Jim Root's third signature model with Fender has a strong case for being his best yet in a 20-year relationship with the company; his new EMG signature pickups being a significant factor. A new neck with a 12" fingerboard radius instead of 9.5" is certainly not to be overlooked either.
Jim's previous Jazzmaster had no fretmarkers, so he's gone all out with block inlays this time. There's Luminlay fluorescent side dots too.
“The Jazzmaster V4 is kind of like an evolution,” Root said. “It is so well balanced and feels so good to play on stage. It is all I want to play right now. It’s all about attitude—taking [a guitar] and making it your own.
"So much attitude can come from a vibe or a feeling or a notion – that vibe with this instrument is what got me to love guitars.”
The stunning simplicity of the polar white satin finish on a mahogany slab body certainly gets our vote.
Root's signature EMG pickups are Daemonum open-coil actives. They were released after a three-year development with both the bridge and neck pickups in the set utilising stud poles in both coils.
Root's previous EMG set of choice was the classic 81/60 combo James Hetfield favoured. He settled on a set of modified Retro Active pickups.
The neck pickup uses ceramic studs giving it a clean high-end 'percussive' tone. The bridge pickup has black steel poles and features a ceramic magnet, like the EMG 81. Both pickups feature custom Retro Active preamp models that are exclusive to the Root set.
That 12-inch bound ebony fingerboard features jumbo frets and there's none of the traditional Jazzmaster calling cards; no vibrato, rhythm circuit or tone control.
Here only the essentials get to stay: a volume control, three-way switch and a hardtail bridge.
The Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 is priced at £1,139.99.