Best Fender Jaguar?

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In this post, you can find additional info on my ‘Best Fender Jaguar? American Vintage 65 vs Crafted in Japan vs Johnny Marr Comparison’ video.

In the video, I am comparing Fender’s American Vintage 65 (2016) with a JG-66 Crafted in Japan (1997) and a Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar (2018). I am playing the Tube Screamer of my Ibanez UE 300 Multi-Effects and a Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion trough a VHT Special 6 Combo. A tad of reverb is added by a Roland SRE-555.

The Guitars: Marr vs CIJ

  • Fender American Vintage 65 Jaguar (2016)
    Modified with a Fender Mustang bridge
  • Fender JG-66 Jaguar Crafted in Japan (CIJ) (1997)
    Modified with a T Matic Bridge
  • Fender Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar (2018)

The Pedals: UE 300 and DS-2

The Amp: VHT Special 6

The Mic(s) and Mic Pre(s)

The Jaguar Video Mixdown

I use Logic Pro X for almost all my production work and occasionally Ableton Live when it comes to putting together something for a live show. The main task here was to denoise the cam mics for the narrative, which I did with iZotope RX. The iPhone audio track was actually quite ok, but the A6000 definitely needed some fixing. If you’re interested in which is which: The Intro and Outro sequences were done with the Sony, while all of the performance was done with the iPhone X. Other plugins used on the voice track were the Fabfilter Q2 and Q3 and iZotope Nectar 2 for dynamics.

On the guitars, it was pretty clear from the beginning that I didn’t want to do too much processing. After all, this is a shootout. However, even though we had some issues getting everything synced up, we made sure to properly replace the cam audio during guitar performance with the SM7b/ U87 tracks. Because the VHT amp does not have a spring reverb, we printed that from my Roland SRE Chorus Echo during the performances, sending the SM7B signal through the unit. All Fender Jaguar tracks were summed together in mono, with the U87 rather low in the mix and the SRE signal added to taste. On the guitar bus, there is a UAD Neve 1073 plugin, where I pushed the line amp by 5 dB to add saturation. This is pretty standard stuff for guitars and is a pretty common way how we hear guitar sounds today. Apart from that, I didn’t do anything to the guitars.

One issue that needed to be addressed is how to handle the different output levels of the Jaguars. The AV 65 is clearly the „loudest“, while the CIJ has the lowest output. I am not a fan of using something like a booster to get everything on par. I think the output level and how the guitar pushes into an amp or a pedal is an important part of the sound. However, what I did do during the mixdown was to raise the level of the CIJ and Marr audio clips by 0,6 dB to make sure the AV 65 did not stand out by simply winning the loudness wars. 

On the stereo bus, I had the Fabfilter Pro L2, which I left pretty much on the default settings with the style set to „transparent“. The L2 was pushed by 8 dB. This was the point where the audio peaks started tickling the limiter.

The Cameras

In the case of the Fender Jaguar Shootout we used the cam-mics for my narrative. We had the U87 set up, but decided to go with the cam-mics during editing. This was when we realized it would be way too complicated to get everything synced up properly. After all, this is our first video and we are still learning as we go along, so please excuse the sound quality of the moderation. It’s high up on our priority list for improvement in future videos!

By Paul Reno

Hi there, I'm Paul (@paulrenogram), and I am a music producer / sound designer and live in Munich.

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