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Best Luthier J-Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by panm, Dec 5, 2017.


Best Luthier made J-Bass.

Poll closed Dec 6, 2017.
  1. Sadowsky.

  2. Nino Valenti.

  3. Suhr.

  4. Mike Lull.

  5. Fodera.

  6. M-Bass.

    0 vote(s)
  7. De Gier.

    0 vote(s)
  8. Fender Custom-Shop.

  9. Sandberg California

  10. Other (Comment down below).

  11. Roscoe

  1. panm


    Nov 26, 2017
    Hey guys, im Mateo, a new member of the talkbass forum.
    After extensive research of lots of different luthiers who make Jazz Basses, in either a modern or vintage style, i've decided to ask everyone here at TB a simple question:
    Which luthier, from your own experience, makes the best J-Bass?
    It can be a Hi-Fi thing or a Vintage style thing. Just about anything.
    I've went ahead and listed a few of the more known Luthier's, but feel free to comment any others.
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  2. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Since you're new, you can't know that it's not a simple question at all because what you'll get is people simply voting for whatever they currently own or wish they owned, showing off pics, etc.

    Extremely few, mostly likely none, will have played all those, much less extensively enough to offer a very useful opinion, and there are so many equally worthy builders left off the list.

    To answer as best I can, as someone that owns and plays several high-end J-style basses including some on your list, they're all different versions of excellent with respect to build quality, as are my standard-issue Fenders. The sound and feel is totally up to the individual player.
  3. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I have zero personal experience, but I voted "Fender Custom Shop" because (I don't have your level of expendable income and) I *think* it would hold its value better than the rest. :)
    panm likes this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    TBr JohnK_10

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    IMO at this price range there's no best for everyone. They must be all equally good. You ideally need to try all, and see which one YOU like the 'best'.
    panm and Mr_O'B like this.
  6. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi Mateo :) welcome to TB

    and the simple (TB) answer is:

    fixed! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

    and no carrots option? :D try before buy :bassist:

    may the bass be with you

    panm, Mr_O'B and MYLOWFREQ like this.
  7. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Speaking as a P bass guy, I had a Fender Am Std Jazz V, which I liked a lot. It was an instrument I could easily have used as my go-to bass except it was too heavy for my old back.

    At the same time I had Mike Lull and Sadowsky Jazz basses. These guys are working at the peak of their profession. With a heavy heart I sold the Lull and kept the Sadowsky because I couldn't justify both instruments and I slightly preferred the Sadowsky sound. They were both a pleasure to play.

    As has been pointed out, people do vote for what they currently own. . . . but that's understandable, based on their journey and experience. Most of us are playing basses we have arrived at through a series of trials and tests. Me, I own the best bass I've played so far so I'll recommend that to anyone.
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  8. Mr_O'B


    Feb 22, 2015
    De Gier and Sandberg, I don’t know enough about them to comment on whether or not they are in the same league as the other basses that you listed.

    Some TB members are sticklers for perfect: fit, finish and construction. That’s cool, but I don’t judge a bass strictly on how perfectly it is constructed.

    I believe Fodera and Sadowsky have the best reputations for overall construction. With that said, I think all of the other basses are all top quality instruments worth consideration.

    You either have to play them or listen to someone playing them to determine if you like tone of the basses. You also have to consider playability and cost!

    You listed some fantastic basses! Remember, best is subjective!

    P.S. - You may also want to consider the new Roscoe Classic Custom j-basses!
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    panm, chris_b and Stumbo like this.
  9. panm


    Nov 26, 2017
    Thanks for the replys everyone! I should've anticipated that people would just vote for whatever they own. Rookie mistake i guess :roflmao:.
    I think that, even though i would love to try them all, because of where i live (Argentina) it's hard if not impossible to try most of this basses out, as the only way of getting them ship to South America is by buying them. And i really can't buy that many basses. That's why, even though incredibly subjective, i was wondering what people liked, and why.
    Thanks again, Mateo.
    PS: Thanks for recommeding the Roscoe's, i'll add them to the Poll and check them out. ;)
    mindwell and Mr_O'B like this.
  10. franklindayala


    Feb 8, 2015
    You should check Wilkins Roasted Jazz basses.

    Pat Wilkins makes incredible basses. I have a P5 made by him that I love.
    panm, gorneyg and Mr_O'B like this.
  11. Maxfenderbass

    Maxfenderbass Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    Stratford, Ontario
    Passive Jazz Bass, Moollon or AVRI
    Active, Sadowsky, F Bass
    panm likes this.
  12. TrevorR


    Oct 3, 2015
    Near London, UK
    Yeah, with that list there is no “best” there is only “preferred” or “favourite”. I happen to like Sandbergs and have tried a few in shops in London. So if I was going to buy a nice Jazz tomorrow it would probably be a Sandberg or a Maruszcyk (or however they are spelled!) but I’ve never tried any of the others except the Fender CS. People speak so highly of the Lulls and the Roscoes that they might also creep onto the list for no reason other than that. I’ve tried a friend’s Reverend which was wonderful but was a hollow body particleboard bass so a Reverend Justice bass might be on my list too...That’s what my list would look like but I’m pretty sure that any one of those makes could fit my bill just as well.

    Best advice... find some way to try different makes and models and go with what you like best without worrying whether that make you didn’t try might have been 2% better...
    panm likes this.
  13. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I voted for Other and the other is Eliezer Lara from Brazil... upload_2017-12-6_16-37-51.
    panm likes this.
  14. I would imagine there are luthiers in Argentina.
    When I had my bass made, I chose an unknown but excellent, luthier in my home town, and spent plenty time working with him on details throughout the building process, like neck width, and depth, bridge spacing, and height, and how the back fit against my rib cage, what type frets, where to put the fretless part of the fingerboard, and all those physical things. We also worked out pickup placement, type pick ups and where the knobs should sit.
    He wasn't;t satisfied until everything was perfect for me, and himself.
    I played that bass for 40 years, and when things needed adjustment, or parts needed changing, he did them and took pride in his work.
    panm and Stumbo like this.
  15. jmone


    Mar 1, 2010
    No Lakland love?
    RolandMHall and 57pbass like this.
  16. andymc


    Oct 26, 2008
    UK London
    Went to New York with the intention of buying a Sadowsky back in 2005 (?) but fell in love with an Alleva Copollo.
    Love my LM5 - it's numbered as "B5 0004" wouldn't sell or trade it for the world. Bought in NYC at the old shop. I wanted to get the early Marcus Miller sound, so Jimmy found a re-edition of the old Stars preamp, & fitted it in few days before returning to UK...

    Haven't found much to better it since....although I was mightily impressed with Tom Stenbeck basses. Really, really awesome!! Celinder & Dingwall J5 all great too & have that J-on-steroids thing.

    Less fussed about Luthier J basses when it comes to 4 strings - pretty happy with my Tokai Limited Edition.
    panm likes this.
  17. Gnal


    Apr 22, 2014
    I voted Suhr because, like StayLow said, its what I own. I was very keen on getting a Sadowsky when I traded for the Suhr, and know they are also top notch. If I were to order another bass today, it would likely be a Fodera but I am not sure if equiping it with Duel Coils prevents it from being considered a J style bass.
    panm likes this.
  18. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Pics would be nice. :thumbsup:
    panm and CaseyVancouver like this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Lots of great options, lots of prices. Lots of opinions...
    panm likes this.
  20. Apolicious


    Jan 16, 2014
    I recently went to corner street music in Nashville, and they sounded great, but just played... fine? they were well set up, but nothing jaw-dropping. felt like a fender. that's obviously subjective, and I freely admit I prefer shallower necks than most, but I wouldn't buy one unless it was significantly cheaper.
    I haven't played the Fodera J's, but I'd really love too. I played a few Foderas at NAMM and they were just incredible. this was before the standard line, though.
    panm likes this.

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