5 basses in mind. Which one to get??? Details inside.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rock&Roll, Jul 21, 2002.

  1. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    Hello there. Here's my first post. :)

    I currently employ a J.B. Player "Sledgehammer" P-bass copy. Don't let the name, or the Korean origin, lead your thoughts. In reality, I scored a good bass for cheap. It sounds very very nice, especially considdering the less than $270 price tag it carried when I bought it 6 years ago. Flatwounds are critical though. (That might be just me though)

    Anyhow, I really could use a second guitar for good measure. I am considering these basses:

    Fender - American Jazz bass
    Fender - Mexican Standard Jazz bass (not squire)
    Fender - 60's Jazz bass (mexican)
    Epiphone - EB-3
    Epiphone - Thunderbird IV

    Now let me tell you what tone I like. I have forever been in love with John Paul Jone's pure and beautiful tones--both live and in the studio. I am also a fan of Berry Oakley's tone. Lets not leave out Paul McCartney's tone.

    In my own playing, my tones usually are somewhere in the range of these three bassists. Though, when I play Allman covers, I usually add a bit more Low-End than Berry used.

    My playing style reminds me of a Berry Oakley/John Entwistle combo. I realize these are two very much "lead bass" style players so let me clearify with this. Of these two players styles, I usually follow Entwistles basic "Groove" style, and Oakely's "Lead" style. These are just my own opinions of hearing myself and my own natrual playing style (which has its own basic uniqeness).

    On the bass I currently use, I prefer flatwounds to give me the balanced and versitile tone I am looking for when gigging. I am only familiar with GHS Flatwound Boomers. I have no clue how Roundwounds & Flatwounds would sound on a Jazz Bass or one of the epiphones with the humbuckers.

    I put the Mexi Jazz bass on the list because I have heard that the new ones are really as good as the American J-Basses, and that they are only assembled in Mexico. I'd like to save $$$ where I can, since I don't have a lot of it. If I have to get an expensive bass, I'll have to start pawning junk off on Ebay.

    As for the epiphone basses, I have no clue how these things play, or feel. And I know of no guitar shop that sells them to try them out. So I just threw them in there to be inquisitive.

    I also, the only way I've ever heard a amplified J-bass is on a record. I have only played two or three with no amplification. So you can see my knowledge and experience with the tones and feel of a J-bass is very limmited, except for what I hear on records.

    I use two amps. I use a Yorkville Bassmaster 200 for small room gigg, at church, and for practice. For bigger shows, I have a 1968 Acoustic 360 and 2 matching cabnets at my disposal. (The best amp I've ever heard. Esspecially for $670:D) Finding a JPJ like tone has been made all the easier with the Acoustic rig I have.

    If you need any more details to better help me in my descision, please ask, I'll check back and give you what you need to know.

    If I get a bass, I want it to be the right bass. No modding bologna. I have a feeling that, more than likely, I will need to play these basses a bit in order to make the best choice in my purchase.

    So now that you know what tone I like, what bass out of the ones I mentioned would you recomend?

    And in achieving that tone with the bass you recomend, should i use Flatwounds or Roundwounds? What brand & guage?

    I should state that basically, I am looking to be able to achieve the tone I am talking about above--but I am also aiming to broaden my choice of tones.

    Thank you very much for any light you can shed.:)
  2. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I can't imagine you not being able to get the tones you want from an American Jazz purchased cheaply off ebay or bassgear.com. I also think you could broaden your choices of tones with roundwounds. You can't really go wrong with a MIA Jazz.
  3. Well, JPJ (in the 60's & 70's) and Berry both played Jazz Basses although Berry's had that added Guild humbucker. I think you're looking for a passive Jazz Bass from everything you say...take your choice as to which one works for you. I would probably go with the American if it was me although you can often find nice older Japanese Fender Jazz Basses reasonably priced on ebay or at www.harmony-central.com in the classified ads or at www.bassgear.com. The 1980's Japanese Fender Jazz Basses are excellent instruments and are often available in the $300-$400 price range...a lot of bass for a little money!
  4. If it were me, I'd go for the American Jazz, replace the pickups with some Dimarzio DP123's, string it up with some roundwound Boomers, and boost your low mids at around 300hz on your amp. If you roll the front pup back slightly, you'll get a little more definition and less boom.

    Actually, that is what I did. And I think I'm getting just about the sound you're talking about.

    Oh, my Jazz has an ash body. I'm not sure if all of the MIA's are. I think that the MIM's are poplar.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    MIA Jazz (5-string, of course).