I was just in one of the big box music stores, lets call it Bass Center, and played two different SVM Jazz Basses (Natural finish) there and they are noticeably, and audibly, different. Here is what I can tell changed between 2012 and 2013 models:
- Satin-finished neck on 2012, Vintage stained Poly on 2013
- Duncan-designed pups on 12, Fender-designed on '13
- "Duncan-designed" on '12 pup cover, blank on Fender-designed.
- No sunburst finish in '13 lineup
Sound-wise, the '13 was a much hotter and punchier bass. The '12 sounds quite vintage next to it. I was a little surprised at that. You'd think they were two different basses. Upon further inspection, the Fender-designed pickups have a larger pole than the Duncan-designed ones, which would explain the sound difference. They weren't Quarter-pounder sized, but bigger than the '12 for sure. Possibly a different magnet also, but I haven't been able to confirm. The '12 is suppose to have Alnico Vs in it.
I pulled the trigger on the '12 because it played better. I liked the look of the vintage poly finished neck of the '13, but it just didn't have the mojo. Don't get me wrong, it sounded good, just did not play as well to me as the '12.
All the reviews out there about how great this bass is obviously are for pre-2013 models. Curious to see how the new ones stack up under public scrutiny.
Keep it thumpin'