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Fender AmSe Jazz vs. MIA 75RI Jazz vs. ???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Weenie Boy, Sep 22, 2004.


  1. Weenie Boy

    Weenie Boy

    Sep 22, 2004
    USA
    Help me choose a new passive four string jazz bass. I own a P bass with flats and wish to get a passive jazz to cover the material the P doesn't do well. I've played some of the Fender American Series Jazz basses and they seem to fit the bill pretty well. I can not find a MIA 75RI jazz to demo, but could order one with an approval time period.

    Is the 75 much nicer than the American series? Other recommendations in these price ranges? I'm more interested in instrument quality than "looks" mojo.

    Thanks Gentlemen
     
  2. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Disclaimer: IMHO...

    If you want that 70's tone, and an awesome J, get a Geddy Lee. I've played USA and Japanese 70's reissues, as well as USA and Mexican 60's reissues, and I think the Geddy bests them all. Since it's a Japan model, you'll save money, too. $630 street brand new (w/out gig bag or case, tho). However, comes with a Badass-II bridge, and USA Vintage pickups, so the sustain is great, and I think the tone is unbeatable in a passive J w/out going to aftermarket pickups.

    Two considerations...

    The neck is a little thinner on the Geddy than a standard J, which I love, but if you're not much of a "slim/fast" neck guy (noting you're mostly a P guy right now, and you make it sound like the J will just be an auxilliary bass), you might not like that.

    They only come in black.

    If you want a more modern sounding Fender J, I'd say buy a USA model USED (IMHO new are overpriced, but they are noticeably better than the Mexican ones... depending on how particular you are). Otherwise, consider some of the GREAT J clones out there... too many to name...

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. dabshire

    dabshire

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    I own an American 75 Jazz RI, and IMHO it smokes (smokes, smokes, smokes) every other Fender I have ever played.

    Ever.

    (Smokes them all.)
    (All of them.)
    (Smokes them.)

    For me, it beats any American series Jazz Hands down...

    :)

    Just my opinion...
     
  4. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ever checked out a Geddy? If it weren't for the Geddy, the USA 75 RI would totally be my first choice, however. I agree that the USA 75 RI totally smokes the USA standard J. :)
     
  5. dabshire

    dabshire

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    Never played a Geddy that was setup right (or at least to my tastes), but I hear they sound great too. Very similar to the 75RI
     
  6. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    That's a DAMN shame, and there's just no other way to say it. Sorry dude... really. Even if you'd still prefer your USA RI (which is also a smokin' bass), you are missin' out on something special.

    Yeah, the tone is real similar, which is what I love. Maybe just a little more vintage, but largely the same, 'cause Geddy's bass this one's modeled after (he has more than one) is a '72 (as I recall).
     
  7. Weenie Boy

    Weenie Boy

    Sep 22, 2004
    USA
    Well, I just tried the Geddy on my lunch hour. I liked playing it more than the AmSe's I played. I really enjoyed the thin, flat glossy neck. It 'seemed' to feel more comfortable, but this was my first time playing one, and only for the lunch break. The neck reminds me of my 62 RI P bass which sports a thin, flat glossy neck, athough the P is wider. Maybe it's the familiarity factor (neck profile, gloss...).

    Maybe this thread should be retitled "Geddy Lee Jazz vs 75RI MIA jazz vs...."

    Can someone compare the Geddy neck (and the Geddy bass in general) to the 75RI MIA? I can only imagine that the 75RI is a MUCH nicer bass all the way around. Is that true?

    Thanks guys~
     
  8. Weenie Boy

    Weenie Boy

    Sep 22, 2004
    USA
    How do you really feel Dabshire? ;)

    Geeze, another endorsment like this and the plastic is coming out of the wallet!
     
  9. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ditto that. In fact, I'd played the AmSe', then a USA RI, and decided to find the USA RI, then a Geddy popped up at a local shop on S&D special which changed my mind. I walked out with it.

    I can, as I've played both back to back.

    IMHO, not at all. The USA RI is a great bass, but you do pay a premium just for the "USA" badge. I'd say the Geddy (Japan, for those not familiar) is at least as high quality, and it does have USA elex, too.

    So the only diff between the USA RI and the Geddy (other than price) is the Geddy comes standard with a Badass-II bridge (highly recommended!), MAYBE slightly different (or at least the same) "Vintage" pickups, and has a slimmer neck, but only comes in black.

    Now, according to the posts I've read, it seems like most/all Geddys also have incredible action (mine definitely does)... even better than the USA RI (at least the one I played). And I AM talking about the action... not just a "faster feel" due to the slimmer neck.

    All this said, I've got NOTHING against the USA RI's... . I love'em... almost bought one... so all you RI owners put your guns down. :) I just liked the Geddy better, that's all. So much, in fact, that I overcame my distaste for black Jazzes to get one (it's my very least favorite color on a J).
     
  10. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I 'spose to say something strictly on topic, my pref between an AmSe and a MIA 75RI would be the MIA 75RI. I think in quality, they're the same, but I just like the tone and look of the 75Ri better. Maybe 'cause I used to have a 75 natural J (but sold it 'cause it was too damn heavy for me) whose tone I loved.
     
  11. toad

    toad

    Jun 26, 2002
    NYC
    i own a geddy lee, an MIA 75Ri, and an Am. Std. j bass. In comparing the Geddy and the 75RI, they sound different to me but I attribute a lot of that to the BAII bridge on the Geddy. As noted, the Geddy neck is thinner, but the other difference in feel of the neck for me is the 7.5" radius on the 75RI neck. I like the more rounded feel, some don't.
     
  12. Weenie Boy

    Weenie Boy

    Sep 22, 2004
    USA
    Could you elaberate?

    My P bass also has the 7.25" radius. Does the 75RI have a thinner profile compaired to the AmSe Jazz?
     
  13. toad

    toad

    Jun 26, 2002
    NYC
    yeah, my bad, it's a 7.25" radius. I changed the neck on my Am. Std. awhile back, but if I remember correctly, the back profile wasn't drastically different from the 75RI. The 7.25 radius made a difference in the feel. The 75RI is definitely has a thinner profile than the real 70s basses I've seen. The difference in the Geddy and 75RI sound I would characterize it as such: to my ears, the Geddy sounds more aggressive on the mids. more grindy than thumpy.

    To add, out of curiosity, I put the BAII bridge on my Am Std jazz one time and it changed the sound a bit. More Geddy like. Not conclusive by any means, but I made some assumptions from it.
     
  14. dabshire

    dabshire

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX

    I agree the 75RI has a fairly dark, articulate sound (more thumpy)
     
  15. Weenie Boy

    Weenie Boy

    Sep 22, 2004
    USA
    Asside from setup, how would you compare the feel of necks between the Geddy and the 75RI (and the current AmSe's)?
     
  16. Weenie Boy

    Weenie Boy

    Sep 22, 2004
    USA
    Hey Vic, How would compare the 75RI & Geddy neck profiles. The 75RI was heavier than the Geddy ? :confused:
     
  17. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1, but it's not a real huge diff, tho. More subtle than, say, the diff between an AmSe and a 75RI, which I consider to be much more significant.
     
  18. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    The Geddy (due to the fretboard radius among other things I think) feels faster, at least the one I tried. I would choose it over the 75 RI I think.

    Also, to go in another direction completely, you could always try a Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn. Similar in price and at least as well built as American Fenders (at the examples I tried).
     
  19. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    The 75RI has a more traditional neck, which is not as physically thin as the Geddy, so the Geddy is going to feel "faster". I really like this. It's even more "effortless" to play, which is big to me, 'cause I have hands a little on the small side of average. I think it's also shaved more at the headstock and heel to sorta aid accesibility to the full fingerboard a bit (tho admittedly, without cutting the lower horn deeper, it's not much of a diff at the heel). I also think the fingerboard is "flatter" (bigger radius), which I like.

    As far as the tone goes, I'd say it's more aggressive, and has better sustain. The sustain is all about the BAII bridge, but the tone is from the pickups. That's what makes me think they're NOT the same as the 75RI pickups. All I know for sure is they're USA elex and they're "Vintage" pickups (whatever that means... maybe 60's pickups... maybe especially if Geddy put older vintage pickups in his '72 that this is modeled after... dunno).

    As far as weight goes, that's a crapshoot. My Geddy is under 10 pounds, but I've read where some say theirs is 11 or more? I've read exactly the same about the 75RI's. Seems like they can be heavy or light... no definitive weight... just whatever wood is in the lot when they cut'em. This is not a new thing for Fender, either... this was also true in the '70s (at least). My (real) 75 Jazz was so damn heavy I had to sell it, even tho I loved its tone. Wish I had it back now, tho. :)
     
  20. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I own many jazz basses including The MIA standard and a CAR 75R.I.S.E jazz. I have passed on the Geddy bass soooo many times. I think its a nice bass for the money but so is the 60's classic jazz. The MIA jazz is all one would need when it comes to a jazz and the MIA 75R.I. is a step up from that. My MIA 75R.I. was my main gigger for a while, my MIA jazz was my staple. Today I just have too many nice jazzes that it's pretty much a toss up which one I will Gig with.