Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: Musical Strings and Things
Sound — 7
I play in a professional rock band. I use it often when playing live or during rehearsal. The guitar is well suited for a jazzmaster "look" without the twangy style of the original. Now don't get me wrong, the guitar carries some elements of the original series, just other than the name and the shape, I wouldn't classify this guitar as a true jazzmaster. I play through a Crate Vintage Club 50 and a Peavey JSX 120 watt amp. Both full tube, class A. The P90 styled Jazzmaster pickup is warm but a tad noisy. Then again, it is single coiled. The humbucker has some noisy features but isnt overly loud by any means. You can get a decent hard rock tone from the Bridge pickup and a bluesy tone from the neck. Mixed, the pickups sound a tab dirty for my ears. Still well worth the money for the quality of the build.
Overall Impression — 8
I bought the guitar to look different. I have always liked the shape of the Jazzmaster/Jaguar guitars. I think the guitar does its job. I have been a musician for 15+ years. I own a Telecaster MIM which I changed the pickups to Dimarzios. I own an American Stratocaster and a Tom DeLonge signature series Strat. I will likely purchase a couple of the Blacktop Telecasters... These things are bada-s. This guitar is comparable to other MIM guitars. Same woods, same parts... The bodies are even routed for Standard configuration.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I gig with this guitar and 4 other guitars. I use ALL Fender guitars and I enjoy this guitar the same as my american strat. Hardware is your Standard Mexican hardware and will take a beating. Strap buttons are solid. I would never gig without backup nomatter the guitar. Finish could withstand an acid bath..not really but it will last longer than the sidewalk.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar is buzzy at low guage string/low action. Not buzzy through the amp really, just buzzy acoustically. I had to adjust the action less than a week later. Pickups were great. Had to adjust Bridge saddles to stop some buzz. Finish was perfectly flawless. Tuning pegs were solid, nut was cut straight, Bridge aligned properly. Knobs were on the poles a little crooked but this was remedied from a screw and a minute.
Features — 8
2011 Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster which was made in Ensenada Mexico. 21 Medium Jumbo Frets. 9.25 Radius on the neck with a slightly narrow string spacing which is common with the Jazzmaster. Rosewood fretboard over a maple neck. Solid alder. I believe mine is a two piece body. Gloss Urethane Finish with black paint. Standard Jazzmaster type body shape without the Rythym circuitry of the Jazzmaster models. Mint green pickguard. Bridge is a Standard jazzmaster Bridge with tremolo capabilities. Duncan Designed Jazzmaster neck pickup. Duncan Designed humbucker in the Bridge. 3 way switch. Volume and tone knob with 70s style knobs. Standard mexican/american tuners. Did not get a gig bag with it. Got a nice cardboard box. Bought brand new.