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1990 vs 2010 Fender jazz question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by krstko, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    I am buying a first high quality bass. I was in a music store and I tried Fender USA standard jazz, 2010. It sounded awsome, neck felt good,..
    I'm a bit short on cash so I'm looking for used one. I found a nice Fender jazz usa for 700eur, but It's too far away for me to go there and try it. That bass is 1990 and I wonder, are there many differences between this two basses? :)
  2. Bunyo


    Jan 6, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I believe that Fenders after 2008 are much better than from 90'. There was some improvement in the basses, like different bridge laquer and finishing.
  3. They are different but that does not mean better. I know the general thought is that 2008 and higher are better Fender products but I don't necessarily fall into that camp. I think that Fender has always had a fairly decent US product. The differences are that the newer one will have : a high mass bridge, lightweight tuners, thinner finish.

    I am not really familiar of the specs of the 1990. I believe the bridge will be string through body only. I am not sure if the neck had a satin or gloss finish or graphite support. I want to say that it didn't.

    Personally I really like what the corona factory was making when they first opened so I would probably lean towards the 1990 model. I wish I knew more about those early specs to help you out. If I was at my house I probably could look it up.
  4. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    Other than some specifications here and there being changed between 1990 and to the present, in regards to American Standard J-Basses; which off the top of my head I can't list all of them at the moment, both instruments will be more similar than vastly different. They made some good J-basses in 1990 as well as leading up to the present.

    I tend to judge individual instruments by the sum their parts so to speak, in terms of playability and tone more so than any year to year changes that have occurred over time to a particular model.
  5. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    I had a Fender American Standard Jazz from 1991. It was a good bass, but there are significant differences between that model and the current issue. Some of those differences?

    The 1990 will probably have these features: a longer/larger upper horn (essentially the body shape is different); a 21 or 22 fret neck; skunk stripe on the back of the neck; strings anchored only at the bridge. Here's an old pic of mine:


    The more current version has more of a vintage style body shape; 20 fret neck (no skunk stripe); high mass vintage bridge which can anchor strings traditionally or through the body.
  6. JP Morin

    JP Morin

    Mar 15, 2011
    I may be wrong, but also I think that they now put reinforcement graphite rods in their necks now, for better stability, which they didn't in the 90's...

    But I had a sunburst MIA J from the 90's for a couple of years, without these reinforcement rods or high mass bridge and she was pretty stable and good sounding... I missed that bass...

    It's better to buy a bass that you can try IMO, a couple of extra buck to be sure to have what you want may worth it... fender basses have a good resell value...
  7. That's right! I forgot about that. The early American standards had that longer top horn. They are known as the boner bass. They are probably very nice but I never cared for the look of them.
  8. sanderic


    Jun 3, 2011
    I Happen to own a 92 American Jazz bass, and a 97 American Standard Jazz bass. Both good basses, but I prefer the 97. The 92 does not have string through body bridge or graphite rods in the neck. That started in the late 90s (my 97 has the graphite rods). If the 90 model is stock, it will have a TBX tone control ( a matter of taste whether you like that or not), and will have strat style knobs. I think the string through body bridge and the graphite supported neck make the newer one a better instrument, but that does not mean the 90 is a bad instrument.
  9. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    Are there any big differences in sound? I really like the flexibility of 2010 I tryed. From warm vintage tone to pure slap punch :D are older model that good too?

    As I see here it's worth saving few extra bucks and get newer model for lets say 900eur (and keep in mind I'm gonna use it for the next 10 years or longer)
  10. sarlscharisma


    Nov 6, 2007
    A lot of fuss is made about the 2008 US Jazz model. I have had 1999 model, 70s model, '75 reissue model and now a 2008 - all USA.

    The '75 blew all away on sound, build quality and action. A great bass.

    70's model - rubbish on all counts!

    1999 vs 2008 - decent basses, but I would say I preferred the build quality and neck of the 1999. Not much difference in sound between the two. I personally think the 2008 overrated and just as good basses were made late 90's to noughties.

    You can't beat trying before you buy as no two basses are ever alike in sound and feel. But once you have 'that' bass don't ever part with it! I did this with the '75 and regretted it.
  11. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    id put my 1998 MIA against any of today's MIA standards.


    in 2008 they did upgrade a few things like the lighter tuners and high mass bridge, and the finishing they used. but quality is the same IMO, the techniques are what changed.
  12. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    I already had the bass that was best for me but I left it, now way I can afford a new Fender jazz :/
    And also It's inpossible for me to try my future bass because I'm buying on ebay and sites like that :/
  13. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    They revamped the spec in 94. 94-99 was a golden era. Through the 2000s were pretty good. The 08 stuff is good, but I still prefer late 90s. 80s and early 90s were not a great time for the basic J.
  14. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    Looks like I'm into selling my curent bass ;)
  15. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    now that I know everything about the bass itself I want to get something about the tone. Will older jazz have same punch, will it be softer with less treble,...? :)
  16. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    to me, older pickups sounds different than newer ones.
    i think it has something to do with the magnetic wire loosing and changing over time. i think older pickups tend to have a more balanced sound and the ability to have a wider range of options. from my own experiences.

    ...or maybe its a mind trick.
  17. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    well .. sound or not, I already bought it xD
  18. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    I would go for the 2010. I am sure improvements have been to basses since the 1990's as others have mentioned.
  19. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    The graphite inlays alone on the modern necks were a major improvement. Go with the 2010.
  20. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    You can't go wrong with the 2010 jazz.

    Here's my 2008 blizard pearl mia standard jazz bass:.



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