The Squier Jagmaster is one of those electric guitars that will make you proud to own a Squier. Often companies like Squier, a sister company to Fender, get a bad rap for their entry-level guitars, but the Jagmaster is a guitar that proves Squier produces quality that matches or exceeds other, more famous brands.
A blend of both the Fender Jazzmaster and the Fender Jaguar, the Squier Jagmaster has its own array of distinct features that I’ll dive into shortly. I’m a huge fan of the way the body of the Jagmaster gives off a modern vibe with a twist of rebellion while the electronics remain simple and easy to use.
The Jagmaster electric might stretch the budgets of some beginner guitarists, however it is an investment worth considering, especially if you want a guitar that will stand up to intense use – either on stage or in your home.
Squier Jagmaster Review
The Squier Jagmaster has seen quite a few iterations since its introduction in 1996, the most recent coming in 2005. This current design has remained quite popular with players and one of the main reasons is the quality of construction. It’s on the higher-end of the guitars Squier produces but it will last you for a lifetime.
Design and Feel
To start, the Squier Jagmaster is manufactured using Alder wood for the body and Maple wood for the neck. Both of these woods are common for electric guitars under $500 and have a reputation for producing excellent sound.
The Jagmaster comes with two “Duncan Designed” humbucking pickups installed. What I love about these pickups is that unlike some other guitars by Squier where it is often recommended that you replace the electronics, these pickups on the Jagmaster sound great plugged in and won’t need modifying. The pickups are controlled by a master volume, a tone knob and a 3-way switch. All of which are quite durable (something I can’t say for many entry-level electric guitars).
One feature that many guitarist specifically look for with the Jagmaster is the tremelo bar. While not something I use often, it’s a feature that when used properly can add a lot to your repertoire (for more on the tremolo, see 10 Moves to Boost Your Lead Guitar Skills).
My only complaint with this guitar is that this tremelo seems to have an adverse affect on the ability for the guitar to stay tuned. I did a bit of research and found from other players that changing the gauge of the string would help, and it did. So it’s worth noting that if you buy new, you’ll probably want to change your string gauge to be a bit heavier.
The neckof the Jagmaster feels smooth in the hands. Squier claims that it is a “C-shape” neck. Although I noticed – and it has been mentioned by others – that the neck often feels more like a V-shape. Which I personally prefer.
Plugged into my amp, the Squier Jagmaster’s two humbucking pickups produce loud, crisp tones that sound amazing for a guitar at this price point! The “muddy” sound I am accustomed to with most entry-level guitars wasn’t there.
One of the biggest complaints about the Fender Jaguar, a guitar on which the Jagmaster is partially based, was the complexity of switches and knobs. I loved how Squier simplified all of this into one switch and three knobs on the Jagmaster, a configuration that would be familiar to most any guitarist today (you’ll find this configuration on the Squier Stratocaster and many others).
Suffice to say, if you’re looking for a guitar that you hope to play on stage at some point in the future, the Squier Jagmaster will certainly shine. Not only does it look great, it will produce excellent sound to match.
Final Thoughts on the Jagmaster
Look around at different review sites or talk to others who own Jagmasters. You’ll realize quite quickly that this guitar is loved by its owners. It’s just a well-made guitar, plain and simple. It sounds better than you expect and has a unique look. Some may consider the $300 price tag a bit of a stretch for their budget. But in the end it’s a bargain for the guitar you’ll get.
While the Jagmaster manufacturers once sold a “Silver Sparkle” color, they don’t any longer. Now you have the option of either a Sunburst or a Black version of the Squier Jagmaster. Both look great, it’s just a matter of preference.
If the Jagmaster is exactly what you’re looking for, check out one of these alternatives: