By 1962, the Telecaster and Stratocaster were both ubiquitous successes around the world, and the Jazzmaster was busy creating its own legacy as another distinct solid-body model.
That year also marked a significant fourth entry into Fender’s original core guitars — the venerable Jaguar. In many ways, it was more extraordinary than its predecessors.
Debuting as a premium offering and advertised as a “faster, more comfortable guitar” due to its 22 frets and significantly shorter 24” scale length, it was also feature laden, with an offset body (different from the Jazzmaster), three chrome control plates, trio of switches on the lower horn for pickup and tone controls, and spring-loaded string mute.
“The Jaguar was introduced as Fenders high-end model, one of the finest solid-body guitars that was ever offered to the public,” said Joey Brasler, Vice President of Product Management for Fender Electric Guitars, Basses and Amplifiers.
The Jaguar was also the first guitar to feature a chunky new logo on the headstock, which was designed by legendary adman Bob Perine and became known as the Fender “transition logo.”
While the Jaguar initially experienced limited success — Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys was an early adopter — it enjoyed second and third lives amongst the punk wave of the 1970s and alternative and indie rock outfits of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Now, the Jaguar, with its playable short scale, expressive pickups and shape-shifting separated bridge and floating vibrato systems, is as popular as ever, and Fender is honoring its six decades of excellence with two new tribute models.
The vintage-style 60th Anniversary Jaguar is as period-correct as it gets. Boasting a nitrocellulose lacquer finish in either Mystic Dakota Red or Mystic Lake Placid Blue, it also features an alder body, classic Jaguar tremolo and bridge and a ‘60s-style string mute.
60th Anniversary single-coil pickups are specially voiced to capture the articulate mid-’60s tone that made them so beloved, ranging from jangly rhythm sounds to warm lead passages. And, a ‘60s “C” neck shape will suit any playing style.
Meanwhile, the 60th Anniversary Ultra Luxe Jaguar, which is limited to only 500 models worldwide, is a modern take on this tone machine. It’s set apart with a 25.5” scale length on an Ultra Luxe Augmented “D” neck, which has slightly more body than the Modern “D” shape, becoming subtly fuller towards the twelfth fret.
An ebony fingerboard is outfitted with durable stainless steel frets, while the unique pairing of an Adjusto-Matic bridge with string-through body provides excellent sustain, enhanced resonance and stable tuning.
“These modern appointments make it a dream to play, providing fast and silky-smooth action with frets that will last and last,” Brasler noted.
In addition, the Ultra Luxe model has a pair of Custom Double Tap pickups for full, rich humbucking tones and the option to split the coils through Fender’s Double Tap technology.
Since its release in 1962, the Jaguar has proved its mettle as an essential part of the Fender family, and these guitars are the perfect way to pay homage to a legend.
Learn more about the 60th Anniversary Jaguar and Ultra Luxe Jaguar in the video above and click here to find in store.
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