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Best of the Fender American Jazz Deluxes?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PolkaHero, Jul 3, 2005.


  1. Mid-90s to 1998 model with large polepiece pickups

    16 vote(s)
    17.0%
  2. 1999 to circa 2003 model with noiseless pickups (split polepieces)

    29 vote(s)
    30.9%
  3. Circa 2003 model to current with samarium cobalt pickups and 18v preamp

    49 vote(s)
    52.1%
  1. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    Right now I own a 1998 model American Jazz Deluxe. As much as I like this bass, I often wonder how much better the "upgrades" that Fender made over the ensuing years actually improved this fine instrument. I've heard the newest models with the samarium cobalt pickups are the bomb. I'd like some input as to which of the "three" models are the best. I know Fender changed the pickups in 1999 to the "noiseless" models. Then they upgraded/changed the preamp around 2003 to 18 volts and switched to the samarium cobalt pickups. So I'd really like to know if it would be worth it to sell my 98 model and go for a newer one. I've turned this into a poll breaking down the three major models. Thanks!
     
  2. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    i pick the newest Fender,because i play one yesterday for 20 minutes and i have to say WOWWWWWWWWW the pre amp works fine and more. :hyper:
     
  3. RandallFlagg

    RandallFlagg Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Kansas City
    I couldn't agree more! I am presently playing a 2004 American Deluxe and couldn't be happier with the sound! Not to mention, of course, that once "plugged in", it is as quiet as a church mouse......
     
  4. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I'm probably one of the few here that has all three type pups in a jazz. I have a 98DLX with the Suhr pups and electonics, A 03 Victor Bailey with "noiseless pups" and a 04 FMT V with SCN pups. By far I would pick the SCN pups, they are a refined version of the "noiseless" pups with a little more bottom than the "noiseless". When I first heard the "noiseless" pups (9volt) I thought they sounded sterile and lifeless compared to the Suhr 1/4 inch slug pups of the earlier dlx basses, but when I got my VB jazz (18volt) it was a real killer! the headroom the bass has is enormous. Even when you crank the treble it stay's clear as a bell and doesn't get harsh like the earlier Suhr pup bass can get. The Suhr pup bass has the heaveist bass response with a sharper treble response. When I play out with my Victor Bailey or my FMT V I alway's get asked 'thats a Fender?" "are those Fender pups in there?" "dam that's a nice sounding bass!" It never fails! :)
     
  5. BassFelt

    BassFelt

    Mar 26, 2002
    I have a Deluxe V that I bought around '94. It's the model that has no PG and Lace Sensor PU's, which I quite like in this bass and also get favourable comments from collegues. I wondered if any of the pu's mentioned above describe these, or are they different altogether?
     
  6. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I played a 99 Dlx V as my main bass for about a year. I haven't spent any good amount of time with any of the pickups besides the noisless. Like others have said, I found them lacking in the departments of character and low-end oomph. If I would have kept the bass longer I would have replaced the pups very sooon. I will say that those were the quietest pups I have ever owned, zero noise, as the name implies.
     
  7. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Different line altogether - it's a "Jazz Plus V", which was Fender's top-of-the-line 5er at the time as well as their attempt to enter the "Modern Vintage" market (downsized body, tighter string spacing, active Lace Pups with a Philip Kubicki-designed preamp.) It wasn't a success on the market for a few reasons, the first and largest being that in the early 90's people certainly didn't think "active electronics" and "five-string" in the same sentence as Fender. They killed the line in '94 for the complete redesign of their bass line that's still very close to the original ideas 10 years ago (MIM and MIA lines, pickguards and more "classic" designs combined with active electronics, graphite reinforcement, etc.)

    I and a few others here own and love them for the very reasons I listed above, but in general they're not thought of highly. You used to be able to get them for a song on the used market, but people have driven the market up simply by craving "made in the USA" Jazz basses and no knowing what exactly they're buying.
     
  8. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    My 2002 has the noiseless pickups (not Samarium) but DOES have an 18 volt setup. Sounds terrific. I had the old (Suhr) version for a short while and it did seem to have more bass response. That one had neck issues so I didn't keep it. I would think your bass could be upgraded to the newer pickups and preamp- if it's a good player you should think about that. :eyebrow:
     
  9. BassFelt

    BassFelt

    Mar 26, 2002

    Thanks for educating me. For some reason I've been thinking for years it's a Deluxe. I think it's a great bass, except the finish on the neck got hairline cracks real soon. I also find it odd that the rounding of the back of the neck stops a bit short of the body.
     
  10. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I had a 2002 MIA Jazz Deluxe V briefly. I now play a 2004 MIA Jazz Deluxe V exclusively. The 2004 (SCN, 18-Volt) is in another league (better of course) than the 2002 model with regular noiseless pickups. The 2004 model also has a MUCH better B string....a world of difference in the B strings actually. I got rid of the 2002 in two months. I've had the 2004 since Feb05 and I don't see getting rid of it anytime soon. The 2004 just nails the fingerstyle rock tone I want without much eq'ing.

    Hope this helps,
    -Bazz-
     
  11. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I've only tried pre-1998 and post-1998, not post 2003.
    I find the pre-1998's really nail the thump... But I'm biased because that's what I own.
     
  12. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    Okay, guys thanks for all the input! One thing that was mentioned is that the newer preamps don't have as much low end. Is this true? That's one thing I love about this model over a standard jazz bass-the amount of bottom end you can get out of it.

    Also, are the necks the same shape now or are they thinner?

    Plus, mine has the older style Schaller tuners which cause a bit of neck dive. Are the new tuners lighter in weight, i.e. better balanced?
     
  13. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The older ones (Suhr stuff) have more bottom. I myself never use all the bottom that bass has to offer. The newer dlx's have an all around smoother pre that is refined and more musical (not that the older one was bad, this one is just better). This pre along with the SCN pups allow this bass to sound more vintage while retaining the functionality of an active bass. As far as neck dive I have never had that problem with any bass but then again I use good wide padded straps, why put a ten dollar strap on a thousand dollar bass?
    As far as neck shape, I really don't know because all my dlx basses have different profiles (MIA dlx, Victor Bailey, FMT V).
     
  14. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    Any more comments? Do the newer ones have a satin finish on the back of the neck? I'm not liking the polyurethane finish on my 98 too much.
     
  15. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    your signature says:Nothing runs like a Fender...and thats its so true..remember..We love Fenders,,,,,they are the best in the business :bassist:
     
  16. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    The new ones with SCN and 18 volts are not lacking in bottom end at all. Mine has all kinds o bottom.
     
  17. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Yes the back of the neck finish is a nice smooth silky satin finish.
     
  18. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Yes the SCN pups do have more bottom end then the noiseless pups with the same 18 volt pre, but the 9volt Suhr version has more bottom then both. The newest version with the scn pups is a refined version that makes this bass as good as it is. I think this is why MIA dlx basses are starting to be noticed for the excellent basses they are.
    The difference between the pups I mention above are:

    1) the Suhr stuff is clean with heavy boost in the low end and heavy high's one the treble side. Although highs are clean they tend to be bright fully boosted.

    2)the noiseless (18V) stuff is noticably clearer with a smoother all around response throughout it's tonal spectrum. Nice vintage sound to the them. Boosted lows are mellow while boosted high's are clear as a bell.

    3) Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pups are a refined version of the noiseless designed by Bill Lawrence (Fender RB5 pup designer). These pups take the noiseless pups to a new level. They actually have more bottom than the noiseless pups and sound more vintage than the noiseless pups do. These pups like the noiseless pups are dead quite. It's going to be hard for Fender or anyone else to top the SCN pups.
     
  19. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    i like Fender yes,yes i like them more than my girlfriend oh baby yes,yes :p
     
  20. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    Brilliant analysis! I thank you kindly! :bassist: