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Rating and Reviews: Fender Classic Jazzmaster

Encased in a glossed nitrocellulose lacquer -- a rarity in the world of modern guitars -- the '60s Jazzmaster harkens back to surf-rock's sun-soaked heyday.

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"This is the best by far!" submitted February 21, 2015

By Bill von Zangenberg in Holiday, FL
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Musical Background: Currently play professionally
Music Style: 60's rock, Country, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Reggae
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Overall: I own an original 65 Jazzmaster and if you play that and this guitar you would not know the difference in years. They sound the same and best of all they play the same. I own three jazzmasters and this is by far my favorite. It plays like butter, easy soft to the touch and very responsive. The Jazzmaster sound is unmistakable. This guitar has it. I love the Jazzmaster because you can set your rhythm settings and lead setting differently and have them both available at the flick of a switch. The guitar doesn't weigh a ton so its very comfortable to play and you can do most musical styles with it. It's not for shredding but if you play 60's, 70's or 80's rock, jazz or blues then this is by far the guitar you want. I'm very happy with the instrument no adjustment needed and you can play it right out of the box. Of all the Jazzmasters this is the best bang for the buck. zZounds easy payment plan makes this baby easy to own. They are right on the money when it comes to shipping and service as well. Thanks zZounds!
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"Simply Outstanding" submitted March 13, 2017

By C F in DFW, TX
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Musical Background: been playing over 15 years, studio recording, live performance
Music Style: rock, alt rock, synthwave, 80s, blues, jazz
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Overall: Easily the most impressive Fender I've owned or played out of many US, MIM & overseas models. It's something special. Build quality, hardware & electronics right on par with their US models, no question. In fact, a friend of mine has the white AVRI US Jazzmaster and honestly aside from the bound fret board, matching white headstock & locking trem on the US model, there's no discernible differences whatsoever. Same tone, same feel, same playability. Speaking of which, the tones are simply stunning. These pickups are out of this world. I've never covered so much sonic territory with one guitar before. It can be as warm & full as any Les Paul I've ever had but better. By better, I mean there's just pure tone here, no mud. On the other end of the spectrum, the top end on this guitar is unlike anything I've ever heard. It's capable of such articulation & clarity it kinda blows my mind. Some inexperienced players may shy away from this guitar's brightness but if you take some time to get to know this guitar, it will reward you with the tone you never knew you always wanted. And that's just the pickups!! The body is very resonant. You can "feel" every string, every note. I've had so, so many guitars that just felt like strings on a piece of wood but this feels like a guitar should. All the components coming together to create an extension of yourself. The neck is very natural feeling, not too thick & not too thin, just right. Fret board is a little dry but perfectly normal. Over time the natural oils in your hands will work its way in & if you want to speed up this process there are plenty of inexpensive treatments you can apply. Frets are well done, nicely dressed & level. They're vintage so if you're used to jumbos it'll take some getting used to. The benefits in my mind though are better intonation, better pitch, & strings being much closer to the actual wood itself which has several benefits in and of itself. I haven't had a string pop out of a saddle yet but I'm also not Pete Townshend, though I do have a pretty heavy right hand. Oh & this guitar stays in tune! Tuners are excellent. I don't typically use a trem bar that much when I play but I did try it a little bit & with light to moderate use it maintained it's pitch. Action is LOW & zero, I mean ZERO buzz. I have a .45 gauge tuned to D sitting at about 1.75 mm at the 12th fret & not a peep on a single fret. That's freaking amazing but if you look at the string travel on this thing it's not surprising why. Speaking of strings, I put pure nickel (slightly warmer than nickel coated steel) D'Addarios 10s on mine & it's a great combination. Switches & knobs are rock solid. Volume & tone tapers properly, very gradual & very effective. Pictures on most sites don't even come close to representing the true color of this guitar. It really pops in person. It's a very deep, yet bright surf green if that makes sense. The contrast of the pickguard & aged white knobs really set it off. Absolutely gorgeous. Nice case too! The only thing I'll say that bothers me is the placement of the truss rod adjustment. It's at the bottom of the neck, hidden by the pickguard. If you want to adjust it, plan on removing the neck because even with the guard removed, you still cannot access it without seriously marring the wood of the pickup cavity. This is a drag because you can't "actively" adjust the truss rod. Essentially you have to take off the neck, make your adjustment & hope it's enough 1 way or the other, & reassemble the guitar. Not something I'd recommend doing frequently but thankfully you should only have to do this once every blue moon. Though annoying & frankly not a smart or practical idea, it doesn't impact my overall impression of this Jazzmaster. The things this guitar can do just astound me. Would recommend to anyone, but especially to guitarists that have been around the block a time or two. I think the longer you've been playing, the more you'll appreciate this guitar & the more it will reward you. I will be using this for professional recordings and live performance. I trust this guitar completely, I have no doubt I can rely on it. If lost or stolen, I'd replace it in a heartbeat.
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"Fender Classic '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer Surf Green" submitted August 12, 2015

By Daniel Bell in Salt Lake City, UT
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Musical Background: Playing guitar and piano for ~ 20 years
Music Style: Rock n Roll, Surf, Garage
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Overall: This is a fantastic guitar. I've owned all kinds of high-end, vintage and budget gear and this Jazzmaster probably has the best bang for buck ratio I've encountered. Awesome fit and finish, beautiful sounding pickups and a gorgeous dark rosewood neck. Surf green finish looks way better in person than pictures. The usual JM gripes still apply here, but those come with the territory. Only weak spot in my mind is the tremolo--it's a little stiff, and the bar sits WAY too close to the body to be functional. It clears the knobs by < CM. Case is pretty solid, but reeks like paint. The guitar smelled initially, but that faded after a few weeks so hopefully the same will happen with the case. A solid performer as is, but with a few upgrades this will be a lifelong guitar for me. MIM gear is WAY better now than when I was a kid. I'd buy this again in a heartbeat and encourage anyone on the fence to do the same.
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"AMAZING!!!!!" submitted October 7, 2016

By Richard Felton in Midway, TX
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Musical Background: 27 years
Music Style: rock, blues, folk
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Overall: it needed a little setup and a bridge replacement but other than that it is one of the coolest guitars i own. tone is superb. action is smooth. frets are good and smooth on the ends. the clarity that comes from the pickups is so sweet. it works well with every pedal and amp i have put it through.
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"Fender Classic 60's Jazzmaster Lacquer" submitted December 19, 2016

By Mike A in Fountain Hills, AZ
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Musical Background: 50 year hobbyist. I play guitar, bass and drums. I play in an acoustic duo and record.
Music Style: Classic rock and blues. Some folk music.
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Overall: Got this Blemished guitar a few days ago. As usual with a zZounds blemish, the body and neck were in perfect condition. The "B" string fretted out all the way up the fret board. I put a drop of glue in the nut under the "B" string and problem solved. Saved a bunch of $$ due to the blemish. I love the sound and feel of this guitar. Thanks again zZounds.
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"Top Shelf for a MIM" submitted May 17, 2016

By Jesse M in Portland , OR
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Musical Background: 25 years guitar, 22 years for the rest. Performed and recorded for about 20 years
Music Style: I will use the all encompassing catch all rock as the style. But it's a little of a lot.
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Overall: The pickups, as far as my ears can tell, sound very close to the originals. It still has the questionable bridge, not like there aren't already some excellent replacements on the market. It's probably the most comfortable guitar I have ever held. My only recommendation is to do some proper shielding on the innards. Now look in the mirror and ask yourself if you're a Jazzmaster person. These guitars need good homes. If mine got away from me I would replace it without hesitation.
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