Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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Doc Sportello
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Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by Doc Sportello » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:08 am

Group,

I'm in the market for a new Jazzmaster. I can get a good deal on a Silverburst American Professional or one of the current 60th Anniversary models from Mexico. Thing is, none of my local shops have them both in stock so I am wondering how they compare in terms of build quality, neck profile, sound, et cet.

For reference, I currently own a Fender 60's lacquer Jaguar whose neck profile I really like and I have a pair of '65 pickups in a box somewhere which I could put in the Am Pro to get more of that vintage JM sound. Amp is a '68 Custom Vibrolux. I play mostly rock, surf, blues, country and I really love that vintage JM sound though I hardly ever use the rhythm circuit.

Has anyone here played both? And if so, how did the two stack up in your opinion?

Also, does anyone know how limited the 60th anniversary models really are?

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pscates
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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by pscates » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:49 am

With all you say above - music preferences, amp model, current Jazzmaster, etc., I’d think the 60th anniversary would be closer in feel/specs for what you like.

The only thing I like about those American Professional models is that Mystic Seafoam color.

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jdr1014
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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by jdr1014 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:36 am

I don't own either, but I do own a 62RI JM, a 50th Ann Jag (w/AV 65 pickups) and VM JM & Jag. I play mostly same type of music as OP.

While I tend to prefer vintage specs and tones, I keep thinking about getting an AmPro Jazzmaster in Mystic Seafoam. Pickups are not my preference but they are not bad IMO - just different. The build quality on the couple I have tried seems excellent and I really like the necks on those. Obviously the 60th anni JM is more traditional JM layout and spec.

You really need to try them both I'd say. Base your decision on what YOU like. Good luck!

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by Tafarel » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:32 am

My local shop has/had both. I tried the 60th and the American Pro side by side. Both of them through a '68 Deluxe Reverb they had in the store.

The 60th Anny is a nice guitar, but I already have a '62 AVRi and a custom shop '63, and it ticked all the same boxes. The AmPro didn't sound like the others, but I liked the sound -- as many have mentioned, very strat-like, which for me, isn't a bad thing. I too, don't use the rhythm circuit on any of my JMs -- except as a kill switch. The bridge works great, too, and I didn't mind the threaded tremolo arm at all -- very useful, in fact.

The thing that really sold me on the AmPro was the neck; slightly deeper than my '63 custom shop and more substantial than the '62 AVRI, which I find a little too thin. Honestly, the neck is the nicest of any guitar I own. The mystic seafoam is not a distant second selling point, either. The fit and finish on the AmPro was only slightly better than the 60th Anniversary, FWIW.

The one other thing I would mention is that the case is great for traveling and I use it for any of my JMs whenever I am leaving for distant parts.

Good luck in your search!
"I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday. I've begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I'm reminiscing this right now. I can't go to the bar because I've already looked back on it in my memory, and I didn't have a good time."

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by B » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:53 am

I have a Silverburst JM. They sound nothing like a traditional Jazzmaster in any way, but it definitely feels and plays like a higher quality USA instrument. The neck is outstanding and it's build quality is noticeably more refined than Fender's import guitars. Plus it's got that ebony fretboard, which is wonderful. If you have a set of traditional JM pickups it seems like a no brainer to me... Go for the Am. Pro. I didn't jive with the pickups at all though and ended up putting Antiquity IIs in it. (Keep in mind you need to rewire the whole thing unless you want 500k pots... That's what is in them stock).

Plus silverburst just looks sweet. And it is indeed a limited run. There is easily enough available for sale on the market currently to fill any demand for them, but when I recently inquired about ordering a customer a new one I was told they weren't available and they kind of dodged the question when I asked if they would be available again soon. Reading between the lines, I think the production run for those is already over.

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by agiehler » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:48 pm

I prefer the feel of the neck on the Mexican model with its gloss finish. The USA might have better fretwork, but no rhythm circuit and non-traditional switch placement. The bodies are routed differently as well, so you can't even swap pickguards.

Honestly if you dig the neck on your lacquer Jaguar model then you're better off getting the laquer model jazzmaster as well and throwing in those '65 pickups. That's what I would do at least 8)

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by Fuzzbuzz » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:56 pm

I have owned a AmPro and I currently own a 60th Anni. I prefer the 60th. The pickups aren’t as bright in the 60th, which is a good thing in my opinion. I am also a fan of traditional Jazzmaster wiring. I like using the rhythm circuit. The neck is a little thinner on the 60th which some people may not like. I would say a shallow C vs a deep C on the AmPro. I am going out on a limb here, but I think the neck is the same on the 60th and the 60’s lacquer. Both are great guitars overall, but the 60th Anniversary was the winner for me.

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by Doc Sportello » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:41 am

Thanks everybody.

I found a cracking deal on what was said to be a new Silverburst Am Pro Jazzmaster, ordered it and it turned out to be b-stock but I am really loving the neck and overall feel. Apparently it was returned because of an issue with the trem unit and Fender replaced the trem arm, collet and gave it a setup.

The bridge and bridge pickup are set very high and there's some fret buzz on the A and E strings between the 3rd and 12 fret. The trem lock is also not really locking anything as it should. This is my first JM with a trem lock but I have experience setting up JM's with classic bridges.

Does anyone know if a new setup will fix both the fret buzz and the trem lock? Or could this be indicative of a more serious issue?

Sounds problematic but I am actually growing quite fond of this guitar: The pickups are definitely not your standard Jazzmaster pickups but I love how clean and chimey it can get through my '68 Custom Vibrolux. It also has incredible sustain, I suppose due to the redesigned saddles and bone nut. I really love how it almost plays itself, the only niggle in terms of playability would be that the low E string is a bit too close to the edge of the fretboard, or to be more precise, it is easy to push the low E string off the fretboard because of the frets' rolled edges . On the upside, it forces you to be less sloppy in your playing but it is something to be aware off, as others have stated. All in all, I am really digging this guitar and I'm now thinking of ordering the '60 Anniversary as well if I'm able to offload some other gear.

P.S. I emailed Fender and apparently they made roughly 550 Silverburst JM's and are still making the 60th Anniversary model, 500 and counting.

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by audiopablo » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:19 pm

I have the same issue on an American Pro Telecaster. The action feels high and is exaggerated (if you're playing vintage frets on something else) by the narrow tall frets. Everything just sits a tad higher than the fretboard itself, even of the strings are close to the fretwire. But there's something fun in that action. Kind of feels fluid when you get used to it. I don't know why I'm struggling to set it up, but it's maybe time to pay a pro to do it. But then I think, "but that a used pedal in cost, maybe."

Anyway, congrats on your JM. How is that color in person. It's crazy how it looks like an old photo in every picture of it. I am jealous and hope you can put up some vids of you playing it,

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by Doc Sportello » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:31 am

Cheers. You are totally right, they're just so much fun to play. I think I will hold on to this one, it's very resonant so I'll see if I can get a bit of discount to use for a setup and then we're off to the races. Never had a Jazzmaster with sustain like this one, it just rings and rings and compliments my 60's lacquer Jaguar nicely. The V-mod pickups take some dialing in but are definitely quality. Too bright, yes, but tight, lively and chimey too. Very responsive. It feels a bit like playing an acoustic at times.

The paint job is lovely, Silverburst looks understated, classy and offers a nice alternative to regular sunburst models which are all too common. The paint job is almost perfect but if you look close, you find two parallel lines running the course of the body, I suppose it's a 3 piece. Don't really mind because of how resonant it still is. I will try and snap some pictures later this week, I don't have a proper audio recording setup at hand so decent video might be difficult to arrange.

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by timtam » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:37 am

Doc Sportello wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:41 am
The bridge and bridge pickup are set very high and there's some fret buzz on the A and E strings between the 3rd and 12 fret. The trem lock is also not really locking anything as it should. This is my first JM with a trem lock but I have experience setting up JM's with classic bridges.

Does anyone know if a new setup will fix both the fret buzz and the trem lock? Or could this be indicative of a more serious issue?
What's the relief ? And action at 12th fret ?

Any high frets from 3 upwards on the A and E ?

Can you engage/disengage the trem lock all the way ? ie is the spring dialled in so that it's just at the point where you can do that (as described in several tutorials online) ?

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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by Fuzzbuzz » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:03 am

1.
Capo the first fret and check the relief at the 8th fret with a .10 feeler Gauge. It should slide between the top of the fret and bottom of the string without any gap but also should not lift the string up.

2.
Capo the first fret and check the string height at the 17th fret. The distance between the top of the fret and bottom of the strings hould be at or close to 4/64th across the fret board

3. Use a fret rocker to make sure your frets are seated properly.

Those numbers should get you to fender recommended specs for a setup. All of my Jazzmasters are set this way and I have zero fret buzz issues and my action is comfortable and low. Personal preference might account for bridge/string height differences, but the neck adjustment should be .10 at the 8th for proper neck relief regardless of string gauge.

Doc Sportello
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Re: Fender Jazzmaster: American Professional US vs 60th Anniversary MIM

Post by Doc Sportello » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:32 am

Thanks so much for the help! It's been a busy week so I'll have a look this weekend! A quick bit of tinkering with the saddles cleared up most of the buzz so it doesn't seem too big of a problem, the trem lock is now working but not really smoothly.

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