The Cadillac among the guitars – 1965 Fender Jazzmaster Sunburst

1965 fender sunburst
Source: loviesguitars.com

This electric guitar was first presented at the NAMM show in 1959.

An outstanding property of the Fender Jazzmaster guitar was the one-piece solid body in contrast with the prevalent hollow body archtop guitars at the time. It was designed to spur a revolution in the industry of jazz guitars.

And so when it guitar hit the market; it was sold initially to jazz guitarists for its tone seemed to favor them. However, it didn’t stick with the jazz guitarists and eventually found widespread usage with soft rock guitarists. This favor is mainly because of its soft sounding pickups and floating tremolo features.

Soon musicians playing music of all genres popular at the time fell in love with this extraordinary guitar. From big acts rocking the largest stages in the world to buskers plugged into the small portable generators adding some sweet sounds to the lives of commuters on the streets of New York – thousands of musicians picked the Jazzmaster as their favourite guitar.

By the time of its initial production, the guitar came with a standard sunburst finish. Where instances where they came in unique colors too, but those were more expensive.

The neck is a one bolt maple bolt-on with a 7.25″ radius, a 15/8″ nut and a 25.5″ scale. Perfected with a veneer rosewood fretboard which comes unbound and making it quite an attractive piece, weighing 8 lbs 3 oz.

1965 fender sunburst
Source: Reverb.com

There is no lift or shrinkage with pickguard of the Fender Jazzmaster, which is quite remarkable in comparison with other models released at that time.

The Jazzmaster guitar has an incredible design that appeared more advanced than its age of production with a somewhat ‘futuristic’ and immaculate appearance which screams perfection. Unfortunately, the looks didn’t quite catch on. 

The Jazzmaster is slightly bulkier body than the other Fender guitars and therefore needed a correspondingly larger case. The case is of the rectangular vintage fender with a black Tolex cover and an orange interior finish.

The 1965 Fender Jazzmaster pickups are of two single-coils and boast of a 3-way toggle pickup selector switch. It has a floating tremolo system. There is a master volume control for the lead circuit, which also controls the tone. For the rhythm circuit, the volume and tone controls are independent. The guitar is also fitted with a 2-way slider switch for the lead/rhythm circuit selector.

The Fender Jazzmaster is known for its fantastic sound.

1965 fender sunburst
Source: Reverb.com

There is a remarkable low action when in play and no noticeable dead spots all through its neck region.

Guitarists who are known to have played the 1965 Fender Jazzmaster include Elvis Costello, J Mascis, Kevin Shields, Lee Ranaldo,  Thurston Moore, Robert Smith, and Nels Cline.

Until 1980 when Fender stopped the production of the Jazzmaster, minimal changes were made in the guitar which included the change in the wiring from cloth material to plastic. For a while, the Fender Jazzmaster fell out of favor with guitarists until it eventually was taken up by the American indie rock guitarists.

Over the years, Fender had also produced signature editions of the Jazzmaster. The J Mascis signature Jazzmaster was released in July 2007. April 2008 and June 2009 saw the release of the Elvis Costello Jazzmaster and the Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore signature Jazzmasters respectively.