Best Jazz Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grungtertl, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. grungtertl


    Aug 2, 2004
    I am looking to buy a jazz bass. What is the best jazz bass on the market today, i want a bass that can get a great vintage and a great modern sound to it. I want the best overall jazz bass out there.
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    What kind of scratch are you looking to spend? $$$
  3. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    This is gonna be good! :D
  4. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    "Vintage" as in 1960s? 1970s? Jazz Bass as in Fender, or Jazz-style bass as in Sadowsky, Lakland, et al? What's most important in determining what's "best"? Tone? Playability? Versatility? Talk to us about the Jazz bass you dream about.
  5. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound

    Just kidding

    Anyway, you came to the right place. Tell us what you are looking for, and I'm sure someone will find it. Here's some questions:

    What kind of tone are you looking for? Agressive, Thumpy, Growly, Clean, Glassy,etc.?

    What kind of playability are you looking for?

    What kind of neck do you want? Material? Any fancy inlays or binding? Skinny neck, or fat neck?

    Do you like a more curved/radiused fingerboard or flat? Any preference in the fingerboard material? Slim or wide fingerboard?

    Do you like big frets, or little ones?

    Does the body shape or weight matter to you?

    Passive or active electronics? If active, what kind of EQ options do you want?

    Any preference in pickups? Active, passive, humbucking, etc?

    Hardware - Any preferences for tuners, nut, bridge, etc.?

    Does looks matter? What kind of finish would you like?

    And of course, how much do you want to spend?
  6. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    This is something you can find out by trying some out. No brand out there makes consistently amazing Jazz Basses. Some Fender Japan Jazzes can put a $3000 Sadowsky to shame. Never buy before trying because you'll never get what you're looking for. :D
  7. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    Sadowsky Vintage or Standard 4 or 5, in my opinion.
  8. Iruleonbass


    May 29, 2005
    New York
    Rofl this is gonna be really fun. I dont think most people think that detailed, maybe he'll get back to you in a week. I on the other would take about a month to make up my mind on all that stuff. Holy cow thats alot of options.
  9. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Words of wisdom, the one time I tried this I lost. I have a hard time buying a bass that I cannot play. For instance, alot of people are very fond of the Sadowsky jazz basses. Based on this opinion there are people that have purchased them and were disapointed. The only true way to find " the best jazz bass" is for you to go find it.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I also question that you're gonna find a Jazz with the best active or modern sound and the best passive or vintage sound all in the same package, even if you could figure out what the 'best' of those was, since it's competely subjective.

    There are so many variables and so many different 'jazz' type basses out there that it comes down to personal preference. Of course, if you've got the money, there's Sadowsky, Lull, Benavente and all sorts of other custom builds...Heck, even my favorite, Dingwall is making a Jazz bass now.
  11. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Yeah, it's alot of options but it determines what makes the best J bass for me. If I'm gonna spend alot of dough on a bass, I better like it and it better fit me.

    For example, I like flatter fretboards and the more radiused fretboards like on Sadowskys and the Lakland Darryl Jones are just too curved to me. Similar with frets, I like smaller vintage style frets so a Lakland with a flatter fingerboard, like a Joe Osborne would make a better choice for me. I also like the ability to shape my tone, so an on-board preamp is essential. And the choices go on and on.

    The list goes on and on. You can't know what the best bass is until you know what makes something the best for you. It's not something that took me weeks or months, it took years.
  12. RATZAX


    Oct 23, 2002
    Gales Creek,Or
    Best Jazz bass in my opinion is the SX jazz bass. I have been playing 35 years and have owned too many guitars and basses to remember. Currently have several Hagstroms a 95 P Bass USA and a 85 MIJ 62 Ri Jazz bass and a 78 Fender Mustang Ash w/maple neck.

    The SX Jazz bass I now own and play is the best I have had so far.Best tone and best playability.It is my main player. I changed out the pots and lubed the tuners.Added a set of TI-Jazz Flats and I am set.I keep comparing it to my other basses but it wins out everytime.

    Remember the fable about the emporer and his new clothes when it comes to buying your next bass.
  13. IMO the best Fender Jazz I've ever played is the new 2005 MIA Deluxe. It feels great and the 18v pre-amp/new pickups are sweet.
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I prefer Sadowsky. There are many other makers that do a good jazz bass. Get out and play a few and decide for yourself

  15. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Many may dispute this, but if your looking to get a Jazz Bass and aren't sure what you want maybe you should get a Fender Jazz Bass. Dropping the thermometer in water will give you an idea of what to expect but until you actually take the plunge it's all a mystery. The upgrade options for a Jazz bass are almost overwhelming these days. Until one gets their feet wet it's anyone's guess what will float the boat. I hear of people who are thrilled with their stock MIJ Jazzes and disappointed with their MIA's. The bottom line is you have to find out for yourself, IMHO.
  16. Sadowsky would be my choice for a well balanced, modern bass with vintage features.

    If you aren't willing to spend that much you can always go for an American Deluxe Jazz bass and it would probably get the job done pretty well. I personally love them.
  17. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    been searching for "THE" jazz bass myself.. for a while now.
    I had a Sadowsky Tokyo- great tone, great bass, this one was a bit heavy, so i let it go.
    had a Celinder for a minute, but it needed a fret job and i could not find myself to pay top $ for a used bass with need of a fret job
    have checked out a few Mike Lulls and i find them to be the most playable, but they tend to be polite, very smooth. I am having one made that i will use a J retro and Dimarzio Ultra J on, should sound killer
    but... I have a Fender Am Dlx 5 that is just awesome. For the $- i got it used, it smokes. Can't deny the fat tone, love it. Right now, if i tried a Sadowsky and it sounded better, I'd buy it on the spot. Sadowsky have a very loyal following, and many bassists i respect have told me they love them.
    Good luck on your search!
  18. ahahahaha :D wow that's a lot to think about
  19. I asked myself the same question... how to get the best Jazz. Being a Lefty, there is much less to choose from - so I quickly started looking for boutique basses.
    I found my ultimate Jazz Bass at Hotwire. Bert Gerecht is a really nice guy and was very helpful in assisting me to find out the just perfect configuration. And Magnus Krempel, the luthier who actually builds the Hotwire basses, is also a great guy.
    So I got what I would consider a perfect Jazz for about 2000 Euro... much less than a lefty Sadowsky would cost.