Lee Ranaldo Jazzmaster

It is impossible to overstate the impact that Sonic Youth have had on modern music or pop culture. Sure their “hits” don’t get played as much as their alterna/indie brethren/proteges yet they have endured and reinvented themselves countless times. Crafting hook-laden chaos that is engaging, enjoyable and relevant. They taught us to break from rote-rock cliches, to abandon pentatonic scales and to embrace spontaneity, pushing past boundaries or bluring them beyond recognition. Above all they taught us every piece and part of our gear and our signal chain has the potential to be an instrument and should explored.

The band blended the catharsis of punk rock or a Jackson Pollack painting and fused it with the concepts of John Cage and LaMonte Young then brought it into existence on equipment suited to their needs. Never afraid to tamper with the guitar, replacing parts or making unconventional modifications by incorporating “prepared piano” techniques used by avant-garde composers.

Sonic Youth opened ears and record collections of so many to experimental sounds and artists. Even 30 years after they formed their ethos has found its way into all manner of music, art and culture, often in very indirect ways. To exemplify the legacy Fender has crafted a pair of signature guitars. One for each of their guitarists, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo.

So here we have the Lee Ranaldo Signature Jazzmaster from Fender. This is a brand new guitar from 2010. Plastic & tags still on it. All the goodies included inside the hard case. Detailed specifications are below. Much like the J. Mascis Jazzmaster, I would tell anyone who scoffs at the notion of celebrity-player themed guitars to sit down with one of these. The alternations from a stock Jazzmaster  have made it something special. The feel and the sound are truly unique. Build quality is exceptional. I personally like to have a have a lot of tonal options so the thought of missing out on all the typical switches and knobs gave me some pause. But the clarity of those tele-deluxe pickups and the overall integrity of the guitar itself translates well to any decent amp. Varying techniques and modes of attack come across. The perfect conduit for creative expression.

  • Series: Artist Series
  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple, “C” Shape, (Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish)
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood, 7.25″ Radius (184 mm)
  • No. of Frets: 21 Vintage Style Frets
  • Pickups: 2 New Fender “Wide Range” Humbucking Pickups Re-Voiced to Original Vintage Spec, (Neck/Bridge)
  • Controls: Master Volume, Pickup Switching, 3-Position Toggle:
  • Position 1. Bridge Pickup
  • Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups
  • Position 3. Neck Pickup
  • Bridge: American Vintage Jazzmaster Tremolo with Mustang Bridge and Tremolo Lock Button. Uses U.S. Jazzmaster Tremolo Arm
  • Machine Heads: Fender/Gotoh Vintage Style Tuning Machines
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Pickguard: Black Anodized Aluminum
  • Unique Features: Satin Lacquer Finish, Satin Black Painted Headstock, Single Master Volume with Black Speed Knob, Mustang Style Bridge,
  • Re-Voiced Wide Range Humbucking pickups, Black Anodized Aluminum Pickguard
  • Strings: Fender Standard Tension ST250R, Nickel Plated Steel,
  • Gauges: (.010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046), (P/N 0730250206)
  • Accessories: Standard Black Hardshell Case, Strap, Cable, Sonic Youth ‘Zine, Special Jaguar/Jazzmaster String Set
  • Case: Standard Black Hardshell Case.

Price: $1650
Manufacturer: Fender
Voltage: n/a
Dimensions: Scale Length: 25.5" (648 mm). Width at Nut: 1.650" (42 mm)
Color: blue/black