REVIEW: Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI

I recently fulfilled a long, long-held dream of mine by finally acquiring a Bass VI – in this case, the Squier Vintage Modified version (which I bought from my friends at World of Music). Remember the instrument that Nigel Tufnel wouldn’t let Marty DeBergi even look at in This Is Spinal Tap? Bass VI. If you’ve never heard of the Bass VI, let me give you a brief run-down: it looks a bit like a Fender Jaguar but it has a 30” scale length and is tuned E-to-E like a guitar, except a full octave lower so that the lowest four strings are the same pitches as those of a regular four-string bass. The string spacing is closer than a regular bass, and I can’t think of too many basses with whammy bars, especially Jaguar-style units. So what is this? Is it a bass? Is it a guitar? The answer to both questions is ‘yes and no.’ Or more accurately, it’s simply a Bass VI. It’s lower than the lowest baritone guitars, and it goes higher than conventional four-string basses by a full two strings. Read More …

Johnny Marr Unveils New Song, Tour Dates

d424475aEarlier this year the legendary Johnny Marr released his first ever solo album, The Messenger. Marr’s new song, The It-Switch, which is streaming now at Pitchfork, is the b-side to his new single New Town Velocity, a track from the album. The single will be released exclusively in the U.K. next week as a limited edition 7″ vinyl, and an iTunes download. By the way, Marr’s signature Fender Jaguar has got to be one of the coolest guitars in the current Fender catalog – hell, it’s really the ultimate Jaguar, with everything that’s great about the Jag and none of the bad bits that kept some players away. Check it out here. Read More …

New Fender American Vintage Series guitars!

One of my favourite guitars in my personal collection is my Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster Reissue, a real workhorse of a guitar which does an incredible job of capturing the vibe of a’62 Strat. It’s a very soulful axe with plenty of personality. And as a fan of 60s Strats in general and the fatter logo in particular, I’m super-stoked that Fender has beefed up the American Vintage Series offering with a bunch of all-new models, including a ’65 Stratocaster with the very logo that sends me into conniptions. One of these in sunburst is now riding very high on my wish list.
Here’s the press release and plenty of pics.

Fender Johnny Marr Jaguar – best Jag ever

Everyone seems to be going utterly nuts for the Fender Johnny Marr Jaguar. Why? What is it about this variant on the classic Jag that’s got everyone whipped into such a frenzy? Well, why don’t you let Mr. Marr himself tell you in this excellent video?

If you didn’t have time to sit through the whole video or your’e reading this on a dodgy work computer that can’t play YouTube videos (hey, it happens), here it is in a nutshell: custom-wound Bare Knuckle Johnny Marr single-coil neck and bridge pickups; custom-shaped maple neck based on Marr’s 1965 Jaguar, four-position blade-style pickup switch mounted to the lower-horn chrome plate (bridge, bridge and neck in parallel, neck, bridge and neck in series); two upper-horn slide switches (universal bright and pickup switch position four bright); Jaguar bridge with Mustang saddles, nylon bridge post inserts for improved stability, chrome cover and vintage-style floating tremolo tailpiece. And it’s available in two colours: Olympic White, and Metallic KO. Check ’em out!

NAMM 2012: Fender Custom Shop goodies

Hands down, one of the best things about NAMM is seeing all the sweet Fender Custom Shop stuff in one room.

How about this: Jaguar with select Alder body, Oval C-shaped neck, 7.25″ fretboard radius, vintage frets, Vintage ’62 Jaguar pickups, binding and block inlays. MSRP $9,700.

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NAMM 2012: Fender 50th Anniversary Jaguar

Forgive me for talking like a teenage girl circa 2004, but, okay, here goes: “Fender Jaguars are so hot right now.” Between this and the new Johnny Marr model, it’s a bumper year for Jag buffs.

U.S.-built anniversary instrument combines old and new into “finest of all Jaguar guitars” model

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.  (Jan. 11, 2012) — Fender is proud to celebrate five colorful decades of the Jaguar guitar by introducing the 50th Anniversary Jaguar model.The instrument takes players back to 1962, when Fender introduced an unusual new guitar that paired a sleekly modified Jazzmaster® body style and elaborate control layout with a shorter scale and smaller, brighter pickups with more output. The resulting Jaguar was the fourth and last of Fender’s original lineup of standard electric guitars.

Perfectly matched to the early-’60s renaissance in design modernism (as exemplified by everything of the era from autos to aircraft to sunglasses to furniture), the Jaguar gradually acquired a fascinating pedigree quite unlike that of any other Fender guitar. A chromed-out, surf-rock staple of the 1960s, it found new life from the mid-1970s-on as a subversively offbeat alternative axe wielded by punk, post-punk, grunge and alt-indie guitar heroes and anti-heroes alike. The same guitar that originally crested waves of reverb-drenched singles by groups such as the Chantays and the Surfaris later fueled, for example, the dynamic grunge maelstrom of Nirvana, the translucent shoe-gazing dream pop of My Bloody Valentine and the literately artful alt-rock of the Pixies, the Flaming Lips and many others.

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Fender Johnny Marr signature Jaguar

Ooh! Finally! This is great news.

Highly distinctive variation on classic model honors modern-era U.K. guitar great

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.  (Jan. 3, 2012) — Fender is very proud to introduce the Johnny Marr signature Jaguar guitar, which puts the inventive ringing sounds and highly distinctive design mods of one of the U.K.’s greatest modern-era guitarists into a truly unique variation on a classic Fender guitar model.

Marr is best known, of course, as the strikingly dynamic and influential anti-hero guitarist-arranger-all-around-musical-wunderkind behind Manchester quartet the Smiths, which virtually redefined and ruled U.K. pop throughout the 1980s. A master of melody, layering and texture, Marr has always brought his own instantly identifiable ringing, jangling genius to the proceedings, as he has done in post-Smiths stints with The The, Electronic, the Pretenders and Johnny Marr and the Healers, and right up to the present with Modest Mouse, the Cribs and innumerable guest appearances.

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