Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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blackbox
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Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by blackbox » Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:07 pm

I've owned 3 of these over the years, and played several others. In my experience, they're always amazing. Having owned countless Jags at this point, vintage and modern, I think this model really stands out as being a consistent high performer for authentic Jaguar tone. It's a Jaguar lover's Jaguar.

I always keep my stash of Staytrems handy, as they really take this guitar to the next level of functionality. I'm not super crazy about the tort, but that's something Fender hasn't gotten right in decades, not just on this model. Ok, this is turning less into a "paean" and more of a "critical review." Getting back on track, these are some of my favorite Jaguar pickups ever. I like them more than considerably more costly boutique options. They sparkle, jangle, and surf with the best of them. Even some supposedly "authentic" boutique winders make Jag pickups that just sound like Strats. It's like they can't resist "fixing" them. I think that's also true of way too many modern Fender Jaguar pickups, including, to my ear, the Marrguar. These AV65 pickups just feel and react like true vintage Jag pickups. And that's for better or for worse...like I said, this is a Jaguar lover's Jaguar.

They're also still a pretty great buy.

I still haven't owned an American Original. Anyone out there with extensive experience on both models to give me a quick rundown on how they compare? Basically the same?

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sunburster
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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by sunburster » Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:49 pm

Yep, I've had mine for 5 years and it's the last guitar I would ever sell. I have the IBM with matching headstock (pic on the right). I went through several Jags before this one, but it is just on a different level.

Neck never needs adjustment and the stock bridge (my fave of all the Jag/JM bridge options) still works perfectly. Love the sound of the pickups. The pure nitro finish has an amazing silky feel to it that's unlike any other guitar I have.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by blackbox » Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:31 pm

That ibm model is sick. Regret not getting one earlier

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mbene085
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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by mbene085 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:00 pm

sunburster wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:49 pm
Neck never needs adjustment and the stock bridge (my fave of all the Jag/JM bridge options) still works perfectly.
My AV65 (JM) also worked perfectly with the stock bridge. I actually bought it second hand with a Staytrem, but put the original bridge back on. Those AV65 bridges are just perfect as they are.

The whole AV65 line was spectacular, it's a real shame they discontinued it. It's the closest they've ever made to what an off-the-rack 60's guitar would have been like.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by blackbox » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:51 am

My issue with the bridge is still that it's somewhat less plug and play (requires a bit more setup time and skill than with the staytrem), and I still get string slippage at times. I definitely recognize that this probably has more to do with my lack of setup knowledge than with the bridge itself.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by sunburster » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:00 am

The AV65 bridges are unique in that Fender put some loctite-type substance in the height adjustment screws so the bridge won't move down over time. I only adjusted my bridge once, when I first got it (minimal adjustments were needed), and it's the only Jag I've had with perfect intonation.

I prefer the sound of it over other bridges (I've tried them all), and the ability to move the strings horizontally over the saddle grooves to get the exact string spacing I want is indispensable IMO.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by blackbox » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:41 am

sunburster wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:00 am
The AV65 bridges are unique in that Fender put some loctite-type substance in the height adjustment screws so the bridge won't move down over time. I only adjusted my bridge once, when I first got it (minimal adjustments were needed), and it's the only Jag I've had with perfect intonation.

I prefer the sound of it over other bridges (I've tried them all), and the ability to move the strings horizontally over the saddle grooves to get the exact string spacing I want is indispensable IMO.
Yeah, that makes sense.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by koiom » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:40 pm

I recently scored an IBM AV65 on eBay from a guy in the UK
Had to pay overs in shipping costs, but I knew I'd kick myself later if I didn't pull the trigger.
It came with a Staytrem arm, 11's with a wound G and 250K pots, the rest is stock
Plays like a champ and looks incredible.
No buzzes, no rattles, just goodness.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by Ice Tre » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:34 pm

Pardon my ignorance. What is an "IBM" Jaguar?

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by HarlowTheFish » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:59 pm

Ice Tre wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:34 pm
Pardon my ignorance. What is an "IBM" Jaguar?
Ice Blue Metallic, one of the old custom-color finishes that offset folks seem to really love.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by BoringPostcards » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:24 am

sunburster wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:00 am
The AV65 bridges are unique in that Fender put some loctite-type substance in the height adjustment screws so the bridge won't move down over time. I only adjusted my bridge once, when I first got it (minimal adjustments were needed), and it's the only Jag I've had with perfect intonation.

I prefer the sound of it over other bridges (I've tried them all), and the ability to move the strings horizontally over the saddle grooves to get the exact string spacing I want is indispensable IMO.
I used to dislike the classic saddles too, until I got a nice sturdy unit on a JM, and have since started to prefer it for the same reasons.
A bit of loctite or rust in the grub screws and you're good to go.
"Can you please pass me a jug of winter light?" - Lee Ranaldo 2000
Det er mig der holder træerne sammen.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by sunburster » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:31 am

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:59 pm
Ice Tre wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:34 pm
Pardon my ignorance. What is an "IBM" Jaguar?
Ice Blue Metallic, one of the old custom-color finishes that offset folks seem to really love.
In the old Fender Catalogs from the 60s it was "BIM" - Blue Ice Metallic (see here, for example). But nowadays Fender calls it IBM - Ice Blue Metallic. Weird!

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by tune_link » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:09 am

blackbox wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:07 pm
I've owned 3 of these over the years, and played several others. In my experience, they're always amazing. Having owned countless Jags at this point, vintage and modern, I think this model really stands out as being a consistent high performer for authentic Jaguar tone. It's a Jaguar lover's Jaguar.

I always keep my stash of Staytrems handy, as they really take this guitar to the next level of functionality. I'm not super crazy about the tort, but that's something Fender hasn't gotten right in decades, not just on this model. Ok, this is turning less into a "paean" and more of a "critical review." Getting back on track, these are some of my favorite Jaguar pickups ever. I like them more than considerably more costly boutique options. They sparkle, jangle, and surf with the best of them. Even some supposedly "authentic" boutique winders make Jag pickups that just sound like Strats. It's like they can't resist "fixing" them. I think that's also true of way too many modern Fender Jaguar pickups, including, to my ear, the Marrguar. These AV65 pickups just feel and react like true vintage Jag pickups. And that's for better or for worse...like I said, this is a Jaguar lover's Jaguar.

They're also still a pretty great buy.

I still haven't owned an American Original. Anyone out there with extensive experience on both models to give me a quick rundown on how they compare? Basically the same?
I'm not 100 percent certain on this as it was something I was researching myself earlier this year but...I think the American Original Jaguar is based on a '62 model. As someone who had one a Jag with AV65 PUPs in it that I loved, the 65' ones sound more like what I consider to be the ideal Jaguar tone. I suppose your opinion may vary but it's similar in nature to how different the pickups sound on a '58 Jazzmaster to a '65 one. The '62 style PUPS in the AO Jag sound good but they don't sound like what I want out of a Jag pickup, that and the limited candy apple/sunburst/surf green color options made me pass that model over and buy a Vintera 60s Jag instead. Having never owned the AV65 reissue guitars I can't comment on the whole beast but those pickups are magic.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by sunburster » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:14 pm

tune_link wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:09 am


I'm not 100 percent certain on this as it was something I was researching myself earlier this year but...I think the American Original Jaguar is based on a '62 model.
The AO is a mish-mash of 60s features: AVRI 62 pickups, 65 dots-and-binding neck, no matching headstock on custom colors (like on 60-61 Jazzmasters and 70s Jaguars). Plus a more modern 9.5" fingerboard radius.

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Re: Paean to the AV65 Jaguar

Post by blackbox » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:46 pm

Thanks for the replies on the AO line. Very unfortunate that they moved away from those AV65 Jag pickups which, I agree, are fantastic (imo, the best modern Jaguar pickup)

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