VM Jaguar review

Discussion in 'Squier Vintage Modified models' started by mtjo62, May 18, 2011.

  1. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Squier-Meister

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    My partner just took receipt of a new VM Jaguar in fiesta red. This was a replacement for a burst model from MF. The burst was had a very poorly matched three piece body. Out of the box it needed a setup as the action was too high. The neck was dead straight and other than a small splash of glue on the fret board at the nut, the finish was flawless. I don't have any actual photos or sound files, so I am posting a stock pic.

    Pros:

    The fiesta red finish with tort guard is sexy. We agreed it looks like tomato bisque and much more attractive than the burst. Very balanced body and is just as comfortable playing with a strap or sitting down. The neck looks like the CV series with vintage tint and tuners and the frets are nicely dressed with no sharp ends and no fret buzz. The nut was properly cut and had no pinging/binding issues. The bridge is kinda funky looking, but it is sturdy. The SD designed PUs sound very hot and I had to lower the bass side and raise the treble side to get more bite and reduce some boominess. It sounds very Fendery on clean and dirt tones and more Gibson like with overdrive. With the stubby lower bout, you have easy access to all upper frets. Intonation was close and we are going to leave it for now to let the guitar acclimate and will replace with stainless steel extra lights later.

    Cons:

    The concentric pots. The lower ring/knob is the tone control. It has a stamped washer with a bent tab and a punched point and the knob has symmetrical holes to give it a rotary control feel. We replacd the washer with a flat one and it felt much better with smooth action. The problem is that you have to be careful not to bump the tone when adjusting volume or vice versa. This may be the reason for the notched control. I am going to try and convince my buddy to let me convert it to a single volume/tone and we'll match the PU volume with height adjustment. I found the PUs very loose and a little harsh when using heavier distortions. Playing through a compressor tamed them nicely though. The rosewood fretboard was very dry and had a light dust on it. Hopefully a nice lemon oil treatment will darken it up. The saddles are anchored with a phillips set screw from the top and you have to loosen the strings to access the screw for intonation adjustments. Not that big a deal but I prefer saddles with rear adjustment screws. The vintage tuners pinged a bit during setup, but they settled in. They don't seem to feel as sturdy as the ones on my CV50s Tele.

    All in all, it is a great guitar for $250. As with the current CV line, Fender is putting a lot of bang for the buck in these. With no trem, PU/tone switches and humbuckers, this resembles a classic Jaguar in looks only, but it really shines on clean tones and with a little compression, rocks with higher gain. For a player needing a guitar to cover alot of musical ground, it works very well. The 24" scale is surprisingly comfortable with no cramped frets.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Telepicker

    Telepicker Squier-Meister

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    Thanks for the nice review. I was thinking the concentric controls were a good idea but hadn't considered the issue of inadvertent adjustment if you eliminated the detents.

    Have you peeked under the "hood"?
     
  3. stratphobic

    stratphobic Squier-holic

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    they have normal rhythm/lead circuit routes!
     
  4. Straight6DOHC

    Straight6DOHC Squier Talker

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    That's a very comprehensive review. Thanks. I've ordered a sunburst one which should arrive in a few days. Your review is making me apprehensive - but then I think of the price and the fact that I've yet to play the guitar. That bridge is my main concern.
     
  5. guitarmodsquad

    guitarmodsquad Squier Talker

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    Dude...this guitar is magic

    I played it...and was instantly hooked by the vintage neck and shorter scale...played like a dream....frets all dressed nice...perfect setup and superb neck.

    Did a check on internet for opinions and found tons of folks dissing this guitar....waited a few days..she kept haunting me...and so I went and bought it....$300 bones...not like it was the end of the earth.

    Played for the entire weekend...guitar nervana....so have to post a review and discuss this amazing deal from squier and dispel some of the nonsense critics have posted. I own 15 guitars (right now)...play alot and like to modify and hotrod my rigs (if they are not collectable that is!!!)....hense I have an affection for squiers...not afraid to dink around with it.

    First...this is not a jaguar......I love the vintage jag's and if I were to get one now (oh if I only had all the guitars I have ever owned...sigh)....I would never modify it...that would be a sin....I get tradition, and the funky jag setup was super cool in its own funky way...but dude...the tremelo/bridge setup on those vintage jags was bunk...always drifting out of setup...buzzing and want to tune your guitar....hammer the wammy...and uh, time to tune bro........but nevermind...the vintage jags are the bomb.

    This guitar has the cool vibe of the jag, the shorter scale and a nice retro, pre aged varnish....it channels all the coolness of the 60's jag, with modern setup.

    Pickups......squier upgraded this guitar to S-dunkens (humbuckers)....and let me tell you, they are excellent, no need to change pickups like can be the case on many squiers....leave them alone baby, they are top notch......would I tarnish a vintage jag to put in humbuckers...hell no.....but squier did it for you with no karma hit :)

    The bridge......is excellent...lots of folks saying it is like a danalectro and junk....well, it is sorta like a danalectro..but only the nicer high end ones that have intonation adjustment and not the wooden bridge type...and the squier is very beefy, no bending like the thin dano version...and in the end it allows the bridge to tork down onto the guitar body, like a gibson tunomantic does.....very good for tone....and this guitar has tone, tone , tone.....is the intonation setup a pain..yes...but you can shove the string over with a small screw driver and then slide string saddle around to intonate.....tighten up and your done.....I dont know about you...but I do not adjust my intonation all that often...no big deal.

    The guitar has amazing tone and is very resonant, even with not hooked up to an amp...why.....I think it is because the design uses a big chunk of wood and they routed the body for the original jag setup...meaning there is a cavety above the strings for the toggle switch, which is the size for the mutli switch of the original jag...and a cavety bellow the strings for the additional switches a vintage jag has......cut outs for both pickups and the tone pot section....end result is a nice chamber that adds to the sound of the guitar in a positive way.

    Ok...now under the hood.....quality stuff, forget the typical cheap electronics found on some squiers.......the pickups are great as I mentioned.....and they are suprise, suprise, 4 wire untis (more on that later)...with the middle wire fused near the tone pots to give a normal humbucker setup........the concentric tone pots are cool and look to be well done units...no plastic chip board junk........now the selector switch was a bit crackley for me..and others have noticed this too...but a shot of electrical component cleaner and throw switch back and forth a bunch...and no problem to date.

    Get this...the body is actually shielded with shielding paint......that is cool...additional quality touch and most would never notice....hint of the effort to make this a dam good guitar by the manufacture (indonesia by the way and not china)

    Guitar stock is superb....but get this............it can be moded in a very cool way with little to no effort. Because the pickups are 4 wire and the leads are easy to get at for the middle wire (wire joining the two single coils in the humbucker)...it is siting accessable next to each tone/volume pot, just waiting to be modified baby!!!.......you can simply tap into this...and run it through a simple on/off switch to ground (the wire going into the guitar body to ground to the shielded paint works fine)...and use the pre-routed cavety bellow the strings.....and add two switches for each pickup and wala...you have single coil taps on both pickups............works great....the dunkens are hot pickups...so when you tap out one coil and make it a single coil...it still sounds great and when you hit the switch you have instant stratocaster sounds on neck and tele sounds on bridge...and if you mix both...you have have a blended humbucker and single coil sound...which is turning out to be my fav right now.

    this is a 20 minutue mod and costs less than $10.....all the wiring is there already and exposed (no need to perform surgery on the humbucker to get at the coil tap)...and the body routing is already there under the pick gaurd...all you need is two switches and a bit of additional wire.....easy.

    Just dont make the mistake I did and use toggle switches...I kept hitting my hand on them when playing....had to go back and use low profile simple rocker switch and now works like a charm.

    You would never be allowed by the quitar Gods to screw around like this with a vintage jag ....but a killer guitar that cost only $300......no worries.

    The guitar has all the vibe of the vintage Jaguar...without the high maintenance pain in the butt bridge and wammy set up and uses a simple but effective bridge, resonant and easy to mod.....what else do we want folks...........go get one, they rock

    Bryan
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  6. mrlinguini

    mrlinguini Squier-holic

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    Now thats what i call a guitar review. Thanks!
     
  7. stratphobic

    stratphobic Squier-holic

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    or you could do what i did and disconnect the tone controls and use those pots as spin-a-splits. to my ear it opens up the pickups and makes them sound better and the spin-a-split mod is a cool alternative to a coil split switch, it doesn't cost anything to do and if you don't like it, it's easily reversable.
     
  8. guitarmodsquad

    guitarmodsquad Squier Talker

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    Good call on the spin a split mod....like it, simple.....I wanted my cake and eat it....splits plus tone control and because the S-jag body is routed....easy to add the switches and sorta follows the original jag vibe.....infact, I would love to add chrome plates like the original jag has.....maybe could fashion something out of aluminum plate .....but would have to stop playing it to do that...I really, really dig this guitar :)

    Bryan
     
  9. stratphobic

    stratphobic Squier-holic

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    i've gotten to where i don't like tone controls on humbuckers and i was used to my classic player jag with 1meg pots, so it suited me, but if i was going to do it again, i'd wire it like the CP jag with a normal volume and tone, spin-a-splits and a kill switch on the top horn and normal jag controls on the bottom horn. there's a guy on i think shortscale.org who put chrome control plates on a squier jag and it looked awesome.
     
  10. hoggy-bhoy

    hoggy-bhoy Squier-Meister

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    Hey I was wondering if any 1 can help, i know you guys are talking about Jags here
    but i thought you might have some info

    Will a fender jazzmaster gold or black pickguard fit on a squier vm Jassmaster


    I don’t mind drilling new holes I need 2 know if everything else will line up

    If it fits this would also mean I can change the bridge to a TOM schaller STM bridge
    as the pickguard has the post holes for a tom
     
  11. stratphobic

    stratphobic Squier-holic

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    you'd have to enlarge the holes for the bridge in order for the thimbles for the TOM to fit. other than that, a regular jazzmaster pickguard should fit. a regular jag pickguard fit fine on my VM jag.
     
  12. hoggy-bhoy

    hoggy-bhoy Squier-Meister

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    Hey stratphobic thanks for your info it’s really appreciated

    That sounds good, means I can change the pickguard and get the real
    Jazzmaster switches and electronics and change the bridge to a tom
    With a stop tailpiece
     
  13. guitarmodsquad

    guitarmodsquad Squier Talker

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    I have considered the idea of a tuneomatic bridge and actually perhaps thru body string mounts....but Tom may be too tall for the setup on s-jag....and would need check string spacing ....let me know if you do it and it works

    As for pick guard ....I would like to know that too

    Get back to us If you find out

    Bryan
     
  14. guitarmodsquad

    guitarmodsquad Squier Talker

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    Cool...pic guards match....where did you get yours and did you leave the multiple switch holes empty?
     
  15. hoggy-bhoy

    hoggy-bhoy Squier-Meister

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  16. stratphobic

    stratphobic Squier-holic

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    i just used the pickguard from my classic player jag to see if it would fit and it did, but the screw hole alignment wasn't perfect.
     
  17. Straight6DOHC

    Straight6DOHC Squier Talker

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    Glad to see more folks are getting into this awesome instrument. I am now in posession of the three 2 way switches and plate and a 62 reissue tremolo. The bridge is the main worry. The Schaller has a 14" radius. The neck on this guitat is 9.5"
    But yes, this guitar is so good.
     
  18. stratphobic

    stratphobic Squier-holic

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    look for an adjusto-matic bridge off of a classic player jag or jazzy. they have a 9.5" radius. the adjusto-matic bridge from the japanese fenders won't work because they have a 7.25" radius.
     
  19. hoggy-bhoy

    hoggy-bhoy Squier-Meister

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    Hey stratphobic do know the string spacing on the adjust o'matic ? Will it match the squier spacing?
     
  20. stratphobic

    stratphobic Squier-holic

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    idk exactly what it is, but it's fender spacing. it lined up correctly with the jag's trem.
     

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