Submitted June 8, 2014 by Scott S in Sandy, UT
"Not your typical Jazzmaster"
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I have a lot of guitars....mostly Strats and Les Pauls. I was looking for something different and simpler to use, as I'll get caught up in vol/tone control changes. I started out looking for an older hard tail Strat, then newer ones, then hit the JR Strat and then this. I held out for about 6 hours before I caved and ordered it and I'm glad I did.
Sound is good...tight and brutal when you need it to be, but blues solos can be played on this guitar no problem. I'm not the biggest fan of EMGs, but my experience with them has been mostly in LPs and ESP Eclipses, both of which are mahogany bodied guitars with maple caps, and they just always seemed too shrill in those guitars. This being just mahogany reduces that and makes them a lot more usable to my ears.
Most useful features include Schaller locking tuners, making string changes a snap. One volume knob makes it easy to just forget about tone and jam...and it's perfectly placed for volume swells and roll offs. Hard tail bridge is perfect to rest your hand on for palm mutes and is infinitely easier to deal with than a trem. Bigger frets than normal Fenders are great for slides and a really nice ebony fretboard is a plus. I think Jim specs out fantastic simple guitars that are really easy and fun to play.
Ease of Use
This is dead simple to get metal tones out of......EMGs, 25.5 in scale and an ebony board? If you can't rage with this guitar you're doing it wrong. Mahogany body with an 81/60 combo makes it tight and aggressive.This guitar is NOT my #1, as of yet......but I'm having a blast playing it and getting to know it. I've been punishing it for a few days non stop, and it's handling it well.I gave it a 4 on features just because of the lack of a tone knob. I honestly don't care and it was actually a selling point for me, but I know some people are going to. Keep in mind, it's a signature model and it's not what you might want, it's what he wanted. There are plenty of guitars out there with tone knobs for you to buy.
Seems well made.....fit and finish are good. No rough fret ends, everything seems to work. Had a little trouble changing strings the first time; I use 10-52s and the 52 didn't want to go through the tuner hole.....reamed it out a little bit and it worked just fine. Must have been the paint. No issues with input jack, no tuner issues other than mentioned above, nothing.I might swap the bridge out for a Hipshot, just because I really like those bridges and use them on all my Strat projects. Nothing wrong with this one at all, just personal preference. Seems like this guitar is going to last a while....feels solid.
Yup....I'd buy another again in a heartbeat. I took a chance on it because I'd never played one, and I'm glad. Fender has a great pedigree and I've never gone wrong buying their products. Jim's sig Strat is next in the buying line for me....I really like this guitar and figure that one would appeal to me as well.
Never had to use CS on a Fender guitar.
The Wow Factor
Flat black just looks mean....brushed chrome EMGs floating there in the darkness looks cool. Painted bridge looks good.....I LOVE the bigger 70s style headstocks Jim is using on this and his Strat. Only gripe I might have is I wish the headstocks matched the body color, but you can't have everything and that's a personal opinion anyway. I might paint it, but it's growing on me.
Semi professional, played in many bands, jam at home, write/collaborate with a few people.
Blues, prog, metal, thrash
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