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Rating and Reviews: Fender USA '65 Jazzmaster

Gorgeous white fretboard binding and a full complement of vintage-style electronics make this Jazzmaster one of the best in Fender's lineup.

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"A Very Sweet Guitar" submitted January 27, 2016

By Mike E in Seattle, WA
Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Bass player for 30+ yrs, Guitar for ~15 yrs. Play with bands, firends, family. Daily player
Music Style: Rock: heavy, alternative, punk, classic. Reggae, blues, surf
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Overall: First: I bought mine through ZZounds as a "blemish". I took the chance on their 45 day guarantee, and I am happy I did. As far as "blemish" goes. Yes, there are a couple of very small marks in the finish that appear factory paint blemishes; you have to look really hard to see them and they are on the back; one really hard to see area on the front that is slightly less shiny that the rest - and that's it. Basically got it at a used price for a new guitar. This is a great reproduction of a 65 JM. I have the Olympic White model and it is beautiful. The binding, the finish and the vintage styled knobs and pick guard are all very attractive. This is not just a beauty queen, though. The neck is "full scale" and a robust C shape. A little chunkier than the vintage Strats and very comfortable to play. As someone who grew up playing bass, this guitar is the perfect mid point between bass and guitar. I put .011 gauge strings on it and it sounds and feels so good. The 7.25" radius board feels great. Barre chords and complex chords feel easier on this neck to me. The balance of this guitar is perfect; it is so comfortable to play when on a shoulder strap. The sound: amazing. The pickups are outstanding and offer everything from chimey bells to bitter bites; I love the rhythm circuit: it is dark and heavy and rich - perfect for laying down driving and droning rhythms. The lead circuit cuts and bites but also plays some of the most beautiful clean chime/bell tones. Out of the box.... well - I don't expect ANY guitar to be perfect right out of the box. This one took a LOT of set up and patience to get it all set up just right: the neck relief was too high, the bridge is finicky and the tremolo lock was WAY off. After messing with it and being patient enough, it all settled in really nice. Has to set relief, intonation, bridge and saddle height, and tremolo lock. It was a bit of work, but well worth the time. If anyone is not comfortable setting up their own guitar, just take it to a tech. Lastly, it is a finicky bridge. If you take the time to get all the parts set up right, it is less finicky. The tremolo lock is an awesome, under-appreciated feature. Biggest PROS: the sound, feel, looks Biggest CONS: the bridge. I will likely upgrade to a Mastery, but the stock one is working out so far Thank you , ZZounds. I am glad I took the chance.
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