Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster Review & Prices

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster Review
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  • From Fender's 2019 American Ultra series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 10" to 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazzmaster (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazzmaster (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • American Professional Jazzmaster bridge
  • Ultra Modern D Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking (all short posts) tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 70
Sound 78
Build quality 75
Value for money 64
Overall Score 74
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Series Split Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $3120, which means that the Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster is around 26% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in United States.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster meets 7 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster Scale Length Comparison
Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster Neck Profile
Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's neck thickness is approximately 0.82'' (20.8mm) at the first fret, and 0.87'' (22.1mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Fender website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster Fretboard Compound Radius
Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster has a compound fingerboard radius of 10" to 14".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.65'' Nut Width
7.25'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster Nut Width
Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster Nut Width

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster has a nut width of 42.8mm (1.685''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster has 21 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster Fret Size Comparison
Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 60
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
Playability 70

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Alder Body: This is a lightweight type of wood that was popularized by Fender. According to them, it's a wood that offers a balanced tone but that favors the upper midrange slightly.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fender. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's configuration is SS. This is the classic Telecaster configuration and it's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Series Split option. Some pickups will be wired in series (the ground wire of one is connected to the hot wire of the other). This is how Humbuckers are usually connected, so you can expect a fuller sound with more output than two single-coils connected in parallel.

Diagram

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Jazz or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 60
Versatility 78
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 78

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

Bridge

American Professional Jazzmaster: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 51
Features 80
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 75

All Specs

Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster
General
Brand: Fender
Year: 2019
Configuration: SS
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: American Ultra
Colors: Sunburst, Blue, Brown Burst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: American Professional Jazzmaster
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking (all short posts)
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: White Pearloid Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Ultra Modern D
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.82'' (20.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.87'' (22.1mm)
Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 10" to 14"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 42.8mm (1.685'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Bell
Pickup Mods: Series Split
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 2
Bridge Pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazzmaster (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazzmaster (Single Coil / Passive)

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