jazz build body

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bstime58, Jan 25, 2014.


  1. bstime58

    bstime58

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    I'm currently doing a jazz bass build. I'm a little hung up on choosing bodies right now. As of right now I can purchase a 70's RI MIM for about $220.00, a Geddy MIM body for about $250.00 or a USA 74RI for about $700.00. I would like to have 70's pup spacing, Alder and in solid black. All the research I've done tells me that the MIM bodies are more multi pieced and laminated compared to the more resonate higher quality USA 2 or 3 piece bodies. I know most would say just go MIM because you won't notice a difference. I would really like to do this right the first time. I cannot find any info on the GL body. Is it of a higher standard? They say it is an exact replica of Geddy's jazz right? Is the body laminated and multi, multi pieced? Been researching for hours and cannot find a thing. Also does anyone know if the cheaper MIM 70's RI bodies are made of better quality Alder woods and resemble the original 2-3 piece non laminated 70's construction? Anyone have any info on this? I could always go USA but sure would be nice to save $500.00. All the replacement companies (allparts and warmoth) are about 3-4 weeks out and about $500.00 to $600.00 with the special order 70's pup spacing.
  2. Mr.Fingers

    Mr.Fingers

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    Kalmthout, Belgium (Europe)
    If it's a solid color, you can be quite sure that the US will be of multiple pieces of wood as well, and if it's a transparant color, the MiM will be, like the US, of 2 or 3 nicely matched pieces of wood (especially the ones from the "Classic"-series, since they're the top-of-the-line model of Mexico).

    As for the "vintage correctness", the GL-signature is loosely based on his original. Basic specs are correct, but it will have some "cut corners", like some routings that are different in shape, different radii of the rounded edges, etcetc. Most certainly not a 1-on-1 copy (can't be done for that price). I think it's a safe bet to say the MiM 70's and MiM Geddy bodies are exactly the same, and only the used hardware (pickguard/bridge/pickups) differ.

    Laminated bodies aren't being used anymore, they were until 10 years-ish ago (in the US and Mexico alike), and they weren't laminated in the true sense of the word. It was that the (solid) pieces of wood were non-grain matched, and they glued a thin veneer on top/back, so it had an attractive pattern on it. They are recognisable because the sunburst on them have a black colored tummy- & elbow cut.

    For sonic qualities... I would doubt if you would hear the difference, especially since all bodies (vintage seventies, US seventies, MIM seventies, Geddy) are coated in a fairly thick layer of polyester finish.
  3. bstime58

    bstime58

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Thanks for the info! How about the likely chances of a MIM body being a dud more than USA body? Or is this just a older tale? I have read a lot about the quality of Mex guitars improving greatly over the past 10 years. I really thought from my research that Mexico is still currently using laminates?
  4. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    In my experience I have found quite the contrary on the MIM basses I've owned. The wood in far more inferior on te recent basses compared to the what I've had on older models. I'm sure it can vary from bass to bass and model to model, but I were you I'd go with US made or aftermarket for the kind of $ it looks like you're willing to spend.
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  6. Mr.Fingers

    Mr.Fingers

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    Kalmthout, Belgium (Europe)
    If the woodgrain being (aesthetically) mismatched is in your book "a dud", than the chances are indeed SLIGHTLY bigger that it happens on a MiM body (and more in the MiM Standard, less in the Classic & roadworn-series) than on the US... But since you're going for black, that's not an issue. But apart from that, I can't really see how a body can be a dud, so it's safe to say that's an older tale. Laminates (solid pieces of mismatched wood, with a thin veneer on front & back for a nice grain) aren't used frequently anymore. I guess only on the cheapest model, the "Mexico Standard". I have a Mexican classic '60 from 2006, and that's a solid piece of wood (2 pieces of alder, nicely jointed, no veneering, no funky routes beneath the pickguard,...). And don't forget, the "art of masking" ugly pieces of wood was already done in the sixties. In the mid sixties, non-matched pieces of alder (up to 6 in one body) were covered up with a non-transparant burst, the target burst, as can be seen on this 1966 P-bass.
  7. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    I had a recent Classic 60's J and it was one of the worst bodies I've ever owned. Dead as a door nail!!
  8. bstime58

    bstime58

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    That makes sense. I think I'll take my chances on the 2012 MIM 70's RI body for the money I'll save.
    Thanks for the help!
  9. bstime58

    bstime58

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Seems guys here are supporting the "dud" factor in MIM bodies. I have read a lot about inferior wood being used on Jazz bodies. Sure would like to know the exact make up of these bodies...
  10. Michael Jewels

    Michael Jewels

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2000
    Location:
    Queens, N.Y.(Near JFK Airport)
    Bstime58, you already mentioned Warmoth, why not look through their unrouted Jazz bodies?

    I'm not 100% sure, but I think if you buy an unrouted body from them, they'll route the pickups wherever you want.

    I just went there, and chose an alder Jazz body, with jazz pickups, and a black finish for $380.

    The one thing I would not do is rush; take your time and think this out at length.

    Know what you want, and then get it.

    By the way, I'm thinking of doing a custom build too.

    Good luck.

    Mike
  11. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
  12. bstime58

    bstime58

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Thanks for the info! I have been working on this build for over a month now. I hear ya on taking your time. I want to get this right for sure. I'll check into that Warmoth thing for sure..
  13. BassMan99

    BassMan99

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester
  14. bstime58

    bstime58

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    That proves the whole more than 3 piece with a veneer thing. I would imagine things are done the same in 2012 and up bodies. That's what I was looking for. They may have a higher quality body on a signature bass but I don't know if it's worth a chance. I sure would rather KNOW for sure then having to strip it to find out. Think I'm gonna try a contact fender for facts as well.
    Thanks!

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