Fender Puts On a SpurtInstead of launching the umpteenth reissue of a catalog instrument, Fender decided to innovate by mounting high-output passive humbuckers on a new series called Black Top. This new product range includes a Telecaster, a Jaguar and a Stratocaster equipped with the same pickup combination based on two humbuckers. The Jazzmaster gets a more original pickup combination with one humbucker (Hot Vintage Alnico Bridge Humbucking Pickup) and one P-90 in the neck position. Read more…
Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS tech. sheet
Model: Blacktop Jazzmaster HS
Category: Electric solidbody guitars with JZ/JG body
Added in our database on: 09/05/2011
We have no technical specifications for this product but your help will be much welcomed
Made in Mexico
Body Material: Alder
Body Shape: Jazzmaster®
Number of Frets: 21
Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
Position Inlays: White Dot Position Inlays
Fingerboard Radius: 9.5" (24.1 cm)
Neck Material: Maple
Neck Finish: Gloss Urethane
Nut Width: 1.650” (42 mm)
Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm)
Neck Plate: Vintage Style 4 Bolt
Truss Rod Nut: 3/16" Hex Adjustment
Pickup Configuration: H/S
Bridge Pickup: Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking Pickup (Bridge)
Neck Pickup: 1 Duncan Designed™ Single-Coil Jazzmaster® Pickup (Neck)
Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup
Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone
Hardware Finish: Nickel/Chrome
Bridge: Vintage Style Adjustable 6-Saddle Bridge with “Floating” Tremolo Tailpiece
String Nut: Synthetic Bone
Switch Tips: Black Switch Tip
Tremolo Arm Handle: Vintage Jazzmaster® Tremolo Arm
Truss Rod Wrench: 0.1875"
Strings: Fender® USA Super 250L's, NPS (.009-.042 Gauges)
Unique Features: HS Pickup Configuration, Simplified Controls/Switching, Black Skirted Amp Knobs
Included Accessories: Truss Rod Adjustment Wrench
Control Knobs: Skirted Amp Knobs
The Blacktop series Jazzmaster is a great guitar for the price. The pickup combination is unique, and super versatile! With a bridge humbucker that bites and a neck soapbar-style that sings, this guitar can do many genres very well: classic rock, metal, indie, southern rock, blues, jazz, country... The only genre that I can think of that the guitar would be out of place in would be just brutally hard, technical metal, and the guitar could even get away with performing that in the studio for recordings.
The playability is great right out of the box, with the neck profile and depth being very comfortable to my hands. Factory workmanship is great, with the frets being well dressed, and the finish being spot on. I'm not a fan of the original Jazzmaster tremolo systems, yet this guitar didn't seem to go out of tune after using the bar. I was very surprised by that fact. One minor inconvenience is that the tremolo bar has no retaining screw/nut/snap feature, so it will not stay inside the guitar if the instrument is turned with the strings facing the ground. The bar will fall out. For many people, this won't be a problem, but for anyone that likes to get really into the moment in an impassioned onstage performance, this could be a huge problem, even creating a potential safety/tripping hazard.
Fender has done a great job incorporating vintage elements with some new modern ideas - the tuning keys are a great update, as well as the interesting pickup combo. I'm very happy with this guitar, and I think it's a great deal for the money - around $450-500 new from a dealer. Check it out!
The Jazzmaster was originally designed by Fender to be a more classy guitar and get into the market Gibson had. It was supposed to be for Jazz but it never really caught on with Jazz players. It was more popular in the California surf guitar scene. The original guitars had two Fender P-90 style pickups. This Blacktop version has a modern alnico magnet humbucker in the bridge and a Duncan Designed P-90 style Jazzmaster pickup in the neck. Unlike the Jaguar this guitar has the full Fender scale 25.5 inch neck with 21 medium jumbo frets. It has a normal 60s style headstock and the fretboard has a modern 9.5 inch radius. The body is made of alder and has a single tone and volume knob. Original Jazzmasters had a really complicated switching setup. They had many little toggle switches above the pickups to put them out of phase and what not. The electronic setup on these Blacktop series guitars is what you typically expect. Many people did not use any of those switches anyway so Fender just streamlined the design. It has a 3 way toggle pickup selector that goes left to right instead of up and down. This guitar comes with the old Jazzmaster tremolo system. Even back in the 60s Fender knew their tremolo systems were bad and they tried to fix them. Leo Fender believed that this new design was superior to previous designs since the bridge actually moved backwards and forwards along with the strings during tremolo use, thereby maintaining proper intonation even under extreme use, and preventing strings from binding. This floating bridge concept was also later used on the Fender Mustang. The floating tremolo mechanism also features a built-in tremolo lock, which helped the player preserve the guitar's tuning in the event of a string breakage and easing removal of the tremolo arm. This design was very complicated and was one reason these guitars never became popular. Surf guitar players used this tremolo system a bit but it never really caught on. This guitar can still get the jazzy sounds with the neck pickup. For a single coil design the neck pickup is surprisingly smooth. It is kind of the mix between a single coil and a humbucker. The bridge a rock machine. It has plenty of output and clarity. When you combine the pickups you get a great sound with the bite and clarity of the humbucker on top of the smooth fat bottom of the neck Jazzmaster pickup. If you are looking for a nice versatile Fender Jazzmaster this guitar is pretty decent.
The Blacktop Jazzmaster seems to be mostly designed for those who are into rock music. It features the Jazzmaster body, alder wood, a maple neck with rosewood fretboard, 21 frets, 9.5'' radius, a humbucker and a P90 in the neck, unique bridge, 3 way toggle switch, volume knob and tone knob.
I've never been a huge fan of the Jazzmaster body style. It's something that's very much an acquired taste. One thing that really bugs me about this guitar is the way the bridge is. It's just a funky overall design that tries to make a TOM style bridge into a hardtail. I find they don't stay in tune quite as nicely as a well setup vintage style Fender, but it could simply be because I don't spend enough time with them. The fretwork on the model I played wasn't that great, so keep that in mind when buying these.
The stock pickups in this are pretty weak. I was never a fan of Duncan Designed pickups because they always tend to sound very bland for whatever reason. It's probably some conspiracy to get you to buy their more expensive models. The P90 in the neck is actually a pretty cool idea, and I'm a big fan of P90s for rock music. They can deliver a very cool "polite" single coil quality that normal humbuckers can't replicate. The guitar was kinda dead, but it could be the model I played.
I'm not a fan of the overall body shape, so my opinion may be more heavily biased, but the guitar I played just wasn't that great. The fretwork was iffy, the stock pickups definitely need to be replaced and it just sounded average. If you're looking into buying one of these, I highly recommend you try one out before you commit to buying it.
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