Fender American Vintage Thin Skin 1965 Jaguar
Pure Offset Awesomeness
The early 1960s were a strange time for Fender Guitars. Though they'd scored four runaway successes with simple working man's instruments like the Tele, Strat, Jazz Bass, and Precision Bass, high-end success continued to elude them. They were locked in a mortal battle with Gibson for high-end supremacy, and they needed to wrest control of the market away from their competitor in Kalamazoo. So, in 1962, they debuted the Jaguar. With its ingenious switching system, hotter pickups, and shorter 24" scale length, the Jag stood proudly at the top of Fender's line.
Unfortunately, like the Jazzmaster before it, the Jaguar failed to make much of a splash outside of the surf music movement. Rather than fight the changing tides, Fender began marketing it with ads like THIS. One can't help but laugh at the consternation on this poor surfer's face as he struggles to stay upright without dropping the expensive instrument into the ocean! It worked magnificently as a surf guitar thanks to its percussive, articulate attack and hot snappy pickups. One notable early adopter was Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys!
From Pawn Shops to MTV
Once the surf craze petered out, Jaguar sales tapered off until 1975 when the CBS corporation discontinued the model entirely. At that point, the Jaguar was a historical footnote, a pawn shop oddity destined to sit covered in dust.
But, the Jag found new life with the advent of punk rock. Suddenly, old, weird guitars were in, and you could find a sweet old Jag for less than a hundred bucks with very little effort. However, the Jag didn't really blow up until the alt-rock boom of the nineties, thanks to a certain long-haired Washingtonian named Kurt Cobain. Though many other players like Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine and PJ Harvey helped the Jaguar rise in prominence, the iconic image of Kurt Cobain flailing away on his beloved offset firmly cemented the Jaguar's place in the pantheon of six-string icons.
With this strange history full of twists and turns in mind, we set out to partner with our friends at Fender to make a Jag for our line of Thin Skin guitars. Together, we decided to pay tribute to the Jaguar's first golden era by basing this Thin Skin on a 1965 edition from the golden era of surf music. Our friends at Fender delivered exactly the sort of spectacular instrument that would have moved an indie rock kid in 1990 to plunk down a C-Note at the local secondhand store and start a loud rock band. Let's dive deeper into the specifics of this glorious instrument and see what makes it so inspiring!
First things first: the Thin Skin 1965 Jaguar has all of the features and appointments you know and love from our other Thin Skins. We're talking narrow-tall 6105 frets, a modern 9.5" radius, vintage-inspired pickups, and a thin coat of nitrocellulose lacquer that allows the wood to breathe and resonate like a real fifties Fender. So, they have modern ergonomics sure to impress the discerning modern player AND plenty of classic Fender vibe.
Specifically, this Thin Skin Jaguar has a lot going for it in both the sound and feel departments. The two '65 Jag single-coils are simply divine: percussive and articulate on the front end, powerful midrange, and lots of lush high-end. The bridge pickup is quite focused and punchy, and the upper midrange can go from quack-y and vocal to snarling and nasty depending on your right-hand velocity. The neck pickup has broader midrange response and glassier high-end, though it still has plenty of capacity for rudeness and attitude. Both pickups have exceptional clarity, so this guitar loves to be slathered in fuzz and distortion, too!
Also, playing this Thin Skin is an absolute joy. Its 24" scale length gives it a feel unlike any other Fender model. Short scale length means less string tension. For the player, that means two things: extra percussive clang and chank on the front end of each note, and supremely buttery, slinky handfeel. The 9.5" radius suits most play styles, and the narrow-tall frets allow for effortless bending all the way up and down the neck.
A Different Breed
All in all, this particular morsel has a different flavor than any other Thin Skin we offer, and its freshness is sure to inspire you and enrich your music-making experience. We're proud to showcase such a delightful instrument for our exceptional customers, and we're sure it will bring joy to any Fender fanatic.
|Model||American Vintage Thin Skin '65 Jaguar|
|Finish Color||Vintage White|
|Finish Type||Thin Skin Nitrocellulose Lacquer|
|Neck Shape||'60s "C"|
|Neck Dimensions||.850 1st - .970 12th|
|Fingerboard||Bound Round-Laminated Rosewood|
|Width at Nut||1.650"|
|Frets||21, 6105 Narrow Tall Fretwire|
|Pickups||'65 Jaguar Single-Coils|
|Controls||Lead Circuit: Volume, Tone. Rhythm Circuit: Volume, Tone, 2-On/Off Slide Switches, One for Each Pickup, One Bass-Cut "Strangle" Switch|
|Tuners||Single Line "Fender Deluxe" Vintage Style|
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