Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special (3-Color Sunburst) Reviews4.5/5.0 based on 6 customer reviews
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June 6, 2012Music Background:
Playing in bands since 1965!
Great guitar!A really great guitar for the money. They've refined some of the imperfections from the original and it is a very playable, versatile guitar. I play a lot of surf music, among other things, so this really fits right in! Very much worth what you pay for it.
from United States
January 31, 2013Music Background:
CP Jazzmaster is a keeper!I got mine from Sweetwater two years and I love it. I did some mods to get back most of the vintage Jazzy sound -- AV bridge (by inserting grub screws) and SD Ant II p-ups. I honestly feel the workmanship of the CP is on par with my '06 AV Jaguar.
I took off a half point because I would have liked a custom color. Otherwise, I'd pick up another. Hell, for the price, I still might!
January 24, 2013Music Background:
Ex pro musician...now play shows just for fun on weekends
Jazzmaster Classic PlayerGreat guitar. I've been an SG man for the past 17 years. I love that guitar but wanted to get some single coil tones for some of the material I was writing. Everyone I know has a strat or a tele so I thought I'd try something different...also on the Tele I felt the volume knob was too close to the pickup toggle in one position and it causes me issues on quick tone changes mid song. I love this JM and the price is great. They've fixed the floating bridge issue with this model and I just can't say enough positive things about it. It sounds amazing through my vintage Fender Twin.
from Philadelphia, PA
October 17, 2012Music Background:
Classic Player JazzmasterI purchased the classic player jazzmaster about 3 months ago, so this is a comprehensive review over a few months use. Prior to this, I was mainly a SG player. This has now become my main guitar for every style I play (folk-rock, country, blues, jazz). It gets used every day, and is gigged with constantly. Holds up extremely well to the rigors of gigging, abuse, and feels like a tank. The floating vibrato system on here is the most smooth system Iíve ever used, the arm stays in place perfectly. Iíve had no issues with tuning at all. No sharp fret edges, and getting a super low action was easy. The 9.5 radius yields a not-too-thick neck thatís comfortable up the fretboard. The hotter pickups are nice and balanced, and the rhythm circuit gets beautiful muted jazz tones. However, the bridge pickup is a bit bright for my tastes, but I understand that is all personal preference. All in all, probably one of the best guitar purchases Iíve made in the last 10 years.
from Nashville, TN USA
June 20, 2011Music Background:
A very versatile, yet extremely unique, guitar.I've lusted after the Jazzmaster for the past few years as I started to get into indie rock from the late '80s and early '90s, where the Jazzy is more or less the de facto standard. My birthday was coming up, so I decided to finally go ahead and get one, since I had the money.
When I got it out of the box, it took a little bit of time to get used to, since it had a longer scale and a different (but much more comfortable) neck than my previous main guitar, my Ibanez AS73 semihollow. But after a few days of it almost never leaving my hands, it just felt perfect for me. It's a nice medium C that's a good compromise between a baseball-bat '50s Tele or Les Paul neck and an Ibanez Wizard. The only gripe I have is that it only has 21 frets, but then again, it's supposed to have a vintage feel with modern improvements. I could always swap it out for a Warmoth if I need to, I guess.
How does it play? Very nicely. At first, I was getting a lot of fret buzz, which was disappointing, but I realized it was because it had a pretty low action (lower than I prefer, really), and I tend to play pretty aggressively. I've had to adjust my technique, but since then, I don't get any at all unless I'm fretting too hard or strumming/picking too hard. I definitely need to take it to a tech to give it a full setup, although the one it came with was definitely pretty good. The intonation is great, so much so that I'm not going to change the strings on it at all until I can get it set up for heavier strings. I'd do it myself, but I don't have a good enough tuner, and trying to intonate my AS73 was a nightmare (and ultimately a failure; it also needs some work on the frets, though, since there's some bad wear in certain spots, and that could be causing some of the intonation problems, which are primarily noticeable on the G string).
But enough of that rambling, let's talk about how it sounds. In spite of what some people have said about the pickups, they sound pretty Jazzmasterish to me, just hotter. I'm definitely swapping them out for some Curtis Novaks eventually, but they're good enough for now. Soundwise, they have that distinct Fender sound, but with a wider frequency response than, say, a Strat pickup. This gives them a very appealing, almost "hi-fi" sound. I kinda wonder what they'd sound like plugged into something with full-range speakers, like a keyboard amp. They're also incredibly bright, making playing through a really bright amp or amp model somewhat painful unless you turn down the treble and presence knobs a bit. People who aren't familiar with the Jazzy's idiosyncrasies compare Jazzmaster pickups with P-90s, but they really don't sound like P-90s at all to my ears. Not even these hotter pickups are. I've heard some people say the Classic Player's pickups sound like P-90s or even Strat pickups, but I strongly disagree. They're definitely Jazzmaster pickups, but hotter, and with adjustable polepieces, which is about the only thing they have in common with P-90s. These pickups are actually quite aggressive, and sound pretty decent with high-gain. The only downside is that, being single-coils, they're very noisy.
In fact, the noise is one of the biggest downsides to this guitar. It definitely needs better shielding, although that's not something that's uncommon for most guitars, unfortunately. But that's not a very hard thing to fix.
One thing I'm really surprised about is how versatile this thing really is. Obviously, it's a monster for indie and alt-rock as well as surf, but it can get a pretty cool stoner/sludge metal sound, a great funk sound in the middle position, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, given what genre it was specifically designed for originally, a decent jazz sound. It does country and blues pretty nicely, too. It won't do death metal, but I don't think anyone would it expect it to. It's also a very capable punk guitar. And I'm not just talking about post-punk, either, which it most certainly excels at. It's great for hardcore, although I don't know if its hotter pickups help to achieve that. It's certainly possible.
Yet in spite of its versatility, it has a sound unlike any other guitar out there. This is no doubt due to its combination of its unique pickups and perhaps more importantly the Fender floating trem, which makes it have a shorter sustain than most guitars. They've moved the trem up an inch or so, and also changed the angle in the neck pocket, which increases the break angle, which is supposed to increase sustain as well as reduce buzzing (their use of a Tune-o-Matic bridge instead of the terrible original one also reduces the buzzing problem), and while it does, it's still a little bit plinky compared to others. But the plinkiness is a good thing, in my opinion. It's a huge part of the Jazzmaster's distinctive tone, and I'd have been disappointed if it sounded too "normal." Its quirks are what make it great, albeit not for everyone.
Overall, it's a great choice if you're looking for a Jazzmaster and don't want to pay twice as much for the American Vintage Reissue. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who isn't into Jazzmasters, since they're one of those guitars you either love or hate, but even then, I suppose they're worth a try to see which category you fall into.
from LONG ISLAND NY
June 11, 2012Music Background:
HOBBY PLAYER THAT LIKES TO JAM.
SUPER COOL / JAZZTOOLGREAT GUITAR WITH MANY IMPORTANT IMPROVEMENTS . WHICH MEANS EVERYTHING YOU NEED AND NOTHING YOU DON''T.. SHOULD HAVE MADE IT THIS WAY IN 1958.BUT THEN WE WOULD NOT HAVE EVER SEEN THE STRATOCASTOR. FRET ENDS COULD BE DRESSED SMOOTHER AND THE LITTLE SPRING ADDED TO THE TREMELLO ARM THAT TAKES UP THE SLOPPY ARM PLAY.OTHER THAN THAT THIS GUITAR IS A WINNER.