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As a musical style with such a plethora of sub-genres, it’s no surprise that jazz is played on so many styles of guitar – archtops, semi-hollow bodies, and solid body electric guitars in particular. When it comes to that last category, Fender’s iconic Jazzmaster jumps out as one of the top choices – not simply because it features the word ‘jazz’ in its name! This Classic Player Jazzmaster Special offers the timeless design and components you’d expect with a Jazzmaster, but with some modern upgrades that make it a very versatile machine indeed…
As tends to be the case with most Fenders, the focus is on simplicity rather than elaborate design. Still, when you do the simple things very well, sometimes extroverted decoration isn’t needed! This model sports the traditional Jazzmaster style, with the relaxed multiple-cutaway body with curves in all the right places. This affordable made-in-Mexico Fender is crafted using solid alder for the body, which is finished in either a vintage three-color sunburst or a simple glossy black, both with tortoiseshell pickguards.
The neck – with a new angle to help increase both sustain and stability – is made of gloss-finished maple and features a C shape, a pau ferro fretboard and 21 medium jumbo frets for a simple playing experience. It feels comfortable and slim in the hands, and is perfect for jazz barre chords and lead playing.
At the neck and bridge you’ll find two Special Design Hot Jazzmaster single-coil pickups, which are exactly what the name suggests – a specially-designed set that offer the classic single-coil spank but with a hotter output. These are tended to by the extensive Jazzmaster controls. In addition to a master volume and master tone control knob, and three-way pickup selector toggle, the guitar offers individual volume and tone controls for the lead/rhythm pickups, selected via the switching system.
Elsewhere, this Jazzmaster is fitted with an Adjusto-Matic bridge with a vintage-style floating tremolo tailpiece and even a tremolo lock button – a stable system that offers scope for nice vibrato effects. At the other end, there’s a set of 6-in-line vintage-style tuning machines which are a pleasure to use. Of course, it also comes with the screw-in whammy bar, a synthetic bone nut, Fender USA 250R NPS strings, and a deluxe Fender gig bag for protection on the road.
Onto sound and it offers a smooth and mellow tone when played cleanly. Yes, due to the hotter pickups, you do lose a little of the traditional warmth the Jazzmaster is known for, but it’s still a great-sounding guitar for jazz. Plus, because of the extra heat – combined with the switching system – this Jazzmaster proves very versatile, and is equally as good for rock, blues and surf.
On the face of it, this is your standard Jazzmaster – easy to play, comfortable to hold, and showing off superb Fender quality. Thanks to the modern upgrades and hotter pickups, it proves a very versatile model. So, while the Classic Player Jazzmaster Special still has jazz in its heart, it’s a great choice for the jazz guitarist who likes to dabble in other styles, or those who play with a band that covers a wide range of music.
For more info about the Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special, click here.
For more Jazz Electric Guitar you might like, click here.
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