Blacktop Jazzmaster Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Blacktop Jazzmaster
This guitar is comparable to other MIM guitars. Same woods, same parts. The bodies are even routed for Standard configuration.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.7
 Features: 8.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) pictures (3) 11 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
Blacktop Jazzmaster Reviewed by: CecilForester, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: 2011 Made in Mexico (MIM) 21 Medium Jumbo frets. Rosewood fret board, maple neck, alder mody. Beautiful staggered concave body in sunburst. I traded in my MIM Fat Strat for the Jazzmaster, I much prefer the shape, it's a classic but not so common that she loses her uniqueness. Vintage Jazzmaster styled bridge and long tremolo arm, also this guitar is a few inches longer than a Strat, had to get a new case. What makes this a Blacktop is simplified electronics, 1 volume and 1 tone pot, 1 three-way selector. The truly great feature of the Btop is the Seymour Duncan designed Jazzmaster pickup in the neck and the SD HOT Vintage Alnico humbucker on the bridge. Quite a bit of a step up from the stock Fender pickups in my Mexican Strat. // 10

Sound: I play through a Vox VT20, tube preamp bedroom amp. When I played this guitar at GC I knew I was going to go home with her. The neck pickup is pretty much a P90, it has a warm and fat tone but with a nice pop to it, though not twangy like a Strat. Somewhere in between a regular single coil and a humbucker. It's great for anything clean, I play alternative like The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Smiths on the neck position and with chorus effect it's perfect; I find it works well for metal especially solos that don't need to be too high gain. The middle position get a fat undertone with shimmering highs that put a little growl on a clean channel, excellent for surf rock and with distortion for garage rock to hard rock. The bridge is hotter that what one would expect on a stock Fender, while it may not handle high gain metal like Pantera perfectly, most other metal is handled well Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc. What really impressed me was the quality of the pickups, compared to my last guitar they really cut through the effects and don't sound muddy or too bright. From Dire Straits to the Pixies to Black Sabbath, this ax has it covered. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Plays like a dream, no fret buzz and the action is interesting even though it's not super low I have no trouble with fast solos. I think it may be the low angle of the the strings coming off the bridge to the tail piece, real easy to play. However because of that low angle of the strings past the bridge they will buzz a bit but can not be heard through my amp, one last issue is the saddles the strings sit in, because of the low tension they can pop out, but with a little adjustment of the saddles with an allen wrench I haven't had anymore trouble. All of this could be fixed with a buzz stop, an after market bar that puts tension on those strings, so no more buzz or popping out. BUT I prefer the low tension on the strings, it's not a deal breaker for me. I love the pots on this guitar, they turn smooth and sound like they are better quality than the ones on my last guitar. Well made especially for the price. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This Jazzmaster feels like it could last me the rest of my life. I care for my possessions so they tend to stay in good quality while I own them, so I couldn't say for sure what would happen if someone whooped on my Blacktop with a baseball bat. I would gig without a backup though. After two months of playing for at least a half a hour a day I have noticed no wear to the finish, which is nice since it looks so good. // 10

Overall Impression: Classic country, surf, 80's alternative and metal, paired with a decent amp the Jazzmaster can handle just about anything other than really high gain metal, but if you wanted to play in a Venom cover band, why buy a Fender? Wonderful pickups. I've been playing since 2006 and play pretty steady, never been in a band; nobody else wants to do Wall Of Voodoo covers. If it were lost or stolen I would she'd a few tears and save up for another one. I do love this guitar but have plans to mod it, but I would mod anything I got. If you are thinking of getting a Strat or a Tele or even an SG, give this one a try. For the price the quality is surprising. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Blacktop Jazzmaster Reviewed by: d0nt3ma1lm3, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 230

Features: It was made in Mexico but is still the best guitar I've ever owned. It has 21 medium jumbo frets and a gloss urethane finish on the maple neck. The fretboard is rosewood with white inlays and is really easy to play. Its has a sunburst Alder body with a black pickguard, and has two Seymour Duncan designed pickups that work amazingly together. It's supposed to come with a wrench to adjust the tremolo but because I got it used, the tremolo bar constantly falls out, but that can easily be fixed. How ever, I did get a gig bag and strap with it. // 9

Sound: This guitar fits my style of music amazingly, can carry light distortion, fuzz, and reverb great and even sounds nice with high distortion and overdrive do to the humbucker at the bridge. However depending on what equipment you're working with you can get some hum when the pickups in the middle or neck position. It can go from bright single coil sounds to anything you really want. I have a DigiTech multi effect so I can model the sounds before putting them through my amp so I'm not sure how other would get their desired tones besides pedal. But it hands distortion great, or if you're into that classic surf sound, it will definitely surprise you. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything is perfect with it, except maybe the the truss rod could be adjusted slightly. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Everything about this guitar seems sturdy (apart from the tremolo bar, which can be easily fixed). It has never shorted out and is actually really great playing live. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a lot of indie, beach, chill music, and occasionally blues or attempts at shredding or hardcore music, and it suits all of the fine. This guitar really will surprise you. This is my third electric guitar and I have been playing for 5 years. This guitar just really fits my style and is the only guitar I play anymore. The original pickups on it are amazing so I really don't plan on changing anything. I recommend this to anyone who likes the Fender sound, but wants the option to utilize crazy distortion or just the general humbucker sound. // 10

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overall: 8
Blacktop Jazzmaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Musical Strings and Things

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 8
Blacktop Jazzmaster Reviewed by: mab2365, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Emiron Music

Features: Got a 2010 version made in Mexico with 21 medium-jumbo frets on a rosewood finger board. The neck is a smooth maple but with an Alder body wich feels somewhat heavier than most other guitars that I've played with. It has a Jazzmaster body (hence the name) and has a regular Jazzmaster bridge. It gives you 2 amp knobs for volume and tone and a 3-way swicth. Has 1 HOT alnico humbucker at the Bridge and a Duncan Desinged Jazzmaster pickup at the neck. Mexican tuners which is alright. Came in a hunk of cardboard filled with the guitar and some paper. // 7

Sound: Being in a band that plays garage rock, the humbucker captures that AC/DC tone using a cranked OD pedal and the Jazzmaster pickup is jangly enough for shoegazing and C86 sounds. The Jazzmaster picup is rich and deep and humbucker in the Bridge has a fat sound. In the middle position you hear most of the neck pickup but it seems to me when I play it when I strum harder it brings up the Bridge pickup girth. Though after I play a power chord or something lie that an unsual bell-like chime come from the strings vibrating in the distance between the Bridge and the tremolo bar. The sound can usually come through the signals when you least want it too. But it your in a garage, alternative, kind a band the sound of this guitar is perfect for you. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Other than the annoying Bridge chime, the only problems I had with this was the loosely glued Vol and Tone dots after a few switches the Switch gets very loose. The paint can be scraped off easier and you could just use a Sharpie on the scraped off paint. After a while the knobs will just give out on the strap. // 3

Reliability & Durability: Mine has been through vigorous use and I find it EXTREMELY reliable after many gigs. A true work horse for the touring musician. The pickups don't give up easily and the guitar stays in tune pretty well. Though this guitar is a victim to feedback after a while of playing. // 10

Overall Impression: It's a good pair for the garage rockers and the alt scene players. After playing many other guitars I find this one my favorite. It doesn't have all those extra switches like a regular Jazzmaster and the sharp colors compliment the sound well. In the end it is a good guitar that is somewhat more affordable than most Fender guitars. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Blacktop Jazzmaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 640

Purchased from: Keyboard Corner

Features: The Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster features: - An alder body - A maple neck with rosewood fingerboard - Duncan designed JM pickup in neck and Duncan designed humbucker in bridge - A Jazzmaster style trem - Mint green pickguard - Three way toggle switch - Black hat control knobs. // 9

Sound: I play anything from blues to grunge, and maybe a bit of metal. I play it through my Vox Valvetronix 15 watt amp and the sound is amazing. As previous reviewers have said, there's that really annoying bell tone, but can be fixed with a new bridge. Having said that, this guitar has a wide range of sounds, when I switch it to the humbucker, you get a very high gain metal sound, whereas the middle setting gives you a mid gain sound that could be used for blues rock, and finally the JM pickup which gives you that classic jazzy tone. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was ok, a bit high for my liking but playable. The bridge, however was a piece of s.h.i.t. As you play, the bolts lossen, sometimes falling out, not to mention that lovely string buzz that everyone enjoys. Trem was ok, made it a bit out of tune but pretty good. Finish is great. Mine is a nice gloss black which would last forever. I eventually got this guitar set up and trem issues had almost disappeared, almost never goes out of tune, action was beautiful, but the bridge was still crap. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Apart from the bridge, this guitar is very reliable and could easily be used to pull off a successful gig. Strap buttons are great, tuners feel like Grovers so they should last ages. It holds it tuning like nothing else, and trem doesn't really cause problems and can take some serious abuse, definitely recommend it for a gig. // 9

Overall Impression: I bought this guitar because it is weird and unpopular. Alot like me at school. I bought this guitar because I wanted an upgrade from my Epiphone LP Special 2, which was good, but I desperately wanted something better. I have been playing since I was 10, and I am now 13. A couple of months back I was tempted to buy a Schecter Hellraiser, but I just didn't have the cash. I love the tone, the neck and action, but a absolutely hate the bridge and the fact that the trem comes out when pulled alot. If someone stole this guitar, I'd probably get another one, or something similar. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Blacktop Jazzmaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 425

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: Made in 2011 in Mexico. Body is 2 piece alder and has a bolt-on one piece maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. I got mine in 3-tone sunburst. Has a classic Jazzmaster body. It has a Jazzmaster pickup in the neck position with a Duncan Designed humbucker in the bridge. Both pickups are wired to a 3 way selector and a volume pot and tone pot. It doesn't have the Jazzmaster circuit which isn't a big deal for me. It has an Adjust-o-matic bridge with the Jazzmaster trem. It's the best trem I've ever used for surf music. It's closer to a Bigsby than anything else. It holds tune perfectly! // 9

Sound: I play many styles of music such as Blues, Pop, Surf, Worhsip, and Rock. I got this guitar because a very good friend of mine got the Classic Player JM and he inspired me to get one. This was the best option for me. I play through a Bugera V55 and with the amp cranked, this has an amazing tone! The neck pickup delivers that classic JM tone. The bridge pickup is very midrangey and sounds like a Les Paul. The middle position delivers that classic Jazzmaster jangly tone. There are 2 things that I didn't like about the particular guitar I got. The neck pickup was WAY too bright. I had to lower it a lot to get a more mellow tone. But before I did that, I tried rolling a little tone off. The tone control has two sounds. 0 and 10. You can not get anything between 0 and 10. The tone control has no effect unless its on 0. But now that I've lowered the neck pickup, it has an amazing tone. Plug this into a Deluxe Reverb for classic surf tones or plug it into a Tweed Twin for great Blues sounds. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The sunburst is the most beautiful thing I've seen. There were no flaws at all when I got it. The only thing I did to it was swap out the 9-42s for 12-56s. But soon I'm going to put a Nickel cover on the bridge humbucker. It will look even better. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's a Fender. So of course it's going to have amazing craftsmanship. I've done at least 10 gigs with it since I got it in February and it has been a trooper. // 10

Overall Impression: This is the best deal you can get if you're looking for a Jazzmaster. If it were stolen I would definitely buy another one. My favorite feature would be the tremolo. It's so perfect. This is my first Fender and I love it. My main guitar was a Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster that I upgraded with the Clapton Mid Boost and now this Jazzmaster will share the "main guitar" slot with the Strat. BUY ONE! // 10

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