Best Fender Jazz for heavy music

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pkaplan, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. pkaplan


    Jan 23, 2020
    HI Guys,

    I used to play a Rickenbacker and an Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite bass in heavy bands in the late 90s/early 2000s (punk/grunge/metal).

    I am now doing something a bit different, kind of doomy/gothy/punky. Think Neurosis meets Bauhaus.

    I have a Gretcsh Electromatic and a Washburn Tauras neckthrough. I am waiting on a vintage Greco Tbird copy (Japanese). I am playing through an Orange OB-1-500 (solid state) through two Orange 410s. The Gretsch and Washburn are totally different, but equally pretty blah. Maybe the Greco will be so amazing I won't ever need another bass.

    But whenever I plug in my friend's 90's Fender P-bass into my rig, it just sounds so much better than the Gretsch or Washburn. The thing is, I can't stand how P-basses look. So, my solution is to get a Jazz, which look much better to me than the P. I would like to spend $1000 max.

    I am stuck deciding on which J-bass to get. There are tons of options: New (US), new (made somewhere else), and all the old models. My instincts tell me to get a 90s model, but I can't decide about US, Japan, Mexico. The problem is I will probably buy via Reverb unless I can find one here in San Diego.

    Bass V likes this.
  2. pipaberg, MDH bass, Benko and 3 others like this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
  4. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    Just get a Darkglass pedal or two
    wncBass, pipaberg, sonojono and 5 others like this.
  5. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Any Jazz that looks and feels good to you, and assuming it has regular J-bass single coils, a series/parallel switch. In series, it will sound thicker and heavier, more like a P-bass.

    Of course there are lots of aftermarket pickup options too. One of my J-basses has Lace Man o' War pickups, which are cool because they're true single coils, but with virtually no noise due to Lace's Sensor shielding technology. They also sound thicker than conventional J-bass pickups, with less treble, so in a band mix they function almost like a P-bass. At high volume, they totally rip.

    Otherwise, I like the options posted by @two fingers . I immediately thought of the Deluxe Active and Aerodynes.
    mikecd1 and Kerem Koseoglu like this.
  6. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Did you read back what you wrote?

    You fell in love with the sound of a P, so you are going to buy a Jazz.
  7. pkaplan


    Jan 23, 2020
    Charlie--I know! It's psychotic! It might be stupid, but my theory is it isn't so much the P but the Fender quality that separates from my crappy other basses. With my luck, I'll get one of the J's recommended and end up ultimately getting a P anyway. There is something to be said about not overthinking and just going with the ultimate classic rock bass. In any case, thanks to all for the advice!
    austin2112, Helix and charlie monroe like this.
  8. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Lots of BC Rich offerings w/ precision style pickups.
  9. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    I would suggest the Aerodyne as well. You can definitely get a P-bass sound out of it.
    NathOBX and Monterey Bay-ss like this.
  10. Verb the Noun

    Verb the Noun

    Aug 1, 2018
    San Diego
    As has been, and will be, beaten to death... Fender P and J sound very different.

    That said... I'm grateful you were not scoping the SD CL adds for MIA Jazz basses last weekend. Scored a smoking deal on an amazing bass. The Fender Precision lyte that has held a #1 quiver position 30+ years just dropped to #2.
    nabilhuakbar likes this.
  11. Vanheusen77


    Nov 9, 2016
    I don’t think it has to do with Fender being higher quality. It’s the P vs J sound thing. There are basses with p pickups in jazz bodies as mentioned above!
    Dubious Aa and HolmeBass like this.
  12. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard.

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Get the Aerodyne if you must have a Fender. It has the sexy jazz bass look, but a P sound.

    A jazz will sound like a jazz, which regardless of brand or quality, will not sound like a P bass.
    DTRN, zoonose, Dubious Aa and 2 others like this.
  13. deff

    deff Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2018
    Gloucester, MA
    Hard to tell if they are still being made, but if I was getting a J Bass for heavy music I would get a Jericho Alpha.
    Jericho Guitars | ALPHA
  14. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    Um... get a bass with split P pickups in it that you like the looks of.
  15. AudioTaper

    AudioTaper Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2018
    Something I didnt see mentioned (maybe I missed it) is to get a Jazz bass you like the feel of, then install a good P pickup. They make Jazz bass pickguards for P pickups.
    It would be quite easy since the pickguard will cover any sloppy routing.

    Not handy? A luthier could do it for you. Or even a friend/family member with any sort of woodworking skills.

    I personally dont care for the Aerodyne. But to each his own.
  16. Mark Hoppus Bass
    Chaser1 likes this.
  17. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    If you're sold on a jazz find one that feels and looks the way you want and slap some Fender Vintage 74's in it.

    They are what came in my 50th Anniversary Jazz and can seriously grind when you dig in. Especially with round wounds.
  18. Ellery


    Mar 25, 2015
    Get a used Spector Euro and call it a day!
    Bassdirty likes this.
  19. lucas303


    Mar 11, 2019
    Getting a bass that looks different but has the P pickup (in the P spot) seems like the obvious solution. Going for a J seems like a strange approach to your initial problem, to say the least.
  20. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia

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