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One of the prettiest Jazzmasters I've ever seen


This one made me a believer in gold anodized pick guards.

The Fender Vintera II '50s Jazzmaster comes in two colors, Sonic Blue and Desert Sand. Don't even bother with the blue.

Before getting into this, "Vintera" means "Vintage Era", meaning vintage spec. 7.25" radius fingerboard (and it's a slab board, thank you very much), a fatter '50s C neck, 21 frets, and so on. This is basically a '59 Jazzmaster except it's new.

But let's talk about the gold anodized pick guard.

Firstly, the proper name for it is "1-ply gold anodized aluminum" pick guard, which Fender spells as pickguard.

Is it super-reflective? No, and it never has been. It's brushed, so it has a reflection that's diffused, i.e. normal. I'm totally fine with that because super-reflective attracts ugly fingerprints and scratches like crazy. Ask anybody that's ever used a mirror pick guard. Dumb idea to use one.

From a technical point of view, this style of pick guard is supposed to dramatically decrease signal noise. You know how some guys put aluminum or copper foil shielding on the back of the entire pick guard? Well, just imagine if the entire pick guard was a piece of aluminum instead. That's what this Jazzmaster has...

...but I don't care about that. What I do care about is how it looks.

I've seen this gold pick guard on many Jazzmasters and always hated the way it looked. It looks bad against any Fender body color you can think of - but not this one.

The Desert Sand finish absolutely and totally fits with the pick guard's look. It's the first time I've seen ANY finish that works with the gold guard.

Can you tell I like it? I sure do. And I'm certain anybody that gets one will like it too.

I suppose some will like the gold guard against the Sonic Blue finish, but I'm not one of them. Desert Sand all the way.

Published 2023 Sep 21

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