Fender Jazzmaster - Mexican or Japanese?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by andylikesapples, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. andylikesapples

    andylikesapples Member

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    Hi there

    After suffering the agonizing loss of my pride and joy Fender Telecaster, I have had an opportunity for profound philosophical musings.

    A pessimist sees failure in every opportunity.
    An optimist sees opporuntunity in every failure.
    I see opportunity in every opportunity.

    And, with this in mind, I boldly strike out into Fender Jazzmaster territory, armed with youthful exuberance and my own tremendous ignorance.

    Which are the better built Jazzmasters? Mex or Jap?

    I've heard to stay away from Mex Jazzmasters from reliable sources, but if someone would care to extrapolate on this, I'd be much obliged.

    Many thanks...
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  2. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    MIMs are hit or miss, MIJs are more consistent. is price an issue?
     
  3. Jagsound

    Jagsound Member

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    MIJ reissues are pretty good quality - try to get an older non-export Japanese domestic one. They are only let down by the pickups and electronics, but you can easily upgrade these parts at your leisure (when you've got the spare dosh).
     
  4. g335

    g335 Member

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    Get a CIJ non export model from Japan(meaning that they were meant only for Japan). Good guitars. Change pots only if you want too or if they don't work correctly.

    From what I understand, the MIM have been changed from the basic Jazzmaster design. The bridge is different, the tremelo unit has been moved and is different some, etc. Things that affect the Jazzmaster and gives it its distinct sound and tone. The pickups are different.
    Go to offsetguitars.com This is a site for Jazzmasters and Jaguars and other offset guitars. Lots of good info here and people can give you a good opinion.

    Depends on how much money you have. They appear to about the same price especially since Fender raised their prices.

    I have a MIJ and will buy a CIJ soon which is better than my MIJ(90's).
    I live in Japan so I get to play and try out the guitars a lot so I know so things about them and about the quality of them.
     
  5. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Doesn't that apply to the Classic Player Jazzmaster?

    I have a MIM CP JM (see above for acronym derivative) and it plays great. It's not a purists JM for reasons above but I don't care. The pups are not typical Jazzmaster but a more P90 x Jazzmaster: hotter but still fun. And if you replace the pups you still come out ahead compared to a MIJ assuming you buy new.
    .
    .
     
  6. chaddy45123

    chaddy45123 Member

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    get a real vintage one i love my 61
     
  7. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    +1 Get a '59!
     
  8. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    I vote MIJ, if only for the vintage bridge setup. Can't stand the classic player series.
     
  9. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    I have had my CIJ for some years, a wonderful guitar. Mine is set up with the same action, strings etc that I have on my Strats and it plays just as well but sounds different. I don't know if its important to you but its also the most comfortable guitar to play that I've ever come across. Best of luck with your choice!
     
  10. andylikesapples

    andylikesapples Member

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    Thanks guys!

    I'm going to be sussing out some Lollar pickups in whatever Jazzmaster I end up going for, so I'm looking strictly at the quality of the guitar itself.

    Am I right in assuming CIJ/MIJ/MIM = Crafted in Japan, Made in Japan, Made in Mexico? What's the difference between the first two?
     
  11. g335

    g335 Member

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    MIJ was made by a certain factory and many of those guitars had basswood bodies.
    CIJ is the current line which is made at a certain factory and has alder bodies.

    The CIJ seem to be an improvement over the MIJ. I would say go for a CIJ before you go with a MIM. These guitars are built great and are really good.
    Just change the pickups and the pots(if you need to). The stock pickups are good, just not Jazzmaster exact. If you are trying to get to more of a traditional Jazzmaster feel and sound, I would go with the CIJ or a used AVRI.
     
  12. enocaster

    enocaster Member

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    Ah, TGP. Where you ask about a $700 guitar and are persuaded you need a $7000 guitar!
     
    bisticles likes this.
  13. flickerbot

    flickerbot Member

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    Find some and play them. I was actually surprised by the CP- I think it's a good entry level JM. Sure, it doesn't sound exactly like a JM, but I thought it was still a good sound. Plus, they have a few upgrades that are more player- or new to the JM player, friendly. I am an AVRI owner and I love JMs, but I'm not sure if you can go wrong with a Mexican or Japan. You can always upgrade!!! Lollars are a good choice btw, and also check out Novaks.
     
  14. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    It really depends on whether you're after a traditional JM or one with modern refinements. And I say this as someone who learned to play on a 61 Jazzmaster (starting in about 62). I played that guitar until about 1970 and it served me very well.
    Even though I'm very comfortable on vintage-style Fenders, for me, the changes made on the Classic Player Jazzmaster would count as improvements. 9.5 radius with bigger frets, TOM style bridge with a better break angle, and pickups that are more in the P90 zone all add up to a guitar that has greater real world utility IMO. That said, if you're after the quirkiness of the original, then the MIJ reissues are going to be a lot closer. Upgrade the electronics and you'll have something not too far from the originals.
     
  15. crosse79

    crosse79 Member

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    Get a MIJ/CIJ - internal Japanese market one. Pop in some lollars in there - tonal bliss!
     
  16. openbar

    openbar Silver Supporting Member

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    Haha, you're so right brother! I had a real '63 and the only benefit it had over a reissue was that the high E string kept slipping out of the nut.

    BTW, this was about 1990 when music stores couldn't give them away. At the time it cost less than a run-of-the-mill Ibanez, about the same as a used 80s Strat. Funny how things change.

    Back on topic: I've played many Japanese reissues, they're pretty solid guitars, if a little lacking in personality. I think the Mexican ones are on par, so you can't go wrong with either for the money.
     
  17. Jagsound

    Jagsound Member

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    I agree with this. When I said go MIJ, I just meant go Japanese over Mexican. They are more accurate to the original features, but some of the new features could be what you want. I had a 1997 CIJ 62 Custom Tele - the workmanship was fantastic, fit and finish was as good as the AVRI, and it felt very similar. Alder body, decent slab of a fret board, and Texas Special pickups which were not as good as the AVRI.
     
  18. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes Member

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    I would assume the original poster is unaware that the term "Jap" is considered derogatory. I appeal to the original poster to revise the title for this thread so that it is not offensively worded. Thank you.
    Bob
     
  19. g335

    g335 Member

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    Remember if you go with the MIM and the P-90 sound, that is not a Jazzmaster sound. Most people who buy Jazzmasters, buy them for the unique Jazzmaster sound.
     
  20. andylikesapples

    andylikesapples Member

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    CthonicEwes. I was unaware that the term Jap was derogatory, and I apologize if I've offended anyone with the title of this thread. Please believe there was no malicious intent; only a deep-seated concern for letter economy... My apologies.

    Thanks everyone else for your advice on this... I'm thinking I'll go Japanese or AVRI now.

    Cheers.
     

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