American Vintage '62 Jazzmaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 5
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.4 Good
  • Users' score: 7.5 (12 votes)
Fender: American Vintage '62 Jazzmaster
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Price paid: $ 1701

Sound — 9
I'm playing this guitar through a 2009 Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. It's pretty versatile, definitely great for the blues but also good for everything else (except probably metal). I've run it through a Jekkyl and Hyde and Big Muff, both sounded great. The pickups are very reactive, and the guitar plays great through pedals (flanger, reverb, distortion). It can get a pretty bassy rich sound on the neck pickup, and a bit of a twang on the bridge.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing this guitar for about a couple weeks now, and until the recent problems it's given me I've been very pleased with it. It's a beautiful guitar and certainly the best I own (or it will be once it's fixed). I've also got a MIM Stratocaster and a Gretsch Electromatic. I'll probably still be bringing the Gretsch along to shows as a backup, but I trust that this guitar will be my main for a very long time.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This seems as if it'll last forever once I get it set up probably. I'll definitely be using it for gigging, although I will probably bring a backup just in case (I don't think I'll need it, but it's always worth it, especially if the E strings pop out). Everything's pretty solid, aside from the issues I just had with it - which hopefully will be resolved once I take it in to be set up.

Action, Fit & Finish — 5
The guitar came set up pretty well, except the action was higher than I would have liked. I played it for about a week without any problems, but then all of a sudden during a practice my bottom three strings started buzzing above the 12th fret - I couldn't get proper notes out of any of them. A friend of mine tried to set it up, and there were three shims under the neck (which is odd), and the neck was slightly bowed. The bridge was difficult to deal with and it's still not playing properly. I'm going to take it in to a shop to be checked out soon. This has me pretty disappointed.

Features — 8
'62 reissue Jazzmaster (year '09 or '10). A pretty beautiful guitar - sunburst, alder body with a nitrocellulose finish. It has the Vintage style Fender tuning pegs, which keep this thing in tune pretty well, even with the tremolo bar. "Special design" single coils, basically just P-90 clones as far as I can tell. Mine came with a pretty nice hardshell case, a strap, and a cable. The bridge is a little annoying (the E strings occasionally pop out, as is typical of jazzmasters), and makes this guitar hard to set up. It's got the Vintage style truss-rod as well, which also complicates the set-up process. Overall though it's a pretty fantastic guitar.

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