How I felt after playing a Fender American Professional Jazzmaster
The bore-fest continues.
I tried out the Fender American Professional Stratocaster and got bored with it very quickly.
But then again, Strats really aren't my thing these days. The Jazzmaster is my main guitar, so surely this one would have some pop and wow to it, right?
I tried out the exact Fender American Professional Jazzmaster you see above in the "Mystic Seafoam" finish.
Here are my thoughts on it.
What I liked about the guitar
The knobs felt right and had nice give to them. The 3-way toggle felt good. The positioning of the strings from the Mustang saddles was correct. The tuners felt solid. The overall weight of the guitar was good.
What I didn't like about the guitar
The guitar has an overall feel and tone that reeks of "designed by a committee".
Before I get into that, there are 3 Jazzmasters that get it right. From least to most expensive, the Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster, the Fender '60s Jazzmaster Lacquer and the Fender American Vintage '65 Jazzmaster do capture what Jazzmaster character is supposed to be. I have played all 3 of these and have a very intimate understanding of how each works. Each has a distinctive personality, and I can honestly say that no matter which you choose, you're getting a cool guitar...
...but then there's the American Professional version of the Jazzmaster. This is a guitar that has little learning curve. No rhythm circuit is to be found, and Mustang saddles are used so that you never knock the strings out of the saddle grooves. The pickups are V-Mod with treble-bleed to ensure there is never too much nor too little treble.
The guitar is functional, capable and well made, but ultimately a soulless dullard. It's not bold nor daring. It's just kinda... there.
Does the Fender American Professional Jazzmaster suck?
No. It is constructed well using good woods and good hardware...
...but it's as boring as a sack of peanuts. Like the American Pro Stratocaster, everything "offensive" about the Jazzmaster has been engineered right out of it, and that's what makes it soulless.
For me, the entire reason I bought a Jazzmaster guitar originally is because it was different. I love the offset body, love the trebly pickups with the "big" sound, and love the weirdness and quirks. I love it so much that it's the only electric I play. The Jazzmaster made me fall in love with the guitar again.
The American Pro Jazzmaster, while certainly built well, isn't trying to be different, as it is engineered in every way to be an easier and more approachable guitar.
While the guitar doesn't suck, every one of them might as well be only offered in gray, because it's bland and has no life to it whatsoever.
Correction, one other color could be offered. Vanilla. Why? Because the American Pro Jazzmaster is the most boring Jazzmaster Fender has ever made.
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