Priced at entry level and built in Mexico, Fender’s Player Series provides affordable access to Fender’s most iconic solidbodies. The Player Jaguar updates a classic offset with a handful of modernizations.
The Player Jaguar features 22 frets, a short 24″ scale length, and a floating vibrato – all in keeping with signature ’60s specs. The most conspicuous updates are a humbucker in the bridge position and streamlined electronics, with the ’bucker offering more girth and grind without straying far from the Jag’s characteristic upper-mid emphasis. Where once there were more switches than could be found in a 747’s cockpit, here a lone two-way remains – a coil-cut for the humbucker, enabling a return to a classic Jaguar’s dual single-coil configuration.
The modern C-shape neck is inviting with its short scale, which puts more frets comfortably within reach and reduces string tension, and a pau ferro fretboard with flat 9.5″ radius (rather than the original 7.25″). Gleaming chrome hardware and skirted knobs for volume and tone are true to classic features. The vibrato can be a little creaky, but delivers the action and pitch range needed to recreate signature Jaguar surf lines and dark waves of warbly chords.
With this Jag and other models in the Player Series, Fender has done a nice job catering to today’s guitarist by balancing tonal range and playability with vintage aesthetics.
This article originally appeared in VG April 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.