Fender Jazzmaster Solid Body Electric Guitar (1959)

Fender  Jazzmaster Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1959)
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Item # 10154
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Fender Jazzmaster Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1959), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 32323, sunburst lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original tweed hard shell case.

This is a lovely, lightly played-in but well cared for and very early example of a Fender Jazzmaster. It carries a beautiful deep 3-color sunburst set off by the classic gold anodized pickguard that marks the first versions of the model, then Fender's brand new showpiece instrument. When this was their upscale prestige product, the Fullerton factory lavished a maximum of care and effort on Jazzmaster production. We find these first generation "offsets" to nearly always be exceptionally fine instruments.

The neck is pencil dated on the heel to January 1959, only a few months after Jazzmaster production commenced in the fall of '58. The pot code on the 1-meg tone and volume controls is the 50th week of 1958, the guitar was likely assembled and shipped in the late winter/early spring of 1959. The complex wiring was done by Nell, who left her small pencil signature under the pickguard as was typical at the time. The striking looking anodized pickguard proved prone to wear and was replaced with the familiar tortoise celluloid piece by late summer '59; early models carrying it are considerably rarer than their 1960s descendants

When this guitar was made, the Jazzmaster was a brand new model, completely unique and a bold step into the future for Fender's top of the line guitar. Novel features including the patented liquid sculpture "offset" body, dual rhythm/lead circuit wiring, floating bridge and tremolo and the wider-coil pickups were all fresh ground for Fender. The "slab" rosewood fingerboard with clay dots was introduced with this model, and soon became ubiquitous across the entire Fender line. Leo's concept for the instrument was to appeal to the "sit-down" jazz players mostly loyal to hollowbody guitars; the design was bold and brilliant but still failed to entice dedicated Gibson players to embrace Fender products. Still the Jazzmaster was successful in other genres from the start, and remained popular into the mid 1960s before losing ground as playing styles changed at the end of the decade.

Over the last 25 years or so the Jazzmaster, once maligned, has caught the fancy of new generations of players and risen to be one of the most widely played and copied of all vintage designs. This wonderful and very early example has been used but never abused, an exceptional-sounding and extremely attractive twang machine. This guitar has a great feel and a lovely "ring" to it, even when not plugged in.
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 14 in. (35.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).
This Jazzmaster shows some fairly minor general wear overall but remains all original and unaltered. The deep and rich sunburst finish on the body has very little fade; there is some checking and small dings, dents, and scrapes but the only large areas of loss are on the back edge below the strap button and some typical belt buckle wear to the back. The anodized pickguard has a spot of wear through the lacquer but none through to the bare metal; the gold finish is completely intact.

The back of the neck has very little finish wear; the headstock has some typical linear checking and one of the "Z's" in the model name is missing from the otherwise nicely intact decal. The original small frets have been crowned down somewhat but the instrument still plays very well. This very fine first-generation Jazzmaster has seen some use over the last six decades but has survived very well with its distinctive sound and character fully intact, still housed in a very nice original tweed HSC complete with bridge cover and polish cloth. Excellent - Condition.