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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Overwhelmed by guitar choices (Jaguar)

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I'm looking to buy a Jag for my surf setup but am struggling to choose between a myriad of options.

American Original 60s
American Professsional
Classic 60s nitro lacquer
AV65
JMarre

I'm sort of leaning towards the professional due to the larger radius; i'm wondering if despite the more modern changes it still retains its vintage tonal character? I fear the JM may be well out of my reach price wise, even used (they've shot up recently!).

So far only the original 60s and Classic 60s have shown up on the used market.

It's kind of annoying that I can't try any of these out.

I'd be grateful for anyone who's used any (or all) of these to offer an opinion.

Last edited: Apr 30, 2021 09:15:43

Hi, Frank, welcome to SG101!

I have two Jaguars, a '64 I've had since it was new, and a 2000 '62 AVRI.

Of the ones you listed, the Classic '60's lacquer one is by far the best bang for the buck. IMO the AV65 is the best one on the list for surf playing but yes, they have become pricey.

Jack
aka WoodyJ

HulaHounds (1996-present)
The Mariners (1964-2019)
The X-Rays (1997-2004)
The Surge! (2004, 2011-2012)
Various non-surf bands that actually made money (1978-1990)

Last edited: May 02, 2021 12:25:31

the johnny marr jag is a great player, but often has a thin finish prone to chips. especially the older green ones and the orangey red. the pickups are not quite the standard jag tone, and of course the switching changes.

i own a classic 60s lacquer jazzmaster. my only complaints are: the vibrato needed a lot of lubricating on the knife edge, so much I put an AVRI vibrato in. and, the big one, the bridge was drilled out of alignment with the neck. I didn't notice until it was out of the return window. the high E Is just a little close to the edge of the board for my taste. so that being said, it is a great instrument, but with cheaper import vibrato, korean made pots, and less quality control.

i've played a classic 60s lacquer jag afterward and had no complaints other than the vibrato. the bridge was in the right place.

my friend has an american original jag, and it needed a little bit of work as well. the bridge has very loose grub screws on the saddles that worked themselves down after only an hour of his playing. he bought a staytrem bridge and problems solved. great instrument, but expensive as heck

The American Professional has non-traditional pickups, the V-Mods. Offset aficionados don't like them at all.
If you buy a new Fender take a good look at it. QC is down the tubes as of late, off-center nuts, truss rods, bridges, shoddy fretwork.

The Classic 60s however is an older model and should be good and true to specs with a rosewood fretboard. Still I wouldn't buy sight unseen.

It looks like you decided to just stick with your strat based on your post on TGP but I have to comment because of Andare.

It's not offset aficionados who don't like the AM Pro, it's people who prefer more traditional RI type Jags and JMs who don't like the Am Pro. So many of the bands I like that play offsets are perfectly happier with wider radius fretboards, hotter singe coils or humbuckers, mastery, staytrem, or Tom bridges, different switching options, etc. The artists I listen to may play vintage JMs or Jags, but they're almost always modded and picked up back in the 80s and 90s when they were still bargain buys. It's interesting because when those same artists get newer instruments (Fender, Bilt, etc.) they almost always use a modern radius necks, some modification to the vibrato/bridge, and/or different pickups.

Anyhow, you don't pick up an Am Pro if you want a ressiue, you pick it up because you like a wider radius, hotter pickups, staytrem like bridge, and possibly even the added switching options.

frank1985 wrote:

I'm looking to buy a Jag for my surf setup but am struggling to choose between a myriad of options.

American Original 60s
American Professsional
Classic 60s nitro lacquer
AV65
JMarre

I'm sort of leaning towards the professional due to the larger radius; i'm wondering if despite the more modern changes it still retains its vintage tonal character? I fear the JM may be well out of my reach price wise, even used (they've shot up recently!).

So far only the original 60s and Classic 60s have shown up on the used market.

It's kind of annoying that I can't try any of these out.

I'd be grateful for anyone who's used any (or all) of these to offer an opinion.

Why not considering 62 avri? I had pretty similar list (except for professional) and went with 62 in the end. 65, original and Marr were too expensive for me and no 60’s lacquer on sight (that I really wanted).

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

https://www.facebook.com/waikikimakaki/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1sTg2JTKUZ3Vlu44gW2OYA
https://soundcloud.com/waikiki-makaki

I like the Marr and Classic 60s, both solid guitars. Neither sounds entirely like a 60s guitar, they have features that are more aligned with modern tastes. The 62 AVRI is cool too, but has weaker pickups and a slightly smaller neck. Just depends on your budget and preferences

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