Why I haven't bought another Jazzmaster
I used to love the Jazzmaster, but one thing keeps me from getting another.
This is something I was asked in email, and it's something I can talk about at length, which is why I wrote this.
For a time, I was all about the Jazzmaster. In total, I owned 4 of them. Three Squiers and one Fender. But then I stopped and went Telecaster and then back to Stratocaster.
First I'll say the main reason is price, and I'll talk more about that in a moment. For now, let's just talk about the guitar itself.
The guitar was designed originally to be played as a sit-down instrument. Obviously, it can be played standing, but like most people, I practice played seated. The Jazzmaster does very, very well there. Unbelievably comfortable. That's the best part.
The worst part of the Jazzmaster is the grounding issue that can be difficult to fix, putting it politely. Every Jazzmaster built with the old style electronics has the problem I'm about to describe. What happens is that when not touching the bridge or strings with your hand, electronic buzzing noise happens. This gets annoying real quick. The reason it happens is because the bridge rests in two "cups", with two points touching at the bottom of each cup. This is a very small point of contact and not enough to get the pickups to shut up. The only way to fix this is to shield the entire routed area under the pick guard with copper shielding tape (aluminum foil won't work, it's not good enough), then run a small wire or extra piece of copper shielding to the cup closest to the volume knob. This provides the metal-to-metal contact that finally gets the pickups to shut up...
...until it fails at some point, and then you have to re-shield it. And you'll have to keep re-shielding it every time it fails after that.
Does the Jaguar have this same problem? No. Jag pickups have those little pickup 'shields' (they look like shark teeth) that prevent that issue from happening.
Even though I know the Jazzmaster has this issue, I'd still like to get another one at some point.
So why haven't I?