What's Hot With Jazz Guitar: Peerless Jazz City evaluation

by Doc Dosco

This week we feature an evaluation on the new Peerless Jazz City model by my guitar buddy and blues guitar phenom Scott Detweiler. Both Scott and I have been endorsing these guitars for over a year now and I love them. Two models I really like are the Monarch - solid spruce top, maple sides and back with a floating pickup and the Jazz City - solid maple top, maple sides and back and one inset pickup.

Both guitars are very reasonable for a solid wood guitar, just a bit over $1000. The workmanship, tone and playability on these guitars is amazing and they really stand up well against any $2000 plus jazz guitar on the market. A more detailed pictorial look at the Jazz City and Monarch can be found at The Jazz Guitar Zone

I will do the Monarch review myself next time but for now I will let Scott give his impressions on the Jazz City.

by Scott Detweiler


Model: Jazz City

Style: Archtop Cutaway

Top: Solid Flame Maple

Back & Sides: Flame Maple

Neck: Maple

Finger Board: Rosewood

Finger Board Inlay: Segmented Rectangle

Finish: Sunburst (no shine)


The Peerless Jazz City is a unique jazz guitar, to say the least, for many reasons. From the warmly articulate sound of its tone, to the "no shine" finish and exaggerated headstock, it brings a regal breath of fresh air to the world of true jazz instruments.


When unplugged, the voice of this guitar is warm, as previously stated, and almost has an acoustic guitar-like tone. The absence of any coats of lacquer on the body of the guitar and neck give it a truly wooden and natural sound. In fact, the body has a light and wooden feel, just like many of the classic American jazz guitars from half century ago.

When plugged in, the guitar does, of course, project sustain, however, its natural qualities give it more of a pronounced and articulated sound. This is especially evident when playing quick runs of 8th and 16th notes.

This is a hollow body guitar without any problems with feedback.

"Wood" would have to be the key word for the Jazz City because it also has a wooden floating bridge and a solid wood tailpiece. The guitar truly sounds like "wood".

I like the sound of the single pick-up. I turn up the tone as high as it will go and that gives me the "bite" I need when I am playing my fast rhythm chords with my band. I reduce the treble when I am soloing.

The headstock of the guitar that holds the tunings pegs is absolutely one of the most amazing features about the appearance of the guitar. This is because of the fact that it is larger than most guitars (it is larger than any guitar that I have seen) and it even has a golden knob piece as an ornament at its crown.

The Grover tuning pegs, which seem to be a standard on so many of the Peerless guitars, are another great feature about the guitar because of how well they hold the tune.

The body is well balanced and very light, in comparison with most electric guitars. One reason is because of the fact that it has a single neck pick-up, as opposed to having a neck pick-up and a bridge pick-up. This means also that there are a reduced number of knobs (of which there are only two: tone and treble) and no pick-up switch. The other reasons would be related to the already mentioned fact that it does not have the coats of lacquer, and, lastly, that the bridge is made of wood and that there is no tremolo.

The neck plays well and can be compared to the playing of a nice acoustic guitar.

With Peerless, it is always evident that a tremendous amount of love and care goes into the crafting of their instruments, and this instrument is no exception.


Right out of the box, I found the action (the distance between the strings and the fingerboard) to be very comfortable for my playing. However, I am in the habit of taking my new guitars to Brett, at NORIK RENSON Guitar Shop (in Studio City) to have it set up and have everything checked out, but all in all, it was ready to play as soon as it got here.

I also changed the strings to .011, .014,.018,.028, .038, and .049.

I like to play this guitar. One of the great features about its playability is the way that it can be finger picked with ease. This is ideal for playing jazz chords in the rhythm section of songs.

Of course, I still play with a flat pick for most of the time.


This is one of the most unique guitars that I have ever seen or played. It is a great guitar and I will be using it for the next concert that I play.

I will also be using the Jazz City in future studio recordings.

Scott Detweiler on the web at http://www.detweilermusic.com

Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar' columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc now endorses Peerless Guitars and has the website Jazz Guitar Zone to help promote Peerless jazz guitars in the US. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

Related Article:
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