Tuesday, November 3, 2015

2003 Fender Jaguar JG66-85 Electric Guitar Review

Hi there!

Today we are looking at a really neat guitar, a Japanese model JG66-85 Fender Jaguar that I found on the secondhand rack at the Komehyo store in Nagoya, Japan. This model is a 1966 re-issue that originally sold for 85,000 Yen (this is why they call it an JG-66-85). From outside appearances, it is a very faithful recreation of the original. This is an Q-prefix “Crafted in Japan” model, meaning it was built in around 2003. When this guitar was originally sold, the Yen was around 107 to the dollar, which equals approximately $794, which was a heck of a deal back then for such a great guitar.

This one has pretty sunburst poly finish over what looks like an alder body. In keeping with this color scheme, the factory chose to use a fairly garish red tortoiseshell guard. The 24-inch scale C-shaped neck is super-nice, with good frets (vintage thin wire) and a very pretty 7.25-inch radius rosewood fretboard. It has the traditional headstock with the proper logos and vintage-style inline tuners. The rest of the hardware includes the fairly terrible vintage-style floating bridge.

The electronics are the typical Jaguar fodder, which means they are complicated. There are two single coil pickups with oodles of switches and knobs to turn the pickups on and off, and to provide different lead and rhythm tones. Ick. The pickups are strong and the electronics do not have any unwanted extra noise. It plays, sounds and looks just like a Jaguar should.

Like most every Japanese-made Fender guitar I have played, it is very well made, with level frets and good neck pocket clearance. After a dozen years, there are some nicks and scratches, but little wear to the frets and fretboard wear. It has not been abused and would be a nice addition to the collection of someone who is just dying to have a Jag. I have it set up with 0.009s and it is a breeze to play – it is the perfect surf guitar!

These are a bit hard to find in the states, but Fender has other re-issue Jaguars that they are selling here. Try before you buy though, as Jaguars are not everybody’s cup of tea.


No comments:

Post a Comment