1963 Fender Jaguar Sunburst
1963 Fender Jaguar Sunburst
I asked Steve what drew him to the Jaguar in 1964 when he went to the guitar shop to upgrade from his Gibson Les Paul Junior. He said he originally wanted a Fender Stratocaster, but when he walked in and saw the new top of the line Fender Jaguar model, he picked the Jaguar instead and even paid about $75 or so more to get it. He remembers it being the perfect guitar for the popular surf music of the day; and since he lived in South Florida and loved to surf, he turned up the reverb on his Ampeg Superbreverb and played through The Ventures and Dick Dale songbooks. He played less and less throughout the late 1960s and by the early 1970s and the Jaguar went back in its case and only came out sparingly. He bought a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 in the mid 1990s with humbuckers since he wasn't interested in playing the surf music of his youth anymore. He's retiring and downsizing now so he decided it was time to let go of his prized '63 Fender Jaguar.
Make and Model: Fender Jaguar Sunburst
Year: 1963. Serial L0xxxx, neck stamp "1SEP63B" (1 = Jaguar model, SEP = Septempber, 63 = 1963, B = standard nut width 1 5/8"), body cavity pencil date 10/63 (October of 1963).
Specifications: 24" scale length neck, nut width = 1 5/8", neck depth at the first fret = .86", neck depth at the 12th fret = .99", 8lb 2oz (pretty light for a Jaguar!). Both pickups are the original '62 style black bobbin with flat pole Jaguar pickups.
Originality: All parts original except the strings, pickup height foam, and bridge mute foam. All finish and solder original. Oddly enough, the B string tuning machine has a post originally intended for use on a Fender VI. I believe it to be a mistake made at the factory and Steve confirms that he remembers it looking different than the others but never understood why.
Condition: Very good. Steve explained that he got this Jaguar (his third electric guitar after a Silvertone and a Gibson Les Paul Junior) brand new in high school and played in bands for a few years. He played it hard! But then put it away in its case and hasn't played it much since then. The finish shows plenty of scratches and dings. There's a significant area of finish flaking on the bass side bottom edge of the body between the tailpiece and control plate.
Playability: Excellent! The neck is straight with a nicely working truss rod. The factory frets don't show much wear and are still near full height. I set it up with a 1 degree Stew Mac shim for good neck to body contact (original shims in the case) and bridge height for proper break angle (downward tension on the bridge). The bridge mute with replaced foam is dialed in and working as intended. All electronics have been cleaned and operate like new. It plays like a dream with .011 strings.
Notes: Just in from the original owner! This killer pre-CBS Jaguar was played and enjoyed for its first 5 or so years then stashed away and forgotten until now. It's a very cool example with light weight, flat pole pickups, killer '63 style sunburst, and cream Tolex case. The Rosewood fretboard has that distinctive dark and chocolate color that is unmistakably pre-CBS Fender :). I'm glad Steve was careful to keep the original leather strap and bridge cover with it. I'm confident you'll love this killer pre-CBS Fender Jaguar!