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Dilemma! DJ4 or 60th Anniv. Jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lbwdog, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Here's the dilemma. Thanks to Music Rising and the donors to hurricane relief, we musicians of the Gulf Coast have been blessed with a free credit with Musicians Friend. I had decided to get a 60th Ann. Jazz for several reasons. S1 switching, commemerative features (should be collectible in a couple of decades, so I can leave it to my daughter since I'm 54), reinforced neck etc.
    So I'm all set to order tommorow or Friday and lo and behold I see M.F. now has the Lakland DJ4!! This bass also has features I like but have never played one. I do know the weight can vary from 8 to 10 lbs. and I prefer a light bass but I really like every thing else I can see on the web. I've read some of the threads on these but am looking for fresh opinions to help me decide.
    Is the neck slimmer than Fender's? Is it heavy? Do you like the sound? ....etc. I'm a Fender guy from way back. I still have my '64 P Bass and a '95 MIM Jazz which is my main player.
    Any input will be greatly appreciated!!
  2. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I'm not sure the 60th Anniversary Jazz will appreciate too much in value, but who knows??? Generally, I buy a bass that's useful for me in the here and now.

    Sounds like the Jazz is a known quantity for you, and the Lakland is more something that you've heard good things about.

    Some things to keep in mind about the Lakland are: it has the smaller vintage frets. Personally, I love the smaller frets, but some people hate them -- it's a matter of personal preference. Prior to getting my DJ5, all my other basses had had large frets, but I found the transition to be rapid, and I love them now (not as clanky). It also has a 7.25" radius fretboard, compared to the larger 9.5" radius of the 60th Jazz (the 60th jazz has a flatter fretboard). Again, this is a matter of personal taste/feel. My DJ5 is not heavy for a five-string, but they do vary from instrument to instrument.

    The Lakland has matching headstock, blocks, and binding, which are mostly aesthetic features. The Jazz has the S-1 switch, which I haven't found particularly useful, but others like it a lot. The Fender has graphite in the neck, which the four-string Lakland Skylines do not. That being said, Lakland customer service is legendary (far better than Fender, IMO), and their quality control is excellent, and I've never heard of anyone having problems with the necks on Lakland four-string basses. For me, the lack of graphite in the Lakland DJ4 neck would not be a factor, but others would feel differently.

    The Fender pickups are very good, just what you would expect from a Jazz bass. The DJ pickups are Aeros, and are slightly more aggressive, and placed more in a 70s Jazz bass position (bridge pup is slightly closer to the bridge). Again, this is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I LOVE the Aero pickups -- the sound and feel are my favorite aspects of the Lakland, and the reason why I chose it. Others no doubt would like the sound and feel of the Fender better.

    In sum, I can't say that one bass is better than the other -- both have their merits, and despite both being "Jazz basses," they are both quite different in looks, sound, and feel. I don't think you can go wrong with either bass.
  3. basadam


    Nov 29, 2005
    In addition DJ has smaller body and a deeper cutaway.
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I'd take the DJ over the Fender.
  5. +1

    The main tonal difference might be boiled down to whether you prefer the 70's jazz tone over the 60's tone.
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    definitely. I personally prefer the DJ4, but that's cos I favor the 70s J sound.
  7. Yeah, I actually like both tones so that's no biggie. I'm wondering about the "WOW this feels great" factor.
    The neck and weight are probably my primary concerns. Like is the neck similar to the USA fender? It seems I read somewhere that the Lakland JO4 has a slimmer profile and I wonder about the DJ....just curious. EW