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June 2017 Giveaway

Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special - 3-Color Sunburst with Rosewood Fingerboard Reviews

4.5 stars based on 22 customer reviews
Questions about the Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special - 3-Color Sunburst with Rosewood Fingerboard?

Questions about the Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special - 3-Color Sunburst with Rosewood Fingerboard?

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  • from December 26, 2016

    Jazzmaster

    Very happy. plays and sounds great very close to my original 1959 jazzmaster My first time buying a guitar online n very happy with my entire experience especially with Kyle Malone he was great couldn't be happier. Definitely recommend.

  • from Colorado Springs March 7, 2016Music Background:
    Experienced

    Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster

    I purchased a Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster from Sweetwater about one month ago - it was an exceptional purchase experience. I especially liked that I could pick the exact make/serial number using the Sweetwater guitar gallery online. The salesman was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. He followed up after the purchase to ensure the guitar met expectations - needless to say, the entire purchase exceeded expectations in every way! The guitar came without a single fingerprint or flaw, it was set up perfectly, and actually in tune right out of the box. While Sweetwater may be a major online retailer, the staff and sales people don't treat the customer (or the instruments) like most high-volume stores/chains. The care was outstanding. I will absolutely call Sweetwater for my next purchase - I already have a new Strat in mind!

  • from June 25, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Geat Guitar!

    I've been playing for 30 years and have owned my share of guitars. This one is definetly in my top 3(if not my #1). I've never owned a Jazzmaster and always wanted one. This thing looks,sounds, and plays great. Couldn't be happier.

  • from Sterrett, AL March 7, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    A very special guitar.

    This is a very special guitar, with a range of tones that I hadn't expected. It can do bright and jangly, smooth and jazzy, country twang, and raucous southern rock. I've been playing Strats and Teles for years, but somehow managed to ignore the Jazzmaster. Then, something triggered me to take a look. The switching is unique, but once you've spent some time playing this fine guitar, it all becomes natural. And, the neck is super-playable. A home run purchase!

  • from Austin, TX December 26, 2014Music Background:
    10 years Recording Engineer/Producer/Studio owner...15 years Guitar Player

    This is my new tone! This guy through my 68' Fender Showman! After a set up with my tech this thing just came alive! Strongly recommend this guy you will love it!

  • from Augusta, GA May 22, 2014Music Background:
    Pro-hobbyist

    This thing is a monster!!!

    I just got mine a few days ago and I fell in love from the word go. The factory setup is good enough to get you playing but it does need some love. The neck feels great and it just feels good to play. I was afraid that I would have to swap out pickups to get more output but now it looks like I might have to swap them out to get less output.

  • from Maryland 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 Austin, TX December 3, 2015

    Fantastic multi-purpose guitar

    I'm not even sure where to start on this guitar. Almost everything about it feels and sounds awesome. The neck is slick and the body rests comfortably whether you're sitting or standing. Want a guitar that will stay in tune? Out of every electric guitar I've ever had, this one stays in tune the best, even when I'm wailing on the tremolo bar. The bar does click when you push down on it, which is kinda annoying, but you can't really tell in a loud rock setting.

    The pickups definitely are hotter and fatter than usual Jazzmaster pick-ups, so be aware of that. You can get kinda close to the Jazzmaster Chime by messing with your EQ, but some purists out there still don't care for it. I've played it clean and super distorted and everything between and the pick-ups work great for me.

    Also, it just looks sexy.

  • from August 30, 2015

    Extremely Diverse Guitar

    I'd been looking into buying a Jazzmaster for a few years now and finally decided to make the jump. This guitar just feels like it was made for me. I always feel like a Strat or Tele feel just a little too tiny when I'm playing them. The Jazzmaster just fits. I've talked to quite a few people who didn't like that it felt like a bigger guitar, but for me it's perfect. Specifically, the C-shaped neck feels great and the jumbo frets feel like they were tailored for my hands. Couldn't be happier there.

    The tone on this thing is also outstanding. Really, I should say tones - you can get quite wide range of sounds from this instrument, and it's been fun just learning the boundaries of the different kinds of sounds you can get out of it. The pickups are hotter than I was expecting, but still sound great. I can get the bridge pickup to sound twangy but still full-bodied, and the neck pickup has a great, fat bluesy sound to it. Not to mention it's a really beautiful guitar. I bought a lightly used demo model and it still shipped looking nearly new with only a few dings on the pickguard.

    Finally, Sweetwater has been outstanding throughout the whole process. I've been updated every step of the way, got the guitar about 3 days after ordering, and it was tuned and ready to go right out of the box. The whole experience at Sweetwater has been great.

  • from Seattle May 13, 2015Music Background:
    Indie, Alt-Country

    Fantastic

    Can't say enough good things about this guitar. Sounds fantastic and produces a great range of tones. A bit of fret buzzing due to low action, but that can be easily remedied. Arrived in great condition except for a few minor scratches on the pickguard.

    Also impressed by customer service at Sweetwater. They sent photos of my actual guitar just after I ordered it, which was a nice touch and helped pass the time between placing my order and getting the shipment from Fed Ex.

  • from United States November 11, 2013Music Background:
    Guitar/bass, 44 years; songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, 10 years.

    Classic Player Jazzmaster

    I'm very impressed with this instrument. The action is low, smooth and not buzzy. Fretwork is very well-done. The neck is tight in the pocket, everything works as expected, the finish is well-done. The bridge pickup sounds great clean, great clarity and definition, cuts through a busy mix nicely. I'm especially impressed by that. The neck pickup is a bit murky, but it is a Jazzmaster, not a Strat. Is it "just as good" as an original '60s Jazzmaster? Well, no, but it does stand on its own as a very good guitar.

  • from San Diego, CA September 14, 2013Music Background:
    Pro

    Great Guitar

    This is a nice playing, great sounding guitar. Somewhere between a Strat and a Les Paul. Needed a lot of set up, but turned out well.

  • from United States January 31, 2013Music Background:
    geez-hobbyist

    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!

  • from Florida January 24, 2013Music Background:
    Ex pro musician...now play shows just for fun on weekends

    Jazzmaster Classic Player

    Great 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:
    Musician

    Classic Player Jazzmaster

    I 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:
    Amateur Musician

    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 Scottsdale, AZ January 14, 2017

    Wonderful

    Overall the guitar is a fantastic bargain. Some purists will not like the CP because of the Tune-O-Matic bridge and refined neck angle. It doesn't meet the vintage spec, but its really not supposed to. The guitar play's beautifully and sounds great.

  • from NEWPORT NEWS, VA June 23, 2016

    Great Guitar

    This Jazzmaster is a great guitar. I received mine from Sweetwater not long ago. They did send me one with a rather large ding in the top of the guitar. It plays wonderfull and has a great dark Jangly sound.

  • from April 27, 2016Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer

    Amazing Guitar!

    Guitar is phenomenal for the money! The fretboard did feel and look like a chalkboard when I got it, but I took care of that with steel wool, and now I can see the beautiful fretboard wood grain, and now It feels as smooth as an American model. It also needed a good setup which is to be expected with any guitars I've purchased. It also sounds great! IMO, This guitar is the cats pajamas, especially for $800 bucks!

  • from LONG ISLAND NY June 11, 2012Music Background:
    HOBBY PLAYER THAT LIKES TO JAM.

    SUPER COOL / JAZZTOOL

    GREAT 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.

  • from Augusta Ga June 27, 2013Music Background:
    playing over 45 years, designed and built over 25 guitars.

    Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster

    Looks beautiful. Fit and finish are exceptional. I wasn't expecting it, but the body is one solid piece of alder. I haven't played a "real" Jazzmaster, so I don't have an accurate frame of reference for this guitar. The pickups are definitlely different than my Strat and Tele. They are supposed to be hotter than originals, but then again, I wouldn't know. It sustains longer than I would have thought. i like the vibrato, but without the ability to adjust multiple springs, i can't tune the intervals at maximum lift. But it's not a strat and i'll get used to it. It's beautiful and sounds good, but it came with some girly strings (I use 14-58 Thomastic-Infelds). I am worried that the spring vibrato might not be srtong enough to take the tension of the pipes I use, but will have to wait to string it up. I have a family reunion coming up and have to supply the guitars, basses and keyboard for the gang. I have to have at least one guitar with wimpy strings for my brethren to fight over. After that, i'll see what's what.

  • from U.S.A. August 5, 2016Music Background:
    Vintage '65

    Fender Marketplayer (i.e.

    If you are looking for a modern Jazzmaster these days, good luck. Fender isn't so much a guitar company these days as it is a ledger for big pocket investors to squeeze and share. Marketing is king and design takes a back seat.

    This particular version of the Jazzmaster should be Fender's best and truest. Instead it's a hodgepodge of fixes and mods that players have resorted to over the years to tweak weak links in the original design. While Fender calls this the Classic Player, it is In effect the "Anonymous Signature Mod".

    Let's take a closer look.

    Styling: The CP JM comes in tried and true black and burst with cream covers and other popular accents. No doubt about it, this is a very appealing guitar from a visual standpoint. That said, I have seen some of these where the pieces are poorly matched, one in particular that should have been B stock. (This shouldn't be a problem if you are ordering from Sweetwater. Thumbs up for the Guitar Gallery.)

    Finish: The polyurethane finish is bulletproof thick and should survive Armageddon.

    Neck and Tuners: The truss rod adjustment is located in the butt of the neck. You can't adjust it without dismantling the guitar. If we are to believe Fender's marketing, this is a feature that was demanded by players. Think about that.

    The tuners are vintage style, undoubtedly used because the keys look nicer than those used of the sealed variety that Fender uses. I found they slip out of tune without much heavy playing or tremolo use. They aren't staggered and require string trees to compensate, which can add to tuning problems.

    Pickups, Electronics and Shielding: The CP pickups are hotter, woodier, with more beef and less chime. They have adjustable pole pieces (no one ever mentions this), which is a nice upgrade. They can get pretty noisy, depending on where you are facing, due to the weak shielding. The electronics seem good enough, no telling how they will hold up over time. The wheels for adjusting the rhythm circuit might be a little higher to make adjustments easier.

    Did I mention that the shielding is weak? Yes, but it bears repeating. This is supposed to be the model that takes into account all of the feedback from players over the years. So, why didn't Fender fix this?

    Tremolo and Bridge: The original bridge was designed for heavy strings, light strumming, and easy finger picking. That never worked very well for players who were using lighter strings and playing harder. The cheap solution for some players was to swap out the original for an adjustomatic or mustang bridge. Rather than invest in designing or licensing a better bridge, Fender followed the pawn shop approach and used an adjustomatic. It's a cheap solution that introduces new problems. Wound strings will catch on the bridge, requiring lubricant or filing or replacement of the bridge altogether. Replacement is more complicated on this model, due to post placement, radius incompatibility, etc.

    The tremolo is solid and includes the "locking" mechanism. There's no reason not to include this on other models, except to save money in production, so it's nice to see it included here. The arm sits at a better height on this model compared to the vintage knock-offs that Fender currently produces.

    Regarding the decision to move the placement of the tremolo unit, I was skeptical when I read reviews howling about the change in the placement on this model. But as I played it more, I could see why some were nonplussed. There really is no reason to have moved the placement of that unit, and the only reason it was done was as a cheap workaround to the original problems with the bridge. The end result is less buzz.. but more tuning problems when using the tremolo.

    Another effect of moving the tremolo forward is that the arm now cramps the bridge. Because the post for the arm is directly behind the strings, and not to the side, it now gets in the way of playing all the way back, something you might want to do if you want to get more twang out of those darker pickups.

    Candy: Fender tosses in a decent enough gigbag that probably cost about $10 to produce in China, a sticker with their website address, and not much more. For a few pennies they could include a nice instruction manual highlighting the features of the guitar, tips for maintenance, suggested settings, etc.

    Conclusion: If you like the guitar as it is, don't mind paying a premium price, can accept the misguided "players' mods" designed to "upgrade" the guitar, and like the idea of outsourcing American manufacturing jobs, then this might be the guitar for you.

    On the whole, it's a decent, but by no means a "5 stars-WOW! Blown Away!", guitar.

Questions about the Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special - 3-Color Sunburst with Rosewood Fingerboard?

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