What's The Appeal (or not) of The Jazzmaster?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JDandCoke, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Meriphew

    Meriphew Member

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    That's great to hear. I don't know why I was thinking they were bound.
     
  2. sillybro

    sillybro Member

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    I like a Jazzmaster because they are the opposite of a Les Paul. There's no sustain to speak of.

    It's nice to have choices. If you're fortunate enough to have multiple guitars why not have a wide variety?
    I've been playing Jmstrs for over 40 years. I currently have two. One strung with .13 flats and another w roundwound .11s and Staytrem bridge. I also have strats, teles and P90 Gibsons.
     
  3. Tritone

    Tritone Member

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    My 2008 ThinSkin Jazzmaster is probably my most played guitar. It is also very heavily upgraded and modded, including some mods of which many Jazzmaster purists would disapprove. Of the inherent Jazzmaster features, I love the neck pickup, the body shape, and the vibrato system.

    List of my mods:
    replaced the nut and had it cut for 11s
    replaced both pickups with "Pickup Wizard" Jazzmaster repros
    replaced the bridge with a Mastery
    replaced the vibrato bushing with one that grips the vibrato arm in place (I think it was a Staytrem)
    added a Buzzstop (come at me bro)
    replaced the bridge pickup with a humbucker
    disconnected the rhythm circuit
    replaced the pots with 500k values
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    The Jazzmaster is not your father's Strat. The last seven or eight years in the indie bubble-up stage the Tele was not your father's Strat and could be often seen but the Jazzmaster has been replacing the Tele lately. At least one popular Country player uses a JM.

    Neck feels just like a Strat for most of them, first time I picked a Fender up. Bridge position relative to the strap pins and the thigh cut put the JM picking hand and frets to the left of the Strat, about midway between a Strat to the right and an SG to the far left. Because of the body board shape, sitting down you don't need the arm relief of a Strat, because your whole arm lays across the top of the guitar not really hitting the edge.

    Body is thinner, even though it is larger in area, so the weight is about the same as a Tele/Strat. Finding a case or gig bag is more problematic.

    There are two main types of pickups, the classic JM bobbin with alnico poles but there is also the more P90 style with JM bobbin and steel slugs backed with alnico or ceramic magnet blocks just like a P90.

    If you price out buying new, used, or try to locate parts to build a partscaster the JM is significantly more expensive than a Strat or a Tele. It's not generally a cheap play, especially lately with the rising popularity.

    I built a traditionally appointed Jazzmaster style and a Jazzmaster crossed with a Junior, both to experiment with the platform. So far they are a great fit.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    .
     
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  5. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Looks great, feels great, sounds great, and is more versatile than many realize.

    I'm only surprised it's not more popular.
     
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  6. hogy

    hogy Member

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    For the life of me, I have no idea.

    I put a fixed bridge on my '63, ditched the trem, got rid of the awful 1meg pots, disconnected the rhythm circuit, threw away that rattling sheet metal cavity trough that kills harmonics, and it turned into a decent guitar. About half as good as a Strat, or twice as good as stock.

    Every time I see a vintage Jazzmaster, I think "what a shame, that piece of wood could have made a Strat body".

    I'm barely kidding, by the way.
     
  7. Mike Grafft

    Mike Grafft Member

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    Hello. I started play guitar when my dad's 65 jazzmaster was 3 years old. I still have that guitar, and it brings back many fond memories of playing ventures tunes and other surf sounds. I'm older now, but that jazzmaster,when plugged in to my bandmaster reverb amp, well it doesn't sound like the 60s it IS the 60s..and an aside..the reverse body feels great when seated...The Jazzmaster was top of the line in those days.. and mine still sounds and plays great. What more can you ask for? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
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  8. PixMix

    PixMix Member

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    That's great! What happened to the original, I'm assuming tort pickguard?
     
  9. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    I have 2, going on 3 Jazzmasters, but only because I like the appearance/comfort of the things. If given an original or one built to those specs, I wouldn't want it. Just about everything else about them rubs me the wrong way. But, basically, get rid of the tuners, pickups, controls and bridge, replace them with something you like better, and they're wonderful instruments that you don't see very often. Everybody and their brother as a Strat or Tele, but Jazzmasters/Jaguars? Not so much.
     
  10. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Jazzmaster pickups sounded different over the years. I currently use a Quarter Pounder JM set by Seymour Duncan which has more low end and can drive an amp harder but still sounds like a Jazzmaster.
     
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  11. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Early Jaguar pickups sounded different from what they do now. I had a set and can tell you they are not shrill at all. I can easily play Black Sabbath with those. The Japanese Jaguar pickups sound even thinner than the current ones.
     
  12. Overdriver18

    Overdriver18 Member

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    That's sharp right there. I personally am a huge fan of the strat control setup, I like having multiple tone controls and I wish more Fenders had stuck with that.
     
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  13. Jaguar

    Jaguar Member

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  14. kracdown

    kracdown Custom User Title Gold Supporting Member

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    This is wild, but to each his own.

    I’ve owned several Jazzmasters and currently have a ‘59 Gold Guard (dead stock with flat wounds), ‘66 Blocks and Binding (completely stock, I added a Staytrem), Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster (with 3 Mojotone Sharkfin pickups, mastery bridge, USA trem), and just bought a blond MIJ Jazzmaster with gold hardware. next purchase will likely be a late 70’s Jazzmaster with a black guard. I have also owned a ‘62, ‘65, and ‘59 body & electronics / ‘66 neck Jazzmaster, another Squier JMJM, and a ‘65 reissue.

    They are my absolute favorite guitars of all time. In the neck position, I think they sound like a more full Stratocaster. Bridge position gets you to a thinner telecaster. Body shape is extremely comfortable (I switch off between my ‘69 Strat and Jazzmasters for studio use). Beyond the fact that they’re the best looking guitars Fender has ever made (IMO, of course), they play extremely well and have the best trem design of all time (also IMO). A lot of people complain that they lack sustain and playability. I implore those people to find a tech who knows how to work on these guitars. They Staytrem adds sustain while retaining the percussiveness. Mastery sounds different but adds even more sustain. Original bridges are just fine, as long as they are set up correctly. The rhythm circuit is a great tool, especially for quickly switching tones live.

    Of course, the Jazzmaster is not for everyone, but they are wonderful guitars.
     
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