Today I have something very special for you – the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster! This axe quickly became one of my favorites. Of course, all photos and demos visible below are mine.
The truth is that it’s one of the coolest mid-level offset guitars that you can find on the market right now. It has everything you need – the looks, the sound and the vibe.
It’s not flawless though. There’s a few things that you should be aware of and I’m gonna describe them in today’s review. I’ll try to make this review unbiased, but you have to know that I REALLY like that axe.
Let’s start with a quick sound demo (yeah, I love reverb).
The Return Of The King
Squier used to make these guitars from 2010 to 2021. For some reason they decided to completely stop the production during the covid era.
Why? No idea.
But it seems that someone realized that this iconic model needs to be back on the market. So as of 2023, it’s available again! And after I got it, I also recorded a video review and sound demo.
Unboxing – Quick Delivery, Safe Packaging
I bought this Squier from Thomann (if you’re from the EU you probably recognize that name). The delivery was very fast, so shoutout to this music store for making life easy! If you want to get it for yourself, feel free to use that link.
I took the picture visible above on the day that this package arrived. You can’t see my face on that photo but you have to believe me that I was extremely excited during that moment. I even spilled some coca-cola on the floor but it didn’t even matter.
Let’s start with the pickups! For the record, these are not the P90s – just the regular Jazzmaster single coils. And they’re versatile as hell. Like honestly, the versatility of that axe is out of this dimension.
Just like any other ‘real’ JM, this axe is also equipped with rhythm and lead circuits. See that tiny black switch on the photo? That’s how you switch between these modes.
The lead circuit is bright and chimey, so it’s perfect for solo parts. The rhythm circuit sounds fuller, so it’s ideal for rhythm guitarists. Or maybe it’s just me? You can do whatever the hell you want with it!
I actually prefer using the lead circuit 24/7 and I usually use the rhythm one as a kill switch. It’s super useful when you’re on stage.
Of course, there’s also a vintage tremolo which is a crucial part of any guitar like Jazzmaster. Can you imagine a JM without a trem system? Me neither.
When it comes to sound, the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster sounds just AWESOME. Like really awesome. No matter whether you’re into clean or fuzzy tones, you won’t be disappointed.
I honestly can’t wait to try this out on stage with my band. The Jaguar used to be my go-to-guitar for live shows but I have a feeling that this Jazzmaster will be even better for that. I’ll keep you posted!
Here’s a few sound samples that I recorded for you.
Overall if I had to rate the build quality out of 10 in terms of what I paid, I’d probably give this guitar a 9 out of 10. I know that it may seem suspicious but guys, I’m VERY happy with that model.
Why 9 instead of 10? Well, there’s always room for improvement. It could be a bit cheaper, right? But to be honest there’s not too much to complain about.
Who Will Love It?
If you’re a Jazzmaster and Jaguar nerd like me, you will most definitely notice the beauty of this Squier. This axe is seriously better than some of the Fenders that I used to have in the past.
And the cool thing is that you don’t really need to be a fan of J Mascis to enjoy that guitar. You can actually hate his music and you will still like his signature model. Just saying.
It blows my mind that this guitar was made in China. I used to think that guitars from that region are total crap. But I guess that they really stepped up their game 🙂
So far I had it only for a few days so it’s tough for me to say more about the maintenence of that guitar. Come back in a few months and I’ll give you an update (or if you’re reading this in 2024 or 2025, hit me up on Instagram and I’ll tell you more – the links are under the article).
I suppose that it will be pretty much the same as in other electric guitars of this type. I’ll probably change the strings, because I usually use 10s or 11s. Normally this model has 9-42 strings which is okay, but not necessarily for me.
Is shimming the neck necessary? Probably not, but it’s up to you. I think it’s more than fine without it.
Is It Worth The Money?
Although the price might be slightly different depending where you live, I got my J Mascis model for a reasonable amount of cash. For that price, I’d say yeah, it’s worth the money.
Ideally it could be a bit cheaper (at least $50 or $100 less would be on point). But to be honest it doesn’t really matter. The setup was nice so visiting the luthier is not necessary at this point.
So if you’re worried that it’s overpriced, don’t worry bro. You could potentially get a Classic Vibe JM for a more reasonable price but you’d have to do the full setup anyway, so it would probably cost even more.
Is Setup Necessary?
The biggest problem with new guitars is that they usually sound like crap after unboxing. You probably know what I’m talking about – buzzing, etc.
But for some reason, the setup issues aren’t happening here. That’s a good thing, right?
I used to think that Squiers from China are bad but this model totally changed my mind. It’s pretty much ready to go and it doesn’t require any extra work.
Maybe I was just lucky? Who knows. I’ll wait for your comments to hear more about your experience.
Final Thoughts on Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster
Guys, I said it before and I’ll say it again – this is a killer guitar. No matter whether you’re a complete guitar noob or a guitar nerd like me, you will notice the uniqueness of that model.
Rock music? Sure. Indie? Yep. Jazz? Sure, why not! This guitar can do it all and it’s a fact.
The best thing is that I just can’t think of anything better at this price level. Sure, you can pay a bit more to get a Mexican-made Fender, but will it be better? I doubt it.
Thanks for checking out my little review! Hopefully it was helpful. If you decide to get this JM for yourself, let me know in the comments down below or hit me up on Instagram, I wanna know what you think about it.