1995 Fender Jaguar Bass Guitar

Serial # S059072

This Fender Jaguar Bass is an electric bass guitar manufactured in Japan by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. It features a unique combination of the styling and electronics of a standard Fender Jazz Bass and the Fender Jaguar electric guitar. The Jaguar-shaped alder body contains two active/passive Jazz Bass pickups controlled via a variety of switching and tone options. In addition to large rotary master volume and tone knobs in the typical Jazz Bass position, the Jaguar Bass has an active/passive switch located in the upper bout and two adjacent roller knobs which control bass and treble cut when the bass is in active mode. In the lower bout are three additional switches: an on/off switch for each of the pickups and a switch for choosing between series and parallel wiring of the pickups. The thin, C-shape one-piece maple neck has a rosewood fingerboard and aged pearloid block inlays. The bass also has a standard chrome jazz bass 4-saddle bridge and vintage-style chrome tuners.

The Jaguar Bass debuted in the U.S. at the January 2006 NAMM show. It had an original list price of $999.99 US though it was typically offered for retail sale at just under $1000 US. The Jaguar bass was made available only in Hot Rod Red (with matching headstock) and Black (without matching headstock) in the United States.

(black with white Pickguard)
Fender Jaguar Electric Bass Guitar Features:

Body style based on the Fender Jaguar guitar

Alder body

Maple neck

Rosewood fretboard

Aged pearloid block fretboard inlays

Switchable active/passive electronics

Series/parallel switching

J Bass-style single-coil pickups

Vintage-style bridge

Chrome hardware

This bass is chock full of modern features. Based on one of Fender's most popular guitar designs, the Jaguar bass guitar features swtichable active/passive circuitry as well as series/parallel switching for the ultimate in tonal versatility.

Value: approx. $950

"Zero" the dog
is from the Disney
Movie "Nightmare Before Christmas"
(decal can be removed)

This bass is cosmetically based on Fender’s surf-tastic Jaguar, which debuted in ’62 as Fender’s top-of-the-line guitar. The Jaguar Bass, which has a few differences (such as a non-vibrato bridge and unbound fingerboard with block inlays), also has an unusual and versatile electronics system that gives it its own identity.

What’s with the field of switches and knobs? At its heart, the Jaguar’s electronics are similar to a Jazz Bass’s, but with a lovably quirky—or head-scratchingly complex—layout. Here’s how it works: Each pickup has an on/off switch mounted on the pickguard. The third switch selects between series and parallel wiring. The two large rotary knobs control volume and passive treble rolloff. The switch on the upper bass bout’s chrome plate selects active or passive electronics. The two adjacent roller knobs, which control bass cut and treble cut, function only when the switch is in the up, or active, position. All of these controls offer a bucket-full of onboard tone shaping.

The Jaguar has options not available on any other Fender, which results in the bass having its own sound. In passive parallel mode with the tone control wide open, the Jaguar sounds a bit like a Jazz Bass, but with slightly hollow mids and a brighter high-end bite. The series circuit works only when the bridge pickup is engaged, either solo or with both pickups on. The series sound is fatter and louder, with more pronounced mids. Soloing the bridge pickup with the pickups in series also silences the single-coil’s hum, allowing for a quieter bridge J-pickup sound than is in a passive bass. Playing both pickups in series delivers the biggest sound: It’s corpulent, articulate, and great for pickstyle rock lines. Rolling back the tone knob delivers a convincing P-Bass sound ripe for Motown fingerstyle.

The active circuit’s output is well matched to the passive output and sounds nearly the same, with the exception of a pinch more booty and high end when popped. Fender says the active tone controls are cut-only, but having both full up produces loads of treble and bass, while rolling them off is very similar to the passive sound. In other words, they sound like they’re boost-only. With the switching system, you can set the bass to offer both active and passive sounds; for example, you could keep your passive tone for the main groove and switch to the active circuit, with a preset bass and treble boost, for a slap passage. Sweet.

The unusual electronics also allow for some uncommon possibilities. You can completely mute the instrument without moving your volume knob by simply switching off both pickups. (Of course, that means you could accidentally turn off your sound if your picking action gets a little wild.) The Jaguar’s passive tone control continues to function in active mode, further adding to the instrument’s already extensive tone-shaping options.

The Jaguar’s C-shaped neck, which is like a thin Jazz Bass neck, was comfortable to play and free of obvious dead spots. The body’s finish was extremely rich and intense.

back to Jim's basses