Bass which sounds like a Fender American Deluxe Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Shpigel, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Shpigel


    Sep 19, 2016
    Hello everybody!

    Soon i'm gonna buy a new active 4 strings bass guitar.
    I really like the tone of the 2010 Fender American Deluxe Jazz bass (Maple + Ash) but I won't buy it because it has a poor build quality and it's also too heavy for my taste. I also don't like the "Fender Jazz" body shape because it's too big and it doesn't feel comfortable when I'm standing.
    Another problem is the electronics are completely unshielded so it gets very noisy when the active mode is engaged (I need this bass for recording so this is a big issue).

    Here are some examples if you don't know how it sounds:

    Right now I'm leaning toward Spector Euro 4 LX PJ or a MM Sterling 4 HS.
    I like the punch and growl of these basses and also the weight and the build quality,
    yet they don't have the exact tone I'm looking for and they aren't as versatile as the Fender.

    Long story short :
    I'm looking for a bass which sounds like a Fender American Delux Jazz but has the build quality and light weight (8.5 lbs or less) of a MM Sterling or a Spector euro LX.
    My budget is 2500$
    Any suggestions? :hyper:

    P.S. I know Lakland is a good option but they don't sell them where I live so I can't check them out...
    G&L and Sadowsky also have nice basses but they sound weak compared to the Fender.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  2. How did you come to the conclusion of poor build quality? Reading rants here on TB?

    I played a brand new Ash/Maple American Elite Jazz V just yesterday, and it had very good build quality, very good sounding electronics, and probably weighed 9 lbs. I'm not sure I'd cough up $2100 for it, but it was a very good bass.

    If you want something that sounds like it, look at any other active Jazz bass on the market with a 3-band preamp and similar construction. Also, if you want one that weighs less than 8.5 lbs, I'd suggest going for a chambered-body. The Jazz bass has a rather large body and is difficult to make light unless you get rid of a lot of wood...

    The Spector and MM Sterling are very fine instruments, but as you wrote, they don't sound like a Jazz bass at all.
    StraffordMike and SanDiegoHarry like this.
  3. Shpigel


    Sep 19, 2016
    Thanks for your comment.
    A friend of mine bought a Fender ADJB two years ago and I can tell it has a very poor build quality for the price and it weighs about 9.5 lbs.
    You can also read many negative user reviews about the build quality and cheap electronics.
    I didn't check the Elite yet, maybe it has a better construction :p
  4. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Inactive

    Jun 20, 2013
    I made a special trip to a music shop that carries Fender and Music Man basses over the weekend. First bass I tried was the Fender Elite 5 string and it was a very nice bass and sounded good. The other bass I tried was a stealth Stingray 5HH and i wasn't impressed at all with it. Thats coming from a guy who gigged a Stingray 5HH for years. It just had a very metalic sound to it that I wasn't fond of and the preamp wasn't as good as I remembered. Now back to the Fender Elite, that would be a bass I would be interested if you could get a good deal on one used. Honestly though, my 2016 Ibanez BTB1605 I thought was alot better sounding and the neck was just as good or better. Build was about the same on them. Very good basses but not worth the $2000 price tag.
  5. Shpigel


    Sep 19, 2016
    Yeah I know what you're talking about. I'm also not a fan of Stingray because it feels too chunky and sounds too harsh in my opinion.
    I prefer the sound and feel of a Sterling or even a Bongo (although I hate the look of the Bongo lol).
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  6. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    After being a Fender guy since 1971, a few months ago I bought a Spector and I got to tell you, GREAT bass. Became my daily driver almost instantly. Excellent build quality, plays and feels great, and tonally, way more versatile than my Fender. I played Lakland, Ibanez, MM and various Fenders. I found the Spector to be a cut above. I don't think you would be disappointed if you decide to go with the Spector. But again, opinions and a$$ [email protected]!es, we all have one.
    diegom and eastcoasteddie like this.
  7. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Inactive

    Jun 20, 2013
    I'll be honest both of my main players IMO blowed either of them out of the water in pliability and tone.

    Ibanez SR5005 Prestige
    Ibanez BTB1605 Premium

    5005_1.JPG BTB_1.jpg BTB_3.jpg
  8. Shpigel


    Sep 19, 2016
    Cool basses! the BTB looks like a piece of art.
  9. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    +1 for the Ibanez SR series. Just bought a SR1900 with the Nordstrand pickups in there and honestly - this thing has electronics on steroids. The versatility out of the two pups + 3band EQ with 3-way mid-frequency selector is mind-boggling.

    First grade build quality and playability.

    I was looking at a Fender American standard jazz. To me (and this just my personal preference) the Ibanez is a more versatile, better playing bass than the Fender Jazz at about the same price.

    IMG_1205b.jpg IMG_1269sm.jpg
    Roberto Nunez likes this.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Poor build quality? I had a 2010 Fender American Deluxe P and a 2011 American Deluxe Jazz V and the build quality on both of them was spectacular. The Jazz could have used some shielding but that is par for the course with a Fender (as well as several other brand names.)
    project_c, mikeyjm2 and The Nameless like this.
  11. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Inactive

    Jun 20, 2013
    That BTB is a Beast...I have upgraded the pickups to Norddstrand Dual Coils ($325) and Aguilar OBP-3 preamp ($230). I also had D-Cline Designs make me a set of self charging glow int he low light knobs to match the top. It's simply a joy to play and sounds so good.

    paytojt, eastcoasteddie and GoLeafsGo like this.
  12. The obvious answer to getting a Fender Deluxe Jazz sound is just buy one
    from Fender.
    Any time you have an ash J body, there is a good chance of it being
    on the heavy side.
    It's a relativly heavy wood and the Jazz body uses a lot of it.
    If you can find another bass that's ash bodied, maple FB bass with J type PUPs and spacing
    and a simular preamp, you should get much of the same sound.
    The thing is, most of the time, if they offer those features they will
    probably offer them in a fairly Jazz shaped package.
    project_c and Adam Wright like this.
  13. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    There are a lot of Fender clones on the market that are of excellent quality. If you are a little handy, you could build a Warmoth or pay someone to do it for you. I would probably get a G&L if I wanted a factory J clone at a reasonable price, but there are lots of higher end examples too (like Sadowsky, Lakland and others).
    PawleeP and bdplaid like this.
  14. bassrich


    Nov 20, 2011
    Sarasota, FL
    Have you tried "Old Smoothie" yet?
  15. Shpigel


    Sep 19, 2016
    I tried many models of the BTB and SR series.
    They all felt and looked great but they sound very different from the Fender.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't say they sound bad just that they don't have the tone I'm looking for.
  16. FacStudio


    Sep 16, 2016
    Worcester, UK
    Bass which sounds like a Fender American Deluxe Jazz

    Sorry, let's get this right, you want a bass that sounds like a FADJ but you don't want a Fender, you want one from another maker. All this is based on a 'friends' experience with 'a' Fender, where you as an expect, assessed the electrics where cheap. Oh and you don't like the weight or shape of the Fender Jazz. want it to sound the same!

    Yeah okay, good luck with one! You've already said G&L and Sadowsky sound too weak and you cannot get access to a Lakland to try. All these are in essence a Fender 'Jazz' copies, so will be uncomfortable and relatively heavy like the Fender. Finally, you don't want a MMan because they're too bulky. want it to sound the same!

    You're just not being realistic.

    In the real world, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a's a duck...
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2016
  17. mikeyjm2

    mikeyjm2 Keepin' it simple.

    Dec 31, 2014
    Houston, TX
    I was wondering the same. Have a 2011 ADJ (4 string) and I absolutely love it. No complaints about the build quality. I actually consider it the most ergonomically good bass I own. Then again, I play it with the toggle flipped to passive most of the time because in active it is a bit noisy, but as you say, I really need to go back and shield the thing properly. Wondering if that has something to do with OP's perception of it being poor build quality?
    project_c likes this.
  18. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I was thinking the same thing.
    Doner Designs likes this.
  19. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    sooner or later someone is going to suggest, rather, insist, you buy a Sire. I've not played one, but they're out there.
    Plutonium244 likes this.

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