Price paid: $ 950
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
I play jazz, blues, alternative/indie rock, reggae, funk, psychedelic. I use a Line 6 Spider II amp for practice and small gigs and run my setup through a PA system for other gigs. I use a DigiTech RP350 with which I mostly try to get a smooth but grimy blues sound or a warm jazz sound. This guitar is very versitile in it's range of sounds, you can get a little bit of everything except humbucker style thick tones. There are so many tonal options ranging from soft warm jazzy rhythm tones that don't quite match the hollowbody richness but offer a unique sound, to Telecaster-esque sharp trebly lead tones, and lets not forget those wavy surf tones, and the tremolo works well with all of them. The only thing I can not achieve with this guitar is a really sharp grimy blues sound. Being that it is a Fender guitar it will be able to play the blues well but it would need Tex-Mex pickups to hit the sharp SRV style blues tone
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is a great instrument and really fit's my musicianship well. I am constantly in search of perfect tones which means that I can not get everything that I want from this guitar alone, however this is an incredibly important part of my sound aside from a hollowbody guitar for certain style of classic jazz, and a Stratocaster with Tex-mex pickups for heavy sharp blues tones. I went in to Guitar Center and played this thing everyday for almost 2 months and did all my research online, I knew exactly what I was getting. I would be thoroughly disappointed if I lost this guitar and I would resolve to replace it with another just like it, this guitar has so much personality to offer the world of music. It plays super smooth and well like any other high end Fender guitar but this one has such a wide range of tones that I just can't get enough of. I believe that this is the first in what will become a large collection of Jazzmasters
Reliability & Durability — 10
With Fender you really get what you pay for. This guitar is very solid and reliable, I play at least one gig a week or every two weeks and I have been using this guitar for the past 6 months. I have never had any need for a back up guitar as long as I have this one. It really holds up super well during a gig, the strap buttons are solid. I have not had to do anything with it besides change the strings. This is in the higher end of Fender guitar and you can tell that it is a solid instrument made with quality parts. The finish is great, it's a thick polyester coating that was meant to last a long time and age gracefully.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The setup on this guitar was great from the get go, I have not had to adjust the action once on this guitar in the 6 months that I have been recording and gigging with it. The pickups were set real nice and allowed the best tone. The setup offers a lot of string dexterity so you can really bend these guys pretty hard, that makes this a great lead guitar. On the Classic Player series the tremolo setup is moved about a half inch closer to the bridge which makes strings popping off of the saddles much more difficult, a significant improvement as the other Jazzmaster models had a much bigger problem with this. I believe they had a much wider demographic in mind with this design thinking about the needs of the later generations that used this guitar to make spacy Indie rock rhythms and distortion laden hard strumming grunge licks. The guitar is not a light one but I've certainly handled heavier. The finish was great and the only flaw was a small ding on the side which was Guitar Center's fault, not Fender's.
Features — 9
The Classic Player series Fender Jazzmasters are a brand new line of high end Mexican made Jazzmasters with some modifications and updates to the design. Mine was made in April of 2008 and it features a 3 tone tobacco sunburst alder body featuring that sweet offset waist contour that makes this such a beautiful guitar, 25 inch maple neck with 9.5" rosewood fretboard and 21 medium jumbo frets, non locking Fender Vintage style tuning machines, chrome hardware, the pickups are the signature wide single coil Jazzmaster pickups but these are a bit hotter than the classic design, a three way selector Switch with volume and tone controls and seperate lead circuit Switch with it's own volume and tone controls, adjust-o-matic bridge with syncronized floating tremolo tailpiece, and finally a tortoise shell pickguard which I swapped for an anodized gold pickguard to give it a Vintage look. It came with a Fender gig-bag