Fender Japan’s electric guitar credentials are well-known in six-string circles. Purveyor of some of the most desirable builds in recent memory, the Big F’s Japanese branch has in recent months masterminded the Elemental Series, the Traditional ‘60s Competition Stripe series, and the Japan Junior Collection, to name just a few.
That list has just been bolstered with the arrival of yet another uber-desirable instrument, the limited-edition Adjusto-Matic Jazzmaster HH.
Alongside the prog-leaning Elemental Series Jazzmaster, this particular example is perhaps Fender Japan’s best offset to date, and looks like it would have a broader appeal among a more diverse crop of players.
A whistle-stop tour of the specs confirms this. It’s got the DNA of an orthodox Jazzmaster, but the alder body and modern-C maple neck are paired with a Gibson-style Adjusto-Matic bridge and two Modern Modified humbuckers.
Available in Black, Lake Placid Blue, Teal Green Metallic and Metallic 3-Color Sunburst, the guitar also boasts a 12” radius rosewood fingerboard with 21 frets, dot inlays, a bone nut and a Stopbar-style tailpiece.
In practice, the pickups are said to cover the standard spectrum of “natural clean sounds” to “powerful distorted” tones, and can be tamed by way of master volume and tone knobs.
The switch from a floating tremolo and single coils to a hardtail and humbucker combo (not to mention those lush colorways) will no doubt tickle the fancy of many modern players this side of the pond, but – as is the case with all Fender Japan guitars – it’s exclusively available in Asia.
Normally, we’d accept defeat on this front, but recent comments from Fender itself suggests there may in fact be a glimmer of hope for those wanting to get their hands on this MIJ offset.
Speaking to Guitarist recently, Fender’s director of product Allen Abbassi revealed the company was seeing exponential growth in the popularity of all its offsets – popularity they sought to cater to via a dual-humbucker Player Series Jazzmaster.
“We had also noticed over the years that the offsets had increased in popularity exponentially,” Abbassi said while discussing the recently updated Player range. “We have some pretty good bench strength at Fender with the models like the Jazzmasters, the Jaguars and then the Mustangs.
“So we definitely wanted to infuse that into this series as well,” he went on. “So the choice was easy for us because we had a stable of models that were either already incredibly popular or growing in popularity.”
To that end, Abbassi said Fender unveiled an HH Jazzmaster “to offer something new and exciting to the players”.
In the face of growing offset popularity – and with a precedent of catering to such demand – could we see Fender bring this model to wider markets? Well, we certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
After all, Fender CEO Andy Mooney has previously spoken about the prospect of making Fender Japan models available to US players, coyly teasing, “What we’ve found with Fender Japan is, there are very specific customers for Fender Japan guitars.
“But for the people who love that MIJ finish, that MIJ look, they’re rabid about it,” he went on. “So we’re going continue to develop MIJ guitars for outside of Japan.”
Okay, it’s not quite the definitive proof we’re looking for, but it’s a positive sign nonetheless that such six-string beauties could join Fender US’s stable of guitars sometime in the near future.
To find out more about the Adjusto-Matic Jazzmaster HH – which is available for roughly $1,045 (154,000 Japanese Yen) – head over to Fender Japan.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**
Join now for unlimited access
US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year
UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year
Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription