Up for sale, a 1958 Fender Jazzmaster in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original tweed "knucklebuster" hardshell case. Produced in the very first months of the Jazzmaster model (the first Jazzmasters left the factory in August of 1958), this guitar features a 10/58 body date and 12/58 neck date. Save for two replaced potentiometers and a modern Rhythm Circuit switch, this Jazzmaster is 100% original.
There's a woody and detailed tonal quality to this guitar via the original black bobbin pickup pair, translating the extremely vital and dynamic acoustic tone, evenly balanced across all strings. Wound to the furthest edges of the wide/flat black fiber bobbins, the richness and low end content of these pickups rivals any Fender single coil, while still delivering thoaty cut and sparkle with the best. Whether you desire the sinewy snap of early surf recordings or the percussive attack of your favorite Elvis Costello or Sonic Youth records, it's hard to beat a "Gold Guard" Jazzmaster from the first year of production. Every pickup setting on this guitar is distinct, and even the darker tones of the Rhythm Circuit, with its wooly warmth, have great clarity and high treble sheen. The guitar is lightweight for a Jazzmaster at 8lbs on the dot, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar where we specialize in Fender Offset instruments, with low action and 11-49 strings.
The maple neck has a classic 1959 profile carve with moderate shoulders and a very fast-feeling C shape at the nut, gaining appreciably more heft up the neck, with lightly rolled fretboard edges. The profile measures .790" deep at the 1st fret and .970" at the 12th. The slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard is jet black and extremely tight-grained, retaining the original slender frets. The frets have been leveled and crowned, and while at their lowest point, notes ring out clearly in all registers. The frets show moderate wear on the crowns of frets 1-3, with wear growing fainter until fret 6. The guitar plays cleanly in every register up the 25 1/2" scale, with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1.670" in width (just fractionally shy of 1 11/16"). On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuners are intact and clean, turning smoothly and holding pitch reliably. The original "Fender Jazzmaster" waterslide decal is near-mint, and on the heel, the 12-58 grease pencil date is intact.
On the body, all of the electronics work as they should, and the Stackpole pots in the Rhythm Circuit date to the 30th week of 1958. The two Lead Circuit 1Meg pots were replaced 20 years ago, and the original paper-in-oil tone cap has been retained. Both pickups retain their original windings, metering at 7.95k ohms in the neck position and 7.50k at the bridge. The underside of the guard is signed by Mell, the Fender employee who wired the instrument in late '58. The body routes are untouched, and all of the stock shielding tubs are present.
The original bridge with deep thimbles and patent pending vibrato tailpiece are intact, and the vibrato is taut and highly responsive, complete with the original arm. The original gold pickguard is exceptionally well-preserved with the lacquer still present over the anodized aluminum, with a targeted area of pick wear on the treble side of the strum path. Original plastics include the pickup covers and knobs, and the amber switch tip.
The original three-tone Sunburst nitro lacquer finish has a broad central red ring, with some finish loss on the body perimeter, particularly on the treble-side lower bout edge and back of the bass-side body horn. There is light buckle rash central to the back, and various additional minor marks consistent with use. The neck profile retains its nitro lacquer gloss, with some palm wear and various very shallow marks on the neck profile, all essentially worn smooth from contact with the palm.
The original tweed "knucklebuster" hardshell case is included, with the central latch that sits beneath the handle. Two of the latches are still functional, the handle is intact, and the case has seen plenty of use, with some vague lettering in green ink on the lid.