Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH ReviewJune 1, 2020
Squier’s Latest Guitar
The Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH is the latest guitar model released by Squier and is a ¾ sized version of the classic offset Jazzmaster model. There are three available body finishes – Daphne Blue, Olympic White and Surf Green.
I stumbled across the guitar browsing through Merchant City Music’s website, and was instantly impressed by the design and the price. As I hadn’t heard about this new model before, I went looking for some reviews online, but I couldn’t find out much information about the Mini Jazzmaster, other than the listing descriptions on retailer websites. There isn’t even a listing for the guitar on Squier’s website, and the online retailers only appear to be selling this in Europe (as of 1st June 2020).
Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH
The Squier Mini Jazzmaster is a ¾ sized guitar which is aimed at beginners and kids, or as a travel sized guitar. It is priced between £139 – £150 from the usual online music stores (I got mine from Merchant City Music which was £139 with free delivery).
The guitar was delivered with a shop setup and tuned up a half step to F Standard, with Nickel Plated Steel strings (.009-.042 Gauge). My first impressions were generally positive, the action suited my playing style and the neck was well adjusted. It didn’t take me long to become accustomed to the short scale length (22.75”) and the Mini Jazzmaster is very easy to play.
A negative point that stood out to me was the poor quality of the frets, which were very rough and could do with a quick file and polish. This has slightly improved after playing for a few hours however it is still quite noticeable when bending the E and B strings, which seem to catch and grind against the frets with a high-pitched squeal.
I mentioned that the guitar was tuned to F when it was delivered – I tried dropping down to Standard Tuning in E but found the intonation was poor, especially around the first couple of frets – however this improves in F. I’ve not yet tried using a higher gauge set of strings, although from reading some comments online and Youtube it is recommended to use 10s or 11s instead when playing short scale guitars. It seems odd that Squier would ship the guitar with 9s as standard.
The rest of the hardware is what you’d expect from a budget level guitar – the Squier Humbuckers do an acceptable job and I’ve had no issues with the tone or volume knob, which are easily adjustable, especially with the smaller body size. I found that some of the machine head tuners took a few extra turns to adjust the pitch, but they generally keep their tune well. Watch out for the strap pins, which are absolutely tiny. I was lucky to have a spare guitar strap which fit these well, however when I tried to use my trusty Jim Dunlop strap lock retainers, they easily slipped off.
I realise that much of this review has focus on the not-so-good parts. Rob Jones from The Guitar Manifesto channel on Youtube described this as ‘The Worst Guitar’ he has ever played. I’m not taking such a negative approach – I bought a cheap second-hand Stagg L250 Les Paul Jr copy from Gumtree last year, and the Mini Jazzmaster is better than that….
I recorded a quick demo of the Mini Jazzmaster – recorded straight into Garageband using a Motu Audio Express interface and some preset guitar amps:
If you’re looking for a beginner’s guitar, you could do a lot worse. That said, if you are not totally set on a short scale smaller sized guitar, I’d recommend buying something else. If you can stretch your budget a bit, then the Squier Affinity Jazzmaster series is a good alternative.
I wasn’t expecting anything great, especially given the budget price range but I can’t help feeling slightly disappointed in Squier for releasing this one. As always, with factory produced guitars there may be some less than perfect products that make it past QA. I’m hoping that the frets on mine are caused by this.
Despite my criticisms, I actually quite like the Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH. It’s got a great design, it’s easy to play and it’s nice and lightweight – ideal for a travel guitar. I’ll most likely modify the Mini Jazzmaster for some sort of project – check back later to see what I’ve done with it!
I’ve just discovered a review and mod of the Mini Jazzmaster by Home of Tone, and it looks brilliant!
Thanks for reading the first musical instrument review featured at Echoes in Audio. It’s definitely something we hope to continue! Are you thinking of picking up the Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH? Comment below and let us know!