling – of the same DNA, but with its very own personality. While I love my Jazzmaster, there are times it can be a bit strident, and be it the scale or the narrow aperture pickups, the Jaguar is not. A big “yes” in the bright, chimey, and jangly departments, but a resounding “no” on having to use a compressor to tame the high end. As the Jaguar product page boasts, this instrument has a total of eight onboard controls which makes sculpting great tones for worship (and beyond) a dream. If I were pressed to say what this instrument sounded like, I’d be inclined to say a few of my favorite things from Strats, Jazzmasters, and even Teles. It’s classically Fender, but also has a voice of its own.
THE LOOK Visually speaking, this is a great looking guitar. The vintage Candy Apple Red, Surf Green, and 3-color Sunburst finishes are all gorgeous and the bound fingerboard adds a degree of flair that pops every time you look at it. Every time I look at this instrument it just plain makes me feel good.
THE PRICE The $2,099.99 price tag is not for the faint of heart. But… finding an instrument that really speaks to your heart, fingertips and ears is well worth the investment.