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Rating and Reviews: Fender Troy Van Leeuwen

This darkly distinctive Jazzmaster is built to Troy's specs. Create huge and heavy alt-rock sounds with 3-position pickup switching and dual tone circuits.

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"Beautifully excellent guitar" submitted August 18, 2014

By Erik Seja in SAN FRANCISCO, CA
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Overall: The TVL Jazzmaster is hands down one of the most beautiful guitars around, period. It's like museum quality gorgeous. The pickups sound amazing, the tremolo works fantastic, and the craftsmanship of the guitar is actually really great (despite coming from the Ensenada Plant). I really enjoy this guitar, and even though I personally think it's about $150-200 too much, all in all I'm pleased with my purchase. You're basically getting a MIM custom painted 65' AVRI for $1300. That's fine with me.
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"Fender Twang with Gibson good looks." submitted January 15, 2015

By Mike B in Cranford, NJ
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Musical Background: Semi Pro Guitar player and front man
Music Style: Rock and Roll. What else is there?
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Overall: I am very happy with my Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster. I was wanting a JM for a while and the sexy and sophisticated look of this model blew me away. I got mine discounted as it was a return. There is a small chip at the neck pocket but it is barely noticeable. It saved me 300 dollars on the guitar, thanks zZounds. Out of the box there were setup issues. The action was very high down past the 12th fret but a good setup from my tech sorted that out. What I ended up with was a Mexican built American Reissue for $999. The hardware and pickups are the same as the 2,000 american reissues. Most importantly the tremolo unit is place in the vintage position on the body. The other mexian Jazzmaster move it closer to the bridge to improve the break angle over the bridge but you lose the magic harmonic overtones and ghost notes of those long strings behind the bridge. The tone on this guitar is outstanding. It's not a strat and it's not a tele but falls somewhere in between. The twang is wonderful. More than I expected really. Rolling off the volume a hair tames the high end nicely and acts as a bit of a treble boost when you crank it. The tremolo unit is very stable and slick. It gives you the vibe of a Bigsby without the tuning problems. I didn't know who Troy Van Leeuwen was when I bought this guitar but he's got damn good taste. Lastly I got the guitar the day after I odrered it even though it was standard shipping. Turns out the warehouse is in NJ and UPS was working double time for the holiday.
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"Incredible guitar - incredible value" submitted February 16, 2015

By Todd P in Alexandria, VA
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Musical Background: Player for 15 years
Music Style: P&W, alternative
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Overall: Incredible Jazzmaster. Set up nicely right out of the box; I had my tech do a setup just for good measure but it didn't need much work. The color is stunning… people crowd me after a set to get a closer look. The Mustang bridge works great: no string slippage issues whatsoever. Can't say enough good things about this guitar: everything there is to love about a Jazzmaster plus a few tweaks to enhance reliability and accessibility.
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"Jazzmaster" submitted January 7, 2015

By William von Zangenberg in Tampa, FL
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Musical Background: Playing since I've been 9 years old now 65 if that matters.
Music Style: Jazz, pop, 60's Rock n Roll, Rock, Blues, Country, Gospel and Classical, Brazilian Jazz, and some Reggae. Plus anything else I'm
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Overall: The guitar is good It has descent pickups and finish is beautiful. Sounds like a Jazzmaster. Bridge is good and strings won't slip. Mine was delivered with the wrong tremelo arm. I called Fender and they said many were delivered that way and sent me another within a couple of days. Unfortunately the second arm was for a 65 Jazzmaster which did not fit the new one either. I sent a letter to Fender and they assured me that I'd have another by Nov 19. Well that has come and gone and today Jan 7 I still have no tremelo arm. The Fender rep told me that it was back ordered. So I wait. The arm for this guitar is apparently a screw in type and they two I have so far were push in types so they didn't fit. Other than that guitar has a good sound. I own a 62 Jazzmaster from 62 and a 65 from 65 which I bought new back then for 250 dollars. Imagine that one. Those both are great instruments. They are similar to the new one but the necks on the old ones are a bit slimmer and have a great feel. The Troy neck feels a little heavier although not by much. Sound is comparable but the old ones have more mellow on the neck and more jangle on the bridge. I would buy the guitar again because is sounds good, feels good and is relatively sturdy from what I can see. I guess time will tell. If it holds up as long as my first two then my son will be using it long after I'm gone. If not there's always the wood chipper! LOL. Hope this helps. If I buy any more guitars from this point on I'm probably going to have my luthier build them for me because the major companies seem to be getting more expensive but their quality isn't keeping up.
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"just got this about two weeks ago..." submitted August 27, 2014

By kenny stinson in penns grove, NJ
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Musical Background: I've been playing for about 12 years....bedroom studio artist lol
Music Style: rock,punk,etc.
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Overall: overall id prob rate this a 7.5 out of 10.well...i was surprised it was made in mexico.the finish is more of a maroon/purple as opposed to the metallic red people make it out to be(even in light...idk what settings a lot of cameras are on or what spotlights they've got on this thing in videos). a great feature is the bridge on this-no strings are gonna pop out of any saddles even if you wail...and from what i understand it has '62 fender jm pickups. i use a few pedals and whatnot but the tone is decent. quite a looker btw but i wasn't thrilled with the setup out of the box at all and the fretboard was bone-dry. its surprisingly light as well. for being basically 1300 bucks i figured fender mexico would put a little more tlc into things. i wish zzounds did setups like sweetwater does on their products but its all simply straight from the factory i was told. the case was pretty flashy too(nice and if they didn't include one it'd prob knock it down a point for the price being so high). never used manufacturer support but its all a runaround game anyhow due to past experiences with a couple companies(neither of which were fender....i buy stuff,play it,and forget about the tags). i miss when fender had a korean plant-some superb stuff came out of there.i have a cabronita thinline in shoreline gold and right out of the box everything with that was perfect.ive also got a japanese made fender pawnshop '72, and despite how some rave about map fenders in my eyes its all a hit or miss. hell even american made passes off duds with companies nowadays(not necessarily fender but I've picked up a fair share of gibsons that were just godawful.this axe makes a nice addition to any collection.break away from the typical standard.
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"Beautiful guitar but..." submitted July 20, 2015

By Anthony I in belmar, NJ
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Musical Background: 10 years
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: The guitar came very fast but im also in Nj so that is expected. I was amazed how great the guitar felt and looked. It is a Mexican with American quality. The thing that bothers me is it arrived broken. I couldn't plug it in the toggles were smashed out of it. It comes in a hard case so there ia no way this thing is played before shipping. Upon further investigation there was a paint crack by neck joint and the nut had been re glued. The guitar isnt worth the price tag I suppose. You won't get resale value out of a mexican. The company was great with the refund and return but ill never order again.
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