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1963 Fender Jaguar: The Underground Icon

By Yandas Admin February 24, 2023



From the surf music of the early 60’s to the first generation of punk in the 70’s to the grunge of the early 90’s and finally to the shoegaze and alt rock of the present, the Fender Jaguar is one of the least talked about but hugely influential and iconic guitars from Fender. Yandas Music was lucky enough to acquire this guitar 1963 Jaguar in excellent condition, with all original parts and case. It can be purchased here.

Introduced in 1962, the Jaguar was Fender’s top-of-the-line guitar at the time. Taking design cues from the Jazzmaster, the Jaguar had specs that set it apart from anything Fender had produced before. The 22 fret neck and 24-inch scale length may have been aimed at making Gibson players more comfortable on a Fender. The smaller, better shielded pickups were a less noisy alternative to the pickups on the Jazzmaster. With completely separate lead and rhythm circuits, the Jaguar had the most complex wiring and controls Fender had offered to date. The Jaguar was also the first Fender guitar to be offered with four different neck widths.

Upon the Jaguar's 1962 release, it saw some use in the 1960’s surf-rock scene, but the British invasion would change pop music quickly. Sightings of the Jaguar would become less frequent in the second half of the 60’s. While the Telecaster and Stratocaster would continue their rise in popularity, the Jaguar had been relegated to secondary status. The Jaguar would sell well enough to stay in production until 1975.

In the mid 70’s, pre-owned Telecasters and Stratocasters maintained their popularity and therefore price. The Jaguar was in much lower demand, and consequently became a guitar that young musicians could find used at an affordable price. This led to the guitar's use in early punk and alt-rock bands. This trend would continue in underground music scenes, leading to the Jaguar's resurgence in popularity in the early 1990’s in genres like grunge and alternative rock. The Jaguar continues to be the guitar of choice for many alternative guitar players to this day.

Watch this video as Mike shows of some the tonal capabilites of the 1963 Jaguar.

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