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Biggest factor of the 70s Fender Jazz sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bubba2020, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. bubba2020


    Apr 8, 2004
    Hi, new member here.

    I've searched the forum for info about 70s Fender jazz basses but I didn't see this question asked before.

    From what I can tell from forum posts, the classic 70s Fender Jazz is considered to be: Ash body, bridge pickup closer to the bridge, and maple fretboard.

    The reason I ask is that I see there is the MIA 75RI, the MIJ Marcus Miller, and MIA special issue 70s Jazz basses.

    The MIA special issues are going for a real good price (really like the one in olympic white) but they have an alder body with a rosewood fretboard. The MIA 75RI is ~ $400 more and the Marcus Miller has the pickguard that I don't like.

    I've been playing for a number of years and I mostly play rock/blues but my band is starting to move into playing some funk and I'm starting to learn slap. The MIA special issue looks great but will I be missing something by not going with Ash body/Maple fretboard? Should I bite the bullet and shell out the extra bucks for the MIA 75 RI?

    Thanks for your time in reading this thread...
  2. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    The alder bodies sound good IMO and I am definitely not a fan of the Marcus Miller Jazz (but that's just me). If it were me I would look closely at both the RI and the MIA Special issue. Most likely I would go with the Special Issue because of the value it represents. I think what you need to do, if possible, is play each of them and decide which plays and sounds right to you.

    Good luck, Dan
  3. dabshire

    dabshire Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    If you can, I would suggest you try the 75 RI before you spend the money on the MIA. I just got (about a month ago) a US 75 RI, and it, in my opinion, smokes every Fender I have ever played. The sound is amazing, and the feel and playability of the neck is outstanding.

    I used to be a Fender basher, until I played this bass...

    My other bass is a Pedulla Thunderbolt 5 string, and since I got the RI, it doesn't see much playing time at all (and I love the Pedulla).

    If you can play one give it a shot. The RI may be worth every extra penny...
  4. This is a very hard question to answer, because it comes down to personal taste. Assuming that the bass with the alder body/rosewood board will be the warmer sounding bass, I feel it's easier to brighten up the sound of a warm/dark sounding bass than it is to mellow out the sound of a brighter sounding bass.

    I hate to give you the *safe* answer, but I really feel you should play as many units of both types of Jazz bass before you lay down the greenbacks. In fact, play some basses you think you might not like; you might just get a pleasant surprise.

    Mike ;)

    P.S. Welcome to Talkbass, Bubba2020. :cool:
  5. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm with him. I have not played a single fender that's as nice as the '75 RI. It's also preferences. I prefer maple fretboards and high-gloss on everything. This bass is everything I've ever wanted. Be sure to go play both these basses extensively. I always like to spend a few hours with any bass before I buy it. An extra $400 seems like a lot more, but it's better than buying a bass you don't like as much and having regret.

    Welcome to talkbass btw :bassist:
  6. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    as always with fender, play a bass before you buy it, sight unseen is a huge roll of the dice with Fender

    some of the USA 75 RI's are indeed very nice. some of the American Series basses are very nice too

    I remain convinced that the BIGGEST factor in tone in a bass is the pickups and electronics
  7. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I own a 75RI CAR special edition and it smokes. it is my main gigger and it has a rosewood neck, not maple! it is just as bright as my Marcus Miller and my MIA natural/maple necked jazz. Like said above it has an awesome feel and super playability. As for the MIA jazz, it's a great sounding bass also. I just think the 75RI sounds better, especially for the thump and pop stuff.
  8. bubba2020


    Apr 8, 2004
    Thanks for the replies.

    It is now the battle of the 75RIs. :D

    ash/maple vs. alder/rosewood. I see there's plenty to find searching the forum for that topic. ;)

    Those special issue 75RIs look really sharp. Big Fender logo, pearl blocks, and matching headstocks. (I know, that wasn't a 70s thing).


    Mar 4, 2004
    Amal, Sweden
    I own a MIA special issue 70s Jazz bass (in Olympic White) and it´s a wonderful playing, sounding and looking bass. I had some modifications in mind when i bought it (pickup change and j-retro preamp), but i wont change a thing about this bass. The tones this baby lays down through my my EA i-Amp 800 combo is fantastic, a real classic tone that sits in the mix perfectly.

    I dont think you will go wrong with the MIA 75RI or MIJ Marcus Miller basses either. But for looks, i think the MIA special issue with the matching headstock look the coolest... ;)

    Good luck!
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Every bass is unique. If it were me in that situation I'd narrow it down to a handful of basses then haul my rigging in to make the final selection. I'd bring some recordings of my stuff and play along cause what sounds great to me solo, sucks with accompaniment.

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