By 1960 theJazzmaster entered its third year of production at Fender. Since itsintroduction in 1958 the anodized aluminum pickguard had been updated to atortoise red/brown guard. Other early Jazzmaster features like a slab rosewoodfretboard, black bobbin pickups, a 'Patent Pending' vibrato tailpiece, highbridge thimbles and brass shielding "tubs" lining all of theelectronics cavities were still present.
At the time Fender useda red aniline pigment for their sunburst finish that proved to be unstable and fadedquickly when exposed to UV. The sunburst of a '60 Jazzmaster often has a 50's 'two-and-a-halve-tone'look when viewed from the front. The red band is usually more present at theback and/or underneath the pickguard, as this guitar readily shows. Thesomewhat bright red pickguard and stark white plastic knobs are also distinct1960 model year features.
This guitar was built right at the end of 1960. The neck is dated in November (11/60). Thedecal has three very small patent numbers underneath the 'With SyncronizedFloating Trem' line, these numbers started to appear by the fall of 1960. Thedate codes on the electronics point to halfway 1960. The serial number (58864)roughly dates to maybe early 1961, but in our opinion dating this guitar a '60is correct because all the dates and features of the 1960 model are present andcorrect. By early 1961 the two-way 'rhythm circuit' switch would change to aversion made by Stackpole (that did not require two nuts to attach it) and thewax paper Cornell Dubilier capacitors were changed to SK ceramic diskcapacitors. None of these 1961 features were introduced as of yet when thisguitar was made.
This Jazzmaster isin excellent sounding and playing condition. Even unplugged the guitar soundsvery full with solid lows, great dynamics and lots of sustain and resonance,even with the stock bridge. Plugged in the powerful black bobbin pickupstranslate to a lively sound with the beautiful full midrange of an earlyJazzmaster. The slim neck plays great and feels very solid. The all-original electronicswork flawlessly. The rhythm circuit is very useful for creating a darker, smoothersound. Apart from some belt buckle wear, subtle crazing all over from age and anicely worn-in neck the finish looks great and is in fully original condition,with no repairs or oversprayed areas. The pickguard has warped and shrunk fromage but still fits reasonably well and shows no breaks.
The guitar has beenrefretted with close to original size fretwire. The fretboard shows only minor playingwear. The tremolo arm is a newer reissue part. The high E tuner has a bentshaft, for practical reasons we've replaced it with a replica aged 'singleline' Kluson tuner. The original bent tuner is included separately. A saddleraiser screw in the high E bridge saddle is corroded stuck but it's left in a suitableposition to setup the bridge correctly. Some other saddle raisers have beenreplaced. The guitar is currently setup with .011 Pure Nickel strings and playsgreat at low to medium action (slightly below 2mm above the 12thfret).
The foam underneaththe pickups turned to gum so in order to be able to adjust the pickups we'vereplaced it but saved the original pieces. Underneath the neck pickup we found ashort piece of painters tape that was left during production as an assembly/inspectionmark, signed by Fender employee 'Mell'. Since it was wandering loose inside thepickup cavity we removed it to prevent it from going missing.