Fender Jim Root Artist Series Jazzmaster

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by steinmetzify, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Jun 2, 2012
    In the shadow of a mountain near SLC UT

    EMG 81/60 combo in brushed chrome....one 3 way switch and one volume knob; locking Schaller tuners and strap locks, and a Fender hard tail bridge.

    I have a few guitars here (ok, more than a few) with an abundance of volume and tone controls....I'm an admitted LP junkie with a growing affection for SSS Strats, but sometimes the need for simplicity arises and you just want something to PLAY.

    That's this guitar. One volume knob and a 3 way. That's it. I haven't opened it up to see what the pot is, but it turns easily with a pinky finger, and it's placed perfectly to do so while playing....volume swells and roll offs are easier than any other guitar I have.

    Fretwork is good.....not J Custom good, but perfectly fine....jumbo frets on a 12"-16" radius and an ebony board make for some VERY fast slides and very easy bends....ends are nice with no rough edges.


    Matte black satin finish, urethane...he picked this because it's going to last longer than other finishes.....it smudges easily but on a dark stage, who's going to notice? It's going to show wear, but not like a nitro finish....the areas that get the most use will be shinier. I've had matte guitars before and this doesn't bother me so it's cool.


    EMGs are EMGs....you know what they sound like....81 is tight and cutting....great for gallops and brutal rhythms. 60 is a great neck pickup if you like EMGs...I do, so it's no issue for me. They actually sound great in this guitar....I was ready to switch them out ASAP when it arrived, but plugged it in and they're staying. They sound brutal in this guitar, and I like them better in this one than in my ESP Eclipse. I think it has to do with this one being solid mahogany....the maple cap on Eclipses and Les Pauls can make EMGs sound really shrill on the top end, but it's no problem here. Dig the brushed chrome; it's a different look and fits with this guitar....they look like they're floating there in a sea of black and it's a cool look.

    The bridge is functional and solid....might change it out for a Hipshot, but not for any other reason than that I really like Hipshots. No problems with it. It's comfortable and solid. Doesn't cut your hand or anything.

    Tuners are Schallers....solid machines and hold tight. I had a little trouble with the first string change getting a 52 through the hole, but I'm going to assume that it's just the paint and won't continue to be a problem.

    Action showed a little high for my taste, but far from unplayable....let it settle a bit, lowered the saddles and with a bit of relief in the neck it's low as hell with no buzz.

    The neck is a 'modern C' shape.....of course a little wider than my LPs and a little fatter than my Strats...nice and slick with a satin finish and fills your hand comfortably.....I wouldn't call it fat by any means, but it's no Wizard neck either. If you need a hair thin neck, look elsewhere....same for a giant neck, even though my favorite guitar is a custom LP with the fattest neck I've ever had on a guitar, I have no issues playing this one. Large 70s HS brings the cool, and the T shaped string tree in black complements the look and feels stable.

    It's an Artist Series Fender....not really worried about reliability, and there's a limited lifetime warranty.....I've worked with Fender on a warranty issue a couple of years ago and it was handled to my satisfaction so not worried here.


    This thing is cool....I know it's just to carry your guitar around in, but why not have it be classy too.....crushed red velvet inside a tweed case with leatherette edging and off color stitching looks beautiful. The case pocket has a snap closure with a leather tab. It's a classy touch and I dig it; how many times have you forgotten and opened your guitar case at a weird angle and had that pocket swing open and dump all your shit on the floor? I know I have.

    I gave this guitar a 5 overall.....the only reason I threw a 4 on the features was for lack of a tone knob....doesn't bother me at all; in point of fact it was one of my main purchase points for simplicity's sake...it's a sig guitar to the artist's specs, but it might make a difference to someone looking to buy. The range of tones from this simplistic guitar are surprisingly large, given just a 3 way and volume knob are present. From crushing brootz to cleaner bluesy type solos, it's here.

    All in all, I'd give it a solid 5 out of 5.

    I think his sig Strat will be a near future purchase for me....JR does great guitars with comfortable necks and simple controls, and it works out perfectly for the buyer looking for those specs.

    Any questions feel free to hit me up via PM....be glad to answer.:shred:

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