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Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Zaffiro by Jarrett Guitars, The New "American Standard",... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $1,995.00 USD with case + shipping

Jarrett Guitars is a Manufacturer of handcrafted custom boutique American built electric guitars.   

This Zaffiro Player’s series has a solid maple cap with a Honduras mahogany chambered body that flows into a 25.5" scale one piece Honduras mahogany neck, dressed in a Macassar ebony fingerboard, warped in maple binding, featuring 22 jumbo frets, that is topped with a Tusq nut.  

Wilkinson machine heads, Resomax aluminum bridge by Graph Tech, 2 "speed knobs," Volume & Tone.

Seymour Duncan Custom Shop "Jarrettbuckers" Alnico 5 matching set with (1) volume  cts500k push/pull coil tap for both pickups, (1) cts500k tone and 3-way selector switch.


Amp used:
Bogner Alchemist

Cables used:

Dark Horse 10-46

Selector position 1: Just Neck
A very large warm "hollow body" neck, but crystal clear .

Selector position 2: Neck & Bridge 
A vintage "semi-hollow body" middle with hints of a LP. She sounded like BB's Lucille with an LP bridge. 

Selector position 3: Just Bridge  
More "solid body" sounding with a rounded "hollow body" bottom end.  

*This guitar is equipped with a push/pull volume knob for coil splitting. 

Action, Fit & Finish: 
The finish is a natural flamed maple with a mirror like shine, the action was very low without any fret buzz and the intonation was dead on. 

Reliability & Durability: 
The guitar seems to be well made no hum or crackles from the electronics all knobs and hardware installed snug and proper.  

This is the third guitar I have received from the Jarrett Guitar Company and just like the first two I was impressed. Unlike the other two, this guitar (the Zaffiro) is not like any other guitar that is available in today's marketplace -- but more like a combination of three others that most guitar players are familiar with.

To start she is beautiful! Jack Camarda (head luthier at Jarrett Guitars) and his team make some of the most eye catching, drop-dead gorgeous guitars I have ever seen. With Jarrett Guitars being a boutique shop -- every guitar is built “a la carte” so you are sure to get the look you want.  Now we all know that the drop-dead gorgeous ones are normally basket cases with no soul -- but you are getting the full package with a Jarrett.

So after checking her out -- it was time to put my fingers all over her. Her body is amazing! She has the familiar curves of a LP but with a fuller wider ass and shortened shoulder.  Her arch is slightly lower than an LP giving her more of a pot belly arch then a full hump, and her cutaway is on a deeper angle allowing me to reach all 22 frets without any hesitation. Her 25.5 “ scale thin flat “C” shape neck was a nice touch adding that inch of height to even out her wider bottom giving her balance with excellent weight distribution. This is by far the most comfortable small body guitar I have ever played.

Now looks and comfort are important -- but it all comes down to one thing -- can she sing? Yes she can and her voice was amazing. She has the depth of an ES339 with hints of that LP mean growl -- then with the pull-of-a-pot she becomes a thinline blacktop Strat. So all-in-all she has the body of a thick LP, the height of a Strat and the voice of a ES339 with hints of an LP, and when you "tap that coil" -- a thinline blacktop Strat.

What I would change:
Stock she is amazing -- but I would want (2) push-pull pots or (2) on-on-on switches giving me the ability to have many more tone combinations. 

My advice:
If you are looking for a small body blues/jazz guitar, the Jarrett Zaffiro is an amazing example of a quality American handcrafted guitar. This is the guitar I have chosen to demo amps & effects for Local Music Gear in all of 2013 because of her versatility, tone, pliability and quality of build. 

Jarrett Guitars, LLC.
606 Post Road East
Suite 525
Westport, Connecticut 06880

(P) 203 586-6179

Posted 04/2013