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 ThePearDream » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:16 am

hwestman wrote:
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
This is where I was going with my answer as well, and I agree with removing the factors that have no influence on the Jazzmasteryness of said guitar.

It seems to me that rather than being either a Jazzmaster, or not, all "Jazzmasters" exist on a spectrum going from something completely unlike a Jazzmaster (Dave Mustaine signature?) to fully a Jazzmaster (100% vintage specs).

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by sirspens » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:54 pm

Okay, on a spectrum where a Telecaster is one one end, and a Jazzmaster is on the other end, where does the Stratocaster fall?

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:42 pm

sirspens wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:54 pm
Okay, on a spectrum where a Telecaster is one one end, and a Jazzmaster is on the other end, where does the Stratocaster fall?
At the opposite end of both of those.
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by shadowplay » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:45 pm

Generally skinny jeans, Converse and a delusion that they are somehow alternative and niche.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by Johno » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:01 am

I'd say the pickups & tremolo...

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by mbene085 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:40 am

andy_tchp wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:42 pm
sirspens wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:54 pm
Okay, on a spectrum where a Telecaster is one one end, and a Jazzmaster is on the other end, where does the Stratocaster fall?
At the opposite end of both of those.
It's clearly a third dimension that coexists with the tele-master continuum.

Image

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by jvin248 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:58 am

hwestman wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:04 am
... influence on the Jazzmasteryness of a guitar ...
Lol, I think that is it. You sir, have coined the word of the day! :)

First ever JM I picked up, sitting down to play, the neck felt just like a Strat. Headstock shape matches a Strat except for the logo and thus the neck is off the list. So for me the "Jazzmasteryness" coalesces into:

Body shape with Pickguard shape
Pickups
Control electronics
Vibrato

Perhaps the Tort pickguard and burst or some solid finishes fit in there too.

All the other variations are variations of the basic theme.

There is that offset Talman by Ibanez Tele/JM mashup.
.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by Amon 7.L » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:10 am

Alright folks, this is my take on the subject.
The very first body I've designed and built has had the same questions in mind when it came to give the guitar a name.
After modding my CIJ to KC specs I was left with spare parts, then this happened:

"JAGMASTER-STANG":
Image

JAG ---> Because out of a Jaguar it has: pickups, knobs, the switches and the blunt top horn.
MASTER ---> Because out of the JM it has: THE 25.5" SCALE (which otherwise would have keept being a Jaguar), full plastic pg, bridge & vibrato.
STANG ----> Because out of the Mustang it has: Slanted pickups, lower horn, cbs-ish headstock.

Fast forward from 2011 to 2017, the third body interaction:

"JAGMASTERSTANG"

Image

As you can see... or actually... what do you see? The same Jagmaster-stang Frankenstein with different switching or a Jazzmaster with P90 and a slightly different body?

On a recap list:

JM 25.5" scale : check
JM bridge & vibrato : check
JM full plastic pickguard : check
JM rhythm circuit : check (even thou modified, but we're safe to say that nobody questions things like a Classic Player for this reason)
JM pickup location : check (even thou they are P90, nobody would say that the much loved J. Mascis is not a proper Jazzmaster for having P90 styled pickups, right?)

In short, it doesn't matter if it has a different haircut, beard or either tan for as long as your brain detects that the major combined traits would make you instantly say: "YUP, that's GARY OLDMAN. He likes to show up with different incarnations" (you know what I mean, right? :ph34r: )

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by leokula » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:46 am

I agree with those who say that "Jazzmaster" is a brand and whatever the owner of that brand decides to call a "Jazzmaster", makes it a "Jazzmaster".

This is the only objective answer to the question "What defines a Jazzmaster?". Whatever Fender releases as a Jazzmaster, is a Jazzmaster.

Then you can use the term "Jazzmaster" to define whatever you feel is somehow related to those things the brand owner released as "Jazzmaster". Some will be very closely related, some will be loosely related. Some will consider certain elements as key, and those key elements will vary.
Jaguar > Jazzmaster :)

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by The Dead Ranch Hands » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:46 am

This is all subjective and made up. But for me it's scale length, traditional JM trem, body shape and JM pickups. If it's got most of those elements in place it's a Jazzmaster.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by BoringPostcards » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:28 pm

This thread is whack.
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by ThePearDream » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:43 pm

sirspens wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:54 pm
Okay, on a spectrum where a Telecaster is one one end, and a Jazzmaster is on the other end, where does the Stratocaster fall?
In another spectrum. In the way I'm using the term here, a spectrum is a one dimensional thing, a line between two points.

We can introduce more points if we wish, but it becomes more complex and ceases to be a spectrum.

FWIW, I don't think Fender has full say over what is a Jazzmaster at this point. Sure, they own the name, but that doesn't mean shit to me. The concept of "Jazzmaster" has been out in the wild for 60 years now and is part of the collective conciousness of millions of players. Meanwhile, no one in charge of Fender today has any direct connection to Leo Fender or Freddie Tavares.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by Futuron » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:20 pm

BoringPostcards wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:28 pm
This thread is whack.
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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by Kadenray » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:10 am

I think a Jazzmaster is 25.5 scale, Jazzmaster body, Tremolo with vintage placement, Jazzmaster pickups. if you change any of those things, it becomes not so much a jazzmaster anymore.

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Re: What defines a Jazzmaster: A Hypothesis

Post by zip73 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:11 pm

leokula wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:46 am
I agree with those who say that "Jazzmaster" is a brand and whatever the owner of that brand decides to call a "Jazzmaster", makes it a "Jazzmaster".

This is the only objective answer to the question "What defines a Jazzmaster?". Whatever Fender releases as a Jazzmaster, is a Jazzmaster.
So if they release a Les Paul with the word Jazzmaster on the headstock, it’s a Jazzmaster?

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