calling all fender standars jazz bass owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Geezerman, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Well before i start investing time and money into this bass, I would like to know a few things if you can help me out.

    - I've hard about problems with hum, is this a widespread problem or is it just a few cases?

    - Can i get a pickup cover put on it ( does this help the hum issue?)

    - Would you recommend changing out the bridges?

    - Is there alot of growl in teh stock pickups? ( and how can i maxamize this growl?)

    - are these basses bolt on?

    *Edit: I'm talking about the 4 string, non american versions ;)

  2. MCT


    Apr 11, 2005
    Well I was lucky enough so that I don't notice the hum on my standard jazz, but ther is some. Replacing the bridge is damn good idea since mine won't seem to stay in the same position I left it in, and also the more you dig in the more "growl" I seem to get.

    edit** yeah they are bolt on~~~ it's cool thobecause replacing the bridge helps out the sustain a whole lot!!
  3. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    thanks for the quick reply bro!

    And i like your answer about the growl as i seem to dig in hard alot, any bridge recommendations?
  4. Minimaul


    Jun 22, 2003
    I get some hum if i put both volume knobs at 10. So, i just keep 'em just below 10. 8/9 ish is good for me. mine's a `78.
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Hum - you'll get this using either pickup predominantly over the other, when you use both together they work as hum-cancelling. Yes, it can be a problem and I think this will apply to all basses, but vary owing to other factors, especially the electrical environment you're playing in. I doubt if a pickup cover will make any difference to this (you mean the usual J cover, right?)

    I changed the bridge on mine as the stock bridge seemed to rattle/move when I dug in hard and "fiddling" with it didn't help, although it has to be said I'm no setup expert. High mass bridges (I put a Badass II on mine, in fact I have these on all 3 of my Jazz basses) can also change the attack and clarity of your tone (depending on other factors as well, especially playing style) and this was definitely so in my case. Some people like 'em, some don't. You'll also hear claims of improved sustain with high mass bridges although I haven't personally noticed this.

    The stock pickups actually sound pretty good if you don't get bothered by the hum issues as described above. There is a fair bit of the typical Jazz growl in these single coil pickups which can be brought out as usual by tickling the lower mid EQ a bit and also, of course, your playing style. I swapped mine out for hum reasons though. I've used EMGs and Nordstrands in different basses and both have their own character and good points - the Nordies, although not cheap, are my current favourites in a fretted bass.

    MIM Jazz basses have standard bolt-on necks, but without the graphite reinforcement of the USA models, although how much difference that makes is open to discussion; the neck on mine has been very stable so far.

    In my experience the MIM basses (and also the MIAs) vary quite a bit so you definitely should try as many as you can before buying. If you drop lucky and find a good one they can be every bit as good to play as the American ones, although some of the components used are different. I went out to try and find a Jazz bass I liked - whatever - and the one I bought was, to me, the best sounding and playing Jazz bass in the store (if it wasn't I would have spent more for a USA model). Maybe I was very lucky, but I preferred this one to others in there three or four times the price. The mods have improved it still further by sorting out the minor issues as described above. I was aware of these issues when I bought the bass and knew I could resolve them to my satisfaction, so home it came! I suggest getting one that suits YOU and playing it for a while until you have some ideas about how you might tailor it to your own requirements, or leave it stock if you're happy with it as it is. Hope this helps!
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have a 1998 Am Std Jazz bass. I absolutely love it and put it up against any bass ever made, collector's item or no. I'm not crazy about the S-1 switch on the new ones, but I still think they're terrific basses. Haven't played many bad ones.

    Your questions:

    1. Hum isn't much of an issue. Most of the time you'll probably want both pickups on full, and they act as a humbucker when you do that. And if you do turn one down, it's only in areas with poor hum rejection that you have to worry about hum. Maybe one gig out of 20 is an issue for me.

    2. Pickup covers do nothing to reject hum. All they do is get in the way and decrease future resale value.

    3. I didn't change out the bridge in mine. I believe in keeping Fenders totally stock since seeing how ridiculous the prices for stock 70's Fenders are. The only non-stock thing on my bass are the strap locks, but I still have the old ones and can change them back. Besides, it's a fine bridge, and I am firmly convinced that the bridge doesn't matter soundwise. I've never made a bridge change and had it impact the sound. So why bother?

    4. There is plenty of growl in the stock pickups. They're '62 reissues, and they sound like it. To maximize it, plug it in and turn it up.

    5. Yes, they are bolt-ons, which to me sound oh so much better than neck-thru-body. The neck-thru-body design smoothes out the idiosyncracies that makes bolted necks sound so good, such as uneven response up and down the neck, less sustain, etc. Those things sound good and pleasing to the human ear, whereas a more even response tends to sound smooth but unremarkable.

    Having said that, I own a couple neck-thru's, and I quite like them. Just not to the level that I like my Fenders.
  7. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    i was thinking about getting the pickup covers to rest my thumb on as i play, as i find the sing coil pickup uncomfrotable but, who knows! I apreciate all the responses and look forward to more!

  8. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Leo Quann BadAss II. The bridge that came with my MIM had sadles that moved around, but I don't think every single one is like that.
  9. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    From certain reviews I've heard it seems like its a widespread problem!
  10. frigo

    frigo burn in hell!

    Dec 8, 2003
    mi '01 jaz is all stock, and that's how it will always be
  11. frigo

    frigo burn in hell!

    Dec 8, 2003
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh shoot, I didn't notice you said the non-Americans at first. OK, a little addendum...the pickups in MIM basses aren't 62 reissues. I have heard that the newer ones have better pickups than the older ones, but MIM pickups can tend to be a little noisy and low on output.
  13. frigo

    frigo burn in hell!

    Dec 8, 2003
    me too... btw mine is american
  14. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I don't think MIMs can come with maple necks.
  15. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    mm hmm thats one of my biggest beefs with mim basses haha, other than the pickups. i love me some maple fretboard.
  16. funkasaurus


    Apr 23, 2001
    Los Angeles

    My 2000 MIM Jazz's bridge saddles also shifted quite easily. Replaced it with a BAII and I couldn't be happier, that sucker is solid. The original pups were a little noisy and were replaced with DiMarzio Model J's. She sounds killer now and plays as well as any Fender Jazz I've played. I spent the time to shop around and found a good one and it's paid off.

    I will probably eventually replace the tuners, shield the cavity, and replace the pots just to get some practice soldering. I don't expect it will make a huge difference in tone.

    Oh yeah I replaced the nobs with vintage style nobs, just an aesthetic upgrade.

    If you find a good one, MIM's can be one of the best values in bassdom. Good luck!
  17. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    New Orleans, LA
    I have a 97 Fender MIM Jazz Fretless. I have done a little work on it to make it equivalent or better than an american model, and for much less.

    here are the mods i have done and there prices

    Leo Quan BAII Bridge - $60 new
    Bartolini 9J Pickups - $60 used
    Control Plate and Pots - $40 new
    pearloid pickguard - $20 new
    straplocks - $15 new

    one mod i am going to do but haven't gotten around to it yet

    S-1 Switch - $20

    (cost of the dpdt switch and wire)

    after i put on the S-1 switch the bass will be better than an american jazz and it's a MIM. The new bridge and pickups really help the tone to be a lot more clear. Once i get the s-1 switch the bass with have a lot of tonal options for a passive bass.

    I have found that when you work on your bass and start tweaking, improving, and customizing it, the bass becomes more enjoyable to play and also feels more like your bass and not just some old fender.

    just my .02

    good luck
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It kills your future resale value, though.
  19. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Eh i just want the best tone for my buck. so far im looking at
    MIM Fender jazz
    -BAII bridge
    -custom pickguard, knobs (aestics)
    - strap locks

    do you think new pickups would be best (I'm very new tot he pickup game) and i like growl....:D