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Fender SQ Vintage Mod Jazzmaster 3TSB

Electric Guitar

  • Vintage Modified Series
  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple, C-shape
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • 21 Medium jumbo frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Vintage style non-locking floating vibrato
  • 2 x Duncan designed JM-101 single coil Jazzmaster® pickup with Alnico 5 magnets
  • Colour: 3-Colour sunburst
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  • Blues
  • Indie
  • Rock

Further information

Colour Sunburst
Soundboard Basswood
Neck Maple
Fretboard Rosewood
Frets 21
Scale 648 mm
Pickup System SS
Tremolo Yes
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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26 customer ratings:
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4.4 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
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18 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

Vintage Value

11.06.2016
I bought this having only played Jazzmasters once or twice back in the mid 90's and have been very pleased by its playability and sound..so much so that I bought a VM Mustang shortly afterwards...!
First impression was very good,a well applied Sunburst,pretty much spot on to Fenders own, over a decent basswood body with only two reasonably visible joins.Very neatly put together instrument,tight neck pocket.My example has a particularly nicely grained fingerboard and a lot of almost birdseye fleck on the maple neck...the only negative is down to personal taste..the "vintage tint" on the neck looks to me more jaundice yellow than a replication of aged nitro...!
It has a modern radius fingerboard with well fitted frets,no sharp edges..I prefer vintage radius Fender necks but am liking this as I get used to it..the yellowed "clay" dot markers are nice touch...
The nut needed a tiny amount of work to give the wound strings a clear run...truss rod adjustment is at the headstock unlike the originals but it is a very practical option..
What else is good?....the Duncan Design pickups do a fine job and I have no intention of changing them...clear with good string balance and handle gain with no squeal....I like how pinch harmonics pop out even played clean...this guitar has a nice sprightly tone and sounds clear and well defined in all 3 basic positions...I like it a lot for clean and it really does the surf guitar through to Tom Verlaine tones really well.....I'm not using it so much for heavier stuff but its certainly up to it if needed.. JM's are associated with J Mascis,MBV etc and these DuncanDesign pickups don't turn mushy under gain as happens with a lot of budget instruments...I'm using Fender pure nickle 10's here.
The trem works really well for what it was designed to do,old school shimmery light wobbles.Allow for the fact that the long string length and shallow break angle over the saddles is part of the Jazzmasters sound...there will be some occasional odd vibrations and sympathetic overtones coming from here.Worth noting...the trem arm has to pushed down very hard before it clicks into place but won't fall out after that..though I'm concerned constant fitting and removal may cause issues here in time so generally leave it in....
The bridge is criticised a lot online but with care works very well...roughly speaking set the saddles as high as possible following the fingerboard rad and set your height adjustment with the screws inside the bridge pillars...using tens I've not had a problem with strings popping off and while I was expecting to have to shim the neck its not been necessary.When you're happy with your set up it does pay to use nail polish to lock all the threads in place as they are all a bit slack compared to US/Mex Fender hardware...I see no need for extra spending on aftermarket bridge units plus you're losing the quirky character of the design.
The electrics inside are the usual small diam,lower quality units with thin soft wiring typical of a budget guitar but until something breaks I'm leaving them alone,they do the job.
One other thing that may come as a surprise is that its big!,,,top to tail about 2" longer than a Tele,...but it is really comfortable....the "offset waist" really works and its body is a bit thinner (which I think was the case with the originals after a few years production).
Squier have really cut the right corners with this..it certainly feels and plays very well,decent woods,neat and tidy construction and finish...there is no reason these VM's should not last a lifetime...any of the cheaper hardware that wears out can be easily replaced,the essentials are remarkably sound here.
Whats not to like....well in my case that very fake pickguard!...its just a print under thin plastic film..it really cheapens the look of the guitar but is understandable from Squiers perspective as proper tort would add to the price for no practical benefit...so as well as adding straplocks I changed the pickguard to a proper celluloid type from Troy Neagle Luthier who does guards specifically for the VM range....note a Fender US won't fit properly and the rhythm circuit rollers are differently spaced apart..
Overall?...well I find this just as practical and as enjoyable as instruments costing way more...so much so that having bought the Mustang as well I'm giving serious thought to the Jaguar before too long...
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Total
features
sound
quality

Budget jazz

waveclipper, 25.05.2013
Squier's quite accurate repro of the Jazzmaster, with the practical idiosyncrasies that entails. Mine's a 4 piece body with main hardware mounted on a central piece of flamed(!) basswood. No veneers, it's honest wood showing through the finish. Nice neck, good & tight neck pocket - feels solid. Reasonable fret job - smooth but very minor unevenness in a couple of places (not enough to significantly adversely affect playability) - very acceptable for the money. Decent quality rosewood (no binding) with no major tooling marks, very playable. Wiggle stick not incredibly sensitive but functional and holds tuning quite well after minor set up tweaks. Occasional spring noise with extreme use, maybe needs some lubrication at some point. Bridge saddles have not required Loctite and no strings popping out even with fairly heavy playing with hybrid technique (currently using 10s). 'Duncan Designed' pickups faithful to originals' design. Clear, dynamic, lively & bright and moderately powerful with slight upper frequency harshness perhaps (could be described as 'cutting' well) but definitely captures the classic JM sonic flavour and work great into darker amps and with 60s style fuzzboxes. Has that wonderful sympathetic ring from the strings behind the bridge that (for me) is quite characteristic of JMs/Jags. Hardware all works as it should, again faithful to an original. No loose jacks/crackly pots or misaligned hardware mounting which I have frequently encountered on other 'budget' instruments.
Overall I like it and am pretty happy with it. If you want a 'proper' spec JM on a limited budget this fits the bill nicely. If you can live with very minor imperfections and want a JM for playing/gigging/modding/good fun I reckon most musicians would be quite content.
Good build, good sound, good feel and excellent value.
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€406 £357.95
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Available immediately

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