MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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Reluctantly
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MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by Reluctantly » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:51 pm

I'm extremely new to offsets and currently looking into buying my first. I've narrowed it down to the MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar or a MIJ Jaguar I found on eBay. The MIJ is more expensive at around the $1400 mark. Would you say that it's worth the price? I hear Japanese Jaguars are better in pretty much every way. I am motivated and willing to pay that much, but I would very much like some opinions before I commit.

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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by HarlowTheFish » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:23 pm

I've played a few MIJ Fenders, and they've all been really good, but I own a Vintera Mustang, and it's killer. The setup wasn't as dialed in, so especially if you don't feel like doing it yourself and don't have a shop that does good work on offsets, the MIJ might be a better pick just for peace of mind, but my Mustang is a really resonant axe and once dialed in plays as well as some stuff I had that's over twice the price.

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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by Severed Hand » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:39 pm

$1400 is sorta high for a MIJ jaguar and it’ll need about $300-$400 in parts to make it a real killer guitar. I’ve never played the Vintura series but recently played a Squier Jaguar off the wall and it destroyed the MIM stuff that was available to play. It also had a BB neck and came in turquoise blue. There’s one on Reverb right now for $500 if your curious.

I actually just bought a Fotoflame 1994 MIJ S series jaguar off Craigslist for $500 and am in the middle of having it refinished and all in all parts, refin, and paying for it to be put together it’ll probably end up being about what you would pay for that MIJ your watching on eBay.

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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by timiscott » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:24 am

I've got an MIJ Jazzmaster and a MIM Jaguar and I would say that the quality of both is about the same - very, very good indeed and vastly superior to the Squier VM Jaguar I have. Fender Japan pickups aren't the best and I'd think the ones in the Vintera are likely to be better. If I were buying today, I'd go Vintera but make sure the shop had set it up well with the kind of action you want on it.

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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by Mondaysoutar » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:30 pm

Another good option would be the 60s Lacquer Jaguar. See them on eBay for around £/$1000. I’m no expert, but if the MIJ is 1400, I’d probably try for a AV65/AO or a 60s Lacquer.

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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by tune_link » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:13 am

I have the MIM 60s Vintera Jaguar and I've had a CIJ 2002 era or so Jaguar. The MIM was superior to that CIJ in every single possible manner. The CIJ had a pickguard with screw holes in weird places where you couldn't find a decent replacement for it (unless you wanted to go full on Spitfire or something). The electronics were replaced with cloth wiring on the one I had but typically the Japanese offset wiring is garbage like a Squier. I changed the pickups out on my MIM Vintera and can confirm it does have good cloth wiring in it. The finish is a lot better on the Vintera and I don't know how much of a stickler you are about logos but I hate the MIJ/CIJ black lettering on the Japanese Jags and the Vintera has a more classic 60s era logo on the headstock. Now if you want a Rosewood fretboard the Japanese guitar is gonna have that as opposed to the Vintera's Pau Ferro which is a lighter color wood. I just looked through all the Vintera's I could until I found one that had a darker Pau Ferro board that was satisfactory to me. My CIJ Jaguar's pickups were hot garbage and I replaced them immediately. I had a Squier VM Jag that had better sounding pickups. The Vintera pickups were not for me but they aren't unusable trash like that CIJ Jag had....maybe I just got a bad one but I don't hear anyone here on OSG ever repping the pickups in Japanese offsets as a good thing.

Another thing to consider here is that I have heard that the earlier MIJ Jags were of a slightly higher quality than the later CIJ ones but even at that you're still kind of in the same ball park as the Vintera and certainly not in the realm of an American offset yet. You'd probably pay more for it and have to do more mods to get it to the same level that the Vintera is in to begin with. I'm not diametrically opposed to all the Japanese offsets by any means. I think the more recent ones from the last decade have probably gotten a lot better than they were at other points in the lineage of those guitars. I also have a 1997 CIJ Jazzmaster that was my first offset and I absolutely love it but it's also had a lot of work done to it.

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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by Zeus » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:48 pm

Just pointing out that any post-2018 (or so) MIJ Jaguar/JM will have the correct pickguard placement, and also (I believe) regular full-sized pots.

The pickups may still need to be updated, according to taste.

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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by Ceylon » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:50 pm

Especially with the early MIJ/CIJ-stuff (1984-1994 or thereabouts) the build quality in itself is outstanding and the necks are terrific, but the pickups are less than spectacular, the electronics are cheap-ish, the shielding is not great and lots of people think the vibratos are stiff and rough to work with. I got mine working very well after lots of setup, so it can be done, but be aware that most people on here are of the opinion that they ought to be thrown out.

So I love my 1994 CIJ, but I've replaced the lead circuit pots and wiring, the pickups and the bridge, so factor that in when you buy one. You can upgrade them to be absolutely on par with the US offerings, minus the nitro finish, but it can get costly depending on what components you want. I'd never pay 1400$ for a stock, dot-inlay one

For comparison, my Vintera 60's Jaguar was great out of the box and the only thing I've changed and indeed want to change was I put a Staytrem on it. If that comes out cheaper for you, in the end I think it's the better deal. I have zero complaints.

That being said, Fender Japan is offering a new range of offsets these days in like Sherwood Green, Lake Placid Blue, even Charcoal Frost, and I think those come with American pickups and better electronics. But they're also expensive, and you have to get them from Japan, so I think they end up being about twice the price of a Vintera, closer to US-made Fenders. Worth it? I couldn't tell you, but they look fantastic.
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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by Reluctantly » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:17 am

A huge thank you to everyone for giving me the needed insight. I just pulled the trigger on the Vintera 60s Jag along with a few minor upgrades and changes like a mustang bridge, shim, and a pearloid pickguard. Everything should be here in a few days and I'm extremely excited about this being my first offset. Thanks again, everyone. I really appreciate all the feedback.

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Re: MIM Vintera 60s Jaguar vs MIJ Jaguar

Post by timiscott » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:31 am

Sounds like a good decision. Don't assume the stock bridge is crap though. I've a few JMs and Jaguars and the only bridge I ever had to replace was the one on a Squier Jaguar. I'd expect the one on a Vintera to be almost as good as the one on my AV65, which has been fine.

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