Convince me to keep my Fender Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by El Raro, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. So I picked up this 2011 MIM Jazz a couple months back and its been really good to me so far...but really only in my bedroom. I can't seem to sit well with it in my band mix during rehearsal at all. I simply get drowned out, even if I'm cranking in some overdrive or distortion (which usually helps). Basically, I love the way it sound and plays if I'm doing some solo stuff in my room but its night impossible to replicate that beauty in a band setting.

    We play mostly gritty rock music but in saying that we're only a 3 piece. Between the guitar and the cymbals, the Jazz just fails to deliver the balls I'm after/need. I was considering trying out a Precision bass which I hear is great for loud rock music as far as how well it sits in a mix but I'm worried I'll have the same issues seeing as both the P and J are passive. Does a P usually have hotter output than Jazz basses?

    But hell...if there's a way to make my Jazz's presence be felt more prominently, I'll take it. Like I said, I love the way it sounds on its own...but I really need something that will work in my band too.
  2. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    What bass do you usually play that gets you through in the mix?
  3. An old active Washburn.
  4. Maybe convert it to active?
  5. Session1969


    Dec 2, 2010
    A good bedroom tone doesn't make for a good live sound (most of the time) if your bedroom tone has a scooped eq. It took me a long time to understand that . I know for a fact my first ten years of playing was with a scooped sound(doh!). The mids need(alot of times) to be flat or boosted a little to get your bass to cut through. I hope this helps.
  6. I've tried running the Jazz through my MXR M80 bass di for that reason but it still lacks the cut I'm after. Thing is, I would go for another active instrument but I do love the simplicity and warmth of passive instruments. I've heard some P-basses put Spectors and Warwicks to shame as far as ballsy tone goes especially when dirty.
  7. Maybe I haven't tinkered with the EQ enough then? I tend to have my mids boosted to about 2 o'clock on my amp and my highs to around 1 o'clock but my lows rolled back to around 8 o'clock. What I get is a more thin tone rather than a cutting tone. Really doesn't compliment the rest of the music being played at all.
  8. Danno1985


    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    There is...turn the amp up. And embrace the mid knob on your amp. Mix your sound with your ears, not your eyes. The same settings that work in the bedroom often don't translate to good stage presence.

    Edit: just saw your last post stating you have the mids a bit boosted. I still stand by the "mix with your ears" statement. That includes the knobs on the bass.
  9. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Try a pre...J-Retro or Audere.

    I fitted a J-Retro in my jazz. Amazing!
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Turn a few knobs.
  11. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    solo the bridge pickup and bump the mids. I've never had any problem being heard with that approach.
  12. VinKreepo


    Nov 13, 2009
    Hmmm... someone correct me if I am mistaken, but J basses come wired with the pickups in parallel. This provides for a more musical tone, but around 50% less drive. Try wiring the pickups in series with the neck PU connected to the ground and the bridge PU grounded to the output of the neck (IIRC this gives a fatter tone than having the bridge PU grounded first). Also, make sure your PU's are in phase (N to S) or the combination will sound very thin and quiet. You will know you wired it correctly when your bass is noticeably louder with thicker mids.

    Here's a simple wiring setup (Note that this setup is not your typical series/parallel switch type where you can switch between each mode as that would require you to make an extra hole in your bass OR give up your tone slot for the series/parallel switch. This wiring, however, will leave your bass looking the exact same way it does now; and your bass will be permanently series unless you redo the wiring so test it with alligator clips before soldering.)


    EDIT: Oh, and as usual, tap into the output (yellow) wire for the tone pot.
  13. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
  14. before modding the bass (as someonce stated above) turn a few knobs. If you run both pickups up full you´ll have a mid scooped tone. Lower 1/4 one pickup while the other at full volume.
    If you turn down the neck p/u you´ll have a more middy growly tone that can cut trough any mix.
    If you turn down the bridge p/u you´ll have a deeper tone that may work great with loud cymbals and creazy guitar.

    Also trying diferent strings will help!

    And yes, if you don´t hear yourself turn up the volume, is there for this reason.
  15. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    If you're running both pickups full up, roll one of them back to about 80%. Rolling the bridge back willget you a thicker tone, and rolling the neck back gives a more cutting tone either way, you'll cut through much better and have more mids.

    Also, use technique to alter your sound. Play over the bridge pickup for a snarly sound. Play over the end of the fingerboard and smack the strings into the frets, this gives a very cool aggressive attack. Just two ideas out of many.

    EDIT: Emibass beat me to it!
  16. klaus486


    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    Did you adjust the gain section of your amp to match up with the new bass or is still set for your active bass?

    Also maybe try adjusting the pickups to be slightly closer to the strings. Several attempts at this may be needed to adjust for your playing style.

    You said you have the lows on your amp turned to 8 o'clock....turn 'em up!

    You didn't mention strings....Try some Stainless steel roundwounds. Again Several sets of strings may have to be tried to find the set the bass likes.

    Don't give up! I find a lot of tonal variation in just a straight passive J. The tone knob is your friend! Use it.
  17. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    Lots of good suggestions here. Using certain kinds of flatwound strings might help--I love D'Addario Chromes on a J, which have a mid-range emphasis that I think works well on a J, and lots of brightness and sustain compared to other flats.
  18. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Sounds like an EQ problem while playing with the band. You can't use the same settings that you use when playing alone. I have never had a problem being heard with any bass or amp. Your jazz bass should be fine but you didn't mention what you and the guitarist are using for amps. Here is a link to a site that explains frequencies and the proper use of the EQ.
  19. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I have series/parallel switches in both my Jazz basses, but almost always run them in series - this makes them louder, more mid present, and have stronger lows... IME/IMO, a Jazz in series has the best qualities of both the P and Jazz: thumps like a P, but cuts in a mix like a Jazz...

    If not in series, the next best way to make a Jazz work in a mix is roll back the bridge pup 20-25%, increase the amp's gain and low end 'til you're happy with the results...

    - georgestrings
  20. davidjackson


    Sep 10, 2011


    I only play my 2012 AmStd Fender Jazz bass at home, when I am practicing or when I am pretending to be Marcus Miller. Once I am rehearsing or gigging with my band it is a P bass all the way.

    One thing I would say if you can afford both is that having a P and a J makes you appreciate each of them a lot more and what they can each do. Each time I switch from one to the other I fall in love with it again.