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Ammoon's -$100 Jazz Bass: 4 months after!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by InstantEctobass, Oct 29, 2018.


  1. Hi there folks! :cool:

    I hope that your day/night is going great. I wanted to share my thoughts and words on the Ammoon Jazz Bass that you can get for less than a hundred bucks on Amazon/eBay. I'll list all my honest pros and cons and some others feelings about it. But in short and to begin: I'm glad and thrilled that I got it. :wacky:

    First of all, let's talk about what I got exactly, because as far as I'm aware, there were 2 declinaisons of the bass. One with 20 frets and a newer one with 21. I took the blue one. On the photos, it looks like a solid color: it's not, it's metallic, and quite nice to have a shiny little bass to start with! It came with 21 frets (extra E, with not!) and two "pole-less" Jazz-style pickups that are NOT active, but passive. You get simple controls with Volume/Volume/Tone knobs. The woods used are said to be: basswood for the body, maple for the neck, and rosewood for the fingerboard. Let's be honest with the fingerboard wood: it's NOT rosewood. It's "processed wood", to me. It's way too light (in terms of coloration) to be any kind of rosewood, plus it was banned by the CITES before the Ammoon basses arrived on the market, they couldn't pass. And also it's very porous. Oh, and you get allen keys, a very cheap jack cable and maybe something like a pick. That's it. The bass came in a double layer box, which was fairly nice, regarding the price.

    Pros:

    • Good looking bass if you do not look too close for smaller details You get a nice Jazz style shape, Fender-shaped headstock with the Ammoon logo.
    • Electronic is simple, pickups are surely cheap but they work and deliver a neutral tone. But I feel like they do offer some nice dynamic, and respond well to heavy string attack, regardless.
    • The bridge and tuners are chromed, shiny, and they do NOT look too much cheap. And they work very good. Tuning each string is flawless. The bridge does NOT ring or buzz, when properly set. The tuners truly surprised me.
    • The neck profile is slim and confortable. It slides well on your hand, because it is not coated with much lacquer.
    • You get a tortoise pickguard. Why not for a vintage style?
    • Fret ends are NOT sharp and you won't be cutting your fingers while playing fast.
    • Frets are well polished and bending/fast playing is easy.
    • Trussrod works well and flawlessly.
    • It's light! Surely because the body and fingerboard wood are very porous. I'm even doubting about the body being basswood. Basswood is usually heavier, to me
    • Humbucking works perfecly when using both pickups. Tone knob is progressive!
    • Screws are properly... screwed. Okay, that's it for the pros! :)

    Cons:

    • Original nut was garbage: plastic, ringing string through it and not holding at all. Reasons: 1. its hole was too wide: 2. the strings, post nut, weren't equally aligned. What I did: I changed the nut for a bone one (cheap on eBay and just a little work to do on 400-grit sandpaper to finish it), and I move the string tree just a little bit, so the strings are balanced and that the nut isn't attracted outside of the center, because I could not correct the hole being too big without making a custom nut for it. (Sorry for the weird explaination, also, not English, guys.)
    • Fret leveling is bad. But I won't touch it. I play that bass with a low action and mostly short lasting notes. And with good strings, the buzz isn't even "bad". That's very personal. But really, for $90, can't expect better. We can see that the neck was crafted very quickly. At least, they aren't sharp blades
    • Fingerboard's wood is ugly/porous. But I've seen some Warwick basses with even uglier/more porous fingerboards. That's just a matter of taste, again. The pattern they made by processing the wood is "okay". In the enf, the colour of it is near "pau ferro", more than "rosewood". I also had to put 3 pass of Dunlop Lemon Oil to clean it before using the bass. Now it's stable. I may tint it someday.
    • Electronics are not insulated. Ground connection is poor when not touching the strings. But humbucking is 100% when both pickups are on.

    Neutral:

    • Being lightweight, it sounds a bit hollow. It's a matter of your sound preferences. In my opinion, I like it. When I slap, it suits well the tone that Flea has with his own '62 Jazz Bass in Stadium Arcadium or By the Way.
    • By puting a 21-fret neck, they didn't compensate by puting the neck "more to the center" of the body, and they prefered to move the bridge to the center of the body. But they kept the pickups placement that a normal 20-fret Jazz Bass has. So the bridge pickup appears to be closer to the bridge. More like a 70s Jazz Bass, but then the neck pickup is also closer to the bridge. In my opinion it sounds great this way, you will still get a Jazz Bass tone anyway.

    So in short: what I did to get a proper working cheap Jazz Bass ? I changed the nut for a bone one. Replaced the original strings with Elixir nickel 40-95 ones, and changed the 40 one with a 45 I had, so 45-60-75-95. Set the pickup height, bridge intonation and action, replaced the tortoise pickguard a blue pearl one... road wore the body and chromes. :thumbsup::smug:

    Photos :

    P_20181022_155704.
    P_20181014_112647.

    Final thoughts :

    I have a Squier P-Bass, a Cort GB34A bass (Jazz + MM pickup but doesn't sound a Jazz Bass when both pickups are on), a Harley Benton MB-4 (StingRay passive copy) but did not have a Jazz-type bass and wanted the tone for truly cheap. It's surely very cheap, for the price, do not expect something without design flaws and or good fret job. But it does sound very okay, once the wood and strings are kicked in!! I play a lot of Geddy Lee and Flea stuff on it and people are amazed when they ear it. What I usually do is that I boost the medium around 600 Hz, to make it sound more like a Fender Jazz Bass. I'm not talking to compensate for the mid scoop of two Jazz pickups working together, but just the overall Fender sound with mids. Even when soloing the neck or bridge pickup. Will it last long? I don't know, but I heave already beaten it up and it stays strong, after 4 months. I even giged multiple times with it!

    Questions? Thanks for reading everything, if you did! :)

    Bapt
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    matante, DirtDog, hotbass57 and 11 others like this.
  2. I think it looks like a decent rig and maybe on par with the affinity basses . Id consider getting one to mad it and personalize it. Good thorough review.
     
  3. Thank you for the feedback. You can try it! I may post a video if people are interested in!
     
    Yammybass likes this.
  4. Good honest review and I'm glad you like the bass. Folks forget when the electric bass was getting designed body wood, hi tech tuners/bridges and pickups were not a consideration. Cheap and plentiful was the criteria
     
  5. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Sounds like a fair review of a fair bass.
    Nicely done.
     
  6. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Great reporting! Very thorough! :thumbsup:
     
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    nice report on your experience with the instrument and the mods you made. and a super job on making it look cool! :thumbsup:

    love the color and road-worn look...and your pickguard switch is perfect! nice job all around. :thumbsup:

    the fingerboard material would not be an issue for me. i think yours looks great! ;)
     
    Yammybass likes this.
  8. Thanks for all the good feedback, guys! Truly appreciated.

    Here are 3 others photos: one when I tried without the pickguard, another with the original pickguard and already road worn, and also when I just received it (after I oiled the fingerboard):

    P_20180806_124517_vHDR_On.

    IMG_20180711_123557_HDR.

    P_20180614_151312.

    Who'd be interested in a video?? :)
     
  9. mikael wilt

    mikael wilt Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2015
    Hi Instant Ectobass, There are 2 video's on u-tube that compare the cheapest Bass on Amazon & ebay against a $10,000 Bass and both of the cheap Basses are Ammoon Basses. I bought one on ebay for $73 with free shipping. You are "right on" in your Pro's & Con's of the Ammoon Bass. I did replace the pups with Fender standard pickups. I am not going to hold on to it long, I'll see if I can find someone who can use it and find it a new home..Mikael W.
     
  10. Did you notice a lot of change in the tone shape? (apart volume/gain). Even upgraded, I don't think that it is the kind of bass that you can easily find a new home. I just set mine with Thomastik Jazz Flats strings, and a low action. Amazing.
     
  11. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    the bottom line seems to be, you can get a barely serviceable bass but nothing close to a keeper?
     
  12. After some research, it seems that the wood on the fingerboard is "Padouk". An African essence. It's not bad at all. :)
     
  13. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    i was really surprised at the tone of the Ammoon in the Fodera comparison video. I'd maybe swap the wiring harness and remove the logo in favor of something personal.
     
  14. Once set up, it seems to have great bang for the buck.
     
  15. I think it's "okay" in the end. But for 1/2 of the price more, I'd recommand to choose a J&D or Harley Benton Jazz type bass from these brands. Ammoon apparently stopped doing these, anyway. :)

    I'm having fun with it, and I don't risk a lot if I break it. But in the end, it's not going to last 50 years :)
     
  16. Update 6 months after: DON'T BUY. The body wood is poopie. All the screws are being untighten. Bridge doesn't hold anymore; nor do the pickguard, etc, etc. It's garbage. Don't buy...
     
    gebass6 and wraub like this.
  17. mikael wilt

    mikael wilt Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2015
    I ended up trading the Ammoon Jazz Bass & a 80's "Stage"HD-1200 P/J Bass for a 93 Ibanez SR850TT Bass. I was allowed $100 towards the trade, so I didn't take a loss on the Ammoon Bass. MDW
     
    wraub likes this.
  18. Scottgun

    Scottgun

    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    I'll keep an eye on the screws, but have you been modding this thing where you are removing screws? Most basses the screw holes get wonky with repeated removal and rescrewing. I can believe that the Ammoon would be worse than others, but at $80 no surprise.
     
    Yammybass likes this.
  19. I swear it's bad. It's cheap and porous wood. Basswood would be way better on my Harley Benton AND Squier CV JB 60s; BUT YEAH: $80 = no surprises
     
  20. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Try some toothpicks and wood glue... ;)
     
    juggahnaught and Rabidhamster like this.

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