Fender Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Electric Guitar
The original Jazzmaster design was introduced in 1958 and initially marketed to jazz guitarists, but actually found favour amongst rock players instead.
The Squier Vintage Modified series of instruments recreates classic guitars from certain periods of Fender’s illustrious history and recreates them for players on a budget, but with the added benefit of decades of research and development on the original conception.
The Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster retains the hallmarks of the original design from the 50’s, with the distinctive vibrato bridge, dual-circuit switching and controls, and the biggest single coil pickups I have ever seen. The headstock is a nod to the 70’s era of Fender design, and the guitar is similar fitted with vintage-style chrome tuners, bridge and non-locking whammy bar, as well as chrome hardware.
In that regard this guitar looks very authentic in its styling, yet it features some modern touches as well. The Duncan designed pickups (these are actually single coil, though commonly mistaken for P90 pickups given the size and shape) reflect the years of research and development in the technology, producing pickups that offer a wide range of tones yet remain well-defined and full at all times. The Squier Vintage Modifed Jazzmaster also features a 9.5” radius neck, which is definitely a modern touch. Vintage Fender next radius was quite different, but also conceived in an era where guitar playing was quite different from what was to come in the following decade with the likes of Clapton, Hendrix et al., the scope and range of the instrument in terms of sound and technique was widely expanded. The alteration in neck radius has allowed for techniques such as bending to be much easier.
The important thing with any instrument to ask is ‘How does it play?’. This Jazzmaster plays very well. The neck is very comfortable, the attention to detail is evident in the fretwork on this particular model (on budget instruments such things can be missed), and it has a wide range of tones from clean through dirty. I particularly liked the lead tone I was able to produce in the short video demo; the notes were smooth and full and the guitar felt like it wanted to ‘sing’ as I played it. The setup also meant it was very easy to play. Some guitars in this price range require a bit more effort to play due to the nature of their setup, with high string action or a neck that needs adjusting. But this is certainly not so in the case with this instrument.
If you like the design, are looking for an instrument that is versatile and capable of producing many different guitar tones but retaining the articulation from the notes you play, and looking for a well-built guitar which has plenty of retro touches and looks but with the benefit of 60 years or more of research and development in electric guitar manufacturing, then the Squier Vintage Modifed Jazzmaster is well worth a look.