Jazz Bass 2002 or new one.
I'm planning to buy a Jazz Bass to replace my basic Ibanez.
I am considering buying a new 2012 model (3-color Sunburst) priced at 1229 EUR (+-1641 USD) or a second hand 2002 model 800 EUR (+-1080 USD).
Some advice would be very helpful since I can't seem to find any reviews of the 2002 model.
My budget allows buying the new one, but if the difference is minor I'd probably get the used one.
Were there any significant hardware upgrades since then?
Thanks in advance.
It was called the American series in 2002.
Since summer-2008, it's been the American Standard series.
Lighter tuners, generally higher quality buildwork, and IMO better pickups are what separate the '08+ American Standards from the predecessors. In 2003 until 2007, the American series also had an S-1 switch (series/parallel) which was ill received.
I'd go for the 2012.
Generally, the fretwork is excellent on the 2008 and newer American Standards.
Don't the 2012 models and later have Custom Shop pickups?
I've got an 2004 "American Series" (before they went back to calling them "American Standard") Precision, and a 2012 "American Standard" Precision.
Both are great basses - I really have no complaints about either of them - including the '04. The hardware is great on both (tuners and bridge). The '04 tuners are a little beefier than the 'lighter weight' tuners on the '12 (I think they're actually made by Hip Shot, with the "F" stanp on them) but they're not heavy at all. The fit and finish is also great on both. Actually the '04 is probably better in that category if I really had to chose, although it's got a lot more finish-wear now, a lot of miles on it.
The '04 is a touch heavier, but I'd definitely say it's still a lightweight. The '12 is probably 9 lbs, at the very most, and the '04 is just enough heavier to notice.
Sound-wise, I actually re-wired the '04 to by-pass the S-1 switch. I could see it possibly being a handy feature on the Jazz, but on the Precision it made it sound a bit castrated and gutless, so I never used it anyway. Accidently engaged it during a gig, and couldn't figure out for the life of me what happened.
So in a straight up tonal comparison, if I run them both wide open (without the tone rolled back) the 2004 barks a bit more, and seems to have a grittier and more aggressive edge. The 2012 (with the supposed 'custom shop' pickup) seems to have a bit of a cleaner punch and is a little less heavy in the mids (but definitely not scopped). But at the end of the day both sound like Fender Precision basses, lol. Not a ton of difference between the two.
I know I'm talking about Precisions and you're looking at getting a Jazz, but hopefully this helps you out a bit.
The newer models also have the high mass bridge. I have a 2003, and it's an excellent bass, but IMO the newer ones are better on average. The biggest improvement might be the lower average weight. The lighter tuners are part of this, but I believe the bodies are usually lighter too. I have a 2008 Jazz V, and it weighs no more than my fours.
If you can try the 2002 first, that would be great. You might find a real gem. If, however, you do not have that opportunity, get the 2012.
there will be good and bad in pretty much every year class, try it and see if it speaks to you, if not...move on to the next one. I have an '06 thats fantastic, havent heard or played a newer one yet that made me want it more than my '06.
I faced the same opportunity when buying my new p-bass. I bought it new from guitarcenter for $1200usd instead of from fender for $1800usd and I'm really glad I did. If I'm right, it should come with a case, cable, wrenches, clothes, and a strap. There's nothing quite like that new bass smell and being able to make your own memories.
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