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Jazzmasters

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by stratman323, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    I've recently discovered that I like Jazzmasters - my Squier Vintage Modified has shown me that an offset with the proper Fender scale length suits me quite well, even though I could find little to like about the Jaguar I used to own. Short-scale Fenders just don't work for me. So far I'm loving the bridge pickup sound from the JM. Sort of halfway between a Strat & a P90 LP, if that makes any sense?

    So please tell me which Jazzmaster you have & what you think of it. I've learned a few facts on here in the past, such as (much to my surprise) the pickups in the MIJ/CIJ JMs are actually just Strat pickups in a bigger casing. That was disappointing. And I never liked the fat & very glossy necks on the Fender Japan vintage style Strats & Teles, so I guess I'm not going to be looking at Fender Japans for any future JM.

    Does anyone have an AVRI JM? What do you think of it? Are they broadly comparable to an AVRI Strat? And how does the older AVRI62 JM compare to the current AVRI65 JM? If they are anything like the Strats, I imagine the neck on the 65 will be fatter than the 62?

    http://intl.fender.com/en-GB/guitar...nd-lam-rosewood-fingerboard-3-color-sunburst/

    And has anyone tried one of the '60s Jazzmaster Lacquers? They look interesting. Only available in one colour, but it's quite a nice colour.

    http://intl.fender.com/en-GB/guitar...ster-lacquer-rosewood-fingerboard-surf-green/

    I'm not interested in anything with a short scale, humbuckers, huge frets or a big fat neck. Apart from that, please tell me what you know or what you think.
     
    Leo Comerford likes this.

  2. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014
    Australia
    Hello Stratman 323,

    I'm really quite happy for you that you've found a new love for the Jazzmasters ! I can't offer any advice or information about them I'm sorry, but I'm only replying in respect to your interest in the Japanese models, & would only wish to advise you & any other person of the very real threat of potential radioactive contamination, from the on-going triple-meltdown disaster of the Nuclear Reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. The situation there is worse now than when the reactors first melted down in March, 2011.

    Contamination of the countryside is so prolific, that it's expected that the Japanese will no longer be hosting the 2020 Olympic games. I'd advise any interested people to keep themselves up-to-date with this ongoing holocaust via net-news-services / aggregators such as ENENews. This tragedy is so grave, that nobody's reporting on it. And those who are, are being ridiculed for it, at the expense of our health & safety.

    Cheers,

    Rastus
     
    optofonik and glesgageetarman like this.

  3. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    I had pretty much dismissed the idea of buying a Japanese JM for the reasons I listed above, but it's still interesting to read your comments. It did seem strange to me that reporting on the aftermath of the meltdown went so quiet so quickly. Major crises like these don't go away when the media lose interest in them.

    I watched the aftermath of the tsunami & questioned the wisdom of ever building nuclear reactors in areas like this. Shortly afterwards our government announced that we would be cutting back on coal fired power stations & building "new generation" nuclear facilities. That didn't strike me as very wise, but nobody seems to care. I know we're not a country that suffers significantly from earthquakes, but I wonder how much future generations will curse us for what we are doing with nuclear stuff generally.

    Anyway - back to Jazzmasters!
     

  4. Phat-O-Caster

    Phat-O-Caster Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    57
    896
    Apr 16, 2008
    Colorado
    I like Jazzmasters and have been secretly hunting for the one I want for years without success-think it may have to be a custom build. I've put all the parts together several times at Warmoth but never pulled the trigger-not many out there with the maple fretboards that I prefer. The search goes on.
     

  5. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Strat-Talker

    288
    Aug 2, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I own a couple of Jazzmasters, a Thinskin AVRI and a Thurston Moore Signature. I have to admit though that I don't play them so much these days, in fact, I don't play any guitars much these days as I am teaching myself the 5 string banjo which takes up all my practice time.



    That said, the necks on both guitars are both 62 style Cs with medium jumbo frets (AVRIs have vintage). The Thurston Moore is 7.25 radius but the Thinskin is a modern 9.5 radius.



    I don't have an AVRI 62 strat so I can't compare the necks. They do feel quite different from my soft V AVRI 57. They feel wider (but are far from fat and chunky, not at all like say, an AVRI 52 Tele). Except for my Jag, all my other Fenders are blond necks so having rosewood boards makes the necks feel different (to me) too. The finish is about the same as my AVRI 57.



    The Thinskin has stock AVRI pickups and the TMJM has Duncan Antiquitie IIs. With a tone cut on the Antiquities, they sound pretty much like the stock AVRI pickups. They sound great. All my Fenders sound kind of similar on really close listening and the JMs are no different. They don't sound like my Teles or my Strats but they kind of do at the same time.



    The TMJM has an AVRI trem but an adjustomatic bridge. My Thinskin has an added adjustable Mustang bridge but I have an AVRI Jag with the stock bridge and don't seem to suffer from the string buzzes and other problems some players suffer with these bridges. I like the trem which seems more stable that a strat trem, like a more aggressive Bigsby, say.



    They are not lightweights, typical of AVRI 62s, they weigh in around 8.4 -8.6 lbs.



    I never played an AV65 but have heard great things about them. People really like the pickups and they seem to usually come in at under 8lbs in terms of weight.



    The 60s lacquer has also gotten good reviews. Like with their Strat counterparts, there are many who question the need to buy an AVRI when you have this alternative.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015

  6. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Thank you bluenote23, very helpful. Your Thinskin AVRI is a 62RI, I assume? I assume that the reason it has bigger frets in that the Thinskin models had different features to the ordinary AVRIs?

    My Squier VM JM came to me with a Mustang bridge, which I assumed would be better. But the saddles didn't have individual height adjustment (which is crazy!!) & I couldn't live with that great a compromise in the action, so the JM bridge went back on. At least I learned (quickly!) that the Mustang bridge doesn't work, for me.
     

  7. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Yeah, lots of people on here raved about the AV59 & AV65 Strats, but the features that they liked so much (the chunkier necks) didn't suit me at all - I prefer one of the older 62RI Strats, & I wonder if the same might be true with a JM.
     

  8. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Strat-Talker

    288
    Aug 2, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    The 62 JM Thinskins were limited run AVRI 62s with matching headstocks and modern spec necks. My bridge is a Warmouth (?) Mustang bridge which has adjustable saddles.
     

  9. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK

  10. balston11

    balston11 Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 8, 2013
    Preston UK
    I owned a cheap Jazzmaster the MIM blacktop it was okay p90 in the neck and Duncan designed HB in the bridge. Sounded okay but I didn't get on with the neck, just felt big and didn't suit me but a couple of people who played it liked it.
     

  11. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Strat-Talker

    288
    Aug 2, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Well if that neck and body were legit, that would be a spectacular deal. The things that bother me are are flame neck (I think I've seen some pictures of vintage flame necks but Leo, it is said, really did not think flame maple belonged on Fenders) and the new looking finish on the body.

    These days buying vintage guitars seems to be a real crapshoot (and especially if we're talking about buying online). I would rather not take a chance if I can't inspect the guitar really closely and hold it in my hands (and even at that, my limited knowledge of vintage Jazzmasters would not allow me to consider such a thing) and instead, go after an AVRI which, at least, I have a reasonable chance of not being conned into buying something that is not what it claims to be. I get no 'deals of the century' this way but I have a few really nice guitars.
     

  12. offsetter

    offsetter Strat-Talker

    102
    Sep 6, 2015
    Australia
    I have an AV65. Definitely a chunkier neck. The only thing in the JM lineups I think makes a significant difference (you can't really fix) is non traditional trem placement.

    I don't think they are any more difficult to set up than a strat... Just different, which means as not as many people are as familiar, it comes across they are hard to work with.

    I prefer lighter strings and put a staytrem bridge on.

    [​IMG]
     
    Donald77 likes this.

  13. Stonker

    Stonker Strat-Talker

    288
    Oct 2, 2014
    UK
    I've just bought a used Warmoth Jazzmaster body and have ordered a neck to go with it. I'm looking forward to it.
     

  14. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    I'm not surprised to hear that the AV65 JM has a chunky neck, but thanks for confirming it. Shame!

    Do all JMs (apart from the Squier VM) have some sort of trem-lock device?
     

  15. offsetter

    offsetter Strat-Talker

    102
    Sep 6, 2015
    Australia
    It's not HUGE... I don't like huge fat necks... And it tapers, fatter up top.

    I admit I'm not totally up to date with which trems lock or not... The trem is much more stable with less movement, the squire VM guys on offsetguitars.com don't often have issues with the non-locking trem.

    I've played the classic lacquers and they are 95% on the AV. They didn't exist when I got mine... I don't know which way I'd go now.

    AV is definitely worth a try... And assume you'll change the bridge whatever you get.
     

  16. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    The neck you describe sounds like the AV59 Strat neck, & that didn't suit me at all.

    I don't understand your comment "And assume you'll change the bridge whatever you get". Erm, no! I really don't assume that at all! Why?
     

  17. offsetter

    offsetter Strat-Talker

    102
    Sep 6, 2015
    Australia
    The saddles are just weird... The strings pop out... Unless you use 12's (which admittedly it was designed for).

    Original type
    [​IMG]




    Mine with With Staytrem bridge
    [​IMG]
     
    2-Finger and rockerstrat like this.

  18. tealsixtysix

    tealsixtysix Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 30, 2015
    Massachusetts USA
    I don't have an AV Jazzmaster, but I do have a '66, and I've played a few AVs.

    They are directly comparable to the current AV Strats. Necks are mid-'60s C -- play an AV65 Strat or AV64 Tele, you'll get the idea. (And they're very close to my '66's neck, for what it's worth.) The necks on the old '62s were thinner. Aside from that and the cosmetics, the big difference between the old 62 and the current 65 is the pickups -- the old ones were okay, the current ones are superb, as good as any of the top-shelf replacements and just about dead-on to vintage. They went through the same kind of evolution as the Strats and Teles when they went from AVRI to AV, with perhaps a little less attention to detail.

    I say that because the vintage-style bridges have been a problem on every reissue Jazzmaster and Jaguar ever, and that didn't get fixed with the AVs. They weren't great on the originals, but they were somewhat better. The problem is that the strings don't stay put. There are setup tricks that help (Google will turn them up), but the usual fix is to replace the bridge with something more effective. The traditional replacement is a Mustang bridge, which is better but not great. (Get a real Fender Mustang bridge, the Asian/Allparts ones are terrible.) The Staytrem bridge is essentially an enhanced Mustang bridge, it works. Fender has adapted some of the non-vintage models to TOM-type bridges, that also seems to work. The best fix of all is a Mastery bridge, invented by a luthier in Minnesota who has done a lot of work on offsets, but it's not cheap.
     

  19. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
    There isn't much break angle to hold the strings in place on the bridge saddles. They did offer a metal pipe of some sort that can be bought separately to press down the strings before they hit the saddles.


    Or buy a aftermarket bridge that solves that.
     

  20. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Surrey, England
    I like the look of the JM's but when I have played them everything is shifted to the left! (The reason they bought out the short scale Jag, to combat that feeling.)

    The bodies are heavy, and as mentioned earlier the strings ping out of the original bridges.

    It does seem like a lot of work compared to a Strat, and obviously the reason they languished for so many years, until some hard up punks started using them and bringing them back into the public eye.

    It's probably blasphemous to mention it but the Gibson tune o matics they fit to the classic player models are the epitome of efficiency and you can use any strings you like.

    Mind you I play a CP Jag! :sneaky: