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Looking for a change to my Les Paul, Jazzmaster maybe?

kriffb

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Mar 8, 2016
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I've predominantly owned Gibson and Les Paul's over the years. I'm currently down to just owning a tobacco coloured Les Paul from 74' and a Michael Kelly Triad Dreadnought, as I like to play a bit of acoustic sometimes too. I'm now after something a bit different and I'm quite drawn by the Fender Jazzmaster. I'm keen on something from the early to mid-60's as that's the era of music I connect most with. Can anyone recommend or not recommend a 60's jazzmaster? Everyone has their own view points so its always interesting to see what peoples opinions are.
 

goldtop0

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I've always been a Gibson player but last year I went back to the basics and did myself a partscaster nocaster.......a good sound with the modern wiring setup.
 

S. Cane

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If you wish to have a steady tool that gives you about the same amount of punch as the Les Paul but more subtle and twangy: TELECASTER

If you really need high output and are able to deal with the particular non userfriendliness of these ones, JAGUAR/JAZZMASTER

if you want an all-rounder that can cover most of what rock music is about, and don't care much about tone fidelity, preferring authenticity: STRATOCASTER

I play strats after having been a Lester Player, because these devils can cover a whole lotta ground in any style.
 

sonar

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If you're looking vintage Jazzmaster I'd look pre-65, or before they went to binding and block inlays. More recent the MIJ/CIJ's were good guitars with terrible electronics, but that's par for the course with Fender Japan. While I think the MIM Tele's are some of the best bang for the buck guitars out there, I've been less impressed with the other MIM models. The Custom Shop's can be really good or just overpriced. So, the Jazzmaster is pretty much like any other model in the Fender line-up.

On a good old Jazzmaster the neck pickup sounds gorgeous. The bridge pickup can get bright on Blackface Fender's, less so on Brownies and Tweeds. They do particularly well with British amps. My favorite combo is a Jazzmaster and an old Marshall with EL34's. The pickup design is more susceptible to 60 cycle hum compared to Strat's and Tele's, but pickups were RWRP sets.

The biggest drawback with the design was the bridge. Modern aftermarket drop-in replacements like the Mastery Bridge solves most of the issues brought about because of the bridge design, but unless you look into shimming the neck or playing with high action, you're never going to get the sustain of a Tele. Luckily, the good lord created the fuzz pedal.


If you really need high output and are able to deal with the particular non userfriendliness of these ones, JAGUAR/JAZZMASTER


Where did you get this nonsense?

The Jaguar and Jazzmaster are two very different guitars, so I'll concentrate on the OP's question.

The DC resistance on a Jazzmaster reads higher due to the design of the pickup, but the output is about the same as a traditional Strat pickup.

The Jazzmaster design is a more comfortable guitar to play standing up compared to either a Strat or Tele. The trem system is softer and more stable than a Strat, and can be locked out if you don't need it. The bridge pickup will cop a better Tele "pickin'" tone better than a Strat ever will, sets were always RWRP and some consider the neck pickup to be the best sounding of the Fender rhythm pickups.
 
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zhivago

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My Jazzmaster is a slab board from '61...it is an excellent rock-solid instrument that I have toured with and played for many years.

20141228022335-0f1d19ab-la.jpg


The mis-conception of offset Fenders like the JM and Jag not being user-friendly is a myth in my opinion. You just need to understand how these guitars work.

You need a minimum of 10s on a JM, and swapping the stock bridge to a Mustang bridge which drops right in cures the string saddle slippage. Alternatively use 11s and up with the original bridge. The low angle of the bridge means the guitar will still be very playable.

Make sure the bridge is un-obstructed (no tape on the legs to "lock it" - that is a mistake), so it rocks back and forth when you use the tremolo. It is meant to do that and my JM just doesn't go out of tune.

These are excellent instruments, and the fact they are so misunderstood, means you can pick a pre-CBS example pretty cheap, compared to Telecasters and Stratocasters.

Slab board ones are my favourites, but I have also owned ones from '64 and '66 and they were excellent guitars too.

For more Jazzmaster talk, go here: www.offsetguitars.com :salude
 

S. Cane

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It's not nonsense at all.

You're the first guy I've heard say that a JM is more comfortable than a strat, but that's personal and I never said JMs and Jags weren't good or comfortable.

I said aren't as user friendly, not as easy to set up or control, and they require mods more often than strats or teles, especially the bridges.

plus, the pup response is quite different than a strat's.

but I repeat: I am NOT saying those are bad or lesser guitars, I am sharing what I know by experience about offset Fenders, compared to the more common models, that's all.
 

sonar

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My Jazzmaster is a slab board from '61...it is an excellent rock-solid instrument that I have toured with and played for many years.

20141228022335-0f1d19ab-la.jpg


The mis-conception of offset Fenders like the JM and Jag not being user-friendly is a myth in my opinion. You just need to understand how these guitars work.

You need a minimum of 10s on a JM, and swapping the stock bridge to a Mustang bridge which drops right in cures the string saddle slippage. Alternatively use 11s and up with the original bridge. The low angle of the bridge means the guitar will still be very playable.

Make sure the bridge is un-obstructed (no tape on the legs to "lock it" - that is a mistake), so it rocks back and forth when you use the tremolo. It is meant to do that and my JM just doesn't go out of tune.

These are excellent instruments, and the fact they are so misunderstood, means you can pick a pre-CBS example pretty cheap, compared to Telecasters and Stratocasters.

Slab board ones are my favourites, but I have also owned ones from '64 and '66 and they were excellent guitars too.

For more Jazzmaster talk, go here: www.offsetguitars.com :salude


Nice guitar!

I wish I knew about the Mustang bridge back when my JM was my main guitar. I used a buzz stop, which I was never happy with.

Maybe I should show mine off...
 

sonar

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1960 Blonde. It was my main guitar for about 10 years. Now semi-retired to a leisurely life around the house or the random jam session.

I was always able to dial in what I wanted out of Jazzmaster's. Not unlike Les Paul's they're very forgiving guitars, at the expense of some tonal variety.
 

S. Cane

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1960 Blonde. It was my main guitar for about 10 years. Now semi-retired to a leisurely life around the house or the random jam session.

I was always able to dial in what I wanted out of Jazzmaster's. Not unlike Les Paul's they're very forgiving guitars, at the expense of some tonal variety.


Very beautiful
 

slimdave

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Oct 6, 2012
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1960 Blonde. It was my main guitar for about 10 years. Now semi-retired to a leisurely life around the house or the random jam session.

I was always able to dial in what I wanted out of Jazzmaster's. Not unlike Les Paul's they're very forgiving guitars, at the expense of some tonal variety.


Beautiful guitar!

What kind of music were you playing with this one?
 

zhivago

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1960 Blonde. It was my main guitar for about 10 years. Now semi-retired to a leisurely life around the house or the random jam session.

I was always able to dial in what I wanted out of Jazzmaster's. Not unlike Les Paul's they're very forgiving guitars, at the expense of some tonal variety.



wow, that looks incredible!! :salude
 

sonar

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Beautiful guitar!

What kind of music were you playing with this one?

Geez, a lot.

By the time I got my JM I had been in a couple bands and started to feel comfortable with the instrument.

I've always flirted between early punk and surf, so a lot of that. I was in a band that played what is now referred to as "stoner rock" when I first got it. A buddy used to host an open jam blues night that I'd go to every so often...

basically what a lot of 20-something guitarists were doing in the 90's.

Recently I've been on a James Burton kick (amazing guitarist) and I usually try to hack my way through his stuff with the JM.
 
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Nobi

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Nov 17, 2003
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does it have to be a vintage one ?

I would try a J Mascis Squier one which comes with an ABR-style bridge already installed, its a great bang for the buck.
If you like this one you could flip it and get a vintage one.

 

kriffb

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Mar 8, 2016
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Well I certainly got a detailed answer. Had a feeling I'd throw up a bit of a debate. It seems that Jazzmasters really divide opinion more than most. There's something about them that draws me in for that reason. The people that love them, really do love them and make a compelling case. The fact that you can get add-ons that counteract some of the perceived drawbacks, is making me more inclined to give a Jazzmaster the chance. Seeing some of the pics too, there's some really nice guitars on show. Checking out some Jazzmasters at a used for sale auction site used.forsale/fender-jazzmaster, if anyone can recommend any on here, I'd appreciate it, not sure what I'm looking for except that I should probably be going for something pre-65 based on the feedback I've had? Any other good sites I can check out?
 

slimdave

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Geez, a lot.

By the time I got my JM I had been in a couple bands and started to feel comfortable with the instrument.

I've always flirted between early punk and surf, so a lot of that. I was in a band that played what is now referred to as "stoner rock" when I first got it. A buddy used to host an open jam blues night that I'd go to every so often...

basically what a lot of 20-something guitarists were doing in the 90's.

Recently I've been on a James Burton kick (amazing guitarist) and I usually try to hack my way through his stuff with the JM.

Well, the JM seems like a great guitar for punk and all the 90s guitar thing. Must have been a great time. In those days I played everything with an Amerincan made starndard SG, from the Peppers to Nirvana... oh, the 90s...
 

Phatfrank

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Feb 5, 2015
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I was also keen on a nice JM, and after trying to find a suitable pre-CBS one I caved and ended up with a new CS Jazzmaster. Really worth a try if you're not 100% set on a vintage one, and it is absolutely wonderful. By far the best JM I've ever played.

DSC00028_zps2t55nxbh.jpg


DSC00036_zps7cjkqbet.jpg


DSC00033_zpso5b4gw3r.jpg
 

sonar

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Well, the JM seems like a great guitar for punk and all the 90s guitar thing. Must have been a great time. In those days I played everything with an Amerincan made starndard SG, from the Peppers to Nirvana... oh, the 90s...

It had its moments. Some aspects I don't miss.

For most of that time I was anti-humbucker, which was strange considering my childhood dream guitar was Jimmy Pages's Les Paul Standard.
 
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