Fender The Ventures Signature Jazzmaster, made in Japan circa 1996, black sunburst. For the uninitiated: The Ventures are an iconic surf rock band from Tacoma, USA. They're the biggest selling instrumental band of all time with such hits as Wipeout, the original Batman theme and Hawaii Five-O, and their fame in Japan was so intense they enjoyed a level of mania rivalled only by The Beatles... it's very difficult to overstate their impact. Some may associate the band with the Mosrite guitars they made famous, but aside from a five year period between '63-68, the Fender Jazzmaster has been the preferred twang machine. This model was made between 1996-99, alongside a Strat and a Jazz Bass, and was the priciest guitar in the catalog. There's some big differences to the regular JM66 model: simple 3-way switching, 22 frets, block inlays and fretboard binding, extra large dot markers on the side of the neck, gold hardware, an exclusive blackburst finish, and of course a shiny 'The Ventures' decal on the headstock. The most significant differences are the the lightweight USA ash body and the Seymour Duncan pickups. These combine for a unique and exceptional tone: heaps of tight bass, spank and cut, but with a warmth and midrange growl surpassing just about any stock JM in memory. The tone and volume knobs are very expressive too; with the tone knob around 6 the sonic character is similar to a classic JM, above that you can dial in the chiming treble that makes this so unique. The body is also very light, which is a welcome bonus. This is a rare and very collectable model, but more than that, it's a supremely satisfying guitar to play; it just sounds so good. Now, can you remember how to play 'Wipeout'?
Model: Fender 'The Ventures' Signature Jazzmaster JM-165VR
Made: Japan, 1996 approx (serial 30040)
Finish: black sunburst (BSB), aged white pearl 3-ply guard
Body: lightweight USA ash
Neck: maple with rosewood board, satin finish, bound w/ block inlays, 22 frets, 7.25" radius, 25.5" scale
Pickup: Seymour Duncan SJM1 set
Case: basic non-original hard case, good condition
Cosmetic condition notes: mild finish wear. There's some slight marks on the end of the headstock. Neck is pretty clean, minor marks and glossing from play only. Back is fairly clean, just one dent near the rear stratp pin, a couple of long very light scratches near the rear edge and some minor dimples. The sides are pretty good, just minor marks on the shoulder area, bottom horn and near the input jack. The front of the body is also pretty good, just some dimples near the bridge and tailpiece, some minor scratching from play and some mild delamination on the corners of the guard; nothing nasty. Overall: very good condition (8/10)
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. Frets have some normal wear but plenty of life in them, 7/10 for life left. Wearing fresh 11/49s.