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1959 Fender Jazzmaster Vintage Pre-CBS Offset Guitar Gold Guard, Desert Sand w/ Tweed Case


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Up for sale, a 1959 Fender Jazzmaster in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original tweed hardshell case. Hailing from very early in the first full year of the Jazzmaster's production, this guitar is 100% original save for a Desert Sand nitro lacquer body finish courtesy of Riggio Custom Guitars and clear overspray on the neck profile, retaining all original hardware, plastics, and the black bobbin pickup pair. Only available with its introductory specs from August of 1958 to June of 1959, this Jazzmaster has all of the model's earliest features with a gold anodized pickguard, pencil dated neck heel, paper-in-oil tone caps, and patent pending vibrato tailpiece.

Tonewoods include an alder body, maple neck, and thick slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard, yielding an immediate and dynamic natural acoustic quality that is channeled faithfully through the original pickup pair. The neck pickup meters at a robust 8.55k ohms, while the bridge pickup compliments it well, wound particularly hot (but not unusual for a very early gold guard) at 9.8k ohms. Wound to the furthest edges of the wide/flat black fiber bobbins, this guitar offers a distinct, vital sound in every pickup position, and the anodized gold pickguard provides the dual function of providing excellent shielding for an optimally low noise floor, while also adding a glassy treble articulation to the overarching tone. There's a bold, chewy cut and sweetness in the neck position, and a sparkling snap and authoritative upper midrange presence at the bridge, while engaging both pickups together yields a woody, percussive quality. The guitar weighs 7lbs 11oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar (where we specialize in Fender Offset instruments) with fresh 11-49 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.

The maple neck has a profile carve very representative of the 1959 model year, with a 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 .790" deep at the 1st fret and .970" at the 12th. The slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard is a dark, tight-grained cut of this tonewood, retaining the original 7 1/4" fretboard radius and original slender fretwire. The frets have been leveled and crowned in the guitar’s lifetime and the crowns are quite low, showing only faint wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-7. 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. The nut measures 1.650" in width, carved from bone. On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuners are intact and function as intended, and the headstock face retains its original waterslide Jazzmaster decal. The neck heel has a 3-59 grease pencil date (March of 1959).

On the body, all of the electronics work as they should, with original CTS pots in the Lead Circuit that date to the 6th week of '59. The harness also retains the paper-in-oil capacitors used on the earliest Jazzmasters, and the underside of the gold anodized pickguard is signed by "Gail," the Fender employee that wired this guitar in 1959. Both black bobbin pickups retain their original windings. All of the stock brass shielding tubs are present, and there is a very small amount of post-finish routing on the edge of the control cavity to accommodate the tight fit of the pots.

All of the original hardware is intact, and the stock bridge with threaded saddles sits firmly in the deep bridge thimbles, working in concert with the patent pending vibrato tailpiece. The chrome plating on the hardware is notably clean, and the vibrato has an elegant response with a taut original spring that offers very exact and delicate warbles and deeper dives, complete with its original arm. All original plastics include pickup covers and knobs that show uniform aging, along with the amber switch tip seen on the earliest Jazzmasters. The gold anodized pickguard is exceedingly clean and all original.

Cosmetically, this instrument is quite stunning, and the nitro lacquer Desert Sand gloss body finish was very recently executed by Riggio Custom Guitars. This finish has a darker, richer tint than Olympic White, exhibiting a very subtle relic treatment courtesy of Riggio, with finish checking and some small simulated marks of wear. The neck profile has been oversprayed with clear nitro lacquer, while the headstock face retains its original finish. The neck profile gloss is flawless.

The original tweed "knucklebuster" hardshell case is included. The tweed is deeply ambered and stained, and the brown leather ends over the tweed are intact. The case retains its original metal feet, metal handle framework, and all three original functional latches, with the central latch located below the handle.