American Vintage '62 Jazzmaster Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: American Vintage '62 Jazzmaster
First introduced at the 1958 NAMM show, the Jazzmaster guitar features a uniquely contoured body, a snappy 25-1/2" scale length and warm-sounding pickups.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7
 Features: 8.5
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reviews (2) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
American Vintage '62 Jazzmaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1185

Purchased from: Ted Good Music

Features: Made in 2007 in Corona, California, USA. 21 Vintage frets. Slim, soft C neck, rosewood fingerboard, full 25 and a half inch scale. Real Jazzmaster pickups (unlike the CIJ Jazzmasters). Made of alder, neck is maple. Unique switching system. Floating vibrato (its not a tremolo! Tremolo is volume, not pitch! Volume). Bizzare bridge. Surf green finish, nitrocellouse. // 9

Sound: I play pretty much anything under the sun (and a few thngs that fear it), and this guitar handles them all pretty well. It's really hard to shoehorn it into one specfic style. Its sound can go pretty much anywhere you want it to go. It's not as hot as a Strat or Tele, but that's not the point. It has more of a "sonic landscape" sort of sound. Played unplugged, you can hear all sorts of funky things happening that other guitars lack. I use it through a Peavey Valve King, an Orange Crush 15 and a Pignose, and it sounds fantastic through all of them. Like all guitars, it needs some tweaking to get it to the sound you want, which on this guitar is about as easy as it gets. It aint for everyone, though. For me, perfect ten. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar was set up amazingly well. Considering it came from California to Manitoba in a truck, it played as well as one could expect right out of it's ugly-arse brown case. The action was set pretty low, which made it buzzy, but a little turn of the Alan wrench fixed that. Everything was very solid, and the finish was flawless. Frets well dressed. Pickups set at about right height for me (everyone is different). The case left some weird gold lint all over the guitar, but that's the case's fault. Strings on it are as good as Fender strings can be. Now, the bridge needs it's own paragraph. I like the bridge, for all it's quirks. The strings sit in screw threads and can pop out if you play hard or at an odd angle, but it dosen't happen that often. You can (carefully) deepen the threads if you so choose. The guitar will go out of tune if you use the vibrato a lot, but use a tuner in between songs. Vibrato lock works well, and eliminates a lot of the buzz, and the vibrato itself is very atmospheric (don't expect Hendrix/Van Halen dive bombs) and works like a dream. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Everything feels rock solid on this guitar, and I think it could stand gigs no prob. Use a backup, though, for those cases where a stagelight falls on you or something. Take a moment beteween songs/sets to adjust tuning and you should be good to go. Note: the problems with the strings popping out of the screw threads is increased somewhat if you do a lot of bending behind the nut. I do, and the stings jump around all over the place. I've noticed that picking hard in the direction of the threads will return them to place. // 10

Overall Impression: Been playing three years or so, and this is the first guitar I've had that feels like it's mine. The color, the shape, the sound, it all me, baby, and I know a few people Who feel as connected to it as I do. Frankly, all the worries about the bridge seem a little overblown. I'll own this until I die. // 10

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overall: 7.4
American Vintage '62 Jazzmaster Reviewed by: jessplays, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1701

Features: '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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 5

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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