With the release of Fender’s American Ultra Series, has the Jazzmaster finally gone mainstream?

Baroness guitarist Gina Gleason plays a Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster
Baroness guitarist Gina Gleason plays the Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster (Image credit: Fender)

When Fender dropped the American Ultra Series this week, its fresh hot-rodded takes on classic outlines, it offered a number of neat touches - contoured heels, new neck shape, compound radius - but arguably the most significant change was the inclusion of a Jazzmaster in the line-up.

Here we have an instrument beloved of electric guitar anti-heroes, one that’s beset with playing idiosyncrasies and ended up discontinued owing to its unpopularity now appearing in a high-end, boutique guise, complete with Fender’s first-ever noiseless Jazzmaster pickups. How did this happen?

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Michael Astley-Brown
Editor-in-Chief, GuitarWorld.com

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.