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My Review: Fender Pawnshop Reverse Jaguar Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bass_lord_mutha, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. bass_lord_mutha

    bass_lord_mutha Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Odessa, TX

    Youtube demo of Reverse Jaguar (not my demo)

    So we just got a shipment from Fender the other day at the music store I work at and in the shipment was a new Pawnshop Reverse Jaguar bass which I'd been curious to try out. Well I have, and here's my thoughts on the bass:

    First thing out of the box it comes with a Fender gig bag. Took it out of the gig bag and it has a nice look to it. I didn't weight it but it felt good and stout, I'd guess around 9 lbs. The bridge on it is a different bridge than what they normally use, sort of like Fender's take on a Leo Quan Badass II bridge. Definitley beefier that the typical stamped bridge the MIM basses come with. It had a nice straight maple/maple neck with reverse headstock and Fender stamped tuners that were more like vintage-style tuners (also an upgrade from their typical hardware used on MIM basses). The neck has a nice feel to it and is super-easy to play. The body has a reversed Jaguar shape finished in Candy Apple Red with a W/B/W pickguard, Volume and Tone controls, dual MM style pickups and Gibson-style 3-way pickup selector switch located on the lower horn.

    The first thing I noticed that I wasn't too keen on is the strap button location, which is on the top of the neck pocket literally less than 1/2 inch from the neck, which made it difficult to apply my strap to. I feel like having the strap button located on the neck plate mounted with the neck screw would've even been a better choice here. As a result of this it positioned the bass more to the center of the body and made it very neck-heavy with a good amount of neck dive. Another negative mark due to the reverse body is the limited access to the upper register. I could only play up to the 15th fret without feeling crowded by the lower horn. Obviously this would only be a problem with players that like to play in that register and not with those players that like to stay in the first few positions down the neck.

    Tonewise it performed great. The balance between the pickups was just right with neither pickup overpowering the other as I switched between them. The neck pickup had a nice deep fatness to it, somewhat like a Gibson EB-0 bass but a bit more defined. The bridge pickup was nice and bright without sacrificing alot of low-end heft and harmonics spoke very easily and clearly. And the sustain of the bass was excellent. I compared it in volume and tone to a Fender American Special Jazz bass (which the Jazz had less volume and more of a vintage tone, who'da thunk!) and an Ibanez GSR100EXM (which the Ibby had TWICE the volume and was voiced much deeper, which suprised me!).

    Overall it is a well built bass that looks badass, has a great tone and plays well, though is limited in overall playability and comfort. A punk rocker or classic rock player I think would feel right at home on this bass, but a funk/fusion or prog. rock player might feel limited.

    Looks: 10/10
    Construction: 9/10
    Tone: 9/10
    Playability: 7/10
  2. Solid review!
  3. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Is the body contoured or a slab?
  4. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    when i first saw this bass, that is basically exactly what I assumed would be most people's opinions! Looks great, and I assumed it would have a decent sound, but I couldn't use a bass that had such restricted access to the upper fretboard region. I don't spend a TON of time up there, but it does happen now and again...

    Thanks for the review!
  5. ubermiguel


    Mar 18, 2012
    Edmonton, AB
    Thanks for the review.
  6. swlees


    Feb 20, 2011
    New Park, PA
    Curious - is the truss rod access at the nut or at the base of the neck?
  7. Scale length?
  8. bass_lord_mutha

    bass_lord_mutha Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Odessa, TX
    The body is mostly a slab but does have a forearm contour.
  9. bass_lord_mutha

    bass_lord_mutha Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Odessa, TX
    Trussrod access is at the nut.
  10. bass_lord_mutha

    bass_lord_mutha Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Odessa, TX
    Scale length is 34".
  11. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    You sure? Fender says 32.
  12. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
  13. swlees


    Feb 20, 2011
    New Park, PA
    Thanks. I may have to try one out.
  14. bass_lord_mutha

    bass_lord_mutha Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Odessa, TX
    Sorry, it is 32". My iPod autocorrected it. It probably wishes it were 34" hehe.
  15. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    Great review... thanks. It sounds like a niche bass, but a nice one. Might be a funky backup bass or to pull out for a few specific tunes.
  16. bassvi


    Jul 12, 2005
    I have one, and agree with all in your review but the balance issue. I know what you mean about applying the strap to that front button, but mine balances really well. Neck dive is nothing compared to a Gibson T-Bird. I like the tone of mine alot, but it's not as vesatile as a J bass IMo. I love the look and the feel of that 32 maple neck, but like you said it's definitely a rocker's bass. And it does rock!!
  17. bass_lord_mutha

    bass_lord_mutha Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Odessa, TX
    I'm sure the neck dive issue varies from person to person depending on type of strap and length used, but you're right, it's not as bad as on a T-Bird. And it definitely does rock! I thought the stock electronics on it were better than I'd anticipated.
  18. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Had no idea it was medium scale. Too bad Fender doesn't offer more 'mainstream' 32" basses (I know they offer them in Japan for the non-export market). Maybe this will open some doors.
  19. ebonalley


    May 17, 2010
  20. mooreon131


    Mar 16, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    I love the sound of this bass, like the love child of a stingray, and a TBird, and it's got wicked cool looks, but not for 800 bucks. Maybe I'll look for one of the used market in a few years.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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