The original Jazzmaster had somewhat of an identity crisis. Born in the early days of rock ‘n roll, it was marketed to jazz guitarists, hence the name. Its offset-waist body contour was designed for comfortable playing while seated and the addition of the separate warm-and-mellow-sounding rhythm tone circuit, complete with its own volume and tone controls, made it Fender’s solidbody jazz guitar offering. The original Jazzmaster never found favor in the jazz community, partially due to the fact that it can be prone to feedback. However, the surf-rock community embraced its twanginess and thus began the Jazzmaster’s path to fame.
Fast-forwarding somewhat, the Jazzmaster once again rose to prominence in the hands of experimental, alt and indie-rock guitarists, due primarily to its quirks and the sky-rocketing cost of other similar guitars from the ’50s and ’60s. J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. was one such prominent devotee. The Jazzmaster proved to be the perfect vehicle to deliver his feedback-laced, distortion-heavy assault. Which brings us to the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster.
All of the classic Jazzmaster goodies plus J’s own particular tweaks are on this model. Of particular note is the substitution of Fender’s Adjusto-matic bridge with vintage-style “floating” tremolo tailpiece. This lends added stability to tuning and operation without detracting from the Jazzmaster’s unique tone. The maple “C”-shaped neck with satin finish, rosewood fretboard with 9.5″ radius, and jumbo frets add to the playability of the Squire J Mascis Jazzmaster. J also prefers a slightly wider nut width and slightly warmer sounding pickups as compared to the original Jazzmasters.
Cosmetically, J went for a mix of Jazzmaster features: a Vintage White finish, aged white plastic knobs and covers, a ’60s-style large headstock and a gold anodized pickguard from the ’58 and ’59 model Jazzmasters, all making a vintage-yet-distintive look for this signature guitar. The attention to detail and artist approval make this guitar look, feel, and sound amazing, especially considering the price-point. If you ever wanted a Jazzmaster or to “roar like a dinosaur” the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster will more than fill the bill.