Stratocaster Vs Jaguar: Which Fender is Right For You?

While the Stratocaster has been a favorite to many guitarists longer than the Jaguar, they are both popular today and are used by many famous players. But how different are they, and which one should a player choose based on their music style and look?

The Fender Stratocaster has a bright, thin sound that is perfect for blues, country, and rock. The Jaguar, on the other hand, has a darker tone which has found its place in rock, jazz, and grunge music. The Jaguar has a shorter scale length than the Stratocaster and is slightly heavier.

In this article, we will walk you through all the important information about these two guitars so that you can make an informed decision between the Stratocaster vs Jaguar.

stratocaster vs jaguar

Stratocaster Guitar

Fender introduced the Stratocaster in the world of electric guitars in 1954. It comes in various models that provide the player with multiple options in aesthetics. Here is what you need to know about the Stratocaster guitar.

Body

The Fender Stratocaster comes in a regular, double-cutaway body shape made of Alder wood. It’s a light and comfortable body that adds to the bright tone that is produced by this guitar. The decorative pick guard plays a large role in the aesthetic of the look and is well known by players at first glance.

These guitars come in many colors, and so it’s easy to get the right one for your style.

Neck

The distinctive C-shaped maple neck features bolt-in construction, making this guitar a classic. The neck features 22 frets and, depending on the model, can be purchased with either a rosewood or maple fingerboard.

Fender Player Stratocaster

Tone

The Stratocaster tone is a timeless favorite and has been used by some of the most iconic players throughout the decades. It’s a bright, twangy tone that is on the thinner side, which can be perfect for all sorts of music styles.

It’s primarily used in country, jazz, blues, and rock but can fit wherever you have a need for this bright sound.

This sound is produced by the 3 single-coil pickups and 25.5″ scale length. The alder body also adds to the snappier sound, but these features are what really give the guitar its tone.

Don’t forget to also check out our Jaguar vs Mustang comparison here!

Price

The Stratocaster guitar comes in an array of models, so the price varies a quite a lot. You can get these electric guitars by Squier for as low as $180. However, if you opt for an authentic Fender Stratocaster guitar, it would fall in the price range of $500 to $2500.

Here are a few other examples of Fender and Squier Stratocaster guitars and their prices.

Fender Player Stratocaster$849.99
Fender American Pro II $1699.99
Squier Affinity Series $309.99
Squier Classic Vibe 50s$419.99

Jaguar Guitar

The Jaguar was the 4th guitar produced by Fender. Introduced in 1962, this guitar gained popularity through grunge music. Here is what a Jaguar guitar offers.

Body

The Jaguar’s body is designed in a disproportionate way, giving it an offset double-cutaway shape. The unique shape of the Jaguar makes it quite comfortable to play both sitting and standing. The benefit to this is that it tilts the neck up more.

With a body made of Alder paired with chrome plates, the Jaguar exudes a sleek look. 

Neck

The neck on the Jaguar is made from maple and also features the standard C shape that players know and love. It features 22 frets and comes with a fingerboard made from either Pau Ferro, rosewood, or Laurel.

It, too, is a bolt-on design, which is great should the neck ever need to be replaced or customized.

Fender Jaguar

Tone

The Jaguar has a scale length of 24″, making it sound darker and deeper. There are 2 single-coil pickups but due to the placement and scale length, this guitar is less bright when compared to the Stratocaster, although it can get quite close.

The Jaguar has more of a Telecaster sound from the bridge pickup yet is unique to this guitar’s design. It’s also more aggressive than the Stratocaster which is why it has become popular in grunge, rock, and even some metal sounds.

Price

The Jaguar is a bit on the pricey side due to the Kurt Cobain grunge popularity. The price of these guitars starts from $850 and goes up to $2500. Two models of the Jaguar fall in the Fender custom shop category, where these guitars cost a whopping $5200!

Here are a few other examples of Squier and Fender Jaguar models.

Fender American original 60s$2249.99
Fender Vintera 60s$1379.99
Squier Classic Vibe 70s$449.99
Squier Contemporary$469.99

Similarities of The Stratocaster vs Jaguar

Both the Stratocaster and the Jaguar have similar features. That’s why they often come to a tie when choosing a new guitar. The few elements that are similar in these two are:

  • C-shaped maple neck
  • They both have 22 frets
  • Their fret board is also made of either maple or rosewood
  • They use single-coil pickups
  • Each one of these has a double-cutaway body
  • Similar Fender headstock with string trees

Differences Between The Stratocaster and Jaguar

The Stratocaster and Jaguar were designed in different time periods. That’s why they have distinctive features that can help differentiate the two.

  • The Stratocaster has a scale length of 25.5″ to the Jaguar’s 24″
  • Stratocaster weighs 8 pounds while the Jaguar is 8.5
  • Different style tremolo bridges
  • The Stratocaster comes with 3 single-coil pickups, while the Jaguar has 2
  • The switching circuitry between the guitars is also unique
  • Different body shapes
  • The Jaguars sound fuller, while the Stratocasters sound bright and thin

Our Verdict

Ideally, you should go to a nearby guitar shop and check each of these for yourself. Both of these guitars come in a variety of models. It’s best to check each of these out and see which one attracts you the most.

If that’s not possible, we recommend checking them out online to see which one best fits your needs. However, here are a few key takeaways that can help you finalize your guitar quest.

  • Stratocaster, with its bright sounds, would be a good choice if you’re into blues, light rock, and country music.
  • If you’re into grunge, punk, and rock, the Jaguar will give you a thicker mid-tone with a more aggressive output.
  • The shorter scale length of the Jaguar can be harder to play for people with large hands.
  • The disproportionately designed Jaguar body can be more comfortable when sitting and especially standing.

Ultimately, your choice should be made based on the music you play and enjoy. This way, you will have a much better experience because, in the end, that’s what it’s all about.

FAQs

Is a Jaguar better than a Strat?

The Jaguar isn’t better than a Stratocaster, it’s simply different. Both guitars are designed for different styles of music, and so choosing the one that best fits your needs is important. A Jaguar can get quite close to sounding like a Stratocaster, but is still warmer in tone.

A Stratocaster on the other hand is bright by design, but cannot get close to the warmth and output that a Jaguar can provide.

Are Fender Jaguars comfortable?

Yes, most of the fender guitar lines are designed to be light and comfortable. Many players choose Fender guitars like the Jaguar because of their comfort and great play ability. If you play while standing, their light weight is a real benefit.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!