Fender American Professional Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gfh218, May 17, 2018.

  1. Bought a professional jazz bass off of ebay 6 months ago. Needed a fret leveling right away. Still not sure about the tall, narrows frets. Hard getting used to. Sounds great, though. Was wondering what other players think of theses basses.
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  2. klejst

    klejst Guest

    Oct 5, 2010
    Perhaps I missed it but thoughts on what exactly?
  3. mgauge


    Dec 21, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    i got one last week. It sounds amazing. I love the neck too. The frets are fine by me. I played it so hard at rehearsal I got blisters
  4. After several months of eyeballing a sonic gray Fender Am Pro jazz bass, I decided to give it a spin. For comparison's sake I took my trusty Fender MIM J bass and A/B'd them through a Rumble 500, with the EQ settings all at high noon. Yeah, it was a bit like an old western shootout... I was pleased with the Am Pro's neck, bridge and frets--I was actually able to play scales faster and cleaner/crisper. The difference between pickups was clear, but in a way that I didn't expect at all: In order to obtain the same level of output had to increase master volume on the amp when playing the Am Pro. I admit that I don't know much about the Bump pups, but they apparently sport "character" and voicing quality over output. (I wish I had an older American Std to compare pup differences.) To confirm that I wasn't imagining the difference, I plugged in a nearby Squier VM J bass--very similar result, more output, less "refinement" if that's a relevant word that describes it. Overall, the American Pro was a high quality, good-feeling bass, well-balanced with a neck that accommodates speed and accuracy, but (to me) boosting volume/gain is an unexpected necessity.
  5. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    Were both sets of pickups exactly the same distance from the strings? Signal output amplitude from Jazz pickups is notoriously sensitive to pickup height. Though there are differences between pickups as well.
  6. Thanks, bucephylus. That could very well be the difference, and I'm remiss (after having played bass for 30 years) to have not accounted for that! My MIM J strings are as low as I can get 'em, and the pups are at what I consider optimum playing height. I'll give it a spin again after having the store's tech to set/check for string height, truss rod tension, and make pickup adjustments. If it does make a diff, I'll admit the error of my ways. I guess I just "assumed" (you know what ass-u-me means) that the store would have setup one of their premier basses properly.
    bucephylus likes this.
  7. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    FWIW, “optimal” distance to strings is between 7/64” and 3/32”, depending on your playing technique. One more thing to futz around with. Enjoy!
  8. Okay, bucephylus, after asking a tech to set string height/pickup distance, and tweak the truss rod, it sounded just fine. So much so, that I ended up ordering one in candy apple red...despite generally negative reviews concerning the tall frets, as well as others who appear upset that Fender hasn't altered the J-bass pickup selector wiring--series v. parallel with both pickups dimed. I dunno, but it sounded better-than-fine to my ears, and a delight to play to my fingers.
    bucephylus likes this.
  9. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    I spotted one of these in sonic grey for the first time at the music store last week, and hurried over to have a look at the paint. The clerk noticed and offered to let me play it.

    Even though the bass had been sitting out for close to a week it was not setup properly at all. The clerk very quickly made a few adjustments to the truss rod and what not, and then it was good to go. It took him probably less than 3 minutes.
    BaltoNealio likes this.
  10. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    Regarding the wiring; we all, of course, have our own preferences. IME, there are other ways to get phat, while maintaining the original parallel wiring, as Leo intended. But, in all fairness, phatness can be an area where J’s need a little help. These days, if you can afford it, one of the better outboard preamps will deliver. Or, if you are hopeless like me, you just got ahead and put a Sadowsky Onboard Preamp in the bass. And, mainly, parallel allows better tonal variations, such as soloing the neck pickup to get the P vibe. OTOH, you could also put in an S1 switch and rock it both ways. Decisions, decisions....
  11. As we (or most of us) know, tone can also be shaped through fingering technique--I like to think that over the years this is my case. However, around 10 years ago I bought a Tech21 SansAmp Bass DI, and it has been a workhorse in terms of helping to dial in tone and gritty overdrive that couldn't ordinarily produce. Some day I'll explore that Sadowsky pre-amp, but for now I'll get by with my SansAmp...and fingers!
    bucephylus likes this.