What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by scottT » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:55 pm

I started reading this thread thinking it would be easy, and now it's messed with my head. I'm starting to get all metaphysical like "does a Jazzmaster even really exist other than in name only?". It's made me rethink everything I have taken for granted. Very unsettling thread.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by Singlebladepickup » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:02 pm

scottT wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:55 pm
I started reading this thread thinking it would be easy, and now it's messed with my head. I'm starting to get all metaphysical like "does a Jazzmaster even really exist other than in name only?". It's made me rethink everything I have taken for granted. Very unsettling thread.
Now if you only rethink your backwards views on religion and politics...

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by scottT » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:06 pm

That's going to take an argument better that you're capable of, slingblade.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by JVG » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:06 pm

I’m starting to lean towards the ideas mentioned above, and think that perhaps all Fender guitars are actually Telecasters, some of which have mutated into other forms over the years. The Jazzmaster does not exist.

:P

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by s_mcsleazy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:22 pm

ah am i used to answering this question all too much from people who dont know about offsets.

what is a jazzmaster?
25.5 inch scale, offset body (my bunnymaster started as a jagmaster but i'm gonna count it as a jazzmaster), jazzmaster/jaguar trem

what is a jaguar?
24 inch scale, offset body (yes i know there is some differences between the jaguar, jazzmaster and jagmaster bodies but most people cant really tell at a glance) the jazzmaster/jaguar trem, chrome plates

what is a jagmaster?
offset body, strat trem/hardtail (yes, i do include the affinity jazzmaster as jagmaster)
offset guitars resident bass player.
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by seattle » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:11 pm

I think a Jazzmaster is just a brand and it's whatever Fender says it is. With most products that would be enough since we all know what Scotch Tape is but functionally speaking it's cellophane tape.

A Jazzmaster, to mean anything, needs to be functionally described...offset body, rhythm/lead circuit, 25.5 scale, etc. If Fender takes a Strat and renames that particular unit "Jazzmaster" then it's a Jazzmaster.

I don't know why they do that but that's the way it is.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by hwestman » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:52 am

IMHO
1. the body and headstock shapes alone do not make a Jazzmaster

2. something with different body shape can hardly qualify as a Jazzmaster.

3. A copy/replica/tribute by another manufacturer than Fender with a different headstock could IMHO qualify as a Jazzmaster as long as the rest is standard.

4. if it has BOTH different pickups AND different bridge+vibrato arrangement I would not call it a Jazzmaster

5. If it just deviates by having different pickups such as HB's, P90s etc I would still call it a Jazzmaster

6. I don't consider the rhythm circuit of importance for making it a JM

7. If it has a tune-o-matic bridge and fixed tailpiece, a stratocaster vibrato bridge I'd say it is straddling a fine line between being a JM and being something else.

8. If it replaces the vibrato with a Bigsby I would still call it a Jazzmaster, probably even if it had non standard pickups

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by sirspens » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:00 pm

hwestman wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:52 am
6. I don't consider the rhythm circuit of importance for making it a JM

...

8. If it replaces the vibrato with a Bigsby I would still call it a Jazzmaster, probably even if it had non standard pickups
heresy

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by Ceylon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:55 am

Just to muddle it up a bit further: can any other brand but Fender make a Jazzmaster, whatever that is?

If the Jazzmaster, whatever that is, is the divination if not creation of Leo Fender, can a Bacchus or Fernandes, Greco or even Squier "Jazzmaster" ever really be a Jazzmaster?

Is there something like a Jazzmaster that is more than a registered trademark belonging to a brand?

If a Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster can be called a Jazzmaster, but a Bacchus BJM-750G/R can't, even though it is immediately recognisable as one, does the name Jazzmaster have any meaningful relation AT ALL to the true nature, essence and being of the thing itself? Or are we writing ourselves into a corner we can't escape from when we attribute any meaning what so ever to the name?
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by Ceylon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:07 am

In addition I like to think that you might consider something a Jazzmaster based on what it does. Let's take as an example the original Fender Jazzmaster - production model, not prototype - and imagine that's the essence of a Jazzmaster. It has a vibrato, two pickups, 21 frets and a rhythm circuit. That's what a Jazzmaster is because that's what a Jazzmaster does.

Take the rhythm circuit out of there but leave it otherwise stock, you now have something that's pretty close to the original thing - the thing itself - but still less than it.

Now, replace those single coils with humbuckers. Arguably you've gained noise cancellation and (most likely) output, but you've lost a bit of frequency range at the same time. You could argue that it's both less and more than the original thing

Now, if you reduce that down to a Jazzblaster, two humbuckers and a single volume control, you have something that's unarguably less than a Jazzmaster.

Replace the vibrato on that with a hardtail, like on the Jim Root, and you have something even less than a Jazzblaster.

But then consider you have an otherwise vintage-spec Jazzmaster and you add an extra fret to the fingerboard. In a very real sense it is now more than a Jazzmaster because it does the exact same thing and then some.

Add a third pickup without taking away any of the switching options a two-pickup Jazzmaster has. More than a Jazzmaster?

Replace the vibrato with a Floyd, increasing vibrato range and tuning stability but also eliminating the third bridge-element. More or less than a Jazzmaster? Imagine it's a Kahler-type vibrato instead that allows you to keep the third bridge but which adds a locking nut. More or less?
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by hwestman » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:43 am

sirspens wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:00 pm
hwestman wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:52 am
6. I don't consider the rhythm circuit of importance for making it a JM

...

8. If it replaces the vibrato with a Bigsby I would still call it a Jazzmaster, probably even if it had non standard pickups
heresy
Proud to be a heretic!!! :)

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by Steadyriot. » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:45 am

Ceylon wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:07 am
In addition I like to think that you might consider something a Jazzmaster based on what it does. Let's take as an example the original Fender Jazzmaster - production model, not prototype - and imagine that's the essence of a Jazzmaster. It has a vibrato, two pickups, 21 frets and a rhythm circuit. That's what a Jazzmaster is because that's what a Jazzmaster does.

Take the rhythm circuit out of there but leave it otherwise stock, you now have something that's pretty close to the original thing - the thing itself - but still less than it.

Now, replace those single coils with humbuckers. Arguably you've gained noise cancellation and (most likely) output, but you've lost a bit of frequency range at the same time. You could argue that it's both less and more than the original thing

Now, if you reduce that down to a Jazzblaster, two humbuckers and a single volume control, you have something that's unarguably less than a Jazzmaster.

Replace the vibrato on that with a hardtail, like on the Jim Root, and you have something even less than a Jazzblaster.

But then consider you have an otherwise vintage-spec Jazzmaster and you add an extra fret to the fingerboard. In a very real sense it is now more than a Jazzmaster because it does the exact same thing and then some.

Add a third pickup without taking away any of the switching options a two-pickup Jazzmaster has. More than a Jazzmaster?

Replace the vibrato with a Floyd, increasing vibrato range and tuning stability but also eliminating the third bridge-element. More or less than a Jazzmaster? Imagine it's a Kahler-type vibrato instead that allows you to keep the third bridge but which adds a locking nut. More or less?
Maybe we should consider the Jazzmaster as a list of factors. If it ticks an X amount of boxes; we can call it a Jazzmaster. Just as how we diagnose certain conditions. If you posses 6 out of 10 symptoms you have syndrome or disorder x.

What factors should we consider in that case? And how many boxes should we check? Do they all weigh equally or is there a distinction between those factors which weighs more heavily? Interesting stuff..

☐ 25,5" scale length
☐ Jazzmaster headstock
☐ Jazzmaster decal
☐ 21 Frets
☐ 7,25" fretboard radius
☐ Vintage tuners
☐ Vintage frets
☐ Heel trussrod adjust
☐ Jazzmaster pickguard
☐ Rhythm Circuit
☐ Toggle switch
☐ Jazzmaster Pickups (vintage style)
☐ Jazzmaster bridge
☐ Jazzmaster Tremolo
☐ Witch hat knobs ?!
☐ Offset body Shape
☐ Bolt On neck
☐ Made in America?!
☐ ...?
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by dc » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:19 am

and what to do with the "Fender 60th Anniversary Triple Jazzmaster ... an homage to the mod ethos that permeates the cult of the Jazzmaster":

Designed and voiced specifically for the Triple Jazzmaster by pickup guru Tim Shaw, this calibrated pickup set sports sleek chrome Filter’Tron covers. The throaty, powerful-sounding bridge pickup is matched to chiming neck and middle pickups for flexible sound. It wouldn’t be a Jazzmaster without some electronic twists, and this model features a standard 5-way pickup switch with traditional Strat layout and a special 2-way toggle switch. This extra switch uses position 3 on the pickup selector to activate the neck and bridge pickups in tandem.

... which reads to me, paradoxically, like "60th anniversary of something that didn't actually exist" ... :fp:

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender/60t ... -Guitar.gc

my cousin bought one of these yesterday and i have to confess i didn't even know it was a thing - :wtf:
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by hwestman » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:54 am

JVG wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:06 pm
I’m starting to lean towards the ideas mentioned above, and think that perhaps all Fender guitars are actually Telecasters, some of which have mutated into other forms over the years. The Jazzmaster does not exist.

:P
This!!!

BUT since we all act as if there was such a thing as a Jazzmaster the end result is the same as had the Jazzmaster existed.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by hwestman » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:04 am

Steadyriot. wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:45 am
Ceylon wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:07 am
In addition I like to think that you might consider something a Jazzmaster based on what it does. Let's take as an example the original Fender Jazzmaster - production model, not prototype - and imagine that's the essence of a Jazzmaster. It has a vibrato, two pickups, 21 frets and a rhythm circuit. That's what a Jazzmaster is because that's what a Jazzmaster does.

Take the rhythm circuit out of there but leave it otherwise stock, you now have something that's pretty close to the original thing - the thing itself - but still less than it.

Now, replace those single coils with humbuckers. Arguably you've gained noise cancellation and (most likely) output, but you've lost a bit of frequency range at the same time. You could argue that it's both less and more than the original thing

Now, if you reduce that down to a Jazzblaster, two humbuckers and a single volume control, you have something that's unarguably less than a Jazzmaster.

Replace the vibrato on that with a hardtail, like on the Jim Root, and you have something even less than a Jazzblaster.

But then consider you have an otherwise vintage-spec Jazzmaster and you add an extra fret to the fingerboard. In a very real sense it is now more than a Jazzmaster because it does the exact same thing and then some.

Add a third pickup without taking away any of the switching options a two-pickup Jazzmaster has. More than a Jazzmaster?

Replace the vibrato with a Floyd, increasing vibrato range and tuning stability but also eliminating the third bridge-element. More or less than a Jazzmaster? Imagine it's a Kahler-type vibrato instead that allows you to keep the third bridge but which adds a locking nut. More or less?
Maybe we should consider the Jazzmaster as a list of factors. If it ticks an X amount of boxes; we can call it a Jazzmaster. Just as how we diagnose certain conditions. If you posses 6 out of 10 symptoms you have syndrome or disorder x.

What factors should we consider in that case? And how many boxes should we check? Do they all weigh equally or is there a distinction between those factors which weighs more heavily? Interesting stuff..

☐ 25,5" scale length
☐ Jazzmaster headstock
☐ Jazzmaster decal
☐ 21 Frets
☐ 7,25" fretboard radius
☐ Vintage tuners
☐ Vintage frets
☐ Heel trussrod adjust
☐ Jazzmaster pickguard
☐ Rhythm Circuit
☐ Toggle switch
☐ Jazzmaster Pickups (vintage style)
☐ Jazzmaster bridge
☐ Jazzmaster Tremolo
☐ Witch hat knobs ?!
☐ Offset body Shape
☐ Bolt On neck
☐ Made in America?!
☐ ...?
I think this ties in with my answer a bit.

BUT I think some of the above have no real influence on the Jazzmasteryness of a guitar such as
- number of frets,
- fretboard radius,
- fret size,
- tuner type (although the modern ones Fender puts on everything these days are hideous - vintage tun),
- point of trussrod adjustment,
- knob type,
- country of manufacture

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