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

KoskineN

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,417
I love mine to death! It's a 2007 AVRI, that except for the Mastery Bridge and string tree, is still stock. One of the best cleans I've got over the years are from this guitar. It can also take fuzz very well, and even some high gain tones too. I used to own a Mesa Roadster, and it sounded really good with the Modern channel. Rolling down the Tone when on the bridge pickup is the key here. Of course the vibrations or harmonics coming from the strings before the bridge can be annoying to some people, but I think that it's part of the Jazzmaster sounds too. The neck is on the slimmer side, super comfortable, and the action on mine is SUPER low without buzzing(the neck is shimmed a little btw). PLUS this guitar is always in tune. One of the only bad side is that the low E string is very close of the neck's edge, so if you are not careful, you can easily push the string out, but I got used to it over time, and it's not really an issue.

asTFy6N.jpg
 

Gibs210

Member
Messages
8,989
I’ve always wanted the Jaguar, like since the early 2000s at the beginning of my guitar playing life. Then I realized that the jazzmaster functionality fit my playing more, so I finally last year, got a squier CV 50s in white blonde with gold guard and black pickups (which is the exact model I’ve dreamed of building for years). Sound wise it’s definitely it’s own thing. The one guitar I feel it sounds most similar to of my collection is my hollowbody prs (which Leo’s intent was to get that jumbo hollowbody tone in a solid body that was comfortable to play sitting down, so I’d say mission accomplished). Love the trem system. I feel like it’s much more useable for finesse trem use than a strat/Floyd style for sure. It’s a boat load of fun doing the spaghetti western trem wobbles while playing chords. For that reason alone, the guitar gets pickup more than my others lately as it’s the only thing in my collection that can do that.

I did the same thing, though I still hardly use it. Just haven't found a good purpose for it yet since it sounds like a muffled middle position with mids added instead of removed (that's literally what series does, I know I know).
Try different value caps in place of the series link wire. I used a .003 cap a la Jaguar strangle switch circuit (and the Johnny marr jag series strangle switch) and it removes the mud for sure. However it might be too much. Though yesterday it sounded awesome for me for some reason. Currently it gives you that humbucker like edge, but rolls off all the bass, like the bridge pickup alone has more bass than when series is engaged. But for some reason it just worked for me yesterday that I used it a lot. I’m gonna experiment more to see what gives me a little more low end. Here’s where I wish the jazzmaster had the Jaguar control plates so I didn’t have to remove strings and pull the entire pickguard off to service the electronics.
 

larft

Member
Messages
9
As with all of the Fender offsets, Mustang, Jag, Jazzmaster, tone aside I would imagine that some dislike it due to the offset. It was specifically designed to be played in the classical manner with the lower bout between your legs not over your thigh like many players do. Try one of them sometime held that way, it locks into a perfect playing angle. Played over the thigh it tends to want to neck dive.
 

brizzock

Member
Messages
17
A great Jazzmaster has a firmer low end than a strat or tele. The guitar cuts really well through the mix while also being a bit more dry and less juicer than a strat/tele. The middle position is an outstanding rock sound. Check out 'Hollywood Forever Cemetary' by Father John Misty for what that middle/bridge position can sound like. It's a good example of why indie bands want this guitar. The bridge is big part of the attack of this guitar and it has a kind of 'spronk' that is unique.

I got a clean vintage 1964 Jazzmaster sunburst with the original blond case for $4k in 2006. A similar '64 strat would have cost 3-4x that! I was playing a PRS custom 24 but was looking for something with more character. At that time I thought vintage Fender was the only way to get the sound I wanted, but I couldn't afford a pre-CBS tele or strat. When this guitar into the shop and I fell in love. It was one of the greatest guitars I had ever played. I was working as a vintage guitar buyer at that time so I played plenty of guitars.

I no longer think vintage Fenders are a good value for great guitars. You can get a Tom Anderson, Nash, etc with roasted maple neck and it's a better deal.
 

TB1226

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
154
My first Fender, about 30 years ago, was a ‘64 Jazzmaster because at the time it was WAY cheaper than a Strat or Tele. I like the tones, including from the neck only slider switch, but I found it too noisy to be useable. I fixed that with Kinman noiseless Surfmasters, and now it’s primo.

And I did eventually get a Strat and Tele.
 

Gurn

Member
Messages
1,942
What do people associate the jazzmaster tone with?
The strat has that scoopy neck pickup thing and the inbetween sounds. Tele has the twang. Les Paul's are known for their body and sustain. What's the jazzmasters 'thing'?

Good grief!

I guess I'm old.



Yeah, this is what a Jazzmaster should sound like. Didn't know they surfed in Berlin.

Maybe I'm not that old after all.




@IAE:
If Gibson made a Jazzmaster:

lol
1656374159702.png
No. P90's are very different from JM pickups. I own both.
My AV65's are warmer, noisier & have a kind of natural reverb about them.
I compared them to my son's Strat. Both run w/ flat EQ.

He said "It sounds so Surfy."

His SG w/ 57 Classics sounds like an L5 compared to my Jazzmaster.

I love SG's. Interesting idea about putting the JM trem on an SG.
That might be worth a try.
 
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Dasherf7

Member
Messages
362
Seems every kexp or audiotree I watch, every local gig and every band I really like is using a jazzmaster.
What's the deal? What is it about the jazzmaster that draws people to it? And for those of you that dont get the appeal... what puts you off?
Outside of the fact it was my first electric for a band (my real first was a Teisco Del Ray E200), I did like it's plunky surf tone...being $60 made a difference, too...
 

1Mudman

Member
Messages
76
I really dont dislike or like it. Im certainly not in the market for one but for those that dig it! Hats off! My son loves them but he plays a different style and mood of music than I do 95% of the time. I have a 2002 American Deluxe Strat that Ive had to shim the neck, always out of tune (dont even look at the Trem) and other Fender issues but it does feel good in the hands but I rarely play it anymore because I have other guitars I like better. The Jazzmaster seems to be the appeal of the modern era of ambient, out of worldly experience mixed with some Nirvana. I like the Nirvana part but I guess Im just too old to give up my 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s Rock and Metal and my latest purchases have all been Super Strat type guitars with Active Pups, Carbon fiber rods in the neck and 14 to 16 radius. Floyd Rose Trems. I will give the Jazz master a thumbs up on style, It has a unique look in our cookie cutter selections. I think my biggest hold back on anything Fender is that for the kind of money they want for a guitar, you would think they could put a Tremolo on it that holds tune when you use it and be able to pull up also.
 
Messages
1,167
I love mine to death! It's a 2007 AVRI, that except for the Mastery Bridge and string tree, is still stock. One of the best cleans I've got over the years are from this guitar. It can also take fuzz very well, and even some high gain tones too. I used to own a Mesa Roadster, and it sounded really good with the Modern channel. Rolling down the Tone when on the bridge pickup is the key here. Of course the vibrations or harmonics coming from the strings before the bridge can be annoying to some people, but I think that it's part of the Jazzmaster sounds too. The neck is on the slimmer side, super comfortable, and the action on mine is SUPER low without buzzing(the neck is shimmed a little btw). PLUS this guitar is always in tune. One of the only bad side is that the low E string is very close of the neck's edge, so if you are not careful, you can easily push the string out, but I got used to it over time, and it's not really an issue.

asTFy6N.jpg
You just need your neck adjusted. Turn each of the 4 neck plate screws 1/4 turn. The guitar may make a popping/creaking sound when you do. If it makes the sound, examine your string spacing. You may find your strings are now aligned more properly (in your photo the high E is too far in towards the middle while, as you noted, the low E is too far towards the edge). If it now looks better aligned, tighten the screws back up and be happy.

If no sound OR the strings have not realigned, try tightening the screws while gently but firmly pulling the neck towards the lower bout. This should do the trick. If not - there’s something else going on I can’t diagnose online. BUT those strings (or really, the neck) are definitely out of alignment.
 

Jaguar

Member
Messages
950
If you're not into blues, traditional rock and metal but more into soundscaping, alternative, shoegaze, low-fi, jangly, dreamy, skateboard-sounding-kerrang, walls of fuzz, etc. Then Jags and Jazzers are the ticket. Beautiful cleans, fantastic with modulation pedals, fantastic with dirt/fuzz.... there is no way back.. the dream guitar for left-field players making /left-field music. It's for the people who are not in the more traditional T, S, LP camp. If you fall in love with the jag/jazzer guitar no other guitar will do anymore. It really is a love thing but it is not for everyone. Again blues, traditional rock, metal.. you have to look elsewhere (so many great guitars who do that kind of thing miles better than a jag/jazzer).
 

Pete Dabell

Member
Messages
498
Considering it was such a dud when it came out, ( faults included ) - it mainly became popular because it was cheap, because nobody wanted them, seems like it`s a case of marketing proving it can sell anything, no matter how bad? - looks like you have to put the word "offset" in the description to sell anything, the more overpriced the better? I`ll stick to what I know and like that does the job and has being doing the job for me for the last 50 years, ie Les Paul, strat mainly!
 
Messages
1,775
Have you spent any time at all trying one? Assuming your looks argument is valid, the answer is no? I never cared for the JM shape, then I tried a Suhr JM and now I have a few. They are very comfortable and sound great. It wasn’t until I played one that I realized what I was missing.

To each their own, but if I hadn’t tried one I never would have known.

Yes, I've played quite a few. Some were great (Like P90's), others were not. I have a Suhr HSS (Thornbucker+ HB, V60LP Single Coils) Strat, they make fantastic guitars. However, even if this is my favorite combo, I wouldn't buy it in a JM. Just not my bag, prefer the visuals of Strat and Tele.

I would never own an SG either, I prefer the shape of a LP instead (Profile Picture: My 2016 Honeyburst with 57 Classic Pickups).

Just personal preference.
 




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