Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Jazzmaster Opinions

  1. #1
    Forum Member Mister D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    12

    Jazzmaster Opinions

    Hey all,
    I have played many strats and teles down through the years. For some reason I am really jonesing for a Jazzmaster. Can any longtime players of the JM chime in with your opinions of the guitar? Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Mister D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    12

    Re: Jazzmaster Opinions

    And the crowd went........mild.

  3. #3
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,372

    Re: Jazzmaster Opinions

    I have zero experience playing a Jazzmaster, but every time I listen to an old Elvis Costello record, I want one!
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

  4. #4
    Forum Member chuckocaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    spanish for lard.
    Posts
    8,613

    Re: Jazzmaster Opinions

    You should go and play one, VERY different than a Strat or Tele. I'm completely in love with mine, but it's been heavily modified. One of the main issues is the trem and bridge design. In theory it's a neat concept, but it can be a nightmare in reality. Neck pitch and string break angle over the bridge is crucial. If not properly setup the strings will pop out of the bridge slots. I fixed this by swapping to a Mustang bridge that I ground the lip off of and flipped 180 degrees. I also took out the "rhythm circuit" as I found it useless and was forever hitting the switch while playing.

    Probably best bang for buck is the Squier Jay Mascis JM. He's a true Jazzmaster Jedi, and it already comes modded from the original design.

    Seriously, your best bet is to play one and see if you like it. It sounds like a Fender, but it's so different from the Strat and Tele that it can be off putting to many.

    I'm happy to answer any questions you have, been playing a Jazzmaster for 20 years now
    "don't worry, i'm a professional!"

  5. #5
    Forum Member Mister D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    12

    Re: Jazzmaster Opinions

    Thank guys. It seems to be a common opinion that the bridge and term can be troublesome. I have read about some other mods or parts that some folks use. I will be traveling to Tokyo for work for a month or two. While I am there I know I will have a chance to play alot of them. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Forum Member VibroCount's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacratomato
    Posts
    1,500

    Re: Jazzmaster Opinions

    The Jazzmaster was my first Fender that was not a bass. I played with instrumental surf bands in the early 1960s. If you set up the JM like we did in '62 to '65, long before there were slinky strings, the bridge saddle string jumping is reduced greatly. The problem with Mustang saddles is that they are narrower than the JM's. If you put a small washer between the saddles, the problem solves itself. (You do not need to modify Mustang saddles at all. The difference is the Mustang saddles have one slot, the JM's have many and loose strings -- thin strings -- will jump from one slot to another under hard strumming.) I wound up using Graph Tech saddles and it solved everything. I use 11 flatwounds on mine -- in the '60s I used 12s, still flatwounds. That's the surf sound.

    The tone (with real JM pickups, not the narrow Strat like ones in Japanese Jazzmasters) is different than any other guitar. No P-90 or other single coil sounds the same.

    The guitar feels much like a Jaguar, but the tone and string length are vastly different. The Jag feels like a huge body Mustang, the Jazzmaster feels smooth.

    I like the rhythm switch circuit. I never accidentally switched it... probably a different normal strum/pick motion for me. Then, and in the early 2000s, I would switch from lead to rhythm guitar and back with another guitarist. I would set up the volume and tone on the rhythm circuit (neck pup only) for the softer volume rhythm parts, then switch it off to a higher volume for leads where I could use either pickup or both.

    The tremolo sounds very surf... far more than a Strat. The same style trem is used on the DiPinto Galaxie models like Los Straitjackets use. Danny Amis' old Jazzmaster was virtually identical to my current one I got in 1998. They are Japanese RI '62s, both with Seymour Duncan '59 Vintage JM pickups. Both are Candy Apple Red. The difference is his uses the original white/black/white pickguard and mine is similar but white pearl (mother of toilet seat cover).

    I used the Jazzmaster when the other guitarists used a Strat and a PRS, to give a tone difference. Now the other guitarist uses an American Vintage RI '62 Jazzmaster, so I use a highly modified Strat to sound different. (Seymour Duncan '60's Surf for Strat pups.)

    I like the 7 1/4" radius fingerboard and the balance of the Jazzmaster. Play one clean through a reverb tank, or drive it like a grunge guitarist would. It may satisfy, like it does me.
    Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't. -- Pete Seeger

  7. #7
    Forum Member Mister D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    12

    Re: Jazzmaster Opinions

    Thanks VibroCount. That was very informative.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    38

    Re: Jazzmaster Opinions

    i have a AV '65 Jazzmaster and had absolutely zero issues with the bridge. So YMMV.
    But I had played cheaper Jazzmasters in the store, and those bridget had issues (rattles, strings jumping out etc.).


    Concerning sound: the typical response is "the jazzmaster is a surf guitar". But that's just a very limited view.

    This is to me a typical clean jazzmaster sound.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4fKBMnuHKI

    But, this guitar is also very good in creating harmonic sound structures with fuzz and/or reverb or delay.
    They have some kind of extra harmonics other guitars just don't have.
    They are really really good with pedals.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0D1iAQqZtg


    It's not a coincidence that indie/post-rock/shoegaze bands use it for their soundscapes.
    And it's also not a coincidence that soms grunge/alternative rock bands like it.

    Bands using a Jazzmaster: Ryan Adams, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Wilco, Incubus, Paramore, Afghan Whigs, Dinoraur Jr., Sonic Youth, The Neighbourhood, The Ventures, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, The Cars, Paramore, Radiohead
    Last edited by dejohan; 07-04-2018 at 04:50 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •