Anyone tried a Fender 5 string jazz(MIM)?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mello_bedwetter, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. I'm thinking of getting a Fender 5 string Jazz(MIM). I have a US Precision, Geddy Jazz, Highway One Jazz and a Standard MIM jazz. I'll use a 4 string the majority of the time but I'm looking to get a part-time 5er. Any comments on the MIM 5 string jazz are appreciated. I didn't see any reviews on GC's site. Thanks.
    I'd probably go with a used one.
  2. MarthaSamira

    MarthaSamira Banned

    Apr 29, 2012
    Don't like how they feel or sound.

    I would save a bit more and get a Lakland.
  3. Lots of differing opinions about this one.

    I've not been happy with the ones I played. If it's GC, MF, etc., you can try it for 30 days. Otherwise, definitely try before you buy.
  4. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    i am using one, i think they are fine
  5. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    My son has one and I don't like it at all. Doesn't sound or play anywhere close to my MIA Jazz.
  6. I've played an Ibanez before and liked it but I was trying to stay away from "active" basses.
    The MIM 4 string jazz I have sounds and plays good but I put some Dimarzio pickups in it. I like the sound and play of it better than my MIA Precision although I do know they are 2 different basses. I haven't tried the MIM 5 string jazz but I am a little leery of the sound of it and also maybe a "floppy" b-string.
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I own a MIM Fender Jazz V. I did not like it for a long time. After setup it played great and looked like a million, but B string was only passable, I hated the neck profile, had small amount of residual hum, and tone was meh.

    So after total copper shielding, complete setup, Graphtech nut, flats and SCN pickups that baby came to life! Absolutely stellar bass and tone. I still hate the neck profile (compared to a P-bass, but that's just me), but nevertheless it still plays so clear and nice and easy. B string now great. Just the ticket when a Fender shaped headstock is required.

    Here's the big hint. A recent or new MIM jazz is very likely to play like mine because Fender got it's act together and fixed these problems. Mine is a 2002 and from that era the problems were not solved which means if you get an old one, expect to deal with it yourself.
  8. They're hit or miss. I had one a number of years ago and lucked out, the neck was perfectly straight, easy to set up and had great tone. Not awesome tone, but great. I ended up putting some Seymour Duncans in it later on (can't remember what model) and it sang beautifully. On the other hand, a friend of mine had one with a serial number that matched closely, so I assume it was from the same day or week of manufacture, but it was just horrible. And I've seen others that went either way as well. When they're good, they're great, but then they're bad, they're terrible! Definitley try before you buy.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The new MIM Jazz V Standards are really nice. I have two and liked both. A real dark horse is the Squier Affinity J5. They are dirt cheap. I just snagged one at a holiday sale for $178 brand new,. The kicker is that they have great necks, solid B strings, and set up wonderfully. Stock, they sound fine, but they extremely easy to upgrade since they have same dimensions as MIM and MIA Fenders.
  10. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I guess the only MIMs I have played in stores have been the Deluxe Active models with the five in line headstock. I've also played Squiers and American models. They have all played well and sounded great. The more expensive ones have a nicer look and feel to them but that is to be expected. I'd rather have a MIA active V but I liked the MIM active V well enough to buy an older passive V with the same headstock from a TB member. I guess in a few days I will find out if the older ones are as "hit or miss" as some people say. If it is as "bad" as the 2003 fretless Jazz I bought from another TB member I'll be quite happy with it.

  11. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    What works for a 4-string does not work for a 5-string. Here are the problems with a 5-string version of a J-bass, whether MIC, MIJ, MIM, Squier, Am Std, Deluxe or Custom Shop:

    1) The neck pickup is too far upstream. The best balance of fundamental and overtones to help the B string speak properly means the neck pickup has to be in about the same relative position as the D-G segment of a P-bass. Conversely, the '70's position of the bridge pickup is good to get a real "solo" voice or to add texture.
    2) The horn is balanced for 4 tuners. Add a tuner and the extra wood in the neck, and you get neck dive. The horn has to be longer to balance the bass better.
    3) The B string binds around the tuner post, which can cause tuning problems from it not winding smoothly and fatigue the core of the string from too much break angle over the nut. A 2+3 (B-E on one side and A-D-G on the other) headstock arrangement is necessary so the B string tuner is far enough away from the nut that the leader doesn't bind around the post but winds down properly.

    So -- To fix this, and still look mostly like a J-bass: purchase a '70's style bass, get a left handed neck, reroute the neck pickup, and get a custom pickguard with the neck pickup cutout as altered, use ultralight tuners, extend the horn out another half inch or so, and then a J-bass can be a good 5-er.
  12. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Owned one for a brief while, midnight wine early 2000 or so model. Had the y tuners 5 inline. Good for a first five string bass but I personally grew out of it and sold it. I think the MIM 4 stringers are better instruments and they're legions away from MIA 5ers.
  13. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    I have the SX 5 string Jazz clone and love it. I tried out the Fenders in GC and didn't want to spend that much $$$ for not that much difference.
  14. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I have two MIM 5 string Jazz basses I got used off Craig's List and have no problems. Are they Laklands or MIA's? Nope, but they are still fine basses and the audience can not tell the difference.
  15. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    I just picked up this 2012 Mint MIM Jazz V for $399.


    Played okay, but I put some Chromes .045-.132 strings on it, set the truss rod and bridge, and it's great! Not the best I've ever played, but the best sub $500 5er I've ever played.

    If I had known for a few more bucks I could have a Lakland 5 string, though, I would have waited one more paycheck.

    So, Great advice MarthaSamira! Very useful! I just wish I had seen it in time....
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    $399? That's a great deal! I love those new MIM Jazz Vs.:)
  17. To my knowledge I've only tried one MIM Jazz V. It was a deluxe from the 90s. The thing was absolutely sick. Loved everything about it except the colors.
  18. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    I prefer the Sterling Ray 35 to the Fender Jazz V, It just feels comfy and I love the tone
  19. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington
    I have played a few and all have been real decent players, well put together and no obvious signs of poor workmanship, but I really find the B string to be lacking. Just a little bit floppy for my taste, but I have a pretty heavy right hand. Perhaps and different set up, some heavier gauge strings and a lighter touch could cure that.
  20. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    lol,... i have a '99 MIM'er that plays like a boutique!!!

    the secret lies in the way you set it up. i took a Dremel and ground down the saddles to acheive a super low action on an awesome straight and level neck. no problems with the frets. i guess i could up-grade the pups, but why bother,... my amp is amazing! gl. :)

    EDIT: oops,... i forgot to mention,.. the B-string is solid.:hyper: