1959 Fender Jazzmaster - Sunburst
1959 Fender Jazzmaster - Sunburst

1959 Fender Jazzmaster - Sunburst

Serial Number 38876

In late 1958 the Fender Jazzmaster was unveiled to the public. With a price tag of $329, the Jazzmaster’s early ad copy read like that era’s car commercials: “America’s finest guitar... unequaled in performance and design features.”

The Jazzmaster featured an offset body shape designed for comfort and ease of playing. The electronics’ unique design consisted of a switch on the upper horn which when moved up offered independent volume and tone control, intended to be the “rhythm” position. When pushed down, it would bypass the upper body controls to provide a “lead” sound. The Fender Jazzmaster was also the first Fender model to offer a separate rosewood fingerboard glued to a maple neck. Additionally, the vibrato unit was an all-new design, offering a locking on/off switch. This switch was intended to help the player stay in tune in the event of a string break – a great idea in theory that proved ultimately impractical.

Fender envisioned the Jazzmaster appealing to jazz guitarists, hence the name, but the era’s jazz musicians showed little enthusiasm, and mainstream Fender fans continued relying on their Strats and Teles despite the Jazzmaster’s elaborate design. The Fender Jazzmaster eventually found a niche with instrumental bands like the Ventures and the Fireballs, helping it to become recognized as a legitimate member of Fender’s line-up.

Items in the Dave Rogers Collection are not for sale.

Dave Rogers Collection

Preserving Guitar History

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