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Fender Blacktop Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TRichardsbass, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Banned Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    I just got a chance to see and play the Fender Black top Jazz. Interesting. You can clearly get regular P Bass tones by only using the neck p pickup, but you get something interestingly different with the p pickup in the bridge position. Not as cutting as a J, definitely more attacking then just a P. Would it be fair for me to say its sort of like what a passive MM would sound like had Leo done it?

    I have owned BC Rich basses that had this configuration, and they didn't sound exactly like this (maybe because it was all those years ago).

    The Fender Black Top Jazz was at Musician's Workshop in Marlboro, NJ. They have a very decent selection of basses, including maybe the largest choice of Eastwoods I've seen in the tri-state area.

    If you go try it out, tell them Tom Richards told you about it. I encourage others to try this bass and tell me and all of us what they think.
  2. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    After months of shipping (at my favorite shop's) but no news on the blacktop arrival, my pearly white chrome one is on its way to be shipped to me.

    Good bass for the price. A resonant himass bridge (otherwise I'd swap 1 onto as already been done).

    More tips as I eventually get it.

  3. Tommygunn


    Nov 8, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    Now, FWIW, you can't technically get a 'true' pbass tone out of the neck pickup. It is closer to the neck than the traditional P 'sweet-spot' (not to be confused with the musicman humbucker "sweet-spot"). Some say they can tell a difference, while others cannot. I have yet to play one, so I can't say for myself. IMHO I find a pbass pup that close to the neck to be rather odd looking
  4. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    I played one at a store here and liked it a lot. It simultaneously fits well within Fender tradition, but also offers some new sounds that other Fenders don't. I just wish they came in some other colors. It seems like charcoal frost or tungsten or something like that would fit in the Blacktop scheme.
  5. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    They look cool and the online sound reviews I have heard they seem to have good tone as you mentioned. I guess because there is two sets of pickups in what would be the Jazz positions, however again I don't know why Fender would call this a "Jazz" bass? Just like the 80's Jazz Specials, they were more Precision Specials. I guess perhaps they are running out of product names or becoming lazy or less creative in the naming process ;)
  6. tdub0199


    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I have one and it's a great bass... truely versatile....
  7. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    I actually like the split-coil position on a jazz bass. Think of the Mark Hoppus signature, but the Blacktop has 2 of them! :eek:

    Seriously, I got to briefly test one out and was GASing for one for months on end. I think they are absolutely solid from tone-to-finish. Replace both pups with 2 Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders and you have yourself a super-charged Hoppus bass at a much cheaper price. I still prefer the Hoppus bass though (the old models, not the new ones). :p

    Fender usually names their basses by the body type. IE: the Hoppus bass is listed underneath as a "Jazz" bass since the body is, well, a Jazz bass. Guess they figure most people just put whatever pickups into their bass anyway so they might as well label guitars by the body type since it's rare for people to mod the body so cosmetically (like sawing off a horn).
  8. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Always thought my '87 Jazz Bass Special should've been called a Precision Bass Special since it has a Precision body. (I'd like to hear it with the pickups in reversed positions, Jazz at the neck, Precision at the bridge, heh, heh).

    The Blacktop Jazz looks interesting. I want one, but want different color choices (what's up with there being only two colors?) Anyone tried one with both pickups on full?
  9. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Ah, I see now. That's rather odd for your '87. As for a single coil at the body and split at the bridge, I could have sworn I saw a bass like that before. Not sure what website. Or I could have completely imagined it LOL!

  10. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Gimme time to post some pic:
    for I got it, it's more or less an hour now.

    It's already set up a full step downtuned, but no Hipshot BT7 in the shop yet (until hopefully next week) so I'll be back there
    to fully adjust it.

    I originally thought about immediately testing it on rehearsals (tonight) but our usual "pro" room got overbooked so we just found this s:spit:tty room instead which has no reliable gear there and there's Italy-Hrovatia football match for Euro Cup!

    Again, is arrived, is beatiful: much more (metallic) pearl white than proper "chrome" and with a proficient HiMass bridge and dual splitcoils to grant it extra punch! I'll post a more serious review ASAP!


    View attachment 274463

    Here it finally is, aside my also brand new CIC Fender Modern Player Jaguar (it got its Hipshot BT7 bass extender as well, but
    has regular Fender strings and is "regularly" tuned)

    Anyway... I fully tested BlackTop Jazz on last saturday night rehersals...

    I reminded to put strictly limited edition Alchemy leather strap on it (I'm a headbanger after all)

    The bass is full step downtuned, and had a Hipshot BT7 bass extender so that the lower playable note is a "C", I opted for RotoSound swing 66 strings to fully capture the dual splitcoil attack.

    The neck split coil is just that, a neck splitcoil, so no Precision
    dream slot or how is it called BTW, it catches a range of warm
    tones down there yet lettin' full punch and overall midrange.

    The surprise comes from the bridge splicoil

    more midrange than crystalclear trebles, even with fully open passive tone, an overwhelming attack and a very unespected sensitivity to fingerpickin' nuances (many fella suggested this beast could be better served with a pick)

    I'm a heavy hitter over there (I started to look at afroamerican
    funky bass players, who obligatory played near the bridge) and
    I interpreted that applyin' fingersplittin' force to alternate pick and match the double bassdrum work...

    My wife will force me to stay away, 'cause things between us are nearly over... but I'm fond of the white chrome pearl finish for it reminds me of the wedding dress he wore when we got married.

    Great (great!) bass


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