I came across this on eBay (what’s new) some time back in 2013. I am trying to remember why I became interested in acquiring a non-automobile Jag. Kurt Cobain? K-On?

This chap was selling it as a buy-it-now for GBP395, which even at that time was a pretty good (cheap) price for this Japanese model in Olympic White. I remembered driving all the way to Warwickshire to fetch it as it was for collection only. It was well worth the drive. On picking the Jaguar up, the seller gave me a Mustang bridge and said that I may wish to use it instead of the original Jaguar bridge for better stability. I had it professionally set up by Steve Robinson the following week, and requested that it was to be done with the Mustang bridge in mind. Not that I was going to set the Jaguar myself but I read that these Fender offset models can be a right faff to sort out if you don’t know what you are doing. I named her あずにゃん / Azunyan even though this said K-On! character plays a Mustang!

The seller didn’t actually provide much detail to this CiJ guitar. Her serial number begins with an S followed by 6 digits which according to Fender means that Azunyan was made between 2006 and 2008. From a historical perspective, this is what Reverb.com had to say about the CiJ Jaguar:

The very first Jaguar to be produced by Fender since the original line was discontinued in 1975 was the Made In Japan (MIJ or CIJ) ’62 reissue model. Japanese players seemed to dig the surf rock style of the Jazzmaster and Jaguar which accounts for their relative popularity in Japan compared to the States and Europe.

For a diminutive short scaled guitar, Azunyan has some weight to her and she felt pretty solidly built. And I was glad that I used the Mustang bridge – while the top E string could still jump off the saddle, that could only occur if you really strum very hard. Furthermore, the original Jaguar saddles added this annoyingly rattly quality to the sound of the strings when strummed. I don’t know, perhaps this is what a Jaguar should sound/feel like – if I wanted it to sound like a Strat I should’ve bought one, should I? As for the pickups, I am uncertain of its origins although, as I understand it, a fair number of MiJ/CiJ in them days have American-made Fender pickups on them. It was interesting to see that these single coils were encased in notched covers (apparently to shield the electronics from external radio noise, as seen with the Jazzmasters in them days).

Interestingly, the Fender logo seen here is not that of a typical ’62. As you can see, it is the non-spaghetti font in black and gold outlines (the reverse is seen in the “transitional” post-spaghetti/pre-CBS logo in American made Fenders). If I remember correctly, this black font is seen in the earlier Japanese reissues. I am uncertain how long this had gone on, but if you look at the traditional MiJ series Fender makes today, the font is gold with a black outline. The neck is however correct, with it unbounded and having dot (seen up to 1964 models – the 1965 had dot inlays but a bound neck) inlays instead of blocks (seen in the 1966 model onwards).

I don’t play surf guitar music (perhaps I should learn one tune) but this (sacrilegious) demo is me doing a shoddy cover of MWAM’s Dead End in Tokyo. MWAM’s Jean-Ken Johnny is a Jaguar player although his is equipped with a Seymour Duncan humbucker at the bridge and a soapbar at the neck. Would love to lay my hands on one but they are only sold in Japan.

Body Material – Basswood
Body Finish – Gloss Polyester in Olympic White
Body Shape – Jaguar®

Neck Material – Maple
Neck Finish – Gloss Urethane
Neck Shape – “C” Shape
Scale Length – 24″ (610 mm)
Fingerboard Material – Rosewood
Fingerboard Radius – 9.5″ (241 mm)
Number of Frets – 22
Fret Size – Vintage
Nut Material -Bone
Nut Width – 1.578″ (40 mm)
Position Inlays – Pearl Dot

Bridge Pickup – Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jaguar®
Neck Pickup – Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jaguar®
Controls – Lead Circuit Controls (Slide Switch Down): Volume (Neck), Volume (Bridge), Master Tone; Rhythm Circuit Controls (Slide Switch Up): Two Thumbwheel Controls for Neck Pickup Volume and Tone
Switching – 2-On/Off Slide Switches, One for Each Pickup
Configuration – SS

Bridge – Mustang® 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Adjustable with “Floating” Tremolo Tailpiece
Hardware Finish – Nickel/Chrome
Tuning Machines – Gotoh Kluson-style Chrome Die-Cast
Pickguard – 4-Ply Tortoiseshell
Control Knobs – Black Plastic
Neck Plate – 4-Bolt