Fender’s American Standard Jaguar Bass is a full-on hybrid, combining some of Fender’s best bass guitar attributes in one instrument. Fender made the earliest mark in bass guitar history, that still endures today, with the original Precision Bass, which was first available commercially in 1951. Since then, Fender’s bass guitar line has expanded considerably to include other now-iconic models and the American Standard Jaguar Bass brings that rich history to a super-versatile, 4-string instrument.
The Jaguar guitar that this bass was modeled after, is known for having a lot of switches and knobs that offer many tonal variations. In using the familiar Jaguar body and control layout, Fender was able to capitalize on that knowledge. The combination of an American Vintage ’63 Precision Bass pickup with Alnico 5 magnets, a single-coil Jazz Bass pickup with ceramic magnets, 9-volt active electronics, and switching options for all of these creates a wide array of useable tonal options. The guitar’s lower switch plate has three slider switches: an on/off switch for the P-Bass pickup, an on/off for the J-Bass pickup, and a series/parallel switch for when both pickups are on. The lower control plate is where the master volume and tone controls are; they operate in passive mode only. These controls alone give you a huge variety of sounds from P-Bass thunk to J-Bass snap; a blend of both; or the funky, hollow, out-of-phase sound of the parallel pickup mode. Utilizing the upper control plate puts the Jaguar bass in active mode with an active/passive slider switch, a treble boost/cut thumbwheel, and a bass boost/cut thumbwheel. This takes all of the passive sounds and puts an entirely new sonic spin on them; it’s like having two basses in one!
Another option that the Jaguar Bass offers is on the solid, High Mass Vintage Bridge. The strings can be top-loaded or loaded through the rear of the body, creating more string tension and downward pressure, which alters the sound and feel of the instrument. Posiflex Graphite neck support rods are inserted in the neck to keep it stable and Fender’s lightweight, “F” Vintage Paddle Key tuners keep the tuning accurate without making the bass head-heavy.
The first Jaguar basses were Japanese-made and only available in Japan. The American Standard Jaguar Bass is made in Fender’s Corona, California factory and has the full, American-Standard treatment including an alder body, maple neck in a modern “C” shape, a bone nut, a 9.5″-radius rosewood fretboard with medium jumbo frets, aged white pearloid block inlay, and “spaghetti” Fender logo. Shown here in Mystic Red, the American Standard Jaguar Bass is also available in 3-Color Sunburst, Black, and Olympic White.