1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Best Jazz Option under $1100

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by albass111, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Fender Super FrankenJazzes

  2. Lakland Skyline/ Ken Smith Design

  3. Fender USA Standard

  4. Other

  1. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was inspired by the Fender diss GAS post to find out what the best options for Fenderish Jazz basses are. I think that this can help those players who don't quite realize Fenders aren't always stellar off the wall. This is also a good chance to compare the workmanship of a high end Korean bass, with a standard USA. But for $1000, you can't really get into the high end Jazzes (lull, sadowsky) These are my nominations.

    Subtract $200-$400 for used market value

    MIJ '62 and '75 Reissues with Aguilar or Bartolini Preamps installed and BadAssII Bridge($800)
    Fender Geddy Lee ($700)
    Fender MM Jazz ($800)
    Fender USA Standard ($1000)
    Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn ($1100)
    Lakland Skyline Daryl Jones ($1100)
    Ken Smith Design ($800)
    Valenti ($?)
    TBC ($500):smug:

    I think most bass players should have a fender style bass in their repetoire (I know I'll get grief for that comment.) so feel free to give more suggestions or tell us about your frankenjazz success!

  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I know it's not really a Jazz Bass, but I really recommend the new Fender Jaguar. It gets the killer Jazz tone and many, many tonal options. Other than the Jaguar, I think the Geddy Lee model is the best under $1,100 J-style bass.
  3. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    The Jag is mondo sweet.
  4. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    For me, I'd rank the ones you listed in this order:

    Valenti (nothing beats a custom bass, but it would cost more and take longer)
    Lakland JO or DJ
    Fender Geddy Lee/Jaguar (good deal, these!)
    Fender MIA
    CIJ reissues (ranked lower because a TRUE jazz bass should be passive)

    I don't have too much experience with the KSD.
  5. momo


    Oct 22, 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I dig the vibe of the CIJs more, and there are great aftermarket PUs that you could use and still be passive.
  6. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Marcus and Geddy are definitely NOT standard J basses and I meant to make it more clear that you can vote for those in the first category. Overall, I love my DJ4 but I have a MIJ '62 reissue with USA custom shop 60's cloth wired pickups, and a Bart TBT with a Badass Bridge that absolutely smokes.. The neck on my MIJ is much slimmer and playable for me that my USA '62 Reissue. According to sales, the Geddy's and Marcus' can't stay on the shelf and are well crafted basses.
  7. the_home

    the_home Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    I'm really enjoying a new Modulus VJ4 (thanks again, Brian). It has the look, and a great pallett of tones! And I just love the glassy feel of the neck.
  8. tiredman9


    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    Im gonna say the Laklands but I can't tell you which one till I know what tone you are going for. Or a valenti but only if its something reasonably different
  9. i think a fender MIA would be a great choice

    and i think i'm the only person ever that doesnt like the geddy lee jazz bass but everyone else does, so i'm sure it would bea good choice for you if your info jazzes.
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    IMO - Fender USA by about a million miles.

    Next would be a USA Hamer Cruise if you can find one used.

    If you like active basses, see if you can find one of the active JJ Peavey Milleniums.
  11. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I would go lakland, but I would NOT go Ken Smith Design. I have played a couple, and they look cool, but the narrow spacing and general tone didn't do it for me.

    My guess is that most people who voted for "Lakland/Ken Smith" were voting for Lakland.
  12. JJD


    Dec 13, 2005
    Bergen Co, New Jersey
    I posted in another thread, I played the Geddy Lee this past Saturday, I was very impressed! Comfortable, so, so easy to play, and quality! Awesome for MIJ! For $699, I'm gonna pick one up! Felt so much better than the MIA Jazzes that were at the store, their neck felt thicker, I don't like that.
  13. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    When faced with the choice a few years ago, I bought an American Series Fender. I think I'd do the same now, and it's still my go-to bass (despite my P-bass fetish of late), so it gets my vote.

    I also considered the Lakland Joe Osborn Skyline, which I thought had slightly better tone with the Lindy Fralin pickups. But I preferred the Fender's rounded fingerboard edges and overall neck feel, graphite reinforced neck, and tonal flexibility with the S-1 switch. It also came with a hardshell case. I installed some noiseless Fralins last year, so now it's even better. Find one that resonates well acoustically and feels great, and you'll have a keeper.
  14. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Anyone like the 90's USA Jazz Plus'?
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Lakland Skylines are phenomenal basses for the money.

  16. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
  17. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006

    I voted for the Ken Smith. I love their 70's proto-J and I think that is by far the best Jazz bass for the money.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Have you given any thought to the G&L JB 2 ?
  19. jobo4


    Apr 19, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I don't think the Skylines and the KSD are in the same league. The Laklands are better by far. A DJ4 smokes either of the KSDs. BTW, a KSD bass never sees the Ken Smith factory. Thats the difference in the Skylines.
  20. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i'd say either a Valenti or a good old REAL Fender.