Fender Jazzmaster ’65 Reissue – Review.
Introduced in 1958 as an intended successor
to the Stratocaster, the Jazzmaster was launched as their
range topping instrument at the time. The new offset shape
(shared with the Jazz Bass) was together, with a mellower
tone than its siblings the Stratocaster and Telecaster was
intended make Fender instruments more palatable to Jazz musicians
who had traditionally used hollow body guitars.
However the instrument did not fare
well in this area, but instead found itself as the weapon
of choice of many surf rock bands of the 60s as well as the
Indie Rock scene later in the 80s.
After that bit of insight into the Jazzmaster
history we move onto the instrument we are reviewing today
which is a 1965 Jazzmaster from the Vintage Reissue series.
As mentioned previously the guitar features
the classic Jazzmaster offset shape. It is finished in Aztec
gold with the new Fender “Flash Coat” Nitrocellulose finish.
The neck has a 25 ˝ scale, and a separate rosewood fingerboard
which is bound. Pickups are the wide and flat in traditional
Jazzmaster fashion with a view to pick up a wider area of
the strings vibration.
As to electronics a simple three way
switch provides the normal switching between the two pickups.
However the Jazzmaster also has an unusual feature. A Lead/Rhythm
switches which allows the setting of a two preset sounds at
the flick of a switch.
Hardware is all chrome, with Fender
vintage style tuning machines, witch hat knobs, and the idiosyncratic
Jazzmaster floating tremolo unit with its long arm and lock
switch should a string break.
I simply cannot this moment find fault
with this guitar. The fit and finish is simply exceptional.
It is also well setup and even with 10 guage strings there
is none of the usual buzzing or jumping out of the saddles,
two issues found commonly on Jazzmasters.
Plugged into a Fender Blues Junior the
Jazzmaster sounds like a true Fender but with a different
tone. Compared to a Strat or Tele I would say it’s definitely
warmer, especially on the neck pickup, good all round on both
and with chime and a bit of bite on the bridge.
Overdriven it gets raunchy, not hot
like a humbucker guitar but still provides very useable tones,
it also takes time based effects like delay, echo very well.
to 62 Reissue Model
Essentially these ’65 and ’62 are practically
identical, aside from the binding, witch hat knobs, and slightly
thicker neck. Guitar aside something else that is noticeable
as well, is that the case for the ’65 is noticeably thinner
than any other vintage reissue case I own.
A well executed reissue and interesting
instrument to own.
By Ernest H Slade