Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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slimdave
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Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by slimdave » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:21 pm

Lately I've been seriously thinking about getting an old Jazzmaster (1958-64). I know a few things about them, but am no expert at all. So here's probably the right place to ask:
If you were willing to spend 4-5k$ on a player Jazzmaster which way would you go? I'd want it to sound, feel and look good (and old).

Btw, I'm located in Europe, so I would probably have to buy from the States. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:01 pm

For that budget and given the year requirements I would try to find a body-only refin (ideally slab board) with as much original as possible.

If it were me I'd probably save a little more to get something with an original sunburst finish though just to be a little more confident in my long term investment.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:06 pm

I wouldn't look for a refin. I was at a shop in Nashville back in February and they had 2 original sunbursts with an asking price of $4300. They both played great and were all original to my knowledge.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by takeittothemall » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:30 pm

Given that I am on my third vintage sunburst Jazzmaster in the last handful of years, my main advice would be to try to buy at a price for which you could also sell the guitar when/if you decide you want a Jazzmaster with slightly different characteristics. I don't mean to say that you're going to buy one and not like it, but that, at least for me, owning a vintage Jazzmaster makes one much more aware and appreciative of the variances between individual Jazzmasters.
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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by NickD » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:24 pm

I'd echo what other posters have said, refin or sunburst with all else original. It's what I bought (a 64 in my case, with a very old refin).

But get yourself in front of the guitars, make sure you play them, buying over the internet is all very well, but as takeittothemall says, there are variances, and they will have been exacerbated by 50+ years of use. Buy one you love to play, not love to look at.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:30 pm

Read up on the new CITES regulations too. That'll almost inevitably add more to the overall cost, if you do by from the US.
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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by NickD » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:34 pm

^^^ A very good point. There is a post on here about it too.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by zhivago » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:18 am

I would also add that buying a vintage guitar you occasionally need to add a re-fret in the equation, to get it playing as it should.

Many vintage guitars have frets that are worn down, so they don't play their best. A good set-up is a great start, but without proper fret work you are only going half the way there. :)
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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by Britfingers » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:24 am

My view..if you wait and be patient one will turn up in Europe within budget.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by Maulden7 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:54 am

If you import such a guitar - refin or original (from the USA - or anywhere outside of the EU) the exporter will have to obtain a CITES export certificate & may charge you for doing this - check first. It is not clear to me right now, but you might also have to obtain an EU CITES import certificate yourself, & if you do there is definitely a charge involved (I've been meaning to clarify this for some time but never got around to it - the info on the UK government web site is not clear)

Again, buy from outside the EU & you will have to pay EU country specific taxes before the package will be delivered (these will be levied on the purchase price plus the shipping cost) With shipping as an extra, in the UK I generally reckon to pay something like 30% in all above the actual purchase price (this is the main reason why guitars in the USA look to be cheap to those of us located in Europe)

Only buy from a well known & trustworthy source. This might cost a bit more initially, but it could save you some heartache - you could always check on here for folks views before committing to buy?

Apologies if you already know all of this & good luck.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by MT » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:04 am

The gold guard jazzmasters will be brighter sounding. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your taste.

Do you want a vintage jazzmaster because owning one is a bucket list thing? Is it because you like how old guitars feel to play? It's a decent chunk of money to spend and the vintage guitar market is a lottery. I've had great ones and average ones. If what you're after is the look and feel of an old Jazzmaster, you also have the option of ordering a Danocaster for less than your budget for a vintage.

I put my '58/59 Jazzmaster together, paid for the refin and recently a refret to get it to play like a great guitar. In all honesty, if I had my time over again on this guitar I'd have picked the colour I wanted and ordered a Danocaster instead. My Dano Strat is the best guitar I've played and the feel is second to none. And all that without any of the lottery that buying vintage can often be. I'd buy unseen from Dan with a lot more confidence than buying a vintage Jazzmaster unseen from overseas. That's a good reason why most of my offset purchases came from this forum.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by NickD » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:12 am

It also has to be considered within the EU for the commercial sale of Brazilian Rosewood (which the fingerboard on a JM of this age would be).

Anecdotally, some US sellers won't sell outside the US because CITES is such a PITA.

If I was spending the kind of money that a 58-64 JM costs, I would (and did) buy locally, even if it costs a little more, and requires patience for the right one to come up, to avoid the possible issues of importing one, and because I could play it first. Sub £1k guitars? Sure, bought loads untried from overseas, but spending several grand is a different matter.

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:57 am

Britfingers wrote:My view..if you wait and be patient one will turn up in Europe within budget.
I completely agree with this.

I've had the benefit of a weak US dollar when I've bought guitars from the US in the past. Now is a terrible time to be buying from them (thanks, Brexit fakery).
Also, buying from Europe (hell, maybe from within the UK) will increase the likelihood of you being able to "try before you buy".

I think the silly money will be in original paint jobs. With a bit of lucky, and if you're cool with it, you'll eventually find a refin that suits your budget. Another bonus with refins is there's immediately less to worry about with regard to bumps & scratches. A few new war wounds probably won't affect the value of the guitar.
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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by slimdave » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:26 am

Hi. Thanks for all the replies.

I was asking to know more about bang for the buck vintage Jazzmasters. As I said I'm no expert in this topic.

But, I've owned vintage guitars and I've imported most of them from the US. I'm not worried about importing, taxes or CITES. I know how it goes. And yes, I like vintage guitars over modern or boutique stuff. I've owned both and I choose vintage.

Probably my best bet will be a 60-62 refin or a 63-64 sunburst JM. In any case I'll try to play the guitar before buying or at least I'll have somebody play it who I trust.

UK friends, any suggestions on where to look around in the UK or Europe?

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Re: Ok, so I want to buy a 58-64 Jazzmaster, suggestions?

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:04 am

slimdave wrote:UK friends, any suggestions on where to look around in the UK or Europe?
Vintage & Rare, Denmark St.

The link seems to involve a bit of brokerage, judging by the locations given, but it at least shows there are some out there in your price range.

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