Fender has been one of the most renowned guitar makers of the last 70 years. So when they announced the release of the Acoustasonic series over a decade ago, the industry took notice.
Fender introduced this series as an all-in-one solution for acoustic and electric needs. Despite the initial skepticism, the line of Acoustasonic guitars got a warm welcome from consumers and sold very well.
The Jazzmaster American Acoustasonic belongs to Fender’s third wave of Acoustasonic hybrid acoustic-electric instruments. Simply stated, this is a hollow body guitar that offers the aesthetics of a Jazzmaster, along with versatility to bridge the gap between electric and acoustic guitars.
Who Is This For?
The Fender American Acoustasonic Jazzmaster is for the guitarist that wants the overall feel and sound of an electric working in tandem with the fullness and warmth of an acoustic guitar.
This instrument is for working musicians that demand an acoustic guitar that is capable of offering electric guitar sound as well. Additionally, the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster will also appeal to songwriters that want a professional instrument that is flexible.
The Fender Acoustasonic Jazzmaster reviewed here is a Tungsten model.
This guitar comes in four other colors: Natural, Tobacco Sunburst, Ocean Turquoise, and Arctic White. All five models come with an ebony fingerboard, identical materials and features, and cost precisely the same.
This American-made Acoustasonic Jazzmaster features a mahogany body with a Sitka spruce top and satin polyester body finish.
In our initial moments with the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster, it became evident that Fender prioritized having the feel and playability of their famous electric models on this Acoustasonic. This added a nice touch of familiarity to an instrument.
The neck on the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster features a Modern Deep C Plus profile with a 12-inch radius and 22 narrow-tall frets. Add to that the standard Fender 25.5-inch scale length for true Fender touch and feel on the entire neck.
As nice as the neck feels, the appeal of the entire Acoustasonic series relies on the electronics and hollow body. Here is where the acoustic-electric worlds combine to provide a wide array of sounds.
The Acoustasonic Jazzmaster features a Fender/Fishman-designed electronic system. It is composed of an under-saddle Fishman Matrix transducer pickup and a Fender Acoustasonic Shawbucker Humbucker. Fender also added a body sensor pickup (activated in position three) that is ideal for loops and percussive playing.
This combination provides a bit of both worlds: the acoustic guitar sound provided by the piezo located under the saddle as well as the electric method of capturing sound via the Shawbucker pickup.
The switching is done via a 5-way blade pickup switch that works in conjunction with one master volume knob and one blend knob. Each position features two different sound profiles, which are to be chosen via the Blend knob. You can either go for one of the two sounds available per position or blend them to your liking.
All of this is powered by a single 20-hour USB rechargeable battery with simultaneous charge and play.
For all our tests, we plugged the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster into a Roland JC-120 amp. We went straight for position 1 which engages the Shawbucker pickup. This humbucker pickup was designed by Fender’s Chief Engineer Tim Shaw.
As soon as we played a few licks, it became evident that the Shawbucker is a higher-output pickup. We moved the blend knob all the way counterclockwise to get the sound named 1A.
Here we got a nice clean tone that resembled an electric guitar. Adding some reverb, we played some open chords that rung and sustained nicely, making it a valid replacement for a clean electric guitar in a band situation.
We then turned the Blend knob counterclockwise to get more of a Jazzmaster snarl, with more gain and bite. To add some drive, we plugged in our trusty Tube Screamer pedal. We got a nice tone that can be used for a blues solo, with sustain that veers more on the side of an electric guitar than an acoustic.
We then moved on to position 2A (blend knob turned counterclockwise. Here we got to hear the tone of the Fishman Matrix under-saddle pickup in action. We were surprised to hear a balanced and well projected acoustic tone. It was quite a trip to be playing purely acoustic-type songs on a Jazzmaster-shaped body!
In position 2A we got some drive via the overdriven Shawbucker pickup. This particular position was useful for things like overdriven riffs and a bit of soloing.
Moving to position 3 we got a crisp acoustic tone that could fit well with solo songwriter material.
We really liked the sound added by the body sensor that is activated once in position 3. The Jazzmaster became more receptive to percussive hits, which could also be quite useful for songwriters and other solo performers that need that sensibility from their instruments.
Both positions 4A and 4B create acoustic sounds, the first of a larger body guitar and the second with a small body guitar. We preferred the sound right in the middle of these two. This middle-of-the-road acoustic guitar sound is a good choice for songwriters.
Finally, position 5A gets closer to the sound of a dreadnought acoustic while 5B feels a bit more appropriate for folk.
In all of our testing, good playability was present. This was especially helpful when dealing with acoustic sounds, as we could go up on the neck and still feel comfortable.
The ebony fingerboard is a joy to play and the neck had that familiar Fender feel all the way through.
Other Guitars To Consider
A more affordable Mexican-made Acoustasonic. The Player Telecaster features a mahogany body, Sitka spruce top, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, and magnetic/Piezo Pickups.
A fantastic hybrid guitar, the Godin Multiac Steel Hollow Body features a spruce top, mahogany neck and body, richlite fingerboard, LR Baggs Electronics, and Seymour Duncan pickup.
The Acoustasonic Jazzmaster is a useful choice for those that seek to integrate electric and acoustic sounds all in one instrument.
From songwriters to gigging guitarists that want a nice professional guitar that does it all, the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster offers good tone, versatility, and playability at a fair price.