Best Guitar For the Money!
The Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster (or JMJM) is that rarest of things: a guitar that is ready to gig right out of the box, sounds GREAT, and doesn't break the bank. And it looks swell, too. The gold anodized pickguard is darker than it looks in the pictures and contrasts nicely with the vintage white (more like cream) paint job.
Fit and finish are excellent. The neck on this guitar is a thing of beauty: jumbo frets perfectly crowned and dressed, no sharp fret ends, and a perfect C shape that fills the hand very nicely. The neck alone makes this guitar worth the money.
The pickups are hotter than traditional JM pickups, and sound a bit more in the P90 range to my ears. That's not a problem. Some folks throw in more "authentic" aftermarket pickups, but I feel no need to. These sound GREAT: there's a midrange bite, but with a glassy top and nice rounded lows.
Pots and switch are fine. No issues.
The twang bar is wonderful, and feels wonderfully smooth. The only mods I've done to this guitar were to switch out the stock tune-o-metic style bridge (which had a rattling wire) for a roller-style TOM. It fit right on there. I also, of course, swapped out the stock strings (it ships with 10s) for a set of 11s with a wound 3rd. A 1/8 turn of the truss rod, and she was perfect. Even with pronounced use, the JMJM stays in tune. I'd recommend that anyone buying one of these plan to put on heavier strings. The "floating tremolo" system on these guitars was designed for heavy strings. 10s or lower don't exert enough tension to balance things out, and the guitar won't always return to pitch after using the bar. This is not a flaw in any way, it's the nature of the beast. As for the bridge, I find that it also helps the tuning stability to switch to the rollers. Many folks leave the bridge stock, and have no problems. I had a spare roller-style TOM laying around, so I threw it on.
Ultimately, I think this guitar is the best value for your dollar on the market today. If it said "Fender" instead of "Squier," no one who's played one would blink. If it cost three times as much as it does, no one who's played one would be surprised. For the price, you cannot find a better instrument. As far as budget JMs go, these are the absolute cream of the crop. And they're certainly as good or better than the Fender-branded Classic Player or any of the others. I haven't played an American Vintage '65 JM, so I can't compare this to them, but it's a moot point. Folks who buy the $2000+ JMs would never even look at this one. Sad for them, good for us.
In case it wasn't clear, I'm in love with this guitar.