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

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

  1. Thedude99

    Thedude99 Member

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    Oh man, same here. A silver face twin cranked, CIJ with stock pickups and the volume and treble on 10. I suspect I probably had the treble up pretty high on the amp as well.
     
  2. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Member

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    [​IMG]
    Just arrived today. Now this is appealing.....o_O
     
  3. mvsr990

    mvsr990 Supporting Member

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    Pretty soon, my Jazzmaster is going to be the only guitar I own. I reach for it 99% of the time, I haven't found anything I can't do with it (not to say there aren't other guitars more suitable for other purposes, just not the things I do).

    Why? Primarily because it's the most comfortable guitar for me - sitting or standing it balances just right, the AVRI neck isn't too thick and isn't too thin, the 9.5"/6105 radius/frets situation seems to be the best of all worlds, the trem arm sits in just the right place. Mine is Firemist Silver with a matching headstock so it also looks cool.

    The Jazzmaster has the 1 meg pots and may have a steeper learning curve on making it not be ice-picky than a 250k pot single coil guitar, but there are ways around that - I've embraced the 1 megs and usually keep it at 10/10 V/T because my Ampeg V2 and 4x12 with greenbacks can take it without making my ears bleed. Sometimes I actually wish it was brighter. With a Fender amp bringing the volume down a couple of notches usually clears it up.

    Sounds fantastic clean, overdriven or with fuzz (I don't much like it with a RAT but I think that may be more an issue with me and the RAT) in all three positions. When I tried a Strat I was wishing for a bridge humbucker and pretty much stuck with the neck, with Telecasters I only liked the bridge, the Jazzmaster I like the bridge and the neck.
     
  4. PartoftheDark

    PartoftheDark Member

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    I could never bond with a normal strat and generally prefer 2 pickup guitars. A strat to me seems like a whole bunch of ideas that don't pan out by themselves, but equate to a few just ok ones that you have to shuffle settings to get to. A jazzmaster simplifies a lot of that and after trying a cheap MIJ in the store (back when that was still a thing) I fell in love and bought it on the spot. More comfortable and the range of sounds it lends itself to good straight forward stuff or you can go completely overboard with surf and twang sounds. The trem (after a bridge upgrade) is my favorite. I don't really dive bomb anymore. I love the offset look. They're just great and I generally prefer a more shreddy neck. The early 90s MIJ ones were pretty close to that. I have a 60s Classic Vibe now that is about on par with that and I can't put it down most days.
     
  5. woof*

    woof* Member

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    In the 60’s and 70’s they couldn’t give these away.
    I think it’s great these guitars have become popular.
    I have a 67 Jaguar in a closet somewhere. I should try it.
     
  6. JDandCoke

    JDandCoke Member

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    So after making this thread I decided to take my AVRI jazzmaster to rehearsal tonight. Holy crap it has so much treble compared to my LP, it was a struggle to tame it. But instead of dialing back treble at the amp I did it from the guitar, rhythm circuit was usable and overall it was a fun time.

    Just listening back to the 6 track recordings now to compare with the LP last week! Jury is still out on which I prefer... I will admit the jazzmaster 'felt' better, like I felt less constrained and more creative with the jazzmaster (for better or worse)
     
  7. JDandCoke

    JDandCoke Member

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    So, there wasn't much from the 6 track with just me (I try not to noodle during rehearsals!) but had these little snippets from the break, just some noodling while waiting on the guys to get back with drinks ;)







    One with fuzz, one 'clean'.

    I'm pretty happy with that tone, it has such extended treble compared to the Les Paul but the main difference was it just felt 'different'. Very much enjoyed playing it again, the ergonomics of the jazzmaster were the reason I bought it (why don't more guitars have a 3 way selector down there, with a single vol+tone?) and tonight reminded me of that.
     
  8. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Regarding shape, here's a interesting observation. I just randomly hung these beside each other and it looks like they may have mated at some point...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. JDandCoke

    JDandCoke Member

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    It's odd how different these guitars feel from each other, I've never really got along with obviously asymmetrical guitars that dont have an offset waist. The jazzmaster feels super comfy, the firebird have always felt... unbalanced to me
     
  10. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    I'm sure the electronics could become entirely intuitive if I took the time to learn how to use them. So, I suppose that could be a user error on my part. They just strike me as a lot less intuitive than say a strat.

    As for the bridge, I've read about the mastery and it seems to be doing what it's supposed to. Even better if it improves sustain. But I've burned so much time and money on gear over the years - by now I'm kinda vary about any product where I have to buy a second product to make the first one work as intended
     
  11. redchapterjubilee

    redchapterjubilee Supporting Member

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    I got into JM's for the reason a lot of other people did in the '80s. Lots of people I admired made weird music with them. Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Elvis Costello, Television, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, etc. When I started playing guitar I knew it was only a matter of time until I could afford one and then I'd have one. Now I have seven of them and have owned and sold probably a dozen others. Jazzmasters just feel right for me. They hang on me right, I love the ergonomics of the design, I love the tremolo, I love how they look and feel, and how they sound. However none of mine are stock. They all have aftermarket bridges and pickups. Most have Mustang bridges, but a couple have Staytrem and Mastery bridges. Pickups range from good pre-CBS style pickups through P90s through wide range humbuckers and PAF's. I wouldn't mind having another MIM Standard to put filtertrons in and a MIM Vintera 60's in LPB because it's pretty.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  12. brobar

    brobar Member

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    I could never bond with a “real” JM. I loved the body shape but that was about it. I can’t stand the tremolo, never liked all the switches, absolutely loath a perfectly perpendicular to the body output jack, and every one I tried (admittedly not that many because of the aforementioned reasons) sounded tinny, harsh, buzzy, almost shrill.

    That is until I found my Suhr JM Pro. Very similar body style that was sleeker and contoured in all the right places. So comfortable to play. None of the superfluous switches. A side-mount output jack. A tremolo system I loved. And a P90 setup that was smooth, warm, crystal clear yet not harsh when clean, gritty and ballsy when driven dirty, and whisper quiet with their SSCII system. I LOVE that guitar and it is one of the most used and most versatile guitars in my stable. It is everything I’ve always wanted in a JM-style guitar. And for all of those reasons it is not a JM at all.

    [​IMG]

    So the appeal to original JMs was all about the shape. I never liked much else about them beyond the shape.

    The Suhr JM Pro there isn’t anything NOT to like. It’s the perfect JM-style guitar in every way.
     
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  13. musicbliss

    musicbliss Supporting Member

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    We love Jazzmasters because we love Nels Cline!
     
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  14. wilsonov7

    wilsonov7 Member

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    [​IMG]

    I lot of bands I like use Jazzmasters so I got one. Then I got another. And another. Then another. Then went back to a Telecaster 99% of the time. That 1% of the time I still use my Jazzmasters is wonderful but in the end I just love the Telecaster more. I put together a Warmoth Jazzcaster and it is the best of both worlds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  15. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    You're right; It's not a Jazzmaster at all. It's more like a heavily modernized Strat (neck, bridge/trem, electronics) with an SG/LP Special pickup configuration and an offset body. I'm glad you found a guitar you like but… your post is similar to somebody recommending a JEM7 or EVH Frankenstein in a "Recommend me a 50s-style Strat" thread. Jazzmasters and Suhr JM Pros are very different animals. Just because a guitar has an offset body, doesn't mean it is a Jazzmaster or a Jazzmaster-style guitar.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  16. Maggot

    Maggot Member

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    1) Different Trem from Strat or Bigsby. It's really the only trem I like. It's not particularly nimble or responsive, but it has a certain tone. It's less annoying to change strings on than a Bigsby and can be kept in tune even if you break a string. At the same time, unlike a Strat trem, it stays separate from the bridge, doesn't make the sound springy.

    2) Cool pickups, if JM pickups are what you like.

    3) More different foundational sounds than most guitars due to rhythm circuit. Some people find it useless. I use it to provide a dark neck-pickup sound for when I'm using octave fuzz.

    4) Looks cool.

    5) Weird delicate overtones due to shallow break angle over the bridge.

    6) If you're not seeking a traditional Strat or Tele sound, the Jazzmaster projects its personality through heavy distortion and fuzz really well.
     
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  17. ESW.

    ESW. Member

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    Sounds like you should stick with a strat.
     
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  18. Thedude99

    Thedude99 Member

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    I get why people found the Jag controls confusing, but I never understood this with the JM. You have a basic 3-way pickup selector and that’s all the vast majority of players use. And then you have a switch that gives you a darker tone, it has a separate volume and treble knob. Pretty basic.

    Simpler than the Strats 5 way selector to me and easier to dial in than my ES-335
     
  19. brobar

    brobar Member

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    Which is precisely why I love it. Shape is what I fell I love with in the Jazzmaster. Shape ONLY. Everything else I couldn’t connect with. So the JM Pro gives me that shape (with improved contours) and fixed everything else I hated about the Jazzmaster.

    I think I covered the (or not) part of the thread title pretty well and gave one great possible alternative that fixes all of (my) “or nots” with the Jazzmaster.
     
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  20. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    Things that don't appeal to me:
    • fussy electronics
    • vibrato is a liability for me in a live context
    • reduced sustain
    • pickguard mounted output jack

    Things I love:

    • body shape for looks, and comfort
    • pickups
    • scale length
    • looks great in all the vintage Fender colors
    • looks great in modern finishes
    • not a Les Paul, Tele, Strat or ES
     

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