A Timeline of Fender Jazzmasters

When the Jazzmaster was introduced in 1958, it became Fender’s top-of-the-line electric solidbody. For the first time on a Fender, it featured a separate rosewood fingerboard, a bigger headstock, an exaggerated offset body shape, and large flat single-coils linked to multiple controls.

In its early years, the new model did not live up to Fender’s expectations. Only later would the Jazzmaster become the popular instrument we know and love today.

Fender has treated the platform to several remakes and remodels through the decades since its launch, and now the renewed regard for the Jazzmaster means there is a good variety to choose from, both used and new instruments.

In this timeline, we’ve detailed many of the most important, interesting, and unusual Jazzmaster models and variations (and as usual space dictates the omission of Custom Shop models).

Jazzmaster, 1958–80

1958 Jazzmaster. Photo by Garrett Park Guitars.

Original model: Double-cutaway offset alder body, rear contour, sunburst finish standard, colors optional; maple neck with rosewood fingerboard (bound board from ’65), 7.25-inch radius, dot markers (blocks from ’66), 21 frets, 25.5-inch scale; truss-rod adjuster at body end; nine-screw anodized metal pickguard (13-screw white or tortoiseshell laminated plastic from ’59; black laminated from ’76); two large-cover single-coil pickups; six-saddle bridge, separate vibrato tailpiece with trem-lock button. Vertical switch on upper cutaway: Rhythm circuit (up); Lead circuit (down). Rhythm circuit controls (neck pickup only) on upper body: Tone wheel, volume wheel (nearest neck). Lead circuit controls only, on lower body: Tone knob, volume knob, three-way selector (neck pickup, both pickups, bridge pickup).

JM66 / ’62 Jazzmaster, 1986–2015

1986 Jazzmaster '62. Photo by Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar.

Period-vibe model from Fender’s new-in-1982 Fender Japan joint venture: Unbound fingerboard, rosewood board, dot markers; JM Vintage pickups; serial number on rear base of neck or neck plate. Sold in Japan as JM66 (1986–2015) and elsewhere by Fender US as ’62 Jazzmaster (1986–99). Also: JM66B (2006–15) bound fingerboard, block markers; JM60VSP (2010–15) two-piece body, nitro finish.

The Ventures Jazzmaster, 1996

The Ventures Jazzmaster. Photo by A Flash Flood of Gear.

Japan-made signature model: Black body; bound fingerboard, block markers, 22 frets, Ventures logo on headstock; volume knob, tone knob, three-way selector; Seymour Duncan SJM-18 and SJM-1N pickups; white pearl pickguard; gold-plated metalwork.

American Vintage ’62 Jazzmaster, 1999–2012

2000 American Vintage '62. Photo by Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar.

Period-vibe Jazzmaster made at Fender’s recently opened Corona, CA factory, replacing for Fender US the earlier Japan-made ’62 model. Models from this series sometimes known as AVRI, for American Vintage ReIssue. Replaced by American Vintage ’65 Jazzmaster in 2013.

J Mascis Jazzmaster, 2007–09

J Mascis Jazzmaster.

Japan-made signature model: Purple sparkle body; satin neck back, flatter 9.5-inch fingerboard radius; anodized pickguard; Vintage Reissue pickups.

JZM Deluxe, 2007–09

JZM Deluxe. Photo by Motomusic Limited.

Hollow-body electric flattop, the first Jazzmaster-shape model made in Fender’s Mexico factory: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides; flatter 16-inch fingerboard radius, 22 frets; onboard Fishman Classic 4T MB preamp blends under-saddle pickup with Tele neck pickup; sliders for volume, bass, mid, treble, blend, plus tuner switch.

Classic Player Jazzmaster Special, 2008–19

Classic Player Jazzmaster. Photo by BCR Music & Sound.

First solidbody Jazzmaster made in Fender’s Mexico factory: Classic-look model with increased neck-pocket back-angle; 9.5-inch fingerboard radius; two Hot Jazzmaster pickups.

Elvis Costello Jazzmaster, 2008–09

Elvis Costello Jazzmaster. Photo by Bracket's boutique.

US-made signature model similar to American Vintage ’62 Jazzmaster, but with a walnut-stain body finish, some adjustments to the vibrato, and an early-’70s style neck.

Lee Ranaldo Jazzmaster, 2009–14

Lee Ranaldo Signature.

Signature model with sapphire blue body finish, single volume knob, three-way pickup selector, black anodized pickguard, two Wide Range humbuckers, Mustang bridge plus separate Jazzmaster vibrato. Made in US.

Thurston Moore Jazzmaster, 2009–14

Thurston Moore Signature.

US-made signature model with forest green body finish, single volume knob, three-way pickup selector, black anodized pickguard, two Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Jazzmaster pickups.

Blacktop Jazzmaster HS, 2011–13

2011 Blacktop Jazzmaster HS. Photo by oh boy.

Mexico-made mid-price model: 9.5-inch fingerboard radius; Duncan Designed Jazzmaster neck, humbucking bridge pickup; volume, tone, selector. Also: Blacktop Jazzmaster HH Stripe (2015–16) with red-striped black body, two Hot Vintage Alnico humbuckers; Standard Jazzmaster HH (2015–18) with two Blacktop coverless humbuckers, tone knob push-pull coil-split.

JM/HO, 2011–13

JM-HO Jazzmaster. Photo by Birdhouse Music.

Semi-solidbody Jazzmaster: Bound alder back & sides with ash top, no f-hole; bound fingerboard; JM Vintage pickups. Made in Japan.

Modern Player Jazzmaster HH, 2013–16

Modern Player Jazzmaster. Photo by Alone Coyote Guitar Stuffs.

China-made budget model: Mahogany body; 9.5-inch fingerboard radius; volume, tone, selector; two Modern Player coverless humbuckers.

American Vintage '65 Jazzmaster, 2013–17

American Vintage '65. Photo by Clingan Guitar Tone.

New year-designation for period-vibe model replacing American Vintage ’62 Jazzmaster, with bound fingerboard, dot markers, white knobs. Models from this series sometimes known as AVRI, for American Vintage ReIssue. Replaced by American Original ’60s Jazzmaster in 2018.

American Special Jazzmaster, 2014–17

American Special Jazzmaster.

Revised model: 9.5-inch fingerboard radius; volume, tone, selector; two Jazzmaster Special humbuckers; bridge plus separate stopbar (Bigsby vibrato option 2016–17).

Jim Root Jazzmaster, 2014–current

Jim Root Jazzmaster.

Minimalist Jazzmaster-shape signature model with mahogany body in flat black finish, contoured neck heel, compound radius ebony board with no markers, 22 frets, locking tuners, single master volume knob, three-way pickup selector, no pickguard, EMG 81 (at bridge) and 60 (neck) humbuckers, strings-through-body combined bridge/tailpiece. Made in US.

Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster, 2014–current

Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster. Photo by Photo Savings.

Signature model with toggle replacing slider for Lead/Rhythm circuit selection, two Pure Vintage pickups, Mustang bridge plus separate Jazzmaster vibrato. Made in Mexico.

Road Worn '60s Jazzmaster, 2015–19

Road Worn '60s Jazzmaster.

Mexico-made period-vibe model with aged nitro finish, two Pure Vintage pickups. Also: ‘60s Jazzmaster Lacquer (2015–18) Similar, without aging.

American Professional Jazzmaster, 2017–19

2017 American Professional Jazzmaster. Photo by Stevie's Guitars at Lays.

Revised model: 9.5-inch fingerboard radius, 22 frets; volume, tone, selector; treble-bleed circuit; V-Mod Jazzmaster pickups; Mustang bridge. Replaced by American Professional II Jazzmaster, 2020.

Traditional 60s Jazzmaster, 2017–23

2022 Traditional 60s Jazzmaster. Photo by Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar.

Period-vibe model: Dot markers, unbound fingerboard; serial number on headstock rear. Made in Japan. Also: Other post-2015 Japan-made period-vibe models include Hybrid 60s Jazzmaster (2019–21), Heritage 60s Jazzmaster (2020–22).

American Original '60s Jazzmaster, 2018–22

American Original '60s Jazzmaster. Photo by Nick's Picks.

Period-vibe model upgrading and replacing American Vintage ’65 Jazzmaster with bound fingerboard, dot markers, Pure Vintage pickups. Replaced by American Vintage II 1966 Jazzmaster, 2022.

Player Jazzmaster, 2018–current

Player Jazzmaster. Photo by Pitbull Audio.

Revised model: Pau ferro fingerboard, 9.5-inch radius, 22 frets; volume, tone (push-pull for bridge coil-split), selector; two coverless Player Series Alnico 2 humbuckers. Made in Mexico.

American Performer Jazzmaster, 2018–current

American Performer Jazzmaster. Photo by Guitarking.

Mid-price model: 9.5-inch fingerboard radius, 22 frets; volume, tone, selector; top-reducing Greasebucket circuit; two Yosemite Jazzmaster pickups; Strat bridge/vibrato.

Vintera ‘60s Jazzmaster, 2018–current

Fender Vintera '60s Jazzmaster. Photo by Music Store Live.

Mexico-made period-vibe model with two Vintage-Style ’60s pickups. Also: Vintera ‘60s Jazzmaster Modified, 2019–current with 9.5-inch fingerboard radius, two Hot Jazzmaster pickups. Mexico-made.

Modern Jazzmaster HH, 2019–21

Modern Jazzmaster HH. Photo by Michael's Gear Locker.

Japan-made revised model: Modern C-to-D compound neck shape, 22 frets, contoured neck heel, compound radius board; locking tuners, serial number on rear of headstock; volume, tone, selector; no pickguard; two Modern Modified humbuckers; bridge plus separate stopbar.

American Professional II Jazzmaster, 2020–current

American Professional II Jazzmaster. Photo by Top Shop Guitars.

Modifying and replacing American Professional Jazzmaster, with contoured neck heel (rosewood neck option 2020), V-Mod II pickups, regular-layout controls with revised functions: Vertical switch on upper body delivers pickups in series (up) or parallel (down); when up/series, the nearby wheels control volume and tone; when down/parallel, knobs on lower body control volume, tone; lower tone knob push boosts bridge pickup in either setting.

American Ultra Jazzmaster, 2020–current

American Ultra Jazzmaster. Photo by Russo Music.

High-end revised Jazzmaster: Body alder or ash depending on finish; modern D-shape neck, tapered neck heel; bound rosewood or maple compound radius board with dot markers; side-mounted jack; two Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazzmaster pickups. Controls on lower body: Volume with push-pull S-1 switch provides: Regular 3-way control (up), both pickups in series (down); neck pickup tone; bridge pickup tone; 3-way selector. Controls on upper body: Vertical switch offers regular in-phase (down), out-of-phase (up); when up, nearby wheels individually blend bridge pickup and neck pickup volume.

Jim Root Jazzmaster V4, 2020–current

Jim Root Jazzmaster V4. Photo by Fair Deal Music.

Signature model, similar to original US version, with polar white body, flatter 12-inch radius bound fingerboard with block markers, two EMG Jim Root Daemonum coverless humbuckers. Made in Mexico.

American Acoustasonic Jazzmaster, 2021–current

American Acoustasonic Jazzmaster. Photo by Music Store Live.

Acoustic-electric hybrid: Spruce top set into mahogany body; mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, flatter 12-inch radius, 22 frets; volume, blend (mixes between voice pairs for each selector position), 5-way voice selector (electric to acoustic in five pairs); Fender/Fishman three-pickup system (saddle, body, magnetic) for acoustic and electric-type sounds; acoustic-style bridge/tailpiece. Also: Acoustasonic Player Jazzmaster (2023–current) Similar Mexico-made version with rosewood board; 3-way voice selector; Fender/Fishman two-pickup system (saddle, magnetic).

Noventa Jazzmaster, 2021–23

Noventa Jazzmaster. Photo by Guitar Riot.

Mexico-made revised model: Pau ferro or maple fingerboard, 9.5-inch radius; three MP90 single-coils; volume, tone, 5-way selector (bridge, middle and bridge, middle, middle and neck, neck).

American Vintage II 1966 Jazzmaster, 2022–current

American Vintage II 1966. Photo by Chicago Music Exchange.

Period-vibe model replacing American Original '60s Jazzmaster, with bound fingerboard, block markers, Pure Vintage pickups.

Gold Foil Jazzmaster, 2023–current

Gold Foil Jazzmaster. Photo by Cream City Music.

Mexico-made mid-price model: Mahogany body; bound ebony fingerboard, block markers, 9.5-inch radius; volume, tone, three switches (pickups on/off) on Jaguar-style plate; three Gold Foil mini-humbuckers; bridge plus separate Bigsby vibrato.

About the author: Tony Bacon writes about musical instruments, musicians, and music. His books include The Fender Electric Guitar Book and Electric Guitars: Design & Invention. Tony lives in Bristol, England. More info at tonybacon.co.uk.

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