|Model Name:||Special Edition Jaguar® HH, Rosewood Fingerboard, Black|
|Neck Finish:||Gloss Urethane|
|Neck Shape:||"C" Shape|
|Scale Length:||24" (610 mm)|
|Fingerboard Radius:||7.25" (184.1 mm)|
|Number of Frets:||22|
|String Nut:||Synthetic Bone|
|Nut Width:||1.650" (42 mm)|
|Position Inlays:||White Dot|
|Headstock:||Matching Painted Headcap|
|Neck Plate:||4-Bolt Standard|
|Bridge Pickup:||Special Design MIJ Dragster Humbucking|
|Neck Pickup:||Special Design MIJ Dragster Humbucking|
|Controls:||Lead Circuit: Volume, Tone. Rhythm Circuit: Volume, Tone|
|Pickup Switching:||2-On/Off Slide Switches, One for Each Pickup|
|Bridge:||6-Saddle Vintage-Style Adjusto-Matic™ with Anchored-Tailpiece|
|Control Knobs:||Knurled Dome|
|Strings:||Fender® USA 250R, NPS, (.010-.046 Gauges)|
|Unique Features:||Matching Painted Headstock, Chrome Control Knobs, Chrome Pickup Covers, Black Plastic Bezels|
|Included Accessories:||Gig Bag|
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It's a beautiful guitar with great sound. It can play hard and it sounds great clean. My only complaint is that the vintage tuners seems cheap and loose and it will not hold a tune. Every other Fender I have, including the Classic 50s which also has vintage tuners, will hold a tune rock steady. The Special Edition Jaguar does not. Not for any length of time. I am constantly tuning, retuning and hunting. Often, I will have to keep tuning it for several minutes and several tries as it will slip out. Then it will lock in for a session, but be out by the time I reach for it again. I am assuming it's the tuners and I am likely to have them replaced. Other than that it's a great guitar.
I love Jaguars. Their offset body makes for comfortable play while sitting and the short scale is easy for those with smaller hands, but finding a preferred model can be difficult.
Upon viewing the 2013 Jaguar catalog, one could assume Fender has acknowledged that some features of vintage Jags were problematic and the Special Edition was the initial attempt to remedy those issues. Of the 14 Jaguars in the 2013 line-up, both the vintage bridge and tailpiece have been replaced on 5, another 4 have had just the floating bridge replaced, plus another 1 has had the old saddles replaced. With the Jaguar SE, Fender Japan took the first step in addressing the vintage issue of low string tension by simply discarding the bridge, the mute, and the tremolo system entirely and installing a fixed tailpiece and Adjust-O-Matic bridge. This improved both tuning stability and sustain at the cost of a tremolo, sacrificing a feature to sweeten overall fidelity.
Anyone who has looked at all the switches, dials, and knobs on a Jag finds them intimidating at first. The controls on the Special Edition have been left the same as on vintage Jaguars, which is overly complicated for just two pickups. Basically, at any time, half of the controls are non-functional; which half is dependent on the position of the rhythm/lead switch. Also, when playing on the lead circuit, take care not to strike the switches on the lower horn while strumming as it can cut the guitar's output entirely.
The elegantly simple black and chrome styling is an eye-catcher, particularly the matching headstock, a feature found on the original Jags from the 60's that has returned only on this model. Fender did change the headstock to have a Bullet-style truss rod access which makes for easier adjustments than the old-school ones turned at the bottom of the neck. My only gripe about the appearance of the Special Editon is the loss of the old control knobs for the new chrome ones, as the chrome-on-chrome looks a little too glam.
Finally, the pickups... Fender swapped out the two single-coils of the original Jags and replaced them with dual humbuckers. The argument of single-coil versus humbucker is a matter of preference and I'm not going to get into that, what I will say is these particular pickups, Fender Dragsters, are are lower output than most modern humbuckers. I would recommend playing on the lead circuit only for the neck pickup: It seems to have better string definition on the lead circuit. I'm not sure the vintage switching setup was optimal for humbuckers.
It should be noted that this guitar sounds very different from a '60s Jaguar. Although problematic, the tremolo system on vintage Jags caused a metallic resonance which created an iconic, jangly, tone when combined with the low-output single coil pickups. The lack of these components makes it difficult to capture that original 'surf' sound.
In 2008, when I bought my SE, the only Jaguars were Vintage Reissues and the Special Edition. Now Fender offers a wider variety to choose from, whatever your tastes may be and the SE's quiet growl has been drowned out by the newer roars of the Blacktop and the Classic Player HH, but neither can compete the Special Edition's looks. Given a few subtle mods, the SE still remains my favorite.
oninoyakamo owns this item
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