Tell Me about the Fender Jazzmaster (MOD: Also Jaguar, etc.)

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I've always thought the Fender Jazzmaster was a cool guitar, but it is one that I have never played. A long time ago, a guitarist in my band had one, but I don't remember much about how it sounded other than he would occasionally knock the top string out of the bridge.

I've read up that the string problem is because of the odd bridge design and many people swap out a Mustang bridge to fix this problem.

What do the switches do?

What are the best pickup positions for sounds?

Are the pickups more like a p90 than most Fender single coils?

Earl Nash (earlnash), Sunday, 9 April 2006 23:02 (fourteen years ago) link

i can't answer any of your questions :( only that i regret selling mine, but at the time i had no choice. lovely guitar to play and lovely guitar sound too. so so much better than the jaguar i had for a while.

electric sound of jim (and why not) (electricsound), Sunday, 9 April 2006 23:06 (fourteen years ago) link

switches = pickup selection, no?

electric sound of jim (and why not) (electricsound), Sunday, 9 April 2006 23:07 (fourteen years ago) link

There is a 3 position toggle, that I figure chooses the pickups.

What do the slide buttons do at the top?

Controls “Lead” Circuit: Volume, Tone,
“Rhythm” Circuit: Volume, Tone
Pickup Switching 3-Position Toggle:
Position 1. Bridge Pickup
Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups
Position 3. Neck Pickup

(Lead Circuit)

2-Position Slide:
Up: Lead Tone Circuit
Down: Rhythm Tone Circuit

Earl Nash (earlnash), Sunday, 9 April 2006 23:36 (fourteen years ago) link

sweetest neck fender ever put on anything.
very very comfortable offset waist design.
highly resonant guitar, due to the length of string behind the bridge.

the mustang bridge trick is the common swap, i have this thing called a buzz stop on my jaguar which basically just holds the strings where they're supposed to be. (which is what the bridge should really handle but anyways...). some people like tune-a-matics on them. some people just put washers on the strings before the bridge. in any case, theres a couple fixes to keep the strings on board, but the thing will always have a kind of rattle that wont affect anything but may annoy some.

the pickups are not really like p-90s, though they are often incorrectly referred to as 'soapbars.' they are relatively low-output, mellow, and much less in your face than a p-90. they are unlike other fender pups. they're pretty good pickups, if you get real ones- the ones that come in imported jazzmasters are more or less trash. duncan makes some excellent replacements.

b mulvey, Monday, 10 April 2006 08:18 (fourteen years ago) link

out of the duncans wouold you recommened the lower of higher output ones

cfhjkq, Tuesday, 11 April 2006 01:13 (fourteen years ago) link

higher, the qtr pounder for JM for sure. but it's up to personal preference. i like really, really high output pickups, like the JB and Invader humbuckers. many people would (very loudly) disagree.

b mulvey, Tuesday, 11 April 2006 05:04 (fourteen years ago) link


i generally like very low output pups. they sound clearer to me.

AaronK (AaronK), Tuesday, 11 April 2006 21:26 (fourteen years ago) link

anybody have experience with the middle-output "hot" seymour duncan pick-ups? a good compromise? what's the most like what they're putting on the new american-made jazzmaster re-issues?

Mark Danjer (Danjer), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 04:33 (fourteen years ago) link

i'm broke, but everyday, the simple act of NOT buying an MIJ jazzmaster kills a little part of my soul.

Mark Danjer (Danjer), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 04:34 (fourteen years ago) link

Mark, any good Fender dealer can order you the USA Jazzmaster pickups. They just have to order them as a part, not out of the accessory catalog. BTW, they don't come with the covers, so keep that in mind. Actually, I can get you at least the part number for the neck pickup, which is 005-4444-000. If you need the other part number, I can track it down for you later.

John Justen (johnjusten), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 15:14 (fourteen years ago) link

well, what's better, USA Fender JMpups or the duncanz

dhfasuklAFDGHJK, Wednesday, 12 April 2006 22:55 (fourteen years ago) link

If I came into $2000, I'd probably buy a vintage one immediately. Or, a Jaguar.

jordache, Thursday, 13 April 2006 00:44 (fourteen years ago) link

In the past week, I bought a MIJ JazzMaster. I assume that when you are switching between the Lead and Rhythm circuits using the two position slide, the toggle switch needs to be in the middle position so that both the neck and bridge pickups are selected. Can someone confirm this?

Jeffrey B. Norris, Tuesday, 18 April 2006 20:43 (fourteen years ago) link

By the way, Curtis Novak makes four different replacement pickups for the Jazzmaster, including a blade pickup and a humbucker, all of which fit in the existing cavities without any modification. He hand-winds all of his pickups in the same manner used by Leo Fender. I ordered a Vintage JM pickup for the neck and a P-90 JM pickup for the bridge. Haven't installed them yet. I bought these before I had the guitar in my hands. I was actually surprised by the quality of the tone produced by the stock pickups. Much better than you would think reading many web sites. I suspect that most of the really strong complaints come from people who use very heavy distortion.

J. Norris, Tuesday, 18 April 2006 20:54 (fourteen years ago) link

With time, I've been really disappointed by the Jazzmaster. It hasn't worn well. The little circuit switch got knocked off (far too easily for a gigging instrument) and it's almost impossible to switch between the circuits. And now the pickups keep cutting out and the pickup switch has gone all wonky.

I haven't exactly kept it in a box - I've been rehearsing and gigging with the thing - but it's not been subjected to much worse wear and tear than, say, my Danelectro was, which just took it like a warhorse.

Henrietta Leavitt and the Cepheid Variables (kate), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 08:35 (fourteen years ago) link

Maybe that's why I've seen a lot of Jazzmasters/Jaguars with the switches gaffer-taped up.

Ben Dot (1977), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 18:57 (fourteen years ago) link

cobain did that to prevent himself from accidentally flicking them. a lot of people do it for the sole reason of copying him.

AaronK (AaronK), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 22:02 (fourteen years ago) link


Thats a mighty interesting link you posted. Oddly, the two pickups I've been most interested in trying are the P-90 and the Charlie Christian... definitely let me know how those Novak joints stack up. If they're the biz, I'd have excuse to finally get a JM...

b mulvey, Thursday, 20 April 2006 02:55 (fourteen years ago) link

link = mention, which led to google. you know. i'm retarded.

b mulvey, Thursday, 20 April 2006 02:58 (fourteen years ago) link

(x-post) You don't want to sell yr Jazzy, do you Kate?

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 20 April 2006 08:43 (fourteen years ago) link

No really... I'm just kind of annoyed at all the work it seems to need already when it's only 2 years old!

Henrietta Leavitt and the Cepheid Variables (kate), Thursday, 20 April 2006 10:07 (fourteen years ago) link


I will definately post my opinion of the tone produced by the Novak pickups.

Still need answer to my original question. What position does the circuit selector slide switch need to be in if you want both pickup activated? Obviously, toggle switch is in the middle position.

Norris, Thursday, 20 April 2006 10:20 (fourteen years ago) link


My Jazzmaster is a2003 and it's still mint. I can only base my opinion on a couple of weeks of ownership, but mine seems as solid as my Strat or Tele. And there's something about the JM that makes it more fun to play than any of other guitars I own.

norris, Thursday, 20 April 2006 10:36 (fourteen years ago) link

x-post - just wondering Kate. I fancy a JM or a Jag.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 20 April 2006 10:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Still need answer to my original question. What position does the circuit selector slide switch need to be in if you want both pickup activated? Obviously, toggle switch is in the middle position.

Down. At least that's how it is on my '65 JM

LOL Thomas (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 20 April 2006 23:23 (fourteen years ago) link

i don't think it's an either/or question (re: slide switch). this is what dude at guitar store told me:

if it's down, you put the toggle switch in the middle to have both pick-ups pickin' up. if it's up, then the toggle switch is cut out of the circuit altogether and the pick-up "mix" is controlled by how far one of those two funny little wheels on the upper part of the body is to the right or left (i forget which of the two wheels). it's a custom blend of the two pick-ups.

btw, just played two '66 vintage JM's at chicago music exchange, one of which sounded tinny and rattley, one of which sounded so warm and organic and lush it blew my mind more than a guitar has in a long time. but at $4000 i won't be walking out with it any time soon.

markdanger, Saturday, 22 April 2006 21:43 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
eye dew knot no how 2 phind owt watt year mi JM izz it waz kraphted in japan the ser.No. izz Q030524 kan anyone help me.. {it izz lake placid blue(shiney blue)}

heith, Tuesday, 9 May 2006 01:57 (fourteen years ago) link

According to the serial number, it was made in 1993-1994.

Here's a generally useful tool for Fender dating:

John Justen (johnjusten), Tuesday, 9 May 2006 13:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, if you go here:

and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page (which will take a while) there's a really straightforward Jazzmaster switching diagram in pdf format. I would post it, but I'm not smart enough to know how to post .pdf format to Ilx.

John Justen (johnjusten), Tuesday, 9 May 2006 14:04 (fourteen years ago) link

I am going to buy a reissue 62 JM or a Jag. I don't know which though, so you're going to have to help me!! I will be trying out a few of each over the next few months. I want character, unusual tones, something a bit out of the ordinary (alright.....I want to sound like Tom Verlaine, but the fingers may not be up to the job). I'm hoping it'll sound great on cleans and light o/drive, from what I read I don't think I'll be disappointed, but no idea what to expect with higher gain effects.

As far as I can tell the Jag has one more fret (not important), a strangle switch (is this good? I like the sound of it), different PUs (any info about the characteristics of these would be interesting). How do the different circuit/pick-up combos compare?

Jim - you said yr old JM was way better than yr Jag. Any more thoughts?

Also, thoughts on the bridge. Are they really as dodgy as people say? I am happy to put in a buzz bar or a mustang bridge, but your thoughts welcome.

Dr.C, Tuesday, 16 May 2006 10:56 (fourteen years ago) link

I see there were bridge and PU comments upthread that I hadn't seen. Anyway - more welcome.

Dr.C, Tuesday, 16 May 2006 11:02 (fourteen years ago) link

There are not enough pictures on this thread! What does your Fender Jazzmaster look like?

I Was Wrong, That Don't Mean You Were Right (kate), Tuesday, 16 May 2006 12:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm gonna go for sunburst or candy-apple red if I can find a good one in those colours. Yours is lovely though, Kate.

Dr.C, Tuesday, 16 May 2006 13:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Thanks for the diagram, I played a blue Jazzmaster a couple of weeks ago and felt too stupid to ask someone how those roll switches on the top worked.

What an odd wiring design.

I think the Jazzmaster/Jaguar body shape is really underused by Fender. I like the look without all of the extra switching. This Jaguar Baritone looks sharp and would be great as a two humbucker or P90 jazzmaster scale guitar. It would be like an SG with a Strat scale length.


Earl Nash (earlnash), Tuesday, 16 May 2006 21:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Soon to be arriving at my store:

So incredibly good it hurts.

John Justen (johnjusten), Wednesday, 17 May 2006 01:28 (fourteen years ago) link

ESP got there WAY before them on that bass, and a bunch of cheap-o Chinese manufacturers too. Couldn't get them in the US, though.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Wednesday, 17 May 2006 09:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, lust lust lust. I can't get that baritone picture to work, though.

The Minimal Criminal (kate), Wednesday, 17 May 2006 10:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Those Jaguar basses are gorgeous. I tried one out a couple of months ago and I loved it; very versatile with a great range of sounds. I'm currently lamenting the fact that I don't have the money, and should I get some money, my priority has to be a new computer. Bah!

Ben Dot (1977), Thursday, 18 May 2006 17:47 (fourteen years ago) link

And also lamenting that I let slip the oppurtunity to buy a Jaguar baritone for £350 including hardcase. Double bah!

Ben Dot (1977), Thursday, 18 May 2006 17:49 (fourteen years ago) link

btw, JJ: what store?? i should poke my head in next time i'm home.

gbx (skowly), Thursday, 18 May 2006 19:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Eclipse Music in beautiful, scenic...West St. Paul.

John Justen (johnjusten), Thursday, 18 May 2006 19:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Let's try this again...


Earl Nash (earlnash), Thursday, 18 May 2006 21:00 (fourteen years ago) link

gorgeous is the word

dan (dan), Thursday, 18 May 2006 23:25 (fourteen years ago) link

We sold the first two we got in (1 red, 1 black) the day they showed up. The neck on that bass is FANTASTIC, and the aged block inlays look super-cool in person. Feels sort of like the Geddy Lee neck, without the rest of the bass having all the Geddyleeidness.

John Justen (johnjusten), Friday, 19 May 2006 00:36 (fourteen years ago) link

are there other colors? the red headstock is kinda yucky

guess papers (eman), Friday, 19 May 2006 01:49 (fourteen years ago) link

My main bass these days is actually a Geddy Lee Jazz. It sounds good and the thin neck is choice. The only vintage thing they should have left off was having to take the neck off to adjust the truss rod. The inlays on the Ged are painted. I swapped out the white pickguard on mine and put a black pearloid one.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Friday, 19 May 2006 04:20 (fourteen years ago) link

i will check it out next time i'm home, JJ!

gbx (skowly), Friday, 19 May 2006 23:08 (fourteen years ago) link

RE: Geddy Lee Bass.

Actually, we have one of those coming as well. They're fantastic. The Geddyleeidness I referred to is the Mod Shop style of that bass (badass bridge, etc.). My only actual critique of the bass is the black neck binding, which is legit, but still bugs me for some reason.

John Justen (johnjusten), Saturday, 20 May 2006 07:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I think I'm just gonna bump this...

Windy G Moisture, Saturday, 3 March 2007 02:50 (thirteen years ago) link

Good timing as I just got my '65 Jazzmaster back from the shop (refretted, general restoration, etc.) and I'm in love love love with it again.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 5 March 2007 21:17 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm undecided about whether to buy a Jaguar or a Jazzmaster now...

Can anyone tell me if these samples are pretty accurate on the site here?

I'd always imagined the Jazzmaster to be more trebly in all respects that the Jaguar, but these seem to suggest that on the higher strings there is more roundness in the Jaguars tone (The Jazzmasters lower strings seem lovely and full sounding though, definitely here the Beach Boys in the there)


Chewshabadoo, Tuesday, 6 March 2007 18:07 (thirteen years ago) link

Arrgh! I mean:

I'd always imagined the the Jaguar to be more trebly that the Jazzmaster.

Chewshabadoo, Tuesday, 6 March 2007 18:10 (thirteen years ago) link

The jag is a cool guitar, but Jazzmasters always sound better to me, definitely fuller sounding.

John Justen, Tuesday, 6 March 2007 21:47 (thirteen years ago) link

The jag is kind of a one-trick pony, depsite all the switches.

Windy G Moisture, Tuesday, 6 March 2007 22:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Tricky call. I guess it depends what sound you want really and what amp and FX you want to use. I don't have enough experience on a Jag to say what works and what doesn't, all I know is that you SHOULD be able to get the sounds that you expressed an interest in on the other thread. What I CAN say, is that you will DEFINITELY be able to get them out of a Jazzmaster. I think all things being equal, on most rigs a Jazzy will sound fuller and richer.

I am now getting some monstrous sounds out of the Jazzy, on a fairly budget set-up. If you're using more than moderate overdrive you have to be careful to EQ everything so that there are plenty of mids (but I guess that's a general rule for just about anything) and not too much treble, otherwise the nice crispy tone can get harsh. Most of the time I am running Jazzy - Compressor - Bad Monkey - Blues Driver into a Marshall with on-board delay. The compressor is useful for just smoothing off the excess grit when the BM and BD are on together. It's also good for chunking up the cleans.

With that rig I can get some REALLY huge sounds on both the Neck and Bridge p/ups. There's something about the tone that is really unusual - I think of it as 'crispy' rather than 'crunchy' with overdrive added. Even when you crank up the gain, the articulation in the chords is very clear - not a wall of mush like with Humbuckers. The cleans are something else - really surfy on the bridge p/up and creamy smooth and acoustic-like on the neck. I am also SO impressed with the Tremolo - much better design than, say, a Strat - so sensitive and responsive. With a set of 11s on there the tuning is rock solid too, even with some heavy trem-wang. You can get that 'whalesong' type MBV/shoegazy sound very easily too.

The pickups are not really all that 'vintage' sounding, it's true. But they're vintage enough for me - I can get some pretty distinctive garage and surf tones, but they're maybe only 80% of the way there. That's one upgrade that I feel I might do in the future - get some authentic sounding pickups, but really it sounds so bloody great as it is that I might not bother.

I don't know if this has given you any further ideas, Chewshabadoo? I hope so.

I still want a Jag as well, just to have one really....

Dr.C, Wednesday, 7 March 2007 10:58 (thirteen years ago) link

Examples of the huge sounds that I'm wibbling on about here include the crashing chords towards the end of Cocteau Twins ' Violane' , the J.Mascis tone, and MBV/Slowdive-y sounds. It's great to be able to move between them with the flick of a couple of switches.

Dr.C, Wednesday, 7 March 2007 12:07 (thirteen years ago) link

Japanese Jazzmasters have strat pickups under the covers.
The American Vintage models have far more accurate pickups.

Also, keep in mind alot of the 'vintange' sound on records is mics,. micing, production techniques, mixing boards, etc. used at the time of the recording.

Windy G Moisture, Wednesday, 7 March 2007 19:27 (thirteen years ago) link

They are not strat pickups. They are thinner than the ones used on the American Vintage reissues, and more like strat pickups, but they are not actual strat pickups.

Dr.C, Thursday, 8 March 2007 09:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Personally, the Jazzmaster's short-scale neck always annoyed me.

The Jaguar is way more friendly to my big paws esp. chording above the 12th fret.

Steve Shasta, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 21:26 (thirteen years ago) link

somethings not right about that. the jazzmaster has a longer scale, it's the jaguar that's typically considered 'short scale' even though its the same scale as a Les Paul.

horrid bluegrass clicktrack, Thursday, 15 March 2007 05:50 (thirteen years ago) link

Yes, I think you have it the wrong way round Steve?

Dr.C, Thursday, 15 March 2007 13:14 (thirteen years ago) link

Jaguar - 24" scale
Jazzmaster - 25.5" scale

John Justen, Thursday, 15 March 2007 18:37 (thirteen years ago) link

Maybe I'm using the wrong term... the distance between frets is larger on the Jaguar.

Either that, or I'm completely insane... you make the call.

Steve Shasta, Friday, 16 March 2007 01:20 (thirteen years ago) link

From the Why the Fender Jaguar Does Not Suck FAQ:

The Stratocaster scale is 25.5" from saddle to nut. This is only about 4% difference in scale. All Gibson guitars, Les Pauls etc, are 24.75". That's only a quarter of an inch difference between the Jaguar and the Les Paul. Far too often is the Jaguar referred to (and dismissed) as a "short scale" guitar. When in fact it is more of a medium scale. And as has been mentioned, not dissimilar to the standard Gibson scale. There are also smaller scales than 24" used for guitars as well. For example, the 22.5" scale necks used on 'student' Mustangs, Musicmasters and Duo-Sonics etc.

The fretboard radius is curved to 7.25" on a Jaguar, the same as alot of other Fender guitars. Some people complain about "choking off" on these radius. A problem which can always be solved by raising the action by a very small amount. If people are insistent on having the action so low, in combination with bending 8's two whole notes, then nothing can stop choking off on a 7.25" radius. A Japanese Jaguar special has a 9.5" radius fretboard.

William Selman, Friday, 16 March 2007 19:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Sorry forgot the first sentence which is: "The Jaguar scale is 24" from saddle to nut."

William Selman, Friday, 16 March 2007 19:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Steve, the longer the scale length, the wider the spacing between frets, I'm afraid. Still, you aren't going to notice the space between frets as much as you'll notice a difference in the amount of tension in the strings, so I'd say you're merely suffering from wake-boarding induced delusions, not insane per se.

John Justen, Friday, 16 March 2007 20:37 (thirteen years ago) link

two years pass...

Sonic Youth signature Jazzmasters:

The Thurston model looks kinda cool actually.

Carroll Shelby Downard (Elvis Telecom), Saturday, 13 June 2009 07:32 (eleven years ago) link

i'd quite like the lee ranaldo one!

comedy cafe at the toxteth hotel (electricsound), Saturday, 13 June 2009 07:47 (eleven years ago) link

My Jazzmaster is in my mom's closet in America and I miss it so much.

what u arrestin me for, innit (╓abies), Saturday, 13 June 2009 12:44 (eleven years ago) link

as a committed wide-range humbucker fan, the lee guitar looks amazing.

DUDE, I DON'T LOSE (call all destroyer), Saturday, 13 June 2009 14:24 (eleven years ago) link

I guess what I really want is the Lee model with the green finish of the Thurston one.

Honestly though, shouldn't the signature models be just a box of Jazzmaster parts to build your own config?

Carroll Shelby Downard (Elvis Telecom), Saturday, 13 June 2009 19:14 (eleven years ago) link

Anybody know what they mean by "newly revoiced and improved Fender wide range humbuckers"? Did they actually use cunife magnets this time around? Curious bout what's actually under the hood.

what u arrestin me for, innit (╓abies), Sunday, 14 June 2009 02:48 (eleven years ago) link

probably overwound like every other bastardized fender pickup of the last 10 years :(

ecstatic i poisoned u with nachos t(:Dt) (jjjusten), Sunday, 14 June 2009 04:01 (eleven years ago) link

What y'all think of this jazz/jag bridge:

My thoughts:
1) $HMMM.00
2) Posts are set or whatever and it doesn't swivel. They say it stays in tune w all kinds of divebombing: but how??
3) Otherwise, want.

what u arrestin me for, innit (╓abies), Monday, 15 June 2009 11:33 (eleven years ago) link

Offset guitars website have many users of the mastery bridge. Most are totally positive about it, but there are a few reports that you MAY still need to use tape/glue etc to stop unwanted movement. I haven't seen or used one, but it seems a pretty expensive solution to me. I don't believe you can divebomb with it - i've certainly not read any reports that the range of operation is any greater than with any other jag or jazz trem/bridge combination.

I've just changed the bridge on my Jag to a Mustang bridge with tape-wrapped posts, and it's 100% stable. I think you may lose a little bit of trem range by locking the posts compared to a properly set up, fully floating system (I have my Jazzmaster with stock bridge for comparison), but I was having so many rattling and tuning problems with the stock bridge that I decided to switch.

Dr.C, Monday, 15 June 2009 13:54 (eleven years ago) link

Dude does some divebombing in a video on the website, actually.

what u arrestin me for, innit (╓abies), Monday, 15 June 2009 14:44 (eleven years ago) link

Hmm - I'll have to look at that.

Dr.C, Monday, 15 June 2009 14:55 (eleven years ago) link

dude in one of my bands sprung for one of those mastery bridges, it's pretty sweet

6335, Thursday, 18 June 2009 04:06 (eleven years ago) link

seven months pass...

Bumping to vent how much I hate setting up my Jazzmaster. I hope GZeus doesn't yell at me cuz I shimmed it with match sticks.

jazz bus (╓abies), Wednesday, 20 January 2010 23:40 (ten years ago) link

three weeks pass...


Möbius dick (╓abies), Wednesday, 10 February 2010 16:50 (ten years ago) link


(ahem: What about it?)

Mark G, Thursday, 11 February 2010 09:22 (ten years ago) link

They look like the bullets from the "tooth gun" in eXistenZ.

might seem normal (snoball), Thursday, 11 February 2010 09:58 (ten years ago) link

I can see that they'd make a difference to a fixed bridge instrument, but on a Jazzmaster with so many other things affecting tone?

might seem normal (snoball), Thursday, 11 February 2010 10:02 (ten years ago) link

ahem: What about it?

Oh nothin really, just WTFing because I have an abundance of time, and basically what snoball said. Like it'd probably be way more effective to develop some G&L style saddle lock thing or something, or something to directly increase string>body transference, etc... Also LOL @ "man made ivory" angle for yr weird plastic parts.

Möbius dick (╓abies), Friday, 12 February 2010 02:22 (ten years ago) link

eleven months pass...

I have decided that I need one of these things more than I need financial security

I guess sooner or later [...] this happens to everyone?

Are the Mexican Classic Player ones regarded as a pretty good bet with these (JM or Jag, haven't played them recently to work out which one I like best)? There don't seem to be so many Japanese reissue ones readily available anymore as per Dr C's annoyingly shrewd investment upthread. I'm not so interested in the affordable blacktop ones because they come in shit colours. Yeah.

The CP ones are like c£700 in the UK and $800 in the US; are US dealers allowed to ship these things to Europe? Does anybody know any good websites that do? Alternately, is trying to import from Fender Japan worthwhile?

Bad Fucking Dowie (Sgt. Biscuits), Sunday, 30 January 2011 22:41 (nine years ago) link

The Classic players are variable. I have played a few, mainly Jags - one was a great sounding guitar but a couple were virtually unplayable because of bad set-ups and/or badly cut nuts. That can obv be fixed though. The CP Jazzmasters seem to have a good reputation - the one I played was a nice guitar.

I ended up buying a CP Jag HH, which I got for £375 + a fuzz face in part-exchange. I wasn't really looking for one, but it was an unbeatable deal. It too, had a badly cut nut and took a lot of work to get stable. I still haven't gigged it as I'm not 100% confident in the tuning stability. I might replace the tune-o-matic type bridge with a roller bridge, which seems to be a popular mod.

What you have to know is that the pickups on the classic player series are hotter than the CIJ or AVRI Jags and JMs. My Jag never really sounds clean but it certainly growls with crunch or fuzz. The coil split really works well, with loads of tones available. Full single coil is quite Jag-like, although a bit chunkier. You can't quite get the classic Jaguar tones with them.

There are now the MIM Blacktops, which seem to have had good reviews, but I think they look hideous and are very far from the orginal designs. There are Squiers on the way too, but I wouldn't touch them. My advice would be to look out for a 2nd hand CIJ, or if you can afford the extra, then try to get one from Ishibashi in Japan. I've heard good reports about their customer service and you'd have access to all kinds of custom colours that we don't often see in the UK. Or, if the hotter pickups don't bother you, then try some Classic Players, but watch for quality problems.

Dr.C, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 10:38 (nine years ago) link

Hunt down a j. Mascis unless the sparkle purple or tunamatic is a dealbreaker.

O_o-O_0-o_O (jjjusten), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:13 (nine years ago) link

Those things look pretty cool but I already got a sparkly signature model type guitar and I think I want something a bit more traditional/non-affiliated.

Thanks a lot for all that Dr C, I was starting to lean towards CIJ so that kind of confirms it for me. Ishibashi seems to have become a bit more of an expensive proposition these days so I might just keep an eye out for cheap second hand ones here and bite the bullet on importing later in the year if nothing turns up.

Bad Fucking Dowie (Sgt. Biscuits), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 21:01 (nine years ago) link

I was winning a Japanese white Jazzmaster for £500 on Ebay with 30 seconds to go and then two people piled in while I was elsewhere and it vanished for £627; I could have Bought It Now for £625. This is the end of the world.

Bad Fucking Dowie (Sgt. Biscuits), Wednesday, 2 February 2011 21:38 (nine years ago) link

Don't worry, they do come up quite often. Other ideas:

1) Call Pete Cooks. They are not listing any CIJs on their website, but may still have some left, or be able to get some.
2) Andertons have a CIJ 66 reissue (blocks and binding) model on their website. It's £700 though, but they do normally negotiate. I got a great deal on an AC30 there.
3) Macaris still has one or two quite recently.
4) Regent Sounds - I think they can still get them and may have one or two left. I work quite near Denmark Street and could look if you like.

Dr.C, Thursday, 3 February 2011 09:41 (nine years ago) link

Absurdly, the punchline to that Ebay situation was that the winning mystery bid was actually some spectacular counter-gazumping by my own girlfriend to fend off the late interloper. Hopefully she will let me play it.

The possibility of getting a good deal on an AC30 certainly still appeals though, once I've got out of the poorhouse.

Bad Fucking Dowie (Sgt. Biscuits), Thursday, 3 February 2011 18:05 (nine years ago) link

Oh cool - didn't you realise at the time? So you have the guitar then? If so that's great news - I think you'll love it. Mine is my absolute number one guitar, I alternate between it and my CIJ Jag for gigging - they're both great guitars but the Jazzmaster is the one I couldn't live without. It's absolutely stock apart from a Mustang bridge - a lot of players claim that the stock CIJ pickups are no good, but I'd violently disagree with that. It's true that they're not the same as the vintage or AVRI pickups, as they are narrower and more Strat-like, but they sound fantastic to me.

Dr.C, Friday, 4 February 2011 09:23 (nine years ago) link

Yeah, it was a private auction so all I could see was that I'd been outbid by two other people in the last minute while I was working late. Wifey put up with about an hour and a half of my psychopathic brooding before coming clean, concerned that I might sell a kidney to import one from Japan before she could spring the surprise.

I haven't actually collected it yet so I don't know how well it's been looked after, but I'm glad to hear you're happy with yours in its original state, cos after springing money I don't have to get it I'm a bit too cleaned out to be thinking about AVRI pickups or buzzstops at this point.

Bad Fucking Dowie (Sgt. Biscuits), Sunday, 6 February 2011 00:28 (nine years ago) link

Yeah I'm playing this thing with old strings and the stock Japanese pickups through a shitty, beat up Roland Cube-60 and it still sounds pretty great to me

MPx4A, Thursday, 10 February 2011 19:59 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Fender Japan is making all the cool stuff right now. I really like the look of this Jazzmaster HO hollowbody

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 2 March 2011 07:12 (nine years ago) link

That Jazzmaster hollow-body kind of looks reminicent to a a Reverend Flatroc with that double binding.

It looks cool though.

earlnash, Thursday, 3 March 2011 01:50 (nine years ago) link

eight years pass...

Ocasek's pink Jazzmaster on the beginning of "My Best Friend's Girl" is the ur-sound of all Jazzmasters.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 16 September 2019 18:26 (one year ago) link

That's a cool clip. Sounds good and right up on the band. You can see that Ric has the Jazzmaster in the middle position and that Elliot is flipping back and forth between the neck and bridge pickup on the Tele.

earlnash, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 00:30 (one year ago) link

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