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GAS - thinkin' about (bought) a Jag - '66 Classic Jaguar

 
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:51 pm    Post subject: GAS - thinkin' about (bought) a Jag - '66 Classic Jaguar Reply with quote

I've wanted a Jaguar since the mid 90s, but, I'm a bass player, so bass gear tends to come first, I don't tend to have money for instruments and Jags are simply rare around here. I've been saving some money for a new instrument/gear acquisition and have enough to get some gear or put a down payment on something.

Thing is, the local music store has a new Japanese Jaguar on for $770Cdn (about $870 after tax, it wasn't around last time I was in the store at the beginning of December) that I'm kind of considering putting a down payment on and financing the rest. It plays quite nicely (though I think I'd go for a heavier string gauge than the stock 9s), though I haven't plugged it in yet. I know the Japanese pickups are a bit... wonky, though. What's the quality of the switches and other components in these Japs? Think it's a worthwhile Jag to nab?

Alternatively, I need a new bass cab and can get a used Avatar B410 Neo cabinet for about $500 after taxes and shipping... Or I was also thinking of getting a Schecter Hellcat VI, which would probably be close to $750 after taxes, shipping and all that.

What to do...


Last edited by Ankhanu on Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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othomas2
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the money my favourite are the Jap Jags... the pickups are a little shrill and lifeless generally... however... my neck pup which seems to have more than enough output & I really like it so don't rule them out completely. I did however change the bridge pickup to something better, and removed the metal claws to eliminate microphonic feedback. Weedy wiring too but its never caused me probs. 5" thick Poly lacquer which will make it look new like forever is sometimes another gripe.

I would say if you looking for something pretty good out of the box and don't minds a few changes in cosmetics then go for the Classic Player jags. They've been tastefully modded already to be a better all round player for the general gigging guitarist. The pickups are pretty nice IMO and are quite hot.

Main mods included:
hotter pickups (as mentioned)
Tunomatic style bridge - to prevent string slippage
trem plate pushed inwards - to increase break angle, i.e. more sustain etc
flatter radius - to prevent chocking on bends


Last edited by othomas2 on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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paul_
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I know the Japanese pickups are a bit... wonky, though. What's the quality of the switches and other components in these Japs? Think it's a worthwhile Jag to nab?


The switches are totally fine, in 12 years I haven't had to repair any wiring on my Jag.
Stuff in the trem assembly can wear out and become a bit loose, but I've never had the bar falling out and I use it a lot on that guitar. Easy fixes for that are available on the internet anyway, as well as replacement trem units/parts for them on guitar parts resource.
People generally don't like the microphonic feedback you get from the Japanese Jag pickups, but I wouldn't call them wonky. They sound good. I replaced the bridge pickup in mine because I used a lot of distortion pedals at the time (and now use amps that don't sound good until they're dirty). The neck pickup however, I've left. It sounds thick and juicy and great, just have to be careful with leaving the hi-gain stuff on around it as to not get squealy feedback.
In fact I'd say in the total time I've had it the CIJ neck pickup has gotten more use than the JB Jr. In my first couple of bands I only used that guitar, and only on the neck pickup.

CIJ Jags are fun, fine guitars. Even if you hate the pickups you can replace them both and have an amazing instrument for less than what an AV goes for. My Jag is my most versatile guitar with ONE replacement pickup and otherwise stock. Strat can't touch it for rock tones (granted I did JB) and my gibson and epiphone can't touch it for Fendery jangle and snap. Only thing that comes close for me is a decent tele, which doesn't have the fantastic trem and short scale.
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SKC Willie
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also a bass player.


I just grabbed a brand new Jag bass for $480. That's what I'd do if I were you.
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astro
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a lot of people on the internetz (e.g. offsetguitars.com) say that Japanese Fenders need their electronic guts replaced but that's just cork-sniffing BS. The stock Japanese switches, potentiometers, caps and wiring are all quality, just smaller than the typical American equivalents. The only part that might eventually need replacing is the input jack, since all the Japanese Fenders's I've owned (3) have had rather flimsy jacks that came stock.

The one Japanese Jag I owned was fantastic. It didn't have the stock pickups when I got it, so I can't comment on those. Replacements are easy to find, and you're not just limited to true Jag pickups because I'm pretty sure that any strat sized single coil will fit in there. So there are almost limitless pickup options available.

By the way, that's a great price for a new Japanese Jag here in Canada. What colour is it? Is it a matching headstock model?
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aen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astro wrote:
I know a lot of people on the internetz (e.g. offsetguitars.com) say that Japanese Fenders need their electronic guts replaced but that's just cork-sniffing BS. The stock Japanese switches, potentiometers, caps and wiring are all quality, just smaller than the typical American equivalents. The only part that might eventually need replacing is the input jack, since all the Japanese Fenders's I've owned (3) have had rather flimsy jacks that came stock.


+1. Although I wouldn't even go out a buy a jack for a CIJ guitar off the bat, becaus ethe jack will probably last a long ass time as is.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astro wrote:
By the way, that's a great price for a new Japanese Jag here in Canada. What colour is it? Is it a matching headstock model?


Yeah, it's cheaper than everything currently on ebay.ca, and cheaper than almost anything I've found there through the years...
It's the standard 3TS/tort, but I'm a sucker for 3TS on offset bodies, so it's all good Smile

Also, it's at L&M, so your local store may have one in stock at that price too.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, went back today and bought one.

It's a '66 Classic JA. I've just got it tuned up, am stretching out the strings so it'll stay in tune... and I love the way it feels Smile I wasn't intending to buy it, really... I was actually leaning towards buying the bass cabinet! But, one thing led to another and, well, now I finally have a Jag in my hands, after 15 years of GASing.


Stock photo-
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paul_
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fuckin' gorgeous. My favorite colour scheme for a Jag coupled with a formal-dress neck.
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Aug wrote:
which one of you bastards sent me an ebay question asking if you can get teh kurdtz with that 64 mustang? Mad

robertOG wrote:
fran & paul are some of the original gangstas of the JS days when you'd have to say "phuck"
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First impressions are overall fairly positive... been playing along to some old-school Cure stuff mostly in the past 2 hours, and some other dickin around to get a feel for it. The tones are great through my '72 Twin Reverb, still set for use with my Aerodyne Telecaster (haven't played with the amp tone at all), giving some nice versatility... I'm not sure I'll use the strangle a lot in my own music, but it's working nicely in concert with the rhythm circuit to play along with stuff from Boys Don't Cry/Three Imaginary Boys and switching between the thin rhythm tones and the beefier/darker tones in the solos. The action is nice and low and the guitar plays quite smoothly. Intonation seems alright, but I'll make sure once I pick up my Strobostomp from my jam space Smile
This is my first guitar with a trem system and I quite like it. By contrast, I rather hate Floyd Rose type trems and the like... I suppose I'll have to learn to properly adjust the trem system when I have to change string gauges or what have you.

My main complaint so far is that the output is fairly low compared to my Aerodyne Telecaster and Godin Exit 22... requiring a bit more volume out of the amp. I need to do a little bit of set up work to get it playing 100%, but that's to be expected with any new out of box instrument. Luckily, it doesn't look like the truss rod will need any adjusting... I hadn't really considered that when scoping it out; I'm not particularly fond of the X adjustment, requiring you to remove the neck to adjust the rod... but, such is the price for having a Jag Wink I did have to lower the neck pickup a bit to even out the volume differences between the neck and bridge.

I plan to go to 10s and replace the bridge at some point, but for now the stock 9s and bridge will certainly do Razz
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kypdurron
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ankhanu wrote:
I'm not particularly fond of the X adjustment, requiring you to remove the neck to adjust the rod... but, such is the price for having a Jag Wink


Is that so? On my Jazzmaster adjustment is easily done without removing the neck, but there are also guitars where that screw is covered. Maybe it's enough to remove the Pickguard. I find it annoying to do that adjustment with the strings off.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's about half covered with the pickguard on... so yeah, might just require removing the pickguard, not the neck itself. I guess I'll find out when I have to adjust it Smile


Further playing with the guitar has shown me that I definitely want to change the bridge. I suppose I should try some of the simple fixes for the strings moving along the saddles (filing with the strings, etc)... but the string popping and buzzing is a tad annoying Razz
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BADmin


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

before you replace that bridge, please consider:

- 11's or 12's
- lightly filing one of the saddle grooves
- a professional setup
- mustang saddles


probably in that order, too. jags CAN be setup to play hard on the stock bridge, but it will take work and maintenance. as for the low output from the coils, consider upgrading to avri pickups or some duncan quarter pounders.

anyhow, congrats! very jealous of the vintage mojo!
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GreenKnee
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on the guitar, I've got the same one Smile

When I first got it, the strings were bouncing around all over the place, out of the saddles etc.
I have got a Mustang bridge for it, but I've got used to the stock bridge, and now I'm used to it the strings have stopped popping out.
So I'm sticking with the stock bridge, just takes time to get used to it.

How are you finding the jap pickups? I swapped the bridge out as it sounded tinny as hell, popped in a JB Jnr and now it sounds HUGE!
I've left the neck pickup as it does sound nice, but I may have to change it as under high gain it squeels like a little bitch.

Anyway, enjoy your new beauty!
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little update as I've had more experience with the instrument Smile

I've gone up to .11 d'Addario EXL115W w/ wound G, and I'm quite enjoying the gauge. Along with some saddle adjustments and the heavier strings the bridge is much better to work with, no more buzz/rattle, and tuning stability is much better, even with trem use; the .09s that shipped with it would go out of tune with the trem. I am having some slight issues with the bridge and intonating, but they're minor; with more playing around (and perhaps the standard mod of shortening the saddle screws) I'm sure I could get it set up perfectly... for now though, it's pretty close, and better than most people's guitars Razz (All too few intonate their instruments). The degree of flexibility with the bridge setup is at once liberating and frustrating Smile
The wound G has made a world of difference in terms of the string's tuning stability. Classically, I've always had issues with the G on my various guitars going sharp or flat, not maintaining tune, but that's out the window with the wound string Smile

Sound wise, I think I may be in the minority here, but I'm really starting to dig the thin tone of the bridge pickup alone. It's not my favorite setup, using just the bridge, but it has its place. Generally I find myself using either the Bridge and Neck together, or the Rhythm circuit. The instrument has a great flexbility of tone, and out sparkles my Tele... though it can't touch the delightful warmth of my Aerodyne Telecaster's soapbar neck pickup.
I've pretty much only played it direct into my '72 Twin Reverb, so I'm not really sure how it reacts to overdrive at high volume. I did take it to a band practice last month and ran it through my bass amp and Fulltone DP-1 for some drive and it sounded pretty solid, but that pretty much covers my experience with processing its signal.

Since the purchase, it's pretty much been my main axe. I do pull out my Telecaster and Exit 22 now and again, but the Jag is my reach-for guitar. Huzzah for sparkley clean tones. For now, I don't think I have any modification plans for this guitar; I'm loving it just as it is.
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BADmin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's funny. . . before i bought mine, i thought of jags as being too high-maintenance and difficult to wield. i even had some people try to talk me out of it, and i'll admit my first experiences were a struggle. it is possible to get on fine with them without upgrades. . . just takes patience and understanding. i think the temperamental nature of jags ends up just adding to their mystique. and don't believe all the hype of "oh, it's just a surf guitar", folks. you can rock a jag pretty hard stock. . . may not be suited for m3+0Lz, but even at that you can do a lot with a tone knob and creative eq'ing.
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ellengtrgrl
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yuppers! I love my '66 Reissue. I'm not surprised your tuning issues went away with heavier gauge stings, and a wound G. My first Jag back in 1990, used to be a bit more sensitve to the strings going out of tune, and/or jumping grooves in the saddles, in spite me using 10s with a wound G. But, I read last year, that the bridge was never designed for use with light gauge stings. It was designed at a time, when light gauge was considered 11s or 12s. I use 12s, with a wound G (I've been using a wound G for over 25 years) on mine and it stays in tune great. As for the bridge pickup - I'm kind of on the fence about it. The neck pickup is fine. The bridge pickup is a little low output for my tastes. But, it contributes to the Jag's unique sound. Better EQing (I've never been a fan of running the treble jacked up - I prefer a thicker sound) helps eliminate shrillness (along with not using the Strangle Switch - I hardly used it 20 years ago, and I still prefer not to use it nowadays). As for some extra grind - I might just try a clean boost, to slam my amp's front end a bit more, before I start swapping out pickups again. I really don't want to go the single sized coil humbucker route (I've been mainly a humbucker player for decades, and I really want to keep my Jag single coil, for a nice change of pace soundwise), and it looks like I'm kind of limited, when it comes to hotter single coils for a Jag. The only high output Jag compatible single coil that seems to be made, is the Quarter Pounder. That's what I installed in my first Jag back in 1990. But, from what I've been told, the Quarter Pounders are a bit midrangey, and come to think of it, when I installed them in my first Jag, way back when, they sure did have a ton of midrange. There's the Duncan Hot Jag, but I have no idea what they sound like (there isn't much info on them). So, I'm not going rush into changing pickups at the present time.
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robroe
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am rocking my jag hard rock hard right now.


it came with the posts taped. thinking about taking that gay shit off
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BADmin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

where are they taped?
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