EMG unmasks Jim Root’s new Fender signature Jazzmaster

(Image credit: Instagram: EMG Pickups)

There are few things we can say about Fender’s new Jim Root signature electric guitar for certain, except that, courtesy of EMG’s Instagram page, we have photographic proof that it exists, and it looks like the Slipknot guitarist has tooled himself up with another weapons-grade Jazzmaster.

Having leaked the image, it’s no surprise this Jazzmaster has a pair of EMG humbuckers, which are set to be Jim Root signature models. By the looks of them, they’ll be a Root-approved take on the Retro Active line - our money is on a modified Hot 70 set, with a ceramic magnet in the bridge humbucker and an Alnico 5 in the neck.

The previous Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster was a piece of industrial minimalism. It had no fret markers, a neat little hardtail string-through-body bridge, and a set of active EMG 60/81 humbuckers in neck and bridge respectively.

This new model of course shares that classic offset silhouette - and will no doubt also have a compound radius fingerboard and locking tuners, while the bridge looks the same - but it looks as though it has a few 1960s vintage touches to speak of. Which is nice. Did you know Jim Root is a big Beatles fan?

Finished in Arctic White, Root’s 2019 model reprises some classic 1960s features, such as the mid-'60s neck binding and the pearloid block inlay that graced the Jazzmaster fretboard from 1966 onwards.

But look closely: are those strap-locks? Is that headstock a little smaller than the oversized Fender headstock on his previous Jazzmasters? Interesting.

Stay tuned - we'll have more information as and when it arrives, most likely come January time if EMG's #namm2020 hashtag is anything to go on. Fender and Jim Root have thus far played their cards close to their chest. Well, Mr Root has a lot on.

Slipknot are currently touring the US. Their sixth studio album, We Are Not Your Kind, is out 8 August through Roadrunner. You can pre-order it here.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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