Am. Standard Jazz vs. Geddy Lee Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rabid_granny, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. Ummm, another question. I rely on Harmony Central's bass guitar review database to help me get a preliminary assessment of a bass guitar.

    I noticed that the American Standard Jazz Bass scored higher than a Geddy Lee Jazz Bass...okay, the number of reviewers differed for each guitar but on paper, the GL Jazz Bass seems to be the better bass.

    The GL bass and ASJ has similar wood (alder body, maple fretboard). But they have different pickups and bridges. The GL has vintage pickups and a Badass II bridge while the ASJ has stock pickups but a string-through-body bridge. Oh ya, where I live, an ASJ costs $1300 Cdn and a GL costs $900 Cdn.

    ...okay, enough background. The question:

    How can a bass guitar that looks better on paper score lower in actual use? Why is the "worse" guitar more expensive?

    To me, this doesn't make sense and makes me wonder, what factor am I not considering?

  2. p0w3rman5ooo


    Aug 27, 2000
    My guess is the ASJ is more expensive because of it being an American, while the GLS is Japanese(pretty sure it is).
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    That is the reason for the difference in price. The reason for the difference in reviews is probably because of fit & finish. The quality on the American Series has gotten better and better over the past year or so, and they are on par with some high end basses as far as fretwork, nut work and attention to detail. The MIJ's, while pretty high quality for the price, aren't quite up there. My GL is darned near perfect, but I have seen a couple that weren't up to snuff.
  4. I am curious, embellisher. You mentioned that some GL basses were not up to snuff?

    Would you mind elaborating and posting your observations?

    ...also, if you could go back, if you could choose between an American Jazz and a Geddy Lee Jazz (forget about price for a moment), would you have picked the GL bass?


  5. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I played a GL and a ASG both in a guitar store last year and liked the GL better. The quality seemed about the same, but I liked the sound and the neck better on the GL. The bottom line: everybody has their own idea of what they like, so while user reviews on Harmony Central are helpful, they shouldn't be the deciding factor because you may disagree with the majority. I read them, because if there are glaring defects in a product, chances are most of the reviewers will find it. But if it is more a matter of neck shape, sound, or other objective opinions, I just take it as a general guide. I've read bad reviews of gear that I loved, so the only way to truly know which you like better is to try both yourself. By the way, if I was buying that day, it would have been the Geddy Lee (but my opinion is no more right for you than anyone elses).
  6. i'd go for the American Series Jazz Bass. Why would you want a bass with someone else's name on it?
  7. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    This consists of a scribble on the back of the headstock. A silly reason to totally discount the instrument IMO. Likewise, a silly reason to want the instrument. Buy it or not, based on quality, playability, value and tone.

    The tuners are probably the weakest point on the GL Jazz, not awful but they are not MIA quality. I've heard some people have had neck problems, maxed truss rods, on their GL's. The general fix seemed to be adding some washers and seems to work. My 98 Geddy has had zero problems, looks great, plays great sounds great.
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I would take the number ratings on HC with a very large grain of salt! Pay more attention to the comments than the scores.
  9. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I have owned both! A 98 AS Jazz and a 99 GL Jazz and I liked them both.
    The GL had a real nice & fast playing neck! I'm partial to binding anyway.
    The AS J had a thicker more fuller tone, Probably cause of the Ash with the Nat finish upgrade versus the Alder of the GL.
    Both great basses and I would still have them but I traded them towards vintage P and a Vintage J which I'm even more happy with.
    Both great basses in my opinion and you can't go wrong with either of the two!

    My Avatar I'm playing the 98 AS!
  10. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    unlike Funkster, I have kept my 97 MIA and my 00 GL... And I don't think that either of them are going anywhere, they are just way to cool! I don't think that you can really go wrong with either one... for a brand new, kick-booty bass, for around 600$, the geddy lee is a really hard deal to beat... if you get lucky, an MIA Jazz will run about the same, maybe less (I found mine for 475$) So I guess it all goes to how the cards fall for you!

    [email protected]
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