Price paid: $ 850
Purchased from: Sweetwater
Sound — 9
Since I started to hear Indie and early alternative rock, I knew that I needed a Jazzmaster but the pricing on the Am Vintage's models were just downright insane. The guitar sounds a bit hotter than what the original Jazzmaster sounds like, which is pretty cool. It sounded a bit more mellow than my 50s Strat but a bit more brighter than my Les Paul Custom...in other words just right for me. The neck feels pretty good, but since I have small hands I have to suffer the curse of the long scale neck (but I can manage). I use this guitar with a Fender Blues Junior amp, a couple of fuzz pedals along with some modulation and two delay pedals, the basic shoegazer setup. I manage to get that Indie sound, but since the Blues Jr. doesn't distort much I'm planning to get either hotter pickups or a distortion pedal. It more quiet than my Strat, but it has this wierd feedback sound that I love when I Drive it close to the amp.
Overall Impression — 10
With my Indie phase already here, this guitar was the somewhat perfect match. I've been playing for about 5 years and own a Strat and a Les Paul Custom (Epi). I love this guitar but at the same time wish that the tremolo plate wasn't moved closer to the bridge because I wanted to add a single coil pickup behind the bridge. I love the shimmery sound I get when I do the noisemaking haha. If it were stolen I would be sad but at the same time know that when I do save up for an American Jazzmaster, know what to somewhat expect. Fender knew what the modern Jazzmasters wanted, with the bridge and hotter pickups. I recommend this guitar to UGers wanting a Jazzmaster without breaking the bank.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I use this guitar for my church and for home jams, the guitar seems real stable. The strap buttons are still holding on, so I'm happy with it. The finish is the Polyurethane finish, so odds are it won't wear off anytime soon like the Nitro finish. In other words this guitar is more solid that what I thought it was going to be.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The factory set up was okay, but the boys at Sweetwater made this guitar feel just right for me. They took care of the basics of intonation and setting it up. The guitar had a noisy Switch on it but went away after a couple killswitch like flickering. The whammy bar seems pretty tough to abuse. It does get that string pinging but I'll take care of it soon. Other than that it's pretty much in new condition and still holding up against my Gorilla punch strumming (thank you Fender for the TOM style bridge with grooved saddles).
Features — 8
I'm not too sure when it was made, but I do know that this little beauty was made in Mexico. It's got the usual Jazzmaster looks but with a few twists. One would be that they gave the fretboard a flatter radius, a different style bridge (like a Gibson TOM bridge), the tremolo plate is moved closer to the bridge (which was kind of a bummer since I wanted to have a pickup installed like the way Sonic Youth did to their Jazzies), and hotter pickups. Then you have the 3-way Switch, rhythm and lead Switch each with their own volume and tone. The guitar came with the Jazzie whammy bar and a gig bag. The only thing I have against it is the Rosewood fingerboard, I'm more of a maple board but I'll just swap it for a Warmoth neck eventually.