Any other Jazz Bass Plus players out there?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by amper, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I seem to be thinking a lot about my 1992 Fender Jazz Bass Plus V these days...but I very rarely see or hear of any others. Isn't anyone else playing one around here?

    I know the Jazz Bass Plus got poorly reviewed when it was released, mostly because it sounds nothing like what most people would expect out of a Fender Jazz Bass, but in my opinion, it's the best bass Fender has ever made.

    Mine's a natural finished ash body, she was my first bass (bought new for $811.00 from Zapf's in Philadelphia back in the day), and she's been my #1 bass ever since. She's getting a little long in the tooth, so I've been thinking of building a Warmoth replica of her, using their Deluxe 5 parts, so she can have a rest.
  2. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    I use one, amongst a few other basses. I like it because it sounds like a modernized Fender without getting into Marcus Miller territory. It's not the best Fender built IMHO, but it's fine.

    pic here
  3. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    '92 Plus V here as well. We're a small, yet loyal bunch. ;) Nice score on the ash body, as well - they were a $100 upcharge back in the day and keep their worth on the used market. I'd kill for a Jazz Plus 4 with an ash body. :D

    I think that in my case, the early '90s were still in the early days to construct a quality low-B on a production-level instrument. That's the biggest weakness I find playing mine, the "indistinctness' of that string, especially in the C-D range. However, she's the bass that led me to many discoveries about what I was ultimately looking for in a bass (high-end J, J pups, tighter string spacing - my Plus V has the nicest neck and spacing of all my basses period) and I still use her a large amount.

    I few years ago I traded e-mails with someone from The Bottom Line mailinglist who had a custom JPV body made from Warmoth and then spoke to them. Unfortunately they had lost the CNC info from his and would have to start anew. You're looking at least $300, and that quote was from several years ago. :scowl:

    ... but they truly are unsung basses, aren't they?
  4. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I've only ever seen one ash-bodied Jazz Plus four, at Cherry's Music in Somers Point, NJ. I wanted it to go with my V, but I couldn't afford it. The wood quality of that one was nicer than my V.

    That may be true (I think the Plus V was Fender's first *real* 5?), but for me, I rarely use the B string. The only times I realy use it are as an octave drop at the end of a song (and as a thumb rest). The real reason I went with the V back then was because I was a new bassist switching over from guitar, and the width of the V neck just felt so much more natural to me. To this day, I still don't like four-string Jazz neck widths. Of course, that bad habit I developed of using the B as a rest leads me to have a slight difficulty remembering the E string is there on a four-string bass!

    The Warmoth Deluxe 5 J body looks to be almost an exact duplicate of the current American Deluxe Jazz Bass body (which is nearly identical, if not totally identical to the Jazz Plus body). Unless I'm wrong about that...I've never seen the Warmoth in person.
  5. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    My personal absolute dream JPV would be an ash-body/maple fretboard, which I've never seen in 5 years of online/eBay searching. I've spoken to Fender about it, and they can't even confirm if that combo was ever made.

    "Real" as in modern BEADG-strung 34" scale length? Yup, and why it ultimately failed. Too modern for Fender purists, and too Fender for Ibanez/"modern" bassists of the day. A lost instrument... :rollno:

    Interesting - I've never done a side-by-side comparison, but I'd always had the idea that the JPV was significantly smaller in the body (I'm a smaller player - 5'5" - so ergonomics are a large factor to me). This would open up an American Deluxe 5 as a possibility to me if not for the string spacing: I'm just not a fan of full 3/4" (19mm) spacing opposed to the JPV's (around 17.5mm).
  6. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    I play Sadowsky Jazz Bass , and my own made Jazz.:)
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I had a '94 in blueburst until just recently. I was pretty good friends with that bass, and I guess 12+ years is a good relationship. Ultimately, sold it to buy something else.
  8. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I think that Warmoth Body will work, though you will have to have them rout the control holes differently because the Plus pre is on a circuit board and the knob locations fixed.

    If you wanna sell your Plus body lemme know. I may also have a body you may be interested in as well.
  9. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I used to own a black 4 string with maple neck.
    I wish I still have that bass!
    Why are we selling our gear?
  10. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Someplace around here I still have the 1992 brochure, but if I remember correctly, the Jazz Plus V was only offered with the pau ferro board.

    [edit] Found it. Yup. "Rosewood" only (as it says in the brochure). I also have a "Fender Frontline" book from 1992, which I think says "Pau Ferro". Gotta find that now...
  11. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sorry, I'm not selling this one. I just want another like it so I can give the old girl a rest now and then. She's in remarkably good shape for a 14-year old player's instrument, but I'd like her to stay that way without picking up too many more signs of love. ;)
  12. rjw2000


    Jan 20, 2008
    For 30 years I played standard American Jazz Basses- a '68, which was stolen, replaced by a '74 which was also stolen about '98. To get a 5th string, I bought a good Ibanez, which was a beautiful bass, but it didn't have much sustain, and it bugged me that the tone between, say a C below middle C on the A string had such a different timbre from a C on the E string.

    I found a Jazz Plus American V on Ebay, and bought it, having never heard of one. It has great sustain. I started with good round wounds, but I'm tired of that sound. I went to a good, bright flat wound string, and I play it in passive mode only, through a pre-patent Ampeg V4 or my old Ampeg B-410. I like the evenness of the voicing, and it sounds like what I think a jazz bass should sound like. I have to play with the pots alot, and the pickups are noisy- but I like the sound.

    My one pet peeve I think I've finally fixed. It's so neck-heavy! I finally made a pouch, and added about a dozen 400 grain .45 caliber bullets (like Custer used) and I hang that over the lower stock button. It adds about a half a pound to the lower end of the bass, and makes it so you don't have to constantly lift the neck with your left hand. I have thought about drilling it and inserting the weight in the bass, but I think my pouch is more non-invasive regarding the value of the axe.

    I also wish the neck was narrower, more like the Ibanez- you could play pingpong on that Fender fingerboard! I finally got used to it, but it felt like a 20-string lute for awhile!

    So, I think for the time being, this is my long-term bass. I've got a good carved wood upright bass, which is my classical instrument- but the jazz bass has been a good friend for a lifetime- I think I'll stick with it. With flatwounds, it sounds like it should.
  13. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I've been thinking (and talking about) for a long time about putting flats on my Plus V, and I think this past week I finally decided to go ahead and do it, but we have a big gig (for us) coming up this Friday, so I don't want to monkey too much right now. After the gig, I'll do it. I have a six-string set of Rotosound flats hanging around that I can swipe the lower five strings from.
  14. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    I have a sunburst/maple 4 string. I ditched the Lace Sensors and preamp for passive years ago.
  15. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Seems as good a place as any to post