It's a new bass for me. I bought it second hand from a fellow TB-er here who owned it for about two months. For all intents and purposes, its as good as new - he took exquisite care of it.
So ... what's all the hullabaloo about these new 2012 Am Standards? When I had read that the new 2012s were "new and improved" I honestly scoffed a little. I mean, since 2008, Fender Corona has been pumping out fantastic Standards almost without fail - a big comeback for Fender in many opinions here on TB. My main bass for the last 3 years has been the 2008 Am Std Precision you see in my avatar above. I've written about it before: best bass ever. One of those rare beauties that feels right in every way. (And, for the record, haven't played a P-Bass before or since that I like better or even as much!)
I've owned a total of 5 Jazz basses in my 30 year playing career. My first "real" bass was a 1993 Fender Boner Jazz bass (sold), I've had a Geddy Lee jazz since 2006 (still have), a 1999 American Deluxe (sold) and a Custom Shop Jazz (sold). This one is the best of them all.
First of all - and most impressive - the neck is the best Fender neck I've ever played. The satin finish is subtle, not like an Ernie Ball, and feels instantly familiar. The frets are perfect and, like most USA Fenders since 2008, very well rolled. Again, picking up this bass and playing it is like discovering an old friend. I would put this neck right up there with the custom shop bass I had - and I thought that was the best neck I've ever played.
Secondly, the 60s custom shop pickups are voiced wonderfully. My guitarist last night said, "I say this about all your basses, but that one sounds the best." It cuts through like a jazz bass should, has enough growl, but with the perfect turn of the tone knob, can become as mellow as you may need. (Hard to get that out of the Geddy).
Third, the weight. One of the reasons I didn't mind selling my previous Jazz basses is because, compared to my awesome 2008 P-Bass, the weight felt much more of an issue than it probably was. Amazingly, without putting it on the scale, I think this Jazz weighs LESS than the P-bass. I don't know how they did it, but they did.
Finally, the finish. The pictures I am posting don't do it justice. (I will post more this weekend). The burst is amazing. No yellow in it - a perfect blend from transparent brown to red to black. And the gloss makes it pop. The wood matching is pretty good (I wouldn't say perfect, but darn good) and, much like the neck feels familiar, the look is instantly a classic.
I won't lie to you. I would say I am among the most finicky bassists on this forum. I think I sell, buy and trade for sport with the best of them. But, after 48 hours of ownership, I am feeling like this one may be a permanent part of the collection.
MORE PHOTOS ADDED IN RESPONSE #36 of this thread.
When it arrived:
With my daughter: