Fender has me highly impressed with the new American Professional II series, taking their workhorse guitars and making them even better. The Jazzmaster has so many pickup options and tonal variations to explore, and it can harness almost any sound you dial in. When I think of Jazzmaster, “surf rock” is the first genre that comes to mind, but do not dismiss the versatility of this guitar. Obviously, it’s known for its jazz tones, but it can mimic so many other styles.
Picking up the guitar for the first time, I noticed the fingerboard’s rolled edges, which I love because it gives it such a comforting flow up and down the fingerboard. Its neck is sculpted at the heel, giving you more access to the upper register, and its modern 9.5” radius fingerboard makes big bends easy without fretting out. The body is alder wood with a gloss urethane finish. The V-Mod II Jazzmaster pickups have a warm vintage sound that is not at all muddy, and it has that sparkle and note clarity that give it a smooth, rounding punch. When engaging the push-push knob, it taps the bridge pickup, bringing even more bite to the sound. When the rhythm switch is up, the pickups are wired in series, so you use the two thumbwheels to control the volume and the tone. This is where you can get precise tonal control. When the slider switch is engaged, the tone and volume controls are bypassed except for the push-push knob.
Now for my favorite part—the Panorama™ tremolo! Fender really enhanced the tremolo system on this model to give you more range and motion. This thing can DIVE! It has that warm surf rock wobble vibrato, but then throw on some distortion and you can wail some Van Halen divebombs! Keep in mind this doesn’t have a locking tremolo on it, so it will likely go out of tune if you try to do it too many times. The point is though that you can!
The versatility of the American Pro II Jazzmaster is definitely a guitar to have in your arsenal, especially if you play a wide variety of music or are just looking for some new sounds and tones to inspire you. Fender makes these guitars for the players who depend on quality and stamina from their instruments night after night and gig after gig. There are so many different sounds to explore with all of its tonal options that you will be sure to play for days before you discover them all. This is the kind of guitar you’ll keep forever.
For more information and full specifications, visit fender.com.