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Post subject: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:54 am
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Hi, I figured I'd review my new "Fender Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Classic Jazzmaster" and see if other people had similar experiences. I was both happy and a tad disappointed after getting it home and playing a while. I assessed it in the store where I bought it and did not notice the issues it had.
First the good stuff:
1. It sounds great, the pickups are great
2. The neck is very high quality.
3. Pau Ferro fretboard is great,
4. Frets perfect
5. It was perfectly set up out of the gate.
NOTE: I did put flatwound 11-52 on it like the originals came with to get that surfer sound. This required a minor neck adustment. Luckily it only took one adjustment because each adjustment requires that you remove the neck, a design flaw from the old days and the price you pay for a "classic" model that tries to duplicate the old versions.

The other issues were not really expected, and I guess the original Jazzmasters must have been horrible compared to the Stratocaster of the day since all the design flaws are not necessarily "period issues" but rather just poor design of that guitar in that era, it cost me about 150$ to get it up to snuff, doing the labor myself

The issues:

1. The bridge rattles and the screws shake loose. Superglue or adhesive may have fixed it but I just replaced the bridge with a Mustang bridge which fit perfectly. It doesn't bother me that the Mustang bridge doesn't have individual string height adjustments because the radius is preset precisely. I have the same old Jazzmaster style bridge on my Bass VI and it doesn't have the rattling issue (the screws are what rattles when they become loose)

2. The tremolo unit doesn't have the lock button, I replaced it with a Classic Mexican Fender trem unit with the lock button. This also got me the screw-in trem arm as opposed to the pop-in, which caused me to custom make a trem arm screw like the strats have because there is no such thing for this bridge, the trem arm just floats freely. The original one did not have that issue, just the replacement. The pop-in arm is superior, but I couldn't find a replacement that had the lock button.

3. Electronic noise. It's not the price you pay for single coils, it's the price you pay for poor quality on the assembly line. There was way more than an acceptable level of hum and pick noise when you touch the pick guard while playing. I put copper shielding in the body cavity and grounded the wire to it, now it's so quiet I can't believe it. It rivals noiseless pickups. You'll still get the hum if you're right near something like fluorescent lights, but the shielding worked like a charm. The body cavity had a poorly applied very light coat of shielding paint on it before I put in the copper, it was completely ineffective.

Over-all I would recommend this guitar, I don't mind a little maintenance at the outset to get a great guitar like this one. Mine is Fiesta red and I love the thin nitro paint and matching headstock, and the neck with binding is gorgeous. If the neck had any issues I probably would have just brought it back, but the neck is superb. The pickups are dirtier than Strat pickups, possibly because of the wider range of magnet they supposedly have, they sound different than a strat and in a good way, even though I love Strat pickups also. The guitar is easily worth the money including what I put into it to get it to perfection.

There are so many Jazzmaster models out there and I realize not all of them have the issues, and some don't have the benefits of the old models like the rhythm circuit, which I like but I can see why many guitarists would never use it. It gives you a second set or pre-sets you can switch to with the flick of the button, which is a cool feature.
Thanks, Don :)


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Fender Play April 2019
Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:51 pm
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I don’t consider the bridge issues to be a design flaw. My guess is that the bridge was fine until you decided to replace the strings. There’s one thing that you have to be aware of with these bridges; if the bridge posts aren’t centered in the wells that they rock in, they will vibrate against the side of the well. This will sound like an annoying buzz or rattle.

I’ve got an AVRI Jazzmaster, and a VM Jaguar. I’ve not had any trouble with the bridges, once I figured out what I described above. The problem will usually pop up right after you’ve changed strings, particularly if you change them all at once.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:44 pm
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It could be that I could have gotten it to be rattle free if I had been more patient. The buzz occurred before I changed strings, and after. I had read that the flatwounds would not hop of their slots like the round wounds, but that turned out to not be true, but I also went up a gauge which may have offset that. One things for sure, the bridge is more temperamental than most bridges. The problem I had was that one side or the other of the screws for each string height adjustment would have less pressure on it and vibrate loose. I tried to adjust each side equally but after several days of playing it and not being able to get it to have one side or the other by each string vibrate loose, I just figured a replacement bride would be better then messing around. The strings not staying in their slots could be reflective of my rough playing style, but that was the second problem with the bridge. I looked at the mastery bridge, but didn't like the way it was in two sections (and cost 150$).
But, I have to admit I don't have the same problem with my Pawn Shop Bass VI and it has the same bridge. I also did not look at the bridge super closely with a magnifier or anything (my eyes aren't the best) so maybe the posts weren't centered. I just prefer something more maintenance free.
How are the electronics on the AVRI? Are they relatively quiet (aside from standard SC hum)?
Thanks, Don


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:20 pm
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I would say it’s pretty quiet. I’ve never noticed any issues with that.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:57 pm
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I love my jazzmaster. I have been a bass player for years. I recently started learning guitar and purchased a nice jazzmaster as my first electric! I
love it!


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:37 am
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Hi, I have recently purchased a Player Jazzmaster, Nicely made, Great sound from both pickups. However a couple of things puzzle me. 1) the Vintage bridge has a string spread of 55mm, while the bridge pickup has a spread of 50mm so consequently the GBE strings do not go over their respective magnets, the top E misses by a long way with a resulting mismatch in volume with the others. Also the top E string is very close to the edge of the fingerboard. My Jascis Squire has a TOM bridge which solves both problems. Would this be recommended as a solution? 2) The increased neck angle has two unintended effects, one the bridge needs to be set much higher so the term. arm can now foul the bridge on any more than gentle downward bends, and also the bridge pickup has to be set at its absolute maximum height to be anywhere near optimum sound. I have found that a shim at the headstock end of the neck slot cures this problem, Is this normal? Finally I find it difficult to operate the pull switch so change from Humbucker to single coil mode as the control knob is difficult to grip. I would be interested if anyone else is in agreement with my comments, or am I being too picky. Regards David.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:13 pm
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I can tell you what I'd do, I'd bring it back and tell them to fix the spacing issue or get a refund. Hard to believe they'd put a mismatched bridge on. Ive had guitars where the string volume wasn't pretty much equal and it's driven me crazy. On my Jazzmaster the magnets line up on each string, although the spacing is not completely equal. its pretty close.
I once had one of the newer Les Paul Jr Specials that had a defective nut (improperly cut) and the high E was so close to the edge that when I would just casually bend a little the string would fall off the edge of the fretboard. Also intolerable.
I just looked up one online and even the pics of the Player model on line show the high E off the edge of the pole magnets, very wierd. Maybe the pickup is just placed poorly and thats a manufacturing issue, it needs to be more to the high E side. The pics on line don't show them with the string too close to the edge of the bard though. Maybe yours just exceeded tolerances in both directions.
I looked up pics of a couple other models and they don't seem to have that issue, seems to be just the Player model.
Don


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:19 am
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The Player series JM comes with humbuckers, and their dimensioning is probably the base cause for the alignment. But since you get "Great sound from both pickups", I wouldn't pay any attention to spacing.

The "the top E string is very close to the edge of the fingerboard" is another thing. If it causes trouble when you play, you can align the neck to suit your preferences.

And then there is the neck angle… Increased neck angle is a common way to cure bridge problems on a Jazzmaster (Jaguar/Mustang ets.), and many believe that the increased string break angle over the saddle gives better sound and sustain - Roy Buchanan's Tele as the prime example. So again, IMHO not a problem.

But a full setup ("initial setup for a new guitar") where the guitar is dialed to your preferences would solve the neck alignment as well as the neck angle.
There probably is nothing wrong with the guitar, it's just that you prefer a different kind of setup. Plus, you may not yet be fully accustomed to your new instrument.

On the knob operating problems, try putting a rubber O-ring on the knob. And of course, there are lots of replacement parts available.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:40 am
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Hi, Thanks for the replies, gives me something to think about. Regards David.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:21 am
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Hi everyone! I'm new here. Don't wanna make a mess with a new topic so I i will post it here.
I have an opportunity to buy this Jazzmaster for stupid money. Could you please tell me wheather it looks legit?
Looks like Japanese JM66 BUT is everything right with the headstock???
https://www.fotosik.pl/zdjecie/pelne/c713df745af85074
I would be grateful for your help :)
Cheers!


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:53 pm
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Looks authentic to me. But most of the MIJ's I've seen in the 3TSB finish have a tortoise-shell pickguard.

Arjay

_________________
"Here's why reliability is job one: A great sounding amp that breaks down goes from being a favorite piece of gear to a useless piece of crap in less time than it takes to read this sentence." -- BRUCE ZINKY


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Post subject: Re: Fender Jazzmaster
Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:04 am
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I can't tell by that one pic only, one way or another.

"Made" or "Crafted" in Japan? What's the (beginning of) the serial? Those would define the build year.
And more pics, from every angle, high-res please.


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