A Great Blast From The Past!
Back in early 1965 I had bought a new sunburst Fender Jazzmaster to match my band mate's sunburst Jaguar. Played it in various bands through college and beyond. Years later it was gone (always had been a big regret). Once Squire released the VM Jazzmaster it was finally justifiable price-wise to purchase just to play at home and I bought the sunbusrt version to match the one I had owned years before.
I was so impressed at the quality and sound and how true it was to the original that I just had to add the VM Jaguar. Chose the surf green just because it looks so great and so retro. Really looks like the late 50's, early 60's.Really the only changes from the early 60's Jags is that the fretboard radius is 9 1/2 compared to the original's 7 1/2 and that it has med jumbo frets compared to the original's small vintage frets. One other change is the lack of a string mute and locking trem (both things very rarely, if ever used on the originals).
One other change is that the bridge pickups on both the Jag and Jazzmaster are wound slightly hotter than the originals (easily taken care of with pickup height adjustment).
There are many stories out there about the bridges and trems on both these offsets. I can say that they work great stock with the correct adjustments. There is lot of info on the web for this. Heavier strings (I use 11's on the Jazzmaster and 11's or 12's on the Jag) are a big help. These guitars were designed for the heavier strings that were used back then (there were no light gauge options at the time).
The Jaguar arrived in great shape and setup well by Sweetwater. Fit and finish were great. Installed a set of 11 pure nickel strings and was ready to roll. These sound and play like the originals. The shorter 24" scale on the Jag makes it a fun guitar to play and makes the heavier strings seem lighter.
I do read a lot of comments about these having very little sustain and that is true. These were designed primarily for a very specific type of music, that being surf. The strong attack (percussive) and fast release were by design. These are not for someone looking for lots of sustain, like an LP, etc. These are bright sounding, very percussive guitars. They have a great sound all their own.
The amazing part to me is that the price of either the Jaguar or the Jazzmaster is less than I paid for the new Jazzmaster I had bought back in 1965 and my buddy's 1964 Jaguar, and every bit as good as those (and remember I had owned and played both 50+ years ago). I jam with some old buddies that I have know and played music with for over 50 years (most play high end guitars) and even they were impressed with this guitar.
As usual Sweetwater's customer service was as good as it gets. The kind of customer service that was common when I was young (many, many, years ago) but seems to have become very rare in more recent times. Thanks to my Sales Engineer Nate Edwards, as usual very helpful.