Could Fender’s newest release in their Acoustasonic guitar line be the best yet? The forward-thinking series, launched with the Telecaster and was followed by the Stratocaster. Each instrument providing their own takes on electric and acoustic sound options from one guitar. The Jazzmaster guitar, although originally designed by Leo Fender for Jazz musicians, was instead embraced by Surf guitarists and other musicians seeking to differentiate themselves. Fender continues to embrace that rebellious theme with the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster.
Maverick Country received our review model in a traditional Tobacco Sunburst finish, although it is also available in Arctic White, Natural, Ocean Turquoise and Tungsten. The first thing I noticed was how comfortably the Jazzmaster shape sits on your lap. The neck and body are made of mahogany and the neck has an ebony cap on it, along with ebony knobs and bridge. The top is solid Sitka Spruce wood. But the real magic with the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster is under the hood. Thanks to the Tom Shaw designed acoustic humbucker pickup, Fishman Matrix under saddle electronics and a body sensor acoustic pickup, the guitar provides ten blendable voicings in one guitar.
The 5-way selector on the lower bout of the guitar provides electric to acoustic choices. What would be a tone control on most guitars is in fact a Blend control from ‘A’ voicing in the back, to ‘B’ voicing in the front. So, you essentially have three different pickups that can be combined or isolated for the particular sound you are seeking.
Fenders SIRS (Stringed Instrument Resonance System) is tuned to provide a louder authentic acoustic sound also from the soundhole. I was surprised at the robust sound level of the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster unplugged. You can’t fully appreciate the complexity and sound opportunities of this guitar until you do connect it to an amplifier. The Shawbucker pickup really shines on this guitar and you can achieve authentic electric guitar tonality with it. The P3 Body Sensor pickup is for artists that like to hit, thump and pop the tops and sides of their guitars for additional rhythm sounds and for looping. Like a traditional acoustic with the appropriate mutli-pickups, you can achieve different percussive sounds depending on how far to the edge of the guitar top you tap it. The Fishman under saddle piezo delivers your standard acoustic amplification.
The satin finish on the neck and body make it feel more organic and less sticky than a gloss finish. Having this many sound choices in one guitar that projects so well is a bit overwhelming. However, I did find certain ones that were my favourites fairly quickly, as I’m certain you will also. The internal battery is recharged with a USB cable near the standard input jack and it will last for 20 hours of playing. It comes with a deluxe Fender gig bag as well.
The offset Jazzmaster body truly works well for in setting. It makes the guitar seem bigger like a standard acoustic guitar is, but the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster isn’t cumbersome as some guitars can be. It is one of those guitars that if you were doing fly dates again, touring and hopping around to different songwriter rounds you could utilise this guitar for all those shows. I was also a fan of the semi-hollow body guitar sounds I could coax out of it with just a turn of a knob.
If you haven’t played one of Fender’s Acoustasonic guitars yet I would highly recommend you give the Jazzmaster model a try. It’s a swiss army knife of tonal options.
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Editor, Maverick Magazine
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