Other Guitars

Jazzmasters

1

What's your favourite Jazzmaster?

My top 5 so far:

2008 Custom Shop 1958 prototype

Custom Shop 1958 Lake Placid Blue Closet Classic

1962 Black

1965 Blonde

Elvis Costello

2

I saw online that my local Long & McQuade had a Link Mystic Seafoam American Professsional Maple Jazzmaster in stock. That and a few other curiosities got me down there yesterday [after finding the store, it moved two months ago, no one told me!].

I didn't think to look for this in the pictures, but there are no thumb wheels on that model, I don't like the 9.5" neck and the guitar wasn't well setup. I didn't spend more than 20 seconds with it, I should have plugged it in.

I have had curious feelings for these guitars for a long time, but today was the first time I seriously thought about what I would want in one. I've been spending the last many hours on the internet.

So far I like the Tele knobs on the prototype guitars. I like a lot about the Custom Shop "prototype" guitars, including the black pickup covers. https://reverb.com/item/727...

The Elvis Costello guitar is appealing, that is certainly the origins of my familiarity with the model, so it just looks right to me, even with the refinish.

I don't like rosewood fretboards, and I don't really like block inlays, it will need to be maple or ebony. That's not good for this model, I know. Some prototype guitars have the maple with dots, and from '69 on you could get some maple with block inlays.

Questions:

Is there a Jazzmaster book?

-No, there doesn't seem to be, but there are plenty of Fender books by Bacon and some by others. Which would have the most information about Jazzmasters?

What are the bridge options if you want to use a 12" radius neck. The Mastery bridge says vaguely it is good on 7.25" and up, but will it work on a flatter neck? How about the RSD J-Bridge?

-Mastery says their nridge will work with a 12" radius.

Are the pickup covers easy to replace? Are the black covers available?

-Easy to replace but not as easily sourced. Fender must make them available to repair shops? http://www.alphabetcityblog...

Is the Fender Custom Shop as flexible as the Gretsch Custom Shop? It seems to me they do mostly special runs for guitar stores.

What is the arm and adjustment that is done for the Elvis Costello tremolo? http://www.musicradar.com/r...

-"The internal tremolo spring is set looser," says Fender's marketing director of electric guitars, Justin Norvell, "the arm is bent out from the body more, to allow a more Bigsby-like feel."

Is the Jazzmaster tremolo bad? The arm wasn't on the guitar in the store, to keep it from being stolen, I suspect.

-It looks like people generally like the tremolo, with the normal nut issues, but don't like that it doesn't stay in place, although there are a few fixes for that.

Here is the perfect colour, of course, where can I see the rest of the guitar?

-Is it the colour Lake Placid Blue becomes? I don't think so, there's no blue under the decal. https://www.gbase.com/gear/...

A bridge cover, how does that fit on? Fender part # 005-4465-049.

-It fits on just with friction, only works with the original bridge...

Do the Jaguar's metal bits fit?

-It's doable but not straight-forward. http://offsetguitars.com/fo...

3

Mine is Shoreline Gold with a torteshell pick guard.

5

Hey hammerhands, how goes it? I never realized you were a such a jazzmaster fanboy. Like yourself, I've always found them interesting and attractive in their own way, but have never made the jump to actually buying one. For me, they've never quite hit the sonic mark for the stuff I was into. Hence, I've been a Tele (and more recently) a Strat man where Fenders are concerned. Still, you've got me intrigued again.

Of the pieces you have pictured above, I like the look of that sunburst prototype. Very nice finish. Overall though, my favorite style is the classic sunburst with tortoise pick guard. Until I saw your pics, I hadn't realized that Fender had made (is making) so many color and hardware options re those JMasters. Gives one pause.

BTW, what do you think of the new L&M store? Haven't been there yet and I'm wondering if it's worth the trip.

Good luck with your hunt and let us know if you decide to spring for one of these beauties...

6

Mine is Shoreline Gold with a torteshell pick guard.

– Marctrain57

Oooh, I'd love to see some photos of that one, Marc!

7

Jazzmaster w/ maple neck is cool.

It was the first Fender to be rosewood back in the late 50s. It was the top of the line model.

8

"BTW, what do you think of the new L&M store? Haven't been there yet and I'm wondering if it's worth the trip." -General Lee

It's right at Pembina and Bishop Grandon, easy to get to. I think Office Depot and then Visions was in that building. It's across the street from Garbonzo's, you can make a trip of it.

You have to deal with a terrible light getting out of the parking lot, there's another couple of stores behind there sharing the exit, and there isn't as many parking spots as there are customers.

It's big, it kind of reminds me of the remodelled Gordon Price/Mother's store. The walls are about four guitars high and it seems to go on forever. Quite a few Gretschs. It has a large acoustic area. It all had a bit of a smell yesterday, unfortunately.

The same faces are working there, Jeff the bass player, the guitar guys, I even saw one of the Phils.

I remember them being really happy when they opened the last store, I'm surprised they moved. I guess when they got out of the cafe business...Or they were too close to the other store.

9

Thanks for the info on the new location. Sounds (smells) a bit warehousey to me, but I'll reserve judgement until I can make the trip for myself. I too found it rather odd that they would move from the Stafford location, given the overall attractive layout, space, and parking availability of the place. Just goes to show how much the L&M franchise is growing/making that they can afford yet another even larger space than the old Mother's locale.

Too bad they wouldn't use some of their massive profits to pass on some better deals and policies to their customers. Especially to the old guard that got them there. But hey, it's obviously working for them. As you are probably aware of by now, I've been less and less impressed by the policy and pricing changes of this chain in recent years, and have largely stopped dealing with them. Unfortunately, they have such a stranglehold on the market, that if you want/need certain brands or models, you have little choice other than to shop there. I don't know of anywhere else in town that carries the Gibson line for instance. So for "kid in a candy store" experience, they are still pretty much it. I'm just glad I have my personal stable well stocked at this time...

10

Bluesiest sounding guitar I ever heard was a '63 Jazzmaster. I like what Nels Cline of Wilco does with his. I wish I could get along with Fenders.

11

I had an avri '62 jazzmaster in Sherwood green I sold to buy my '57ri duo jet ("used" but so new that it still has the plastic on it). I liked that guitar and recorded a surf album with it. That being said, I have no regrets using it to get my first gretsch 11-12 years ago now.

My current jazzmaster is hardly a jazzmaster, but I love it. It's a thinline with a spruce top. It's finished kind of like a 50s rancher - orange with a tortoise guard. It has Brian setzer sigs in it. The vibrato is vintage ('64) and the bridge is a mastery. The guitar is a bit more orange now that it's aged some.

12

I only have this one lovely Jazzmaster which I purchased from fellow GDPer, Ernesto. I had wanted a Jazzmaster for quite some time, but never found one that sounded like I thought that it ought to. In fact, Ernesto sold me one several years ago that I didn't bond with when I got it and he graciously allowed a return. But, this one, which is the American Vintage '65 model, gets me into the territory that I was looking to get.

That being said, when I think back to the music where I first heard surf guitars, and, in particular, the Beach Boys' songs, I still hear a faster-decaying thumpiness in the notes than I am able to get with this Jazzmaster, at least thus far. I picked up a Jaguar as well in hopes that, somewhere between the two of them, I can reproduce the tone that I am hearing in my head. Unfortunately, almost as soon as I got the Jaguar, I shipped it off to Curt for some work on it so I haven't had much opportunity to play it yet.

13

That thumpy decay is due in part to heavy flatwounds and an outboard reverb unit. To me, jags are a bit "thumpier".

14

Interesting that you say that because it was after remembering that Carl Wilson played a Jaguar early in the Beach Boys that I thought that I should look into trying one.

15

Any early Jazzmaster.

16

I only have one :

17

Carl Wilson did use a jaguar. Very early on, he had a strat. Depending on the recording, it may or may not have been Carl playing but rather one of the "wrecking crew". If you can find a recording by a true instrumental surf band (not the ventures) with a tone you like, it's easier to pin point the gear used. Eddie Bertrand would be a good one for jags for example, but there are lots using strats or jazzmasters.

18

It's almost impossible to choose between them all.

Oh no, there's a mute available, 005-4498-000.

19

Always fancied a Jazzmaster but somehow never got around to owning one, although for some reason I've had two Jaguars -- one a Squier, the other a Fender MIJ.

A couple of weeks ago I tried a Squier Jazzmaster -- liked everything about it except the neck and the bridge. The latter is an easy fix, but a new neck starts to make it uneconomic. Maybe the Mascis model is the answer.

20

I have two vintage JM's. One is a 1964 with a stripped body, and the other has a 1959 neck, body, and tremolo (although the date is missing from the neck) and Halloween 1966 pickups. That one is painted with white primer; I got it for $600 on eBay because some clown had painted the entire guitar, including the fretboard, with green varnish. Both sound great but need new frets.

21

This is my '66. I've had it since 1993 and it's been through a few mods over the years. It was my main stage guitar for over a decade, and I used it to record five albums during that time.

22

The Jazzmaster is a guitar I've never been able to bond with. I've owned three and try as I may, they just ended up as wall art and eventually sold or traded.

I must say though, there are sure some pretty ones pictured.

23

Burgundy Mist. This one belongs to a friend of mine. Unfortunately, it is a refinish done back in the 70's. Still looks nice, though.

24

This is my '66. I've had it since 1993 and it's been through a few mods over the years. It was my main stage guitar for over a decade, and I used it to record five albums during that time.

– Mel Waldorf

Nice to see ya Mel. I think I have one of those live albums. I used my Av jazzmaster on the 'verb's first album and a gretsch ever since, though I doubled some tracks with a vintage jm.

25

Has anybody put a Tru-Arc Serpentune on a Jazzmaster


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