More Jags for the shop

As most of you know I'm a HUGE fan of Japanese guitars and Fender Japan, in both Fujigen and Tokai versions are no exception. I've owned and sold LOTS of FJ offsets and some of them have been some of the best offsets I've played after a good set up.

This red 1999 JG66-85 arrived in "I can mod guitars .... oh, no I can't" condition and I've had it sat here until I had time to fix it up. It felt great even in the condition I got it in so I was keen to get it going.

The previous owner had chiseled out the pickup cavities with a spade bit and lot of hope and had fitted humbuckers. It was then converted back to Jaguar pickups with holes everywhere. The top and bottom rhythm and lead circuits were removed and a simple Gibson style three way toggle was fitted. The soldering and wiring was terrible and nothing worked properly. So, I put it aside and looked at it every so often ...

Since I was fixing up another 1997 JG66 for the shop I thought I'd get this one up and running as someone should be playing it.

I cleaned up the pickup "routs" (I know, you don't see them but it bugs me) and scratchplate holes and everything lined up well.

I have been going through boxes of old pickups here to rewind/restore some rare and valuable stuff and fix pickups in guitars I've had here for ages and I found a set of old Burnt VH-1 humbuckers. These are very highly regarded and with good reason. I figured this was the right guitar for them.

I re-did the electronics and fitted an original three switch plate on the bottom bout for the pickups. New wiring and Alpha pots and Orange drop cap and resoldered everything. I left the top plate without the rhythm circuit as I figured it's a "hot rod" anyway and I don't mind the striped back version.

 

It already had a Tune-O-Matic bridge fitted so I shimmed the neck and put it all back together. 

The body is a great piece of alder and the neck is the medium thickness version with a very nice piece of rosewood for the fretboard. The matching headstock always sets these off well and I'm a fan of the red with red tort look on offsets.

After set up it was obvious this is a great Jag. I'm not a huge fan of most humbuckers (except minis) but I do like them in Jaguars. The combination of short scale, body mass and harmonics behind the bridge seems to work REALLY well with humbuckers (and P-90's) and once you've radiused that T-O-M bridge right they play well. 

This has some scars and knocks but is solid as a rock and looks awesome. Those VH-1s are great and have great harmonics and take gain really well. Anyway, this is heading over to the shop to join all the other Jags. The old me would have kept this one .....

Aug 29 2018 Written By: Tim Brennan