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Fender American Vintage '75 Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by StingrayKid21, Jan 21, 2004.


  1. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey everyone!

    I've been wanting to get a jazz bass for quite a while now so I'm starting to do some research. As far as appearance I really like the vintage look of the Fender American Vintage '75 Jazz Bass. Any opinions on this bass? I'm gonna look around town and see if I can find one to play but as always opinions from Talkbass folks are greatly appreciated. I am thinking of getting the natural finish with rosewood fingerboard and maybe putting a J-retro preamp in it. I am also thinking of stringing it BEAD... but that is neither here nor there at the moment. Anyway if anybody has played or heard anything about this and can offer some input I would really appreciate it. Thanks!!!

    Here's a link to the website:
    http://www.fender.com/products/show.php?partno=0190302

    -Justin
     
  2. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I can't describe how much I love this bass. When you hold it in your hands it just seems to glow. I love the high-gloss neck and fb. A few things though. Plan on upgrading the bridge. The one it comes with is truly the vintage style, meaning there's no guide tracks to hold the saddles in place. They can just slide around and that hurts intonation.

    I'm also upgrading my pickups to barts, as well as putting in a J-Retro pre. I love the way the bass plays and I do love the tone, however I want the extra options of an active bass.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. rbud2003

    rbud2003

    Feb 21, 2003
    Also look at the Marcus Miller 4 string sig jazz bass. They run about $800 new.

    It is modeled after Marcus's 1978 jazz. It has a Bad Ass II bridge and 2 band pre-amp. There is also a special order U-Retro preamp for these basses.

    It is a MIJ but the quality seems to be real great. I've never played a MIA 75 reissue, however.
     
  4. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    It cracks me up when someone say's " im gonna get this, get that and put a j-retro in it! I own a 75 R.I. special edition in CAR. I got it for that 70's jazz bass sound and it gets that sound (it comes with vintage pups). it is the pups and passiveness that makes that bass what it is. Don't get me wrong, I think the j-retro is a great alternative to making an older passive bass or a bass with a lesser preamp sound alot better. Why bother buying a 75RI bass if you are going to change the pups and electronics? You might want to rethink and consider an outboard pre like the Aguilar 924 or the Sadowsky (sp), this way you can use it with any bass. I own the Aggie pre and it is awesome! I also have a Marcus Miller Jazz and sometimes use it in passive mode with the Aggie preamp. I never had a problem with my bridge either so that stays too!
     
  5. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    It's the quest for the bass that best suits me. I didn't care that it was a '75 RI. I wasn't searching for the '75 bass sound. I bought it because I really loved the way it played. I don't find too many basses with that high gloss maple neck and fb that I love. I could have bought a real '75 J for cheaper actually.

    The J-Retro just adds more options. Yes, I love the stock sound, however I find active basses cut through better in the type of music I play (I have an active Lakland 5 with barts). I don't really like the single coil buzz when I am just using the neck pup, and the barts get rid of it.
     
  6. WATCHTHECHORD

    WATCHTHECHORD

    Oct 28, 2003
    NewYork
    Ok here is my take since i just bought the '75 Re-issue about a week ago, i bought this bass in the natural finish just like in the pic. I have to agree with pyrohr, this bass is just awesome as is. When buying a Vintage, one buys for the sound, this bass has that. stingraykid21, you will not go wrong here, i set mine up with the Thumb rest it comes with and with the bridge cover as per the instructions with the rubber foam underneath, i have a guy that comes to my house sets up my basses, including this one and i have no problems, heck he got upset that i put the rear bridge cover on so it kind of gets in his way when its time to slap, thats when i use my pedulla to slap, this vintage is strictly for old nostalgic sound...that is why we bass players own more than 2 or 3 basses...buy the bass leave it as is, and play it first...or if anything buy the marcus miller one it comes with that Badass bridge u want for almost half less price. Ill be honest i have been playing my '75 much more than my Pedulla, and i love my Pedulla, so that tells you alot about this '75 Re-issue as is.:bassist:
     
  7. those are nice, I have played one a few times at guitar center. my only complaint is that I think they are over priced. the Geddy lee bass has the same look but is black and a lot cheaper, so check it out too.
     
  8. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Hey Natrab,
    I also have a Lakland 55-01 bass too. It is an awesome bass.
    My 75RI is probably my main gigging bass, I play with nickel wound strings and it cuts thru without any problems.
    I own alot of basses because I don't want 1 do all bass (even though the 75RI will do it all for me). I change basses depending on the gig, venue, and gig location.
     
  9. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey everyone!

    Thanks a bunch for all the replies and input. I'm hoping I can find one of these locally so that I can play around with it and see if it is right for me. I'm not dead set on getting the J-retro, but I think it would definatly be an option worth considering... after all I can always use it in passive mode with the J-retro (although I've heard it does color the sound some.) I didn't even think about upgrading the bridge but if I get the bass I will look into it, along with a tortise shell pickguard that I think would look incredible with the natural body and rosewood fingerboard.

    This may sound stupid but I know it is an "American Vintage" series bass, but all the '75 reissues I've ever seen were made in Japan... so is this made in America or Japan (and hence just modeled after the vintage American Jazz bass?)

    Thanks again!

    --Justin
     
  10. WATCHTHECHORD

    WATCHTHECHORD

    Oct 28, 2003
    NewYork
    I dont know if they make a '75 Re-issue in japan, i bought the american made one, i support american made products, just my feeling about things.
     
  11. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The Japanese model is cheaper in price, dos'nt come with the "vintage" pups (at least I don't think so)
    Rear pup is not closer to bridge thus not a true 75RI. I looks good though, The MIA 75RI looks good AND sounds better!
    Here's a pic of a natural jazz/tort pickguard :bassist:
     
  12. Bridge Cables

    Bridge Cables Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Southern N C
    Here's some thoughts on my '75, S/N 663790.

    Da Good:
    The natural finish, wow, white inlays, pick guard.

    Great playability.

    Has that Jazz growl or smooth as silk for the blues.

    Da Bad:
    Neck bolt down with three screws, wobbles in the pocket with a "good strong" up or down motion.
    Yes you can downshift the neck by a 1/16" or so and toss it outa tune.

    Weighs in right at 13 lbs, tone, tone, wonderful after an 8 hour practice with the boys, heating pad!!

    Loose the bridge as Natrab said, although keep it for resale. My bottom cover doesn't fit on
    after that mod.

    I went to Schaller machine heads myself, still got all the original parts saved.

    The neck is maple on maple.

    I was able to dig up the old receipt for reference, dated 3/4/76, retailed for $465.00 w/hardshell case!

    Definitely the tone I always wanted, coupled with the Acoustic 360 or the Mesa '83 RR 2-15 bottom with one of my two Mesa heads. That IS my tone!


    Enjoy,

    BC :cool:
     
  13. Bridge Cables

    Bridge Cables Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Southern N C
  14. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I remember shopping for a new bass in 1976. I went to 48th street in NYC to see what they had. Sam ash at that time was not selling anymore "new" Fenders due to craftmanship and electronics issues. I was told they all kept coming back because they had either Howling problems when turned up, Improper or bad setups intonation wise. All in all a bad time for Fender. What some did have was an excellent tone. What Fender did with the 75RI was remake the bass to specs without the problems inherent to Fender at the time. Iv'e seen neck pockets on late 70's basses you could 5 dollars worth of change in! Im talking G string off the fretboard at the bottom of the neck!
    My 75RI is impecable every way.Tight non moving 3 bolt neck with no gap, no issues what so ever.
     
  15. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Pyro, I do like the classic sound of my bass. However I DO want to have a 4 string that does it all for me, and that's going to be this RI. I did order an SX '75 RI for mucho less so whatever hardware I take off my Fender will go on the SX. It all works out in the end :)

    I just want to have one good 4 string and one good 5 string. If I get to be an incredible bass player, maybe I'll upgrade. But just for gigging one type of music right now I like what I have. I love my Lakland though it needs serious work on the setup (the low B buzzes horribly and it's not the saddles that need adjusting).
     
  16. rbud2003

    rbud2003

    Feb 21, 2003
    For those you have or have tried both the MIA 75 RI and the Marcus Miller 4 string, what are the differences besides place made, bridge, and active electronics?

    Is the neck the same?
    Is the bridge pickup closer the bridge like the MIA 75 RI and real 70s Jazz basses?
    Grade of wood?

    Thanks
     
  17. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I own both basses and I must say the necks are pretty much identical. The Marcus has the 60's style long stem reverse turning tuners though. The 75RI is passive and the Marcus Miller is active with a eq cut switch (which they say makes it passive but it is still going thru a flat eq)There is a mod that bypasses the preamp altogether though. I have done this with great results. Both basses come in ash, pup placement is the same on both basses. I don't remember seeing a 75RI with a maple and white mop block neck the way Marcus's bass is.In the 70's you could get that bass (maple/ash w/white mop blocks) but it may have been a special order.
     
  18. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
  19. kasbrey

    kasbrey

    Aug 23, 2002
    Northampton UK
    I have a black MIA 75 RI with rosewood neck and it just exudes class. It has the most perfectly balanced tone and faultless build quality and feel. The MIJ 75's, which I hankered after for a long while, are not quite in the same league. The only minus I can find is that my bass will be even better in 20 years, by which time I'll be 65 :( .