Fender Jag-Stang

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Teh Kurdtz

Kurt Cobain's first drawing/idea for the Jag-stang
Kurt Cobain's first drawing/idea for the Jag-stang
Sometime in late 1993, Kurt Cobain started thinking about creating a Fender guitar that would better suit his playing style and sound. Combining the Fender Mustang and the Fender Jaguar, as seen in the photo to the left, resulted in what is now called the Jag-Stang. Actually, there were quite a few other drawings that Kurt had done in trying to achieve his ultimate guitar. The Fender Custom shop caught wind of Cobain's idea and Larry Brooks and Mark Wittenberg contacted the artist. Cobain was quite fond of his 60's Fender Mustang's neck, and sent it to the Custom Shop to be copied. According to Larry Brooks, Kurt was quite easy to work with. Once the first prototype was completed, Fender sent to guitar to Cobain, who played with it, made some notes for changes and sent it back. The changes were made, and the guitar was sent back to Cobain. He eventually took the Sonic Blue guitar with him on the In Utero tour.

The Prototype

The prototype guitar, dubbed the "Jag-Stang," had a Fender Texas Special single coil in the neck position and a DiMarzio H-3 humbucker in the bridge position. Both guitars sported the 60's style Mustang neck, tremolo, bridge, wiring schematic, knobs, pots, control plate and tuners. The body shape was a combination of the Mustang and the Jaguar, and pickguard was altered differently from the Mustang. Two were made, one in Sonic Blue, the other is Fiesta Red. The Fiesta Red Jag-stang was still in the Custom Shop when Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home.

Production

At the time of Cobain's death, the Custom Shop had not completed the Jag-Stang, and Fender wanted desperately to put the guitar into production, even in it's "unfinished" form. Needless to say, Fender Japan got the order soon after Cobain's death and were in full production by late summer/early fall of 1995.

Despite Cobain's wishes for the Fender Texas Special and the DiMarzio H-3 humbucker, Fender Japan installed lower output versions of these pickups, body contours were never added, and other changes were never made.

In 2001, Fender Japan stopped exporting the Jag-Stang to the outside world, but continued to produce the guitar. Finally, after two years, Fender Japan offered the Jag-Stang once again, but this time, as a Reissue. Also, the "Made In Japan" was changed to "Crafted In Japan." But, in 2005, Fender Japan once again discontinued exporting the guitar. These guitars are still being produced in Japan, and are available on a number of websites.

Specs

Body: Basswood
Neck: Maple
Machine Heads: Vintage Style
Fretboard: Rosewood (7.25") Radius/184mm)
No. of Frets: 22
Pickups: Vintage Style(Neck), Humbucker bridge
Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone
Bridge/Tremolo: Dynamic Fender Vibrato/Mustang Bridge
Pickup                
Switching: On/Off/Out of Phase
                                 
Scale Length: 24" (609.6 mm)
Neck Width: 1.5625" (39.68 mm)
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