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Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar   

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Fender™s most affordable humbucker-equipped Jazzmaster ever.Fender™s Blacktop Jazzmaster HS delivers incredible twin humbucking tone without draining...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The most affordable humbucking pickup-equipped Jazzmaster ever made.

Fender™s most affordable humbucker-equipped Jazzmaster ever.Fender™s Blacktop Jazzmaster HS delivers incredible twin humbucking tone without draining your wallet. A vintage-style Duncan-Designed alnico humbucker at the bridge position provides plenty of smoking, high-gain aggressive tones, and the Duncan-Designed single-coil neck pickup supplies plenty of grit and twang. Constructed with an alder body, maple neck with 9.5"-radius rosewood fretboard, 21 medium jumbo frets, gloss urethane finish and nickel/chrome hardware. Also features skirted black amp knobs, and a simplified three-way toggle switch, rather than the usual array of Jazzmaster controls.Use the drop-down menu above to choose colors and other options.

FEATURES
  • Series: Blacktop
  • Body shape: Jazzmaster
  • Body material: alder
  • Colors: (500) 3-Color Sunburst, (506) Black
  • Neck: maple
  • Neck finish: gloss urethane
  • Fretboard: rosewood
  • Position inlays: white dots
  • String nut: synthetic bone
  • Bridge pickup: 1 Duncan Designed Humbucking Pickup
  • Neck pickup: 1 Duncan Designed Single-Coil Jazzmaster Pickup
  • Pickup switching: 3-Position toggle: Position 1. Full bridge pickupPosition 2. Full neck & bridge pickupsPosition 3. Full neck pickup
  • Controls: master volume, master tone
  • Hardware: nickel/chrome
  • Tuning keys: standard cast/sealed tuning machines
  • Bridge: American Vintage Jazzmaster Tremolo with Adusto-Matic Bridge
  • Strap buttons: vintage style
  • Control knobs: skirted amp knobs
  • Pickguard: 3-ply black (500 3-Color Sunburst), or mint green (506 Sonic Black)
  • Strings: Super 250L's, NPS (.009-.042 gauges)
  • Included accessories: truss rod adjustment wrench

A Jazzmaster for today's rocker!

SPECIFICATIONS

Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar

  • Scale length: 25.5" (610 mm)
    Nut width: 1.65" (42mm)
    Fretboard radius: 9.5" (241)
    Frets: 21, medium jumbo
    Truss rod nut: 3/16" adjustable hex nut
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FenderBlacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar
 
4.3

(based on 48 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (28)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

81%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (24)
  • Fun to play (23)
  • Good tone (22)
  • Good pick up (14)
  • Solid electronics (13)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (5)
  • Craftsmanship (4)

Best Uses

  • Practicing (24)
  • Jamming (21)
  • Small venues (12)
  • Recording (11)
  • Rock concerts (11)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (23), Professional musician (8)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Elegant and versatile

This guitar is different from the rest of the Fenders that can be purchased, and it is proud to be different. I can play jazz and alternative rock on it with the luscious warm...Read complete review

This guitar is different from the rest of the Fenders that can be purchased, and it is proud to be different. I can play jazz and alternative rock on it with the luscious warm tones of the single coil, yet turn it into a snarling monster with just some fuzz and a flick of a switch. Although there are many people out there who might turn there nose at such an evolution in the jazzmaster line, there will be many others like myself who want a versatile instrument that can handle the sounds of all kinds of music. I, without any hesitation reccomend this guitar to anyone trying to get a instrument that is reliable, simple, and elegant.
During the month of December of last year, I purchased one of these jazzmasters in a black finish. Now that I have had the time to actually play this guitar and get to know it, I can confidently say that although the blacktop isn't a perfect instrument, it is one that you will definately enjoy and learn to love. Upon receiving this guitar you will discover that the bridge is an idiosyncratic piece of hardware, as the saddle screws will constantly worm out of their holes and fall out while you are playing. However, I used a simple remedy to fix this; using drops of loctite blue on the saddle screws will lock them in place. Tone wise, the single coil provides a very nice tone that is quite mellow but also a bit more crisper than that of a typical American reissue jazzmaster. The humbucker is HOT. Some players trying to search for a more vintage tone may choose to do a pickup swap, but the humbucker will work for situations that require a high gain sound. The middle position on this guitar provides a tone that will appeal to many players; you get clear note articulation with a slight overdriven sound courtesy of the humbucker. The black finish is simple yet beautiful, and the c shaped neck fits like a glove. The tremelo on this thing is actually wonderful. Contrary to the idea that jazzmaster tremelos never stay in the tune, mine has put up with all the warbles and wobbles I have given it and still stays in tune. It's not a floyd rose, and it's not meant to be like one. The obviously noticeable lack of a rhythm circuit may bother purists, but it's actually something that makes the design more appealing to players who want simplicity and zero possible chances of accidently hitting a switch while playing.
When I received this guitar, the saddles needed some adjustment. But the quality control was excellent overall. A while ago I tried my friends American made stratocaster and compared it to the neck on the jazzmaster. Guess what? Both of us actually thought that the neck profile and fretwork on the jazzmaster's neck was just as good (or perhaps even better) that the strat's neck. Best of all, it came straight as an arrow with no fretboard buzzing. Despite the issues I intially had with the bridge, that is a problem that was easily fixed. Playing the guitar through an Epiphone tube amp, I noticed that the sound quality and timbre was top notch; although there was some slight hum from the pickups, they both sounded great. I've played several vintage Fender Jazzmasters in the past, and although the blacktop does not sound the same as they do, it captures the essence of the traditional jazzmaster sound but also beefs it up, making it more applicable to modern styles of music such as alternative and hard rock. Who once knew that a jazzmaster could wail and sustain so well?
A jazzmaster for less than half a grand was the dream of many players including myself. In my own opinion, a instrument like this one is a steal. It's like getting a jazzmaster with the mods already done on it-simplified switching, humbucker in the bridge position, amp knobs. This guitar has been my main no. 1 after I bought it and has been the guitar that's always featured in my band's recordings. Versatility is where this guitar shines. There are so many different sounds you can get out of the pickups and will suit many different tonal needs.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great guitar but has problems

Overall this guitar is fun to play,great pickups and good tone.The finish is top notch,great looking guitar.I give 3 stars because of two things... Frets could be a little smoother but...Read complete review

Overall this guitar is fun to play,great pickups and good tone.The finish is top notch,great looking guitar.I give 3 stars because of two things... Frets could be a little smoother but my main concern is the bridge.Strings pop off at times if played hard.Sattles can move side to side getting out of tune,set screws back out with time.Screws are ruff on side of hand when playing.An ABR bridge would make this guitar perfect with some smoother frets of course.I see this bridge being replaced in the future and I can smooth out frets myself.This guitar is worth getting for the price but is no means a beginners guitar with all the tinkering it takes to make it playable.Awesome,vintage looking guitar at best!

Reviewed by 48 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(15 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Elegant and versatile

By Michael Jin

from California

Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

This guitar is different from the rest of the Fenders that can be purchased, and it is proud to be different. I can play jazz and alternative rock on it with the luscious warm tones of the single coil, yet turn it into a snarling monster with just some fuzz and a flick of a switch. Although there are many people out there who might turn there nose at such an evolution in the jazzmaster line, there will be many others like myself who want a versatile instrument that can handle the sounds of all kinds of music. I, without any hesitation reccomend this guitar to anyone trying to get a instrument that is reliable, simple, and elegant.
During the month of December of last year, I purchased one of these jazzmasters in a black finish. Now that I have had the time to actually play this guitar and get to know it, I can confidently say that although the blacktop isn't a perfect instrument, it is one that you will definately enjoy and learn to love. Upon receiving this guitar you will discover that the bridge is an idiosyncratic piece of hardware, as the saddle screws will constantly worm out of their holes and fall out while you are playing. However, I used a simple remedy to fix this; using drops of loctite blue on the saddle screws will lock them in place. Tone wise, the single coil provides a very nice tone that is quite mellow but also a bit more crisper than that of a typical American reissue jazzmaster. The humbucker is HOT. Some players trying to search for a more vintage tone may choose to do a pickup swap, but the humbucker will work for situations that require a high gain sound. The middle position on this guitar provides a tone that will appeal to many players; you get clear note articulation with a slight overdriven sound courtesy of the humbucker. The black finish is simple yet beautiful, and the c shaped neck fits like a glove. The tremelo on this thing is actually wonderful. Contrary to the idea that jazzmaster tremelos never stay in the tune, mine has put up with all the warbles and wobbles I have given it and still stays in tune. It's not a floyd rose, and it's not meant to be like one. The obviously noticeable lack of a rhythm circuit may bother purists, but it's actually something that makes the design more appealing to players who want simplicity and zero possible chances of accidently hitting a switch while playing.
When I received this guitar, the saddles needed some adjustment. But the quality control was excellent overall. A while ago I tried my friends American made stratocaster and compared it to the neck on the jazzmaster. Guess what? Both of us actually thought that the neck profile and fretwork on the jazzmaster's neck was just as good (or perhaps even better) that the strat's neck. Best of all, it came straight as an arrow with no fretboard buzzing. Despite the issues I intially had with the bridge, that is a problem that was easily fixed. Playing the guitar through an Epiphone tube amp, I noticed that the sound quality and timbre was top notch; although there was some slight hum from the pickups, they both sounded great. I've played several vintage Fender Jazzmasters in the past, and although the blacktop does not sound the same as they do, it captures the essence of the traditional jazzmaster sound but also beefs it up, making it more applicable to modern styles of music such as alternative and hard rock. Who once knew that a jazzmaster could wail and sustain so well?
A jazzmaster for less than half a grand was the dream of many players including myself. In my own opinion, a instrument like this one is a steal. It's like getting a jazzmaster with the mods already done on it-simplified switching, humbucker in the bridge position, amp knobs. This guitar has been my main no. 1 after I bought it and has been the guitar that's always featured in my band's recordings. Versatility is where this guitar shines. There are so many different sounds you can get out of the pickups and will suit many different tonal needs.

(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Blacktop Jazzmaster is a Steal of a Deal! No Kidding.

By Creston

from Gettysburg, PA

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

Great guitar. Most people will upgrade on some parts but overall it is a very good deal. I play this more than some of my other guitars because I am really digging the tones of the middle selector. I just love the sound of this guitar.
What can I say, the three tone finish is absolutely beautiful with lots of character. Most people who are familiar with Jazzmasters and Jaguars know about the bridge problems. This is more like a Mustang bridge but the screw poles that are used to adjust the string height become loose when strumming. I prefer to put Elmer's glue on the top of the hole after setting the height and let it dry. You can always go back and take the glue out if you want to re-adjust your height. Some people put more permanent glue on the poles. Anyways, I wish it had the rhythm sliders but for the price I will not complain. Pretty simple layout. Tuners are cheap but actually stays in tune. Whammy bar is different than the other Jazzmasters I own but it works fine.
Beautiful and flawless paint and gloss finish on body and neck. I prefer gloss. Pickups are excellent and I do not plan on changing them. Very cool vibe with the middle selector which activate the single and humbucker. I think the single coil is more pronounced in the middle selector because of the jingly tone but with a hint of the humbucker make this a great sound for my alternative recordings. Plastic parts are cheesy but work.
No complaints. I bought them when they first came out. I would pay more for this guitar.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Could Have Been A Pawn Shop Series

By Noone

from Albuquerque, NM

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Alder Body
  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Neck
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • 60 Cycle Hum

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Small Venues

Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

I have had an original '62 Jazzmaster, which was replaced with a '64 Jaguar. I have several late model JM's, which are considerably more expensive than the Blacktop model. I purchased this guitar because it was inexpensive, and would be good to practice with, thus limiting any possibility of damage to the other JM's that I have. Since it was made in Mexico, I was aware that there might be some issues with the guitar, but I was surprised that it was ready to rock, right out of the box. It was almost in tune, the G was a little flat, and it was set up correctly. After playing it through a Fender De Ville, a Fender '59 Bassman, and a Marshall amp, with and without various pedals, I was satisfied that the pickups would not have to be changed. Seymour Duncan designed these pickups for Fender, which was a plus for me, since it is one of the brands that I use when pickups are changed out. The fit and finish were excellent. I selected the three color model, but, I did not like the dark look since the pickguard, pickup covers, knobs and switch tip were all black and did not contribute to the asthetics of the instrument. I found that Fender made a mint colored pickguard for this Blacktop and I purchased one of them. While I was changing over the pickguard, I was able to inspect all of the electronic components and was satified that they were properly soldered. One of the dislikes that I had was the 60 cycle hum, which Fender single coil pickups are famous for, so I used some Stewart-McDonald Conductive Shielding Paint to eliminate the problem. After I put everything back together, I restrung the JM with Di Addario "10's" and after tuning up, played it throught the same amps, once more. The sound was much improved and now I am able to get a number of different types of music out of this guitar. Like the title says, I am surprised that this was not one of the "Pawn Shop Series," since it is a guitar that should have been made a long time before now. Overall, I am satified with this inexpensive Fender, which might be a better guitar that one that costs three to four times as much.

(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Cheap Jazzmaster

By TDGRIM89

from Washington

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Nice build

Cons

  • Horrible Bridge
  • Noisy Humbucker pup

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Rock Concerts
  • Small Venues

Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

The Blacktop Jazzmaster is a solidly built attempt at an affordable Jazzmaster-style guitar, but with a high-gain/hard-rock twist. The tone you can get out of the two pups together is interesting, though the humbucker pickup doesn't handle clean tones well at all, and when run through high gain at high volume, the humbucker squeals like a pig (even through a noise gate set up for single coils). The bridge is easily the worst part about this whole guitar. The saddles wiggle loose with ease, offputting the intonation setup, making the guitar sound terribly out of tune.

Overall, the Blacktop Jazzmaster is a great buy for those who want a jazzmaster style guitar to rock out at high gain, but I would consider bridge and humbucker replacement before putting this guitar to any serious use. The low price leaves a lot of room for modifications and customization as well. Though if you're looking for a more solid Jazzmaster tone, drop the extra cash for a Classic Player Jazzmaster.

(5 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster

By Matteo Kennedy

from British Columbia

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

It is ok, but when your pick-ups aren't workin' right, well..its a piss off
Well I got this guitar about a year ago (Sept 2011) an well I've been having problem's since, this type with the old "Tele" bridge on it, the bridge saddle screw's always keep coming out, the pick-ups hardly work, an it won't let me bend ANY of the strings higher than the 12th fret, its weird, I don't know if I just got the dog's end of this guitar or this is happening with other people who bought this guitar too, but right now, this is not my favourite guitar.
Quiality of this guitar is AWESOME, when it works
Its at a nice price, I thought

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Great guitar but has problems

By Spasticdog

from Milan,TN

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Great Finish Looks Great

Cons

  • Bad Bridge
  • Fret Buzz
  • Sharp Frets

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing

Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

Overall this guitar is fun to play,great pickups and good tone.The finish is top notch,great looking guitar.I give 3 stars because of two things... Frets could be a little smoother but my main concern is the bridge.Strings pop off at times if played hard.Sattles can move side to side getting out of tune,set screws back out with time.Screws are ruff on side of hand when playing.An ABR bridge would make this guitar perfect with some smoother frets of course.I see this bridge being replaced in the future and I can smooth out frets myself.This guitar is worth getting for the price but is no means a beginners guitar with all the tinkering it takes to make it playable.Awesome,vintage looking guitar at best!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Sensible factory mods on this JM

By Steve

from Chicago, IL

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone
  • Neck Pickup
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Humbucker Not Great

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Rock Concerts

Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

At its current blowout price, this guitar is a ridiculous deal. Really quality guitar for the money. The modified mustang-style bridge is an improvement over the traditional JM bridge. The neck pickup sounds pretty good but I'm not a big fan of the bridge humbucker.

IMO, the black finish with mint pickguard is classier and better suited to the asymmetrical combination of pickups than the overdone sunburst version.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

You Get What You Pay For

By guitar bully

from Santa Cruz, CA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone

Cons

  • Fret Buzz
  • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing

Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

Tuned up the thing up and the e-string broke before I was finished. Meanwhile, the B string popped out of it's saddle. I play hard and can't have thaat happening ever time I turn around. The pickup selector is flimsy and scratchy and the bridge humbucker wouldn't turn on at first without toggling. Terrific price, great sound, but serious quality control issues are going to keep this one on the shelf as my second and lead me to a Blacktop Strat upgrade at some point. Real pretty sunburst guitar though. Great price.

(3 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

This nut fell far from the tree.

By Frank

from San Francisco, CA

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

    • Fret Buzz
    • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

    Best Uses

    • Practicing

    Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

    Dissappointed in the overall quality from Fender. I expected a playable guiter and this one wasn't even close. Musicians Friend performed very well and the return procedure was painless. I will definitely continue to use them as a primary source for instruments as well as accessories..

    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Not your basic JaZzmaster

    By Riders7

    from NYC

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording

    Comments about Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster HS Electric Guitar:

    I alaways wanted a JaZZmaster after owning primary Strat and Tele but this Blacktop is versatile with both a Humbucker and a JaZZmaster single coil pickup. After trying out this guitar I knew it was time to get one. The feel is great, it's weighted perfectly, the tone is awesome, and even though it's a Jazzmaster, you can get tons of different sounds out of this guitar to suit your needs. it's a great guitar and an excellent value, and it's easily the most well crafted MIM guitar I have ever played or owned.

    Displaying reviews 1-10

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