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American Jazz Deluxe V w/Dead B String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have always defended Fender Vs, and I have had good B strings on every one I have ever owned. This evening, I played one at my local GC that totally dead and lifeless. I thought it was out of tune, but when I checked, it not. The B was floppy and sounded lifeless. The strings were old, but the B was exceptionally bad. I could really see how a B like that could turn some one off badly when it's on a $1,600 bass. For comparison, I have never, ever heard a B that sounded that B on a Stingray 5, a another mass produced bass in the same price range.

    I really think that 8 or 9 out of ten Fenders has a good B, but it only takes a few to wreck a reputation .
  2. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
    i agree you NEVER see this on on an SR5 but have heard about this on a few Fender V's. is there nothing about the TONE during QC or is it more of a "if you can play it pass it down the line " mantra on these?!?!
  3. pedulla-2007

    pedulla-2007 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    Try stringing thru the bridge and not the body. A professionally installed Badass bridge will work wonders. Try this brother. Nothing beats the b on a EBMM, but the EBMM will never cut thru the mix like a jazz will, in MHO.Good luck Doc!
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I don't think it's fair to judge a bass with dead strings. As for this B string specifically, it's a mistake to assume that all strings fade at the same rate. First, the B has larger windings so it's easier for it to accumulate crud. Second, Q: what's the first thing most folks do when auditioning a fiver? A: whack the B string. :p Finally, the thicker the string, the more difficult it is to intonate (IME), and a poorly intonated string can sound funky even with fresh strings.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    All of that is true. It also important to remember that there probably more Fender Vs in a few big GCs than there are A-C Jazzes in the world. Fender probably makes more basses in a fortnight than Sadowsky does in a year. With those numbers, something bad is bound to slip through.:rolleyes:
  6. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Did you notice if there was the option of string-thru body on it ?

    I'm kind of obsess by this now that I noticed that American has it and the Japanese don't.

  7. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    Mine JAzz V was pretty lame, until I put on some DR Lo Riders.

    Stringing the low B through the bridge makes it better??
  8. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
    i was just about to bring up using some higher tension strings
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    String through is an option. All American Standards and Deluxes have string through and bridge only.
  10. Rudyboy98


    Jan 25, 2008
    South Bay, CA
    A simple set up may "fix the problem". Of course try asking a sales rep at any store to do this without charging you, and that isn't until AFTER you buy it.


  11. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    I had a string that was dead when new, just one time a few years ago, it was an E on a DR set. I think it was loosely wound, I'd had that bass a a couple of years so I know it was the string, a new E fixed it immediately (still have it, a Hamer USA CruiseV 2tek). It's unlikely, but possible that it has a really bad string.
  12. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I've had my share of experience down this road. Typical set up on a Fender MIA bass hanging on the wall at GC is atrocious. Action is high, necks have too much relief, strings are dead. Pickup to string distance is too great. First thing I do is set up the bass and throw some stainless La Bellas on it. Whatever Fender is using is never articulate enough for my ears. YMMV. My Ash Jazz V Bstring is more defined than the Alder version, also another factor.
  13. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    This is where I think GC will always fall short. I think they're too big to take into account that a good setup on an instrument will help sell that instrument. This is why I prefer to do business with a smaller MI dealer that has more of a vested interest in each sale. One that's willing to change the strings on an instrument AND set it up in order to close a sale.
  14. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    I've had issues with all the strings I've tried on my Jazz, other then DR.

    I tried whatever was local, Ernie Ball, D'Addario, and Fender.
    The Fenders were taper wound, and the worst of the bunch, IMO.

    The only usable set up with these other strings are exactly like described above.....tall action, lots of neck bow (to avoid buzz), and lackluster low B.

    I'm now a believer in DR strings. With them, I've dialed my action way way down, straightened the neck, and the B sounds much better. I can actually play the bass without wanting to smash it on the ground now!
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I want to make it clear that I am not a Fender basher. I have owned five Fender five strings over the years. I just thought I would mention the shape of the B string on a higher end Fender I saw. I understand that the setup can be fixed, but I think it is important to know the basis of Fender's bad reputation in some quarters.
  16. Might have just been a bad string. It is almost impossible to diagnose a 'dead sounding string' issue without changing the string.

    I think Fender 5's originally got their bad reputation not based on 'bad B strings' at all, but rather that, at least until somewhat recently, Fender assumed that people who wanted a 5 string bass wanted it relatively active and modern sounding (i.e., as far as I know, they didn't really make a 5 string that sounded like a true passive Fender J for a while). The passive J and P 5's I've played recently have been fine, if a bit sloppy on fit and finish.

    Of course, with 'mass produced' basses at the Fender price point, there is a lot more variability across basses that with the more expensive stuff, so it is always best to 'play before buying'.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The passive Fender fives always had the Fender sound, IMO.
    The older Deluxes had the Suhr electronics, and the even older Jazz Plus series had the Kubicki style electronics with Lace Sensor pickups. The current Deluxes have the SCN pickups that are roughly analogous to the Standard Sadowsky humbuckers.
  18. I hadn't really seen many passive Fender 5's until those new models came out (maybe they did really suck). But there were lot's of the active one's around, and they really didn't sound good to me for the most part, pre's or pickups... clacky, hissy, and very 'non Fendery' to my ear. Pure IMO there.
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The American Standards (passive) were introduced in 1995. The actives date back to 1989 or so.
  20. +1 I know those actives have been around a long time, and again are not very impressive. The updates they did on those American Standards last year (or a couple of years ago) seemed to move those into a better spot design and quality wise, and it seems they are selling a few now (I again have never seen a Fender passive 5 string on a gig or in the hands of anyone I know until the updated models came out... not sure why). Again, still quite sloppy fit and finish wise, but the ones I've played have sounded very good, and the playability was 'OK'. Nice mid priced instruments IMO. I would definitely consider one of those 5 string P models. Nice for the price!

    Again, back to the point of the thread, I never viewed the 'B string' on Fender 5's as the main problem, but rather the instruments in general... mediocre everything IMO until those upgraded passive American Standard models, which are quite nice in the mid-price range.

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