Which Jaguar should I get?

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.

Which Jaguar Should I Get?

Johnny Marr Jaguar
28
35%
AV65 or AO
27
34%
AVRI 62
16
20%
Japanese model with wider nut
8
10%
 
Total votes: 79

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Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:32 am

I really wanted the Black 2024 MIJ FSR model with binding but the nut width is too skinny for my hands. So now I'm looking towards a USA model, most likely a used one.

I fear the neck pocket angle in the AV65 and AO but love the binding and the nut width. I'm fine with either neck radius. I had an thinskin Jazzmaster AV65 body and I hated the neck pocket. I had the bridge post screws on their tippy toes. I then used a reverse angled shim and it was better. What's your experience with these guitars?

The JM Jag in KO and adding a tort guard is very attractive to me. No binding but I don't mind. Nut width is 42mm. Perfect...and I don't need to mod anything on it. If I decide to later on, easy peasy. I'm leaning towards this one. I can't see anything negative on the surface but I haven't played one. Tell me the bad if any...

The AVRI 62.... I've played a few and never loved them. Every one I've played was kind of heavy and I never liked the 62 pickups but maybe there are some lighter and more resonant ones out there?

Is there a MIJ model that has a wider nut and binding? There are so many models that are not available in the USA so I don't know much about them.

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by sunburster » Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:46 am

OffYourFace wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:32 am
I fear the neck pocket angle in the AV65 and AO but love the binding and the nut width. I fine with either neck radius. I had an thinskin Jazzmaster AV65 body and I hated the neck pocket. I had the bridge post screws on their tippy toes. I used a reverse angled shim. What's your experience with these guitars?
I've got an AV65 and Marr. Neither one has the bridge too high -- it's "just right" IMO. The AV65 actually came with a shim from the factory, which I have since removed, since it was not needed due to the angled neck pocket. I had a 1999 AVRI62 before, and while it was a very good guitar, it wasn't as good as the AV65 or Marr.

I prefer the AV65 above all others, but the Marr is really good too. It just sounds less like a typical Jaguar to me. More like a telecaster/rickenbacker hybrid with a 24" scale.

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by Larry Mal » Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:51 am

I have two Jazzmasters, an AVRI and an early 90s MIJ. The MIJ has a wider nut by a millimeter as I recall, and I really like the feel of that. I wonder if the Japanese Jaguars have wider nuts in general.

If it was me, I'd get the American Original Jaguar probably. I like my AVRI Jazzmaster a lot but do see that there was improvement on the later runs, and the binding would be a plus for me. The AV65 now that I think about it I'd probably like more since it has the 7.25", but they are rare and expensive now and I am just fine with the 9.5" also.

I know we all hold the Japanese made stuff in high regard, but I got one of those paisley Jazzmasters a couple years ago, I only got it to sell it. But I was struck by how cheap everything on it was, the bridge is awful, the trem unit way worse than the stuff I use now and so on. I thought about keeping it and realized I would have to gut and replace every single thing on there, which is exactly what I did over the years with the Japanese made Jazzmaster I have.

So, I don't know. I feel I'd probably have better hardware with the American Original, better finish, and the binding and live with the millimeter difference.
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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:03 pm

sunburster wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:46 am

I've got an AV65 and Marr. Neither one has the bridge too high -- it's "just right" IMO. The AV65 actually came with a shim from the factory, which I have since removed, since it was not needed due to the angled neck pocket.

I prefer the AV65 above all others, but the Marr is really good too. It just sounds less like a typical Jaguar to me. More like a telecaster/rickenbacker hybrid with a 24" scale.
That's good to know. I think like anything by Fender, some are better than others. I've played a few AV65 and AO Jazzmasters and the bridge was so high. They seemed to have used a 2 degree neck angle. I've never needed that much. 1 degree at the most. But I'm glad to hear there are some good ones out there. I don't like it when I can 'feel' the neck angle and I don't like the sound/feel of an offset with a heavy break angle behind the bridge. Most often the strings hit the base of the bridge and if the saddles are set high to compensate, it just feels weird.

I know people complain about the low output of the JM Jag pickups but I'm fine with that. I think I would use it in series a lot so low output pickups are best for that. I've never heard/read about the telecaster/rickenbacker comparison so that's very interesting.

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:05 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:51 am

So, I don't know. I feel I'd probably have better hardware with the American Original, better finish, and the binding and live with the millimeter difference.
Yeah some japanese stuff isn't great, like certain periods of the CIJ line. The older MIJ stuff seems to hold up though. I have a MIJ Jaguar neck and the nut width is 41mm. I just worked on a friend's '95 MIJ JM and the neck width was more like 41.5-42mm. I think 42mm is perfect for my hands.

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by Larry Mal » Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:11 pm

OffYourFace wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:05 pm
Larry Mal wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:51 am

So, I don't know. I feel I'd probably have better hardware with the American Original, better finish, and the binding and live with the millimeter difference.
Yeah some japanese stuff isn't great, like certain periods of the CIJ line. The older MIJ stuff seems to hold up though. I have a MIJ Jaguar neck and the nut width is 41mm. I just worked on a friend's '95 MIJ JM and the neck width was more like 41.5-42mm. I think 42mm is perfect for my hands.
I loved the way the MIJ Jazzmaster played, that much I knew immediately, and I still love it. The neck is perfect for me.

But I had no other Jazzmaster to compare it to, there wasn't a website like this, there wasn't aftermarket stuff. I just dragged my low E string back into place over and over all the years.

Now the Fender stuff has good hardware and electronics, though.
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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:43 pm

watching demos is so annoying. On the JM videos, I get so annoyed when people call the parallel setting series and the series setting parallel :fp:

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by Fozzie Guillen » Sat Feb 24, 2024 2:19 pm

OffYourFace wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 12:43 pm
watching demos is so annoying. On the JM videos, I get so annoyed when people call the parallel setting series and the series setting parallel :fp:
;D

I'm still GASing for an AV65, though I can't recommend the Marr enough. The neck is wonderful. I haven't even bothered to buy the newer bridge with narrower spacing.

Seeing those FSR MIJ jags posted the other day has me wondering if I'll try that route instead (sherwood, a bit cheaper) unless a good deal on an AV65 pops up near me in the meantime...

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by JamesSGBrown » Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:02 pm

AV65 is more versatile, but Marr is more unique, tonally. The Marr sounds more like the L-series ‘65 I had, the AV65 is like that on steroids. Playability wise, the AV65 wins in terms of ease of play, but my Marr has years of shows under its belt and fights back in a way that’s very satisfying…. I’d recommend the AV over the Marr to the uninitiated, but they’re genuinely actually very different.

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:42 pm

JamesSGBrown wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:02 pm
AV65 is more versatile, but Marr is more unique, tonally.
See, I think the opposite re: versatility. The only thing the AV65 has is hum cancelling in the middle and the stock rhythm ckt.

If you're talking about the overall sound of the guitar (louder pickups, etc) and how it fits into musical situations, I could see that. It would be easy to mod the Marr to be a standard jag.

I'm not adverse to swapping out the pickups of the Marr to get hum-cancelling but I agree with J.Marr that it does kill the sustain.

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by Surfysonic » Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:48 pm

I voted for the JM Jag but I like the AV65 and the AO just as well. 8)

Another purchase option to consider is a Musikraft neck/<Insert body buildmaker ( MJT, BloomDoom, etc., unless you have a Fender Jaguar body you're happy with)> where you can specify exactly what you want. The total cost for my Musikraft neck/MJT build (swapped body for a BloomDoom - MJT body is set for a new build) was still just around $2k with Mastery bridge & vibrato, noiseless pickups, etc. I pretty much got all the best quality selections for the Musikraft neck (totaled around $879 (incl. shipping) - my fave neck...ever (and I've had some great ones over the years).
:?

I'm all set with my heavily modded JM Jag but if were to ever get another Jaguar, I'd definitely go the build route where I can spec it out and pay far, far, less than a Fender Custom Shop build and keep costs around the same as a US Fender or slightly less.

Look forward to see what you end up with in any event! Good luck! :)
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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Feb 24, 2024 4:03 pm

Surfysonic wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:48 pm

Another purchase option to consider is...
Yeah but at the end of the day it's usually cheaper to just wait and buy a good rready-to-go guitar. I've built about a dozen vintage parts-guars. There are also two jaguars I regret letting go... a '65 parts-guar and an '86 MIJ CAR jaguar. That's it. All the rest were just ok. I just want to get a guitar and go these days.

BUT... if i found an AV65 or AO neck for sale, I'd reconsider. But tbh, I don't see many AV65 or AO Jaguars for sell atm, let alone any bodies and necks. People must really like them.
Look forward to see what you end up with in any event! Good luck! :)
Thanks!

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by sunburster » Sat Feb 24, 2024 5:09 pm

Looks to me like a 1 degree neck pocket angle on both the AV65 and the Marr, nothing too extreme but just enough so you don't need a shim.

Hard to say which guitar is more versatile. Both are quite versatile and I like the sounds in every position. I prefer the Neck and Bridge sounds on the AV65, but the Series sound is very unique on the Marr and is pretty great (I use it a lot). I also think the Middle (Parallel) position is better on the Marr than the AV65 (or at least I find it more useful) -- it has a fuller, more chimey, slightly "acoustic" sound. I do use the rhythm circuit on the AV65 a lot, especially with fuzz/overdrive. I can't replicate that on the Marr even with the tone turned down. Due to all this I find both guitars very useful and they compliment one another. Also the pickups being hum-cancelling in the middle position on the AV65 vs non-hum cancelling on the Marr (like a tele or ric) makes a difference in my experience.

FWIW my pickups measure as follows:

AV65
Neck pickup: 6.16k ohm, Bridge pickup: 6.25k ohm

Marr
Neck pickup: 5.46k ohm, Bridge pickup: 6.33k ohm

Thus the Marr neck pickup is a bit quieter, but not a big deal. I have seen some Marrs with neck pickups measuring over 6k ohm, however. There is a +/-10% variation on all of these, so you might get a guitar with slightly louder or quieter pickups. The AV65's pickups are spec-ed at 6.8k ohm, but mine are about -10% of that.

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Feb 24, 2024 6:24 pm

sunburster wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 5:09 pm
Looks to me like a 1 degree neck pocket angle on both the AV65 and the Marr, nothing too extreme but just enough so you don't need a shim.
I didn't realize the Marr had the neck angle too..

Thanks for all the info, very helpful!

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Re: Which Jaguar should I get?

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Sat Feb 24, 2024 7:52 pm

I have a Rexter built Top-Bound Jag Body (also with the 1 degree angled neck pocket - in fact based on the Johnny Marr model) and even with („just“) a CV neck it‘s the most responsive - most inviting guitar I have. So I really do appreciate those angled neck pockets vs a shim.

That said, if you want to go into AVRI 65/AO territory - we do have this Allparts Japan D&B Jag neck group order With the specs at page 10 or so - and if 41,275mm (1 5/8“), 9,5“ radius - Rosewood fretboard and Nitro over poly work for you - this might be a decent starting point - with a Marr or self painted KO (is it „Kandy Orange?“) Body and parts to your liking - or a LOADED BODY! This might be a winning and way cheaper solution (even if I can understand your point of wanting a „ready“ guitar… but as you say: there are hardly any AO/AV65 guitars being sold atm.

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