I had the chance to try one or two Jazzmasters in my life. They sounded dull and dead to me. I then had the chance to hear a musician play his Jazzmaster side to side with a CS MB Tele. Again this sound that didn't resonate and integrate in the mix. That's why I never was tempted to buy one. I thought that was the way they sounded. So I came across this elderly musician Walter who had played his Jazzmaster a lot in the 60-ies. It was cool at that time to have a 9-string Jazzmaster which explains the filled holes in the neck. The first in a series of "crimes" he did to his beloved babyblue 64 Stratocaster and this 63 Jazzmaster. Since he did his biggest errors on his Strat (refret that killed the neck and refinish from a car dealer). The Jazzmaster in consequence was only misstreated with a white car laqueer refinish. The neck was kept with run down frets, almost non existent, a horrible refret from 9 to 6 strings and the whole guitar smelled horrible of humidity. Since he had good contacts to the musicscene someone recommended Dragan Milosevic from Fine Art Guitars to restore this guitar. Walter wanted it refinished in the old colour. Dragan told him with selfconfidence that he wouldn't do such poor finishes as they used to do back in those days. New frets, restored fretboard and .... a fantastic new finish. He spent 1'100 Euro, more than he had payed for this guitar when he bought it. I contacted Dragan and he was so kind to give me the pictures before restauration and pictures of his restoration process. I am a sucker for Vintage guitars. But when it comes down to unplayable instruments that suck in every respect and sell for over 20'000 Euros I must confess that this has nothing to do with music and my love for old guitars. They should better collect Superman Comics! That would keep the price down and give us musicians access to unreached sounding instruments! Guitars were not made to be hanging in a vitrine. The good ones like this "Walter" Jazzmaster sound so tremendously good that no new built guitar can touch them. But Dragan's restoration really changed my view on this vintage hype.
I am now the proud second owner of a refinished but mostly original pre CBS built Jazzmaster restored into a an amazing sounding and playing beauty. Even the radius is more comfortable now and adjusts to the modern player. No way that any masterbuilt and (many original?) Jazzmaster can get even near this. She sounds so full with the 009-strings on it. I am planning to replace the original bridge with a mastery bridge and set it up with 010-strings...
I couldn't wait and put 0.10 strings on it. To me it plays a lot better now and the sound improved as it was to expected. I am still waiting for the mastery bridge to get one step closer to Tone Nirvana.
A KILLER GUITAR!!!! 3,7 kg
By the way: This guitar changed my opinion towards finishes. If someone like Dragan Milosevic (www.fineart-guitar-workshop.de) does the job then it is not necessary to have them reliced to improve the sound. Be carefull from whom you will make a refinish. Dragan is a great pro to do this job!
I installed the Mastery Bridge and was dissapointed. Everything sounded very clear but also harsh. It destroyed the great vintage sound. I contacted Woody from Mastery Bridge to check with him if he had made similar experiences with Vintage gear. Never got a response. Probably didn't like critical comments on his products. Since good tone is my quest I hoped to get a helpful answer. So I put the old bridge on which is perfectly in tune and sold the Mastery Bridge and feel happy with this wonderful instrument.
Not for sale
I have never been a big fan of Ibanez guitars. I owned a Joe Pass and played a Pat Metheney which I decided not to buy. So I was really surprised of the craftmanship of a friends JSM 100 I got to lay my hands on. He was not about to sell it, so I forgot all about it until this one showed up in internet. And again I was not dissapointed. Craftmanship on this model is great and seems to be consistent. I really like the warm and jazzy sound. It is very resonant and dynamic. Great guitar to play jazzy wise. It is a Scofield guitar which is said to be a model that Sco doesn't actually play.
Sco has his own sound which I never tried to copy so I can only say that if it doesn't has to sound like Sco you should give this guitar a try. To me it was a real surprise. Great quality for little money.
This guitar has only been played few times and you can consider it as new. I have not found any playing signs on it. But I am planing to use this guitar and can not promise that it will remain that way for long. So check with me again if you intend to buy.