Options

Jazzmaster Players - Need Your Help/Advice!

I have a milestone birthday coming up and want to buy a new guitar to celebrate. I've played Teles for years and was thinking a JM would be a nice compliment to them. After reading/watching a ton of reviews, etc. it feels like the AO60 is the way to go to get the "true" JM experience.

My one concern is everything I've heard about the JM's bridge. There are enough conflicting reports about intonation issues, fret buzzing, and string slippage that I'm a little nervous. I definitely don't want to pay all that money for a guitar that will need to be modded right away in order to be playable.

But just when I had convinced myself that those issues are likely isolated and the chances are that a top-of-the line JM wouldn't be plagued by them, I happened to look closely at an image on the Fender site that showed the B string clearly not aligned on the saddle of the AO60s JM page. Now I'm completely flummoxed and need some guidance. Should I expect all JM's have bridge issues? What is the likelihood that I would need to swap out an AO65's bridge? Is there a model that has a better bridge than others? Do higher-gauge strings really solve the slippage problem?

Any info from those who know is much appreciated - because right now even though my heart is saying JM, my head is saying Strat!


I smile, but who am I kidding...

Comments

  • Options
    lexicondevillexicondevil Bay Area Posts: 1,880
    Did you ever come to a decision on this? I am looking to buy my first Fender guitar. I also want the Jazzmaster 62 reissue, but have seen the same complaints. There is an aftermarket bridge that solves the problems, but that is another $200 if I can install it myself, more if not. I am also considering just getting a Strat. 
    1991- Hollywood Palladium, California with Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains -RIP Magazine Show Oct. 6th
    1992- Lollapalooza, Irvine, California
    Nothing since then. I suck.
    2016- Fenway Park, Boston - Both glorious nights
    2022- Oakland Night 2
  • Options
    DeLukinDeLukin Posts: 2,733
    edited February 2023
    Yep, I got an amazing deal on a new AO 60's Jazzmaster last December. I love the guitar, but it has given me some of the problems I feared unfortunately. I was able to mitigate some bridge rattles with 11's and a proper set up, but the tremolo arm never fit into the sleeve. I ended up buying a new tremolo arm and a new sleeve, and not only did the NOT fit the ones that came with the guitar, they also did NOT fit into each other! After verifying with Fender support that I had the right parts I took it to a Fender-authorized repair shop who couldn't figure it out either. The tech ended up drilling out both of my sleeves and the arms work reasonably well. Thankfully, it was covered under warranty.

    The bridge has been frustrating. A lot of folks say it's all about a proper set up and string gauge, but vibrations can loosen the screws in the saddles and cause tuning and intonation issues, and I'm not about to smear it in loctite. So, I recently got a Mastery, dropped it in earlier this week and have been very pleased with the result. The thing is solid and the guitar feels much more stable (it even brings the e strings closer to the center of the neck, so no more slippage issues in that regard), so I would highly recommend going that route if you start to have bridge issues.

    I'm glad I got a great deal on the guitar because I really wasn't expecting to pay so much to get it into a playable condition. I do love it though - it feels, looks, and sounds amazing - and have learned a ton about offsets and guitar repair and maintenance in general, so from that perspective it was definitely worth it. Other than the trem issues there were no other QA concerns, which is one of the reasons I wanted the AO60 instead of the AVII. Overall, I am very happy with the Jazzmaster and I'm even thinking about a Jaguar at some point down the road. Once you get the offset bug, it really is tough to shake!

    What did you decide to do? Did you go with the AVII? A Strat? Something else?

    Post edited by DeLukin on
    I smile, but who am I kidding...
  • Options
    lexicondevillexicondevil Bay Area Posts: 1,880
    Still in limbo. I was going to sell a guitar to buy the Jazzmaster, but not happening now. Really sounds like a pain in the rear to own one unless you have it all dialed in. Glad you're enjoying yours.
    1991- Hollywood Palladium, California with Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains -RIP Magazine Show Oct. 6th
    1992- Lollapalooza, Irvine, California
    Nothing since then. I suck.
    2016- Fenway Park, Boston - Both glorious nights
    2022- Oakland Night 2
Sign In or Register to comment.