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NGD: Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster. With Video Demos.

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  • NGD: Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster. With Video Demos.

    I know a lot of guys here on HCFX were interested in these Jazzmasters, so I figured I'd post my review on it, along with some demos.

    First of all, the quality here is outstanding. Everything is solid, feels quality, hell - the fretboard edges are even rolled. The body is gorgeous two-piece alder. Center joined and matched quite well. The fit and finish are perfect - far better than even my CIJ Jaguar. The sunburst is a very nice three tone burst, with a nice gradient, rather than a bullseye type finish. It looks great!
    It was nearly in tune out of the box, and came setup VERY well. Intonation is spot on, pickup heights are perfect, etc. All I had to do was tune it and pop the trem arm in.

    I'm in love with the neck. It plays gloriously. The finish on the neck, while glossy, isn't that sticky, thick kind of gloss. It just feels smooth. The frets are perfectly done, and as I said above, the fretboard edges are rolled - which feels amazing. Some were concerned about the headstock and the decal. The headstock is normal Jazzmaster shape. In my opinion, the decal looks good. It's sized properly, and while minimal, it kind of goes with the guitar. It looks way better in person than in the pics.

    Now, I expected to need to change pickups, and potentially the pots/cap/etc. I expected wrong. The humbucker sounds great - far better than I expected. It's clear, responsive, and thick, and it keeps the chimey overtones that the Jazzmaster puts out.
    The neck JM pup is very nice sounding as well, and compliments the HB perfectly. It gets the warm, thick Jazzmaster sound with ease.
    The middle position is just...amazing. It's something you have to hear - especially with fuzz or some gritty dirt.

    The hardware is all very solid. The trem is super smooth, and responsive, the switch and jack are both good quality, and the pots are full sized with solid shafts, which is nice to see. The bridge is awesome. It's like a JM/mustang bridge hybrid, and works very well. It was a tad buzzy with the stock strings on it, but with a set of 11's on it now it's nice and quiet, and extremely solid. I've played it hard all afternoon, and haven't had a string pop out yet - even with the 9's.

    Overall, these are a ridiculous steal at $450. While I love my Jaguar, something tells me this Jazzmaster will be getting a played a lot more.

    Here are a couple quick pics I took yesterday. The lighting was bad, so they came out a bit grainy. The videos show it better anyway.




    VIDEOS!

    EDIT: Better videos coming later.
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  • #2
    Whats funny is, I just took a humbucker out of a butchered jag project I picked up on the cheap; now I want one w/ a humb' again, LOL....
    Originally Posted by marc758


    There is something about a gold top.



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    • #3
      Whats funny is, I just took a humbucker out of a butchered jag project I picked up on the cheap; now I want one w/ a humb' again, LOL....




      The humbucker in this thing really sounds great. And that's coming from someone who hates humbuckers in general.
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      • #4
        ****************ing sick. Congrats!
        THAT AND THE VATICAN (MY BAND)

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        • #5
          i do like the sunburst on that
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          • #6
            i'm still not convinced.. especially on the non-matching pickups. (i have 'issues', obviously), but HNGD!

            what's the deal with the neck pickup? is it a strat pickup like the CIJ's, or more like the MIM or reissue USA's? it sounds strat-ish from here..
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            • #7
              I have to admit, that looks pretty cool.
              My name is Ryan, btw.

              FS/FT: Thurston Moore Jazzmaster

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              • #8
                i'm still not convinced.. especially on the non-matching pickups. (i have 'issues', obviously), but HNGD!

                what's the deal with the neck pickup? is it a strat pickup like the CIJ's, or more like the MIM or reissue USA's? it sounds strat-ish from here..


                It actually reminds of an AVRI Jazzmaster pickup.

                I haven't bothered pulling off the cover yet, and likely won't any time soon, but it sounds good - and in person nothing like a Strat.
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                • #9
                  Those are MIM?
                  THAT AND THE VATICAN (MY BAND)

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                  • #10
                    Looks pretty cool, I'd like to hear it clean though. Congrats on the purchase, they seem like a killer value. The blacktop tele has me interested too.

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                    • #11
                      how would that bridge handle being tuned to C standard?
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                      • #12
                        how would that bridge handle being tuned to C standard?


                        With heavier strings I think you'd be fine.
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                        • #13
                          i'm still not convinced.. especially on the non-matching pickups. (i have 'issues', obviously), but HNGD!


                          This...the non-matching pickups kill it for me. If they were matching, I'd buy it in a heartbeat (c'mon Fender oke

                          Edit:Not that the guitar doesn't sound good with that setup, but it doesn't really seem like a "real" (whatever that means) Jazzmaster with a humbucker in the bridge
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                          • #14
                            This...the non-matching pickups kill it for me. If they were matching, I'd buy it in a heartbeat (c'mon Fender oke

                            Edit:Not that the guitar doesn't sound good with that setup, but it doesn't really seem like a "real" (whatever that means) Jazzmaster with a humbucker in the bridge


                            I've heard so many people say that about these. And I've been saying the same thing to all of them. You need to sit down and play one. It feels like a Jazzmaster, it plays like a Jazzmaster, and it sounds like a Jazzmaster - even with the HB in the bridge.
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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the early review, those look great.

                              I've heard so many people say that about these. And I've been saying the same thing to all of them. You need to sit down and play one. It feels like a Jazzmaster, it plays like a Jazzmaster, and it sounds like a Jazzmaster - even with the HB in the bridge.


                              I think the humbucker in the bridge is a great idea.
                              One of my main guitars is a jazzmaster (that's me in the avatar), and I mostly use it in the neck/middle position. I'd love having a humbucker in the bridge
                              Run!





                              There are some that call me... Morningstaru?

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