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Jaguar Bass question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JellinWellen, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    So I'm considering getting a fender jaguar bass, hot rod red w/ the red head-stock.

    The one I am looking at is a 2007 model, are these the deluxe jags and if so what is the difference between the older ones.

    Now I hate active electronics for the most part so I only plan on running it passive. Will it still be insanely noisy running it passive?

    The guy at the shop said it wasn't too noisy but I have my doubts. Thanks

    (for those of you wondering why bother just get a jazz? Not a lot of 70s pu spaced japanese jazzes out there besides the old GLs and 70s RI's, I also happen to like the look of the jag)
  2. PWRL

    PWRL Supporting Member

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    It shouldn't be very noisy on passive, no. At least mine wasn't. They can get noisy on active, until the grounding and shielding is improved, which is easy.
    The one I had was made before the "deluxe" models, so I'm not sure what the differences are.
  3. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    How were the pickups? I read some online stuff that said they were weak sounding.
  4. PWRL

    PWRL Supporting Member

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    They might have been a little weak, but I always played it in active mode, so I never gave the passive tone that much consideration. However, if you pick one up at a good enough price, it's often worth it to swap them out anyway.
  5. jacksonev94

    jacksonev94 Supporting Member

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    I have one, and while the active mode is very noisy when engaged, the passive mode is very quiet. There is a little bit of buzz with the tone knob opened all the way, but it's nothing too serious. The stock pickups sound good and are relatively high-output, but they can sound weaker on some settings.

    You should definitely pick up this bass if the price is right. It's my favorite instrument I've ever played, hands down. (I am a little biased, though. ;))
  6. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    I'm mainly interested in it because of the 70s jazz type config, the geddys and 70s are MIM now and Fender Japan quality has always been awesome.
  7. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest Supporting Member

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    The 2007 will be CIJ, as I have the same bass from 2006. Noise isn't a problem in most venues, especially running passive, but I'll update the shielding at some point. The Hot Rod Red isn't used in the MIA Jags; they went to CAR instead, and I don't think they are painting the headstocks anymore. If you find the bass to be noisy, the shielding upgrade is pretty easy to do. Mine got a bit noisy recently, but it was just the output jack.
  8. poorbassist15

    poorbassist15

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    I run mine exclusively passive with pups out of a fretless Squier. It's fairly quiet, and was stock. It's got a lot of bite to it.
  9. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    It's an older one.

    I would avoid this model for a number of reasons based on my bench experience with it.

    There's a great deal of misinformation here about the nature of the noise problems with these, which are unique in my experience and go beyond the noted shielding discontinuities that certainly do exist. You can get them to be quiet, but it takes more than the shielding repairs that people here typically go way, way overboard with.

    Even if you go passive and bypass the shoebox full of pig's breakfast electronics, the pickups on these are still pretty crappy, cheap ceramics that I understand have been upgraded on the later models.

    Seriously, there are much better choices, especially for a bass that will actually see gigging use. This was conceived as a novelty bass and though it's interesting as a concept instrument I don't see it as a very viable working bass.
  10. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    Better choices such as....?
  11. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    Almost any passive J-style bass with a more traditional neck, better pickups and without all the extraneous junk. I think you're probably overestimating the significance of the pickup spacing relative to other considerations. It's not anything I would personally concern myself with...but if that's a real deal-killer for you, then you'll just have to measure the other contenders.

    Putting up with the old Jaguar's manifold weirdnesses just to get the pickup spacing you want doesn't seem very sensible to me.
  12. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    +1 here

    I just unloaded mine, although I really liked playing it. I, like you, found myself only running it on Passive Mode, because the active mode was soooooo high output. At that point, you're pretty much just playing a noisier jazz bass, at least in my opinion. I also tried shielding cavities, etc. and could not get the majority of the noise out of it on active mode. When I opened the control plate on the active circuit, it was a complete mess of wiring. I've always been a huge advocate for CIJ Fenders, but that wiring was poorly done. Mine sounded awesome in passive mode, but not awesome enough to justify keeping it as a main player when I liked the weight and neck on my Geddy Lee Neck/American Jazz Body build quite a bit better. Plus, even passive, it still had some hum with the tone opened up.

    This is just my opinion based on my personal experience with the one I owned. I read tons of posts about this bass before jumping into it, and it was so split across the board. Best bet is to go all in if it's a good deal. Mine was a steal that I couldn't pass up. You may love it, you may hate it.

    One of my favorite bands has a bassist playing the exact model you're looking at and I absolutely love his tone when I see them live. Haha.

    I would try to play the one you're looking at buying first if at all possible. I had the CIJ Sunburst model without the matching headstock, with the vintage tint neck.

    Good luck!
  13. bunkmunk

    bunkmunk

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    +1 on the jaguar love and it being my favorite bass I've owned.

    Try it before you buy as it seems some people have had issues or it ultimately wasn't their cup of tea and it may not be yours. However, considering the reasons you're considering it, it seems right up your alley.

    I think they started calling it the "deluxe" model after releasing other "jaguar" basses on their squier and modern player operations but it is the same bass except for a little while back the bridge pickup was moved closer to the bridge but has recently been moved back to 70's spacing.

    I was going to use it on passive exclusively, but I like the character of it in active mode. The preamp in combination with the pickups gives a very clear, punchy, fat, responsive sound. I keep the bass knob at a level(pretty much flat) to where it doesn't change output when I switch from active to passive and adjust the treble to taste. The active switch kinda acts like a bright switch with that setting and you can warm it up with the passive tone control which works in active mode!

    It's ok to like the jaguar, by the way... it's your choice. I'm glad I picked up my '09 and I love it more than my stingray.
  14. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    The shielding will really only affect ESI. All the screwball overkill people here indulged in to deal with this part of the problem and all the pricey Stew-Mac copper foil hysteria was totally unnecessary and is based on a pretty broad misunderstanding of the relevant electronics. All that was necessary was to simply bridge a couple of discontinuities, a five-minute job.

    A remarkable amount of noise and buzz can come just from that screwy battery (non-) connection all by itself, but there's something extremely strange in the circuit wiring of these that generates such craziness as static through the pots if the connective wiring is in close enough proximity to them.

    After dealing with all this, the thing can be rendered about as quiet as most actives, but it just looks like nothing but problems to me. The original Jaguar guitars were notorious bench queens, and the slide switches and wheel pots on these look a lot less robust than the ones that caused all the service problems over forty years ago.

    John Whatshisname who built those beautiful custom Jaguars took some effort to remount controls in a way to make them less vulnerable, seeing the same potential problems with them as I do. I think he may have replaced a lot of the controls with better-quality stuff, too. I'm not sure.

    But the point is, why bother?

    If you're just a bedroom musician, none of this is a big deal. You can pose in front of a mirror with these things and look cool and that's all fine. If you bust a switch, so what? But if you've ever been a professional, touring musician (I have) you tend to look at complicated, vulnerable stuff like this with a certain amount of horror forever after. Simplicity and ruggedness are positive gigging virtues.

    The few guys in real acts I've seen who use these have all had them extensively reworked and have multiple backups and crew to service them.

    I just don't see it.
  15. Grissle

    Grissle Supporting Member

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    Ya they generally need a little help to go from OK to incredible! I agree the pups are cheap on the older models and the shielding was hit and miss. Once shielded they should be as quiet as any other single coil active/passive. The new models seem to have sorted these things out.
  16. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    Thanks for all the info everyone, I was mainly looking for a passive J that I wouldn't have to mod or replace parts so maybe this isn't the right path after all.
  17. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest Supporting Member

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    Offsetting the bits of extra maintenance is the fact that you bring 3-4 basses to the gig in the one case. :D

    I've gigged a 2006 (first batch - 2005 S/N) for a couple of years now. Toured too. Backup hasn't been needed, but it's a Carvin B50, since that one HAS to work.

    EDIT: should have said "maintenance and care in settings". I match my active settings in tone and level to the passive tone that I'll be in when I kick it on. Then I trim from there. No clip, no soundman deafness, no embarrassment.
  18. Justice4trance

    Justice4trance

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    Don't tell my wife this. My jaguar - red with matching headstock, mij, is actually the least love amongst my basses. I can't offload this cos it was my wedding gift.

    I only use it now, tone blend totally rolled off, bridge pickup on, the rest switches off, active switch on, both bass and treble sliders at minimum. I use a bass boost and a mid boost pedal to enhance and cut through. I kind of hate the onboard Pre amp of this bass.

    Think i will mod the electronics or find a really appropriate moment to tell my wife I really need to offload this for another bass
  19. PWRL

    PWRL Supporting Member

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    There are a couple great threads around here on good mods for the electronics on those things.

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