American Special Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Clark Westfield, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    I'm looking into another bass.

    What is everybody's take on the American Special Jazz?

    I like the slim neck.

    Is the Greasebucket circuit worth mentioning?
  2. Li'l D

    Li'l D

    Apr 15, 2009
    Yes. There is a slightly different tone then the standard model
  3. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    I'm on the fence between an American Standard, American Special or a Gibson EB.

    I have to get to Sam Ash and put my mitts on them.
  4. I have an American special p that I really like. If you can't get it for around 750-800 new I wouldn't bother paying the full 999$. I see em put them on sale constantly.
  5. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I removed the Greasebucket on my Highway One. Didn't like it. Easy fix though and easy to add back in if you wanted to.
  6. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    What is the Greasebucket exactly?

    A different capacitor?
  7. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, basically. There is an extra capacitor in the control cavity. It rolls off the highs, without removing the lows. Sounded way to muddy for me.
  8. bassdog


    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    I opted for the Am. Std when I was shopping a couple of yrs ago. Didn't want a slim J neck or greasebucket for Jazz bass. Wanted but couldn't get sunburst. Liked the price point. I recently bought a Am. Special P. Like the slim P neck and greasebucket here.

  9. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    What about the fit and finish?

    Is it up to the standards of Talk Bass members?

    Is the wood a better selection?

    Is the fretwork up to par?

    Just hoping it is not an overpriced Standard Jazz bass made in the States.
  10. THORRR

    THORRR Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Parker, Colorado
    I've got a 2010 American Special and the neck
    is anything but thin. It's round and chunky on mine.

    I love the bass overall but am thinking of sanding down
    the back of the neck to a thinner "C" profile.

    Great bass otherwise.

  11. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    From my experience with AM specials,

    Fit and finish isn't as good as AM std. If you look closely at the body, you can tell, they did less prep before shooting the paint. AM std bodies have much smoother body contours, and AM std have better paint and clear coat. My AM special jazz looks like they didn't sand down the body very well before spraying it. Good wood, but it's obvious they spent less man hours on it.

    Again, with the neck, good materials, but just less quality on the finish compared to AM std.

    AM special hardwares actually work very well for me. I prefer them over AM std's clunky hardware.

    Overall, AM specials have more of a vintage vibe than the AM std.
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Same here - I'll typically yank it out, and put a .1uF cap in there for a more vintage sound...

    - georgestrings
  13. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    The ones I've checked out have been very good - on par with the Highway One basses, which are a definite upgrade from a MIM Fender...

    - georgestrings
  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    That's the 1st I've ever heard of that - any of them I've checked out have had slightly thinner necks than the standards...

    - georgestrings
  15. Mtnman


    Jun 5, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have an American Special P and absolutely love it. I have the FSR version with the hand rubbed satin nitro finish. I've seen no construction or fit/finish quality differences between it and the American Standard. To me the major selling point was the neck. The neck has a different profile than the Am. Std. (it is thinner front to back which I love), but it still has the nice fret edges and the graphite support rods.

    A couple of mods I made were to remove the Greasebucket; I replicated the '60s tone circuit with an orange drop cap and used Custom Shop '62 pickups. I also replaced the bridge with a BAII. Bear in mind the bass worked fine without the mods, I just like to make my basses my own...

  16. eno50


    Jan 31, 2009
    North of Memphis
    American Special is a basic bass Jazz or P-bass
    Differences are pickups and hardware...and neck profile...
    If you like the modern upgrades get the American standard for the pice difference it is a better deal ,if you shop around for two to three hunderd dollars difference you get..
    Fender ultra light tuners,60's custom shop pickups,string thru highmass bridge,ATA case.
    The Specials have regular or standard tuners, vintage style bridge, alinco pickups,greasebucket tone control,gigbag.
    Now that is just the difference,It only matters what you like,how it sounds and feels in your hands. Some people like the vintage style basses,I say vintage style really the only thing that is vintage style is the old style tuners and bridge..
    As far as value for you money ,you get more for your money if you go with the standard USA model. when you start to ad up the up grades ,ultralight tuners,highmass bridge,custom shop pups,ATA case and then have the body drilled for string thru..
    After all that being said, the old Fenders that everyone want's were bare bone basses,
    with those cheap bentplate bridges,bigear tuners, regular old pickups, no graphite neck support bars ect...