Friday, July 23, 2010

The Jagmaster

In 1966 I was 14 years old.  My drumming buddy, Stew Williams, was able to procure 2 passes from his drum teacher, for the Winter NAMM Convention that was held in Chicago.

We spent a couple of days there, with badges that stated we were representatives of Slingerland Drums.  It was better than being in a candy store; an unforgetable experience.

I picked up a suitcase full of catalogs including the 1966 Fender Catalog.

This catalogue featured a display of guitars with no visible pickups called the Fender Marauder. The text stated the guitar had 4 pickups under the pickguard.

In later years, I learned the guitars pictured in this brochure were in all probability non-working prototypes.

It wasn't until 1996 that Fender introduced a guitar which had a shape similar to a Jazzmaster/Jaguar with a 25.5" scale and a Fender Stratocaster tremolo bridge with the bridge cover and screw-in bar. This would be the "crafted in Japan" Fender Jagmaster.

In 1996-98 Fender introduced the Jagmaster as part of the Squier Vista series. This guitar was originally built in Japan. You can distinguish this guitar by the word Vista on its headstock.

This guitar was only produced for two years under the made in Japan, Squier Vista series. Based on its design, it had the Stratocaster style tremolo, making it more similar to the Maurader than the Jazzmaster or Jaguar.

The Jagmasters wiring was less complex than that of the Jaguar-Jazzmaster. The Jagstang had a two humbucking pickups with a single volume and tone control and a three-way throw switch mounted on the lower bout. 

The pickups were designed by Seymour Duncan.

The bridge was a Strat-style bridge/saddle came with adjustable saddles.  The body was basswood and the neck was maple with a rosewood fretboard. The 22 fret neck was similar to the Jazzmaster's 25.5" scale.

The Squier Jagmaster Vista was manufactured in Japan for only two years, ending its run in 1998.

In 2000 Fender resurrected the Jagmaster under, naming it the Squier Jagmaster ll.  They dropped the Vista designation. Manufacturing was outsourced to China.  This version was modified from the original model. It now had a 25.5" scale, 21 fret neck. The guitar's pickups remained twin Seymour Duncan humbuckers.

Further changes were made in 2005.

At that time the Squier Jagmaster's neck was shortened to a 24" scale and an extra fret was added. Following what seems to be a trend, Fender produced this model for two years.  In 2007 the model was updated to a 21 fret guitar. This guitar is still in production.

The silver sparkle version of the Jagmaster no longer is available.


Mr Noble said...

My Jagmaster is the one with 24" neck & 21 frets. I wish they reproduce the vista series again though.

The Fun Loving Fatalist said...

I just bought a used Silver Sparkle Jagmaster. It was a steal at $130. This is one of those situations where I'm glad it's working on my favor, but I wonder why these guitars aren't more prized? Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Vista series jagmasters were a 24" scale..... I'm positive because I'm currently holding one....... They also also made them for 3 years. 96-98 = 3 years 96,97,98..... They were produced I. Fenders fujigen factory in Japan..... Original pickups were fender atomic humbuckers and the necks were leftover from a run of Japan made mustangs......

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