1964 Fender Jaguar, Sunburst

By Fender

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Superb early 1964, L-series example of Leo Fender’s range toping design from with original Black Tolex case, mute and tremolo arm.

The Jaguar, released in 1962 as Fender’s all new top of the range instrument is described in the 1962 Catalog as- “The Jaguar, Fender’s newest addition to their line of fine electric instruments, presents a new and exiting concept in the field of solid body guitars” The Jaguar borrowed some design cue’s from the Jazzmaster, Fender’s previous range topping model. The offset body shape, separate bridge and vibrato and dual circuits (lead and rhythm) electronics were all featured on the Jazzmaster, the Jaguar added to this with a new 22 fret, shorter scale 24” neck and added switching to the to the dual-circuit electronics. The Jaguar was also the first instrument to be offered with different nut widths available. The Jaguar enjoyed mild popularity on its introduction and found favour amongst the popular Surf guitar scene but despite its features could never quite emerge from the Stratocaster and Telecasters shadows. The Jaguar would enjoy a 13-year run before CBS-era Fender discontinued it in 1975 before being resurrected by Fender Japan in the mid-eighties.

This excellent example dates from early 1964 and retains many of the features that make Pre-CBS Fenders so desirable. The ’64 style three-tone sunburst is bright and and glossy with a strong band of red evident on the front and back. There is minimal fading under the pickguard and control covers. All nail holes are present and free from paint with the neck pocket showing the shadow left from the ‘paint stick’ method of finishing.

The 1 Feb 64B neck stamp is still present and legible with pin-router holes under the A-string tuner and on the heel. The rosewood fingerboard is dark with a tight uniform grain pattern punctuated only by the clay dot fret markers. Both neck and body are in excellent condition with the body showing only the slightest signs of wear. The frets are likewise in excellent condition. The chestnut celluloid Tortoiseshell pickguard shows very slight signs shrinkage. Electronically the guitar is correct, the wiring appears undisturbed with no signs of solder joints being broken. Pots share a 21st week of '64 source code. The single line Kluson Deluxe tuners are stamped “PAT NUMBER” and D-169400. The hardware is free of corrosion with the vibrato unit and chrome control plates retaining their factory shine.

The guitar sounds fantastic, currently strung with 11 gauge round-wound strings it has a loud acoustic ring and the heavier strings give the guitar a robust feel that Jaguars are sometimes missing.  Pickups measure 7.33K in the neck and 7.29K in the bridge. The neck is a comfortable Mid-C profile with dimensions of 21.24mm at the 1st fret increasing to 25.26mm at the 12th. Plugged in, all electronics work as designed and the guitar can go from serious twang to mellow warmth with the flick of a switch. The guitar comes with its original black Tolex case, bridge mute (minus the foam) and tremolo arm.

A superb, complete example that offers everything a good Jaguar should for a player of collector alike. 

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