Up for sale, a 1959 Fender Jazzmaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original tweed hardshell case. Hailing from the first full year of the Jazzmaster's production, this guitar features a nitro lacquer refinish in Seafoam Green over a Desert Sand base coat via Riggio Custom Guitars, complete with light aging. The guitar boasts much of the original hardware and vintage plastics (including a particularly early mint green pickguard) as well as a vintage black bobbin pickup pair.
Acoustically this guitar has an immediate and dynamic quality that is channeled faithfully through the vintage black bobbin pickup pair, wound on the more restrained side of things for a Jazzmaster and metering at 7.7k ohms in the bridge position and 7.55k at the neck. Wound to the furthest edges of the wide/flat black fiber bobbins, this guitar offers a vital sound in every pickup position with a bit more overall brightness and cut than many early Jazzmasters. There's a bouncy, chiming quality to the bridge pickup, with an authoritative bite and distinctive roundness to single notes on the plain strings, while chords are detailed and snappy. The neck pickup has a woody, percussive bark and sweetness, and the Rhythm Circuit adds additional wooly warmth and richness, with either circuit suited for heavier gain. The guitar weighs 7lbs 13oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar (where we specialize in Fender Offset instruments) with low action and fresh 11-49 strings.
The maple neck has a profile carve representative of the 1959 model year, with a very slender C shape at the nut and appreciable roundness and shoulder as you travel up the fretboard, with lightly rolled fretboard edges in every register. The profile measures .770" deep at the 1st fret and .955" at the 12th. The slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard is an extremely dark, tight-grained cut of this tonewood, retaining the original 7 1/4" fretboard radius and stock fretwire. The slender frets have been leveled and crowned in the guitar’s lifetime, quite low yet effortlessly playable in every register. The frets currently show faint uniform wear beneath the strings on the crowns of frets 1-4, with similarly faint wear extending beneath the plain strings until fret 7. The neck is straight with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod, and the truss rod nut is flush with the neck heel, having needed very little adjustment in the last 60+ years. A new hand-carved bone nut measures 1.645" wide (just fractionally over 1 5/8"), improving the tonal clarity of the instrument.
On the headstock, the guitar features a naturally aged and very convincing set of genuine Kluson reissue single line tuners that turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The neck profile was refinished with an application and feel very similar to Music Man’s gun oil and special wax blend, and the headstock face was freshly reshot with ambered nitro lacquer, topped off with and a new proper waterslide decal with no patent #s beneath the Jazzmaster model text (correct for 1959). As with the vast majority of Fenders made in 1959, there is no date on the neck heel, and the original Sunburst lacquer is still present in the neck heel, as well as beneath the shielding tubs on the body.
On the body, all of the electronics work as they should, with a premium modern wiring harness made to vintage spec and complete with paper-in-oil tone caps. Both pickups retain their original windings, and the neck pickup is original to the instrument, while the bridge pickup is also vintage and closely matched with a date stamp on the bottom of the bobbin from 1964. The body routes are untouched, and all of the stock brass shielding tubs are present. The original 7/59 grease pencil body date is intact beneath the bridge pickup shielding, representing one of the earliest non-gold guard 1959 Jazzmasters produced, consistent with the revised shielding and body routes that appeared mid-1959, corresponding with the new 13 hole pickguard mounting.
All of the original body hardware is intact, and the stock bridge has heavily patina'd threaded saddles. The bridge thimbles were ground down from their full height, sitting flush with the pickguard and allowing for more latitude for bridge height. The bridge works in concert with the patent pending vibrato tailpiece, and the chrome plating on the hardware is notably clean. The vibrato has a smooth and easy-actuating feel, with enough tautness in the spring for ideal immediacy, allowing for quick flutters and deep dives that jump back to the target pitch reliably, complete with the original arm. The original serialized neck plate rounds out the hardware. Original plastics include lightly yellowed pickup covers and a very early (and rare) wide bevel mint green pickguard reserved for custom color Jazzmasters. The pickguard shows sparingly little warpage or shrinking, retaining the bare aluminum shielding plate beneath the guard. A pair of replacement naturally aged knobs and switch tip complete the plastics.
The Seafoam Green nitro lacquer finish was expertly applied by Riggio Custom Guitars, complete with vintage-spec Desert Sand base coat, surgically accurate in regards to nailing the correct tint and saturation for this particularly elusive custom color. There's light ambering of the clear coat, with prominent horizontal lacquer checking and some simulated marks of wear as part of Riggio’s aging process, including some wear along the edge of the belly carve revealing the color coat (without clear) and base coat. There's barely a mark on the silky smooth neck profile.
The original tweed "knuckleburster" hardshell case is included. The case was at one time painted and subsequently stripped of its paint, retaining its brown leather ends, gold interior and original leather handle. The original central case latch is present and functional, while the outer two latches are not present.