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American Fender Jazz Comparison

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by drunkenDAYlewis, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. So I've seen a lot of these kinds of threads but always between just two models:

    I own an American Standard because I tried a Select and a Deluxe but did not feel like it was worth the extra cost for either but did compared to the Special (for the case alone)
    The quality all seemed the same.

    So what do you guys have to say? what makes each one better or worse?
    Which on would you buy? Why/why not?

    American Special $1000: image.
    American Standard $1400:
    American Deluxe $1800:
    American Select $2300:
    American vintage's are welcome to the debate too
  2. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I can't comment on the Select or the Vintage models because I've never tried them, but I do own a 2009 American Standard Jazz bass that I bought brand new in December 2012. (Seems to have gotten lost in the stores inventory for a few years!) On the day I bought it I did a lot of comparing with different Jazz bass models...including the American Special, of which I almost bought. It played great and it sounded great and I can't knock it. But for me the American Standard seemed to have that extra little something in the feel that really appealed to me and I really can't explain it much further than that. It just "felt right."

    But really, I think I went back and forth between the Special and the Standard that I bought for about a good hour and for a while it was a very tough decision. No regrets with buying the American Standard and again, I can't at all knock the American Special.
    Manichga likes this.
  3. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    I will say the American Deluxe Jazz is worth the extra money, because I really dig the extra features.
    Robus likes this.
  4. I didn't find the same, the standard was (IMO) night and day between the special... A certain quality that just felt "right" there was no magic to the special (but as with fenders you gotta play a few) so maybe it was just that one in particular I didn't like.
  5. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    go for the MIA standard. they are a little nicer in appointments than the specials.
  6. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I have an 2008 MIA standard jazz and I love it! I think the deluxe is a good buy as well. For 2,300 I would buy a metro Sadowsky (just me).
  7. I think the select is nice looking but in most ways exactly the same as the standard, I don't feel like a quarter sawn neck, a quilt maple top and different pick ups are worth an extra $900 the deluxe makes sense because of active electronics and two more frets

    Fender dose 'fancy tops' on their strats for like $100 extra... I wish they would do stuff like that on the basses
  8. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    image. I was on the fence awhile too regarding a Standard & Special.

    I loved the extra hardware pluses with the Standard, but felt the neck to a bit chunky for my tastes.

    I loved the Special's skinny neck!

    I kept on sampling them both and kept going back to what felt like was home to me.

    I went with the Special.

    Big deal about the hardware, the Special's hardware has worked rather WELL for decades!

    Either way, there is no wrong choice; they are all great instruments.
    Tbone76 likes this.
  9. Agree that there's no wrong choice. It comes down to personal preference and budget. Personally, I'd stay away from the Special, but that's just my preference. The other, higher priced models all are excellent, including the AVRI. I have the '74, and it's very sweet.
  10. ultra60

    ultra60 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Herndon/Chantilly Va.
    When the Specials first came out, the price difference was fairly minimal, if you figured in the price of the hard case. I really did not understand the tactic. I've owned a Special P bass, and it was a fine instrument. I'm back in the market for a Jazz. Really interested in the 74 AVRI. But I think I'd also be happy with a Special. Just seems that used prices on those are close to Am Std.
  11. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    I have a 2011 American Standard Jazz that I love. That said I played a deluxe recently and was impressed. I think it is worth the extra change for the features. The Select just looks wrong to me. Flame top on a Fender? Not for me.
  12. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    .. it may come down to whether you want an active capable bass or a passive bass for starters .. then if you are patient and can buy used, there is a pretty good selection available of at least 3 above, less of the AmSelect of course ... if you open it up to used also, you have 3-4 dfferent 'era's of AmStands (AmSeries) to pick from, and two eras of the Highway Series which in essence were replaced by the the AmSpecials ...

    ... personally, I would not pay a new price for any of the above ... but that of course is just my preference ... ;)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  13. jwj1701


    Nov 17, 2011
    Lexington KY
    Well, I have an AS jazz, Highway One jazz,(very much like the special except body finish), and just recently an 2012 select jazz. As you all know they're all quality instruments in their own right, and after having them all in my hands I can honestly say what we already know, you get what you pay for. I like them all and normally just rotate to play but since I got the select it is clearly my favorite. Still much love for my AS but the select really is that much better. Just hold / play one for a while you can really just feel a difference. I used to think the better hardware and woods and customized pick ups were just marketing, but I was wrong.

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