Up for sale, a 1959 Fender Jazzmaster in 100% original, collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original brown "knucklebuster" hardshell case. An extremely early example with a 1/59 neck date, 10/58 body date, and 1958 CTS pots, this Jazzmaster is a no-excuses example, produced in the first weeks of the first full year of production.
There's a very warm and detailed tonal quality to this guitar via the original black bobbin pickup pair, translating the extremely vital, immediate and dynamic acoustic tone with a percussive, clear response, 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 seminal attack of your favorite Elvis Costello or Sonic Youth records, it's hard to beat a real Pre-CBS Jazzmaster. Every pickup setting on this guitar is distinct, including the richer textures of the oft disregarded Rhythm Circuit. The guitar is lightweight at 7lbs 13oz, 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 slight shoulders and a very fast-feeling C shape at the nut, gaining appreciably more heft as you travel up the neck, with lightly rolled fretboard edges. The profile measures .799" deep at the 1st fret and .960" at the 12th. The slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard is jet black and extremely tight-grained, retaining the original slender frets which are quite low, having been leveled and crowned in the guitar's lifetime, yet with notes that ring out clearly in every register. The nut measures 1.675" in width (just fractionally shy of 1 11/16"). On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuners are intact, turning smoothly and holding pitch reliably, even with heavy vibrato use. The original "Fender Jazzmaster" waterslide decal is clean and fully intact, with a small amount of finish chipping of the clear coat on the headstock tip.
On the body, all of the electronics work as they should, and the wiring harness is untouched with CTS pots in the Lead Circuit that both date to 1958. Both pickups retain their original windings, both original paper-in-oil tone capacitors are present, and the underside of the guard is signed by Esper, the Fender employee who wired the instrument in late '58. The original 10/58 grease pencil date is present in the bridge pickup cavity beneath the shielding plate. The body routes are untouched and original, 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 works with an elegance that you simply can't get with any Fender reissue. This vibrato allows for very exact and delicate warbles and dives, fluttering and bending with ease, and jumping back to the correct pitch in a way that few other vibrato units can manage. The original anodized gold pickguard is nigh flawless with a small amount of localized pick wear on the treble side between the pickups. All of the original plastics are intact as well including the pickup covers, knobs, and amber switch tip.
The original three-tone Sunburst nitro lacquer finish has a broad central red ring, slightly muted on the face of the instrument with what's known as a "2.5 burst," given the more unstable early red dyes used in 1958, while the back retains a slightly more vibrant central ring to the burst. Cosmetic wear is limited to some minor finish chips and light, honest wear mostly relegated to the body parameter, with a spot of buckle rash central to the back. The full nitro gloss is intact on the neck profile with no palm wear and just a few shallow marks on the profile length.
The original brown tolex "knucklebuster" hardshell case is included with the central latch that sits beneath the handle. While this case is typically associated with late '59 Jazzmasters, it is ostensibly original to the instrument, as cases were paired with guitars at a dealer level and not from the factory (likely this guitar sold new in late '59).