Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 143
Price: $1,749.99 (list)
ostalgia can be a confounding thing.
When most fans think of Johnny
Marr, they remember him flailing on an
array of Ricks, Gibson semi-hollows, and
Strats during his days with the Smiths. But
this Fender signature model isn't about the
Smiths - it's about Marr's 2006-'09 stint
with Modest Mouse and the Cribs, when
he made a Jaguar wail.
With the Smiths, Marr was a master of the
hook - he rarely played a solo in the Claptonian sense. And once he latched onto the
Jaguar, it was a match made in guitar heaven.
Presented with the opportunity to head
to the drawing board and design a signature
Jag, Marr hot-rodded certain elements, finetuned others. The result is a super Jaguar
that transforms this classic model in much
the same way that The Edge refined his
signature guitar into a near-perfect Strat.
Fender's Johnny Marr Jaguar
Signature Limited Edition
Marr based his ideas on his beloved '65
Jag. For the signature model, he had Fender
deepen the alder body's back belly scoop and
add more chamfer to the front - features
copied from a fave '50s Strat. The result is a
more comfortable Jag that retains the beautiful balance for which the model is known.
The Marr signature has the Jag's usual
short-scale neck, but Marr asked to duplicate
the thicker, more-substantial profile of his
'65. The result is a solid, powerful neck with
a rosewood fretboard.
One major change Marr dictated was
replacing the classic Jag/Jazzmaster "synchronized floating tremolo" bridge/vibrato
with a Mustang bridge - a common mod
among serious players - and a taller arm
with a new nylon sleeve to prevent it from
swinging away at inopportune moments.
The other key refinements lie in the
pickups and electronics. Marr asked Fender
to model the set on a '62 Jag in his collection, resulting in the custom-wound Bare
The control switches are also modified.
A four-position blade switch on the lower
horn replaces the good old sliders, saving
on the usual duct-tape mod employed to
avoid accidental pickup changes. The first
three positions are as usual on a Jag, but
the fourth runs the two pickups together in
series, resulting in a humbucker-like sound
that cranks output dramatically. A treble
boost on the upper horn works in concert
with that "humbucker" setting.
The Jag is finished in a classic nitrocellulose lacquer - choose from Olympic White
or Metallic K.O., both with three-ply white
pickguards, or go all out for the new limitededition black-on-black. - Michael Dregni
The Supro Tremolo has an analog circuit
that emulates a Class-A tube circuit using
switchable Amplitude or Harmonic modes
and controls for Gain, Speed, and Depth. It
has an LED status indicator, rear-mounted
jacks, side-mounted battery drawer,
and noiseless true-bypass switching.
MOJOTONE QUIET COILS
Mojotone's '52 Tele Quiet Coil is
designed to offer classic tones, while
the Broadcaster Quiet Coil has a higheroutput/lap-steel tone in the bridge
position. Both are hand-made in the U.S.
WAMPLER MINI EGO
Wampler's Mini Ego Compressor has
controls for output Level and Sustain, a
Blend knob, Tone toggle, and an Attack
toggle that can be used in two modes.