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Fender Classic 60's Jazz vs American Standard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassdog, Jan 13, 2012.


  1. bassdog

    bassdog

    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    After my failed Road Worn experiment I still want a burst vintage style J. Is the Am. Standard worth the significant price jump from Classic 60's? What do guys and gals think.

    Bob
     
  2. The AS is superb if you choose a good one. Needs NO mods.
     
  3. BassBob1

    BassBob1

    Dec 21, 2010
    I love my 07 American standard jazz (one of the current models) and wouldn't trade it for any classic 60's or other fender jazz. With that said I was at guitar center yesterday (looking at a squier classic vibe 60's jazz) and picked up what looked like a fresh out of the box American standard jazz (stickers, plastic pickup scratch protector stickers and all) and it just didn't feel or sound quite as nice as mine though not far off and it was set up just fine. If you are looking for a new jazz bass you can't go wrong with the American standard but like all fenders you have to get out and try them to find the best one. The current run (from late 07-present) of Am. Std. fenders is pretty consistant, I haven't encountered a lemon yet. My brother has a 2011 Am. Std. strat and that is a superb instrument as well.
     
  4. bassdog

    bassdog

    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    Cool but worth the $ diff.?
     
  5. BassBob1

    BassBob1

    Dec 21, 2010
    For me, yes, absolutely worth the difference. You have to give a few a try to decide if the difference is worth it to you though.
     
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    To my ears, my AM Precision was better when I ran the Precision rack @ GC. MIM's, AMS's. That was in 2002. Still have it and am glad I bought it.

    The new one's are even nicer.
     
  7. Had a classic 60s Fender Jazz, now have a AM Standard Jazz. The AM is slightly better built, has a more modern tone to it. The 60s had a mellower tone.

    What really drove me nuts with the 60s classic was the much smaller fretboard radius, the smaller frets and all the inconvenient 60s history stuff like reverse tuners (thats the least problematic) to the nigh impossible to reach trussrod screw (i hated this).

    I play modern music, the AM Jazz is my machine. The classic 60s was tone-wise very very strong. In the warm/mellow spade it outperforms the AM easily. In terms of aggressiveness, tightness of tone and clearness, the AM is better. The AM holds the tuning better, it looks and feels better built. I don't look back.
     
  8. Tunaman

    Tunaman

    Dec 26, 2004
    Boston
    Just bought a MIA Standard myself... if you want a deal on a new one. PM me, I promise
     
  9. I have had two of the 60's Classic Series basses. For the money especially on the used market it is an excellent instrument. Can it compare to USA Jazz basses I've had? In some cases yes and others almost.

    IMO fit & finish on the 60's MIM's is very good which for me is the most important part. You can always throw in new pup's, bridge, etc but the neck (if you like a vintagey glossy neck) feels good. My current 60's Jazz has been modded with Gotoh Res-o-lite tuners, Antiquity II's, & Hipshot A bridge. It had decent hardware to begin with (some say the tuners are the weak point) but stock it was a fine bass.
     
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I had a very fine early 2001 '60s classic. The neck was quite comparable to a RW neck, except for the finish and rolled edges. Sold it after getting a Road Worn, which felt better and had the sound I wanted.

    In other words, "neckwise" it was very good, not perfect. IMHO, the fretwork and graphite rods in the newer MIA Standards give you "closer to perfect" fretwork, and control over the relief. This translates to a lower and more even action.

    To state the obvious: I am certain you know all of that already, and just want an opinion on the MIA being worth the money. Assuming you like the way you sound playing the MIA, and that the cost doesn't put your budget out of whack for food, shelter, transport, communication, and savings, I'd do it.

    I had to stick to a leaner budget, but really like the sound of my RW. I don't find the neck perfect, but it FEELS great, and sounds just how I want it to.
     
  11. bassdog

    bassdog

    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    Part of the problem is that I have not actually touched a Classic 60s Jazz and can't seem to find one in atlanta to try out. The AM Standard is everywhere and I have played a few. Very nice but I'm not really into the modern thing. I like the old bridge and tuners. I really liked the look and feel of the road worn but the neck scares me away a little bit now. Are those old style necks that unstable? I may get the 60s with out actually trying one. How dangerous is that? It is my understanding is that the 60s bass is basically the unreliced Road Worn. Is that true?
     
  12. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    The Roadworns and Classic series are identical in construction with the exception of select bodies being used on the RW's. The solid color Classic series use typical MIM bodies that are up to 5 or six piece laminate. The RW's are two to three (maybe four) piece bodies that tend to also weigh a little less. This is so you don't see what a MIM usually looks like through all that wear. That and the obvious finish and hardware aging are what sets the two apart. Same electronics and hardware.

    To answer your question about older style necks being unstable: my friend owned a brand new (pre '08) US P-bass whose truss rod could only set so much relief. It dug into the wood inside the neck and even a washer couldnt fix it. All the graphite 'rods' in the world cant really help a neck that was shot to begin with. It was and always will be luck of the draw. One thing to look out for with the 60's Jazz is what some call 'ski jump' in the neck...basically the neck dips downward past the 12th fret and saddle adjustments do little to remedy this. The neck needs to be shimmed. This is seemingly common with the 62 AVRI's (which cost about $1500 new) as well.
     
  13. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I don't believe the construction is identical between these two models.
     
  14. iJazz

    iJazz

    Jan 9, 2012
    Sussex, WI
    Curious minds want to know what your take on the CV was, given your great satisfaction with your AS.

    My intro post will be coming soon, as will my CV from the fine people at Bass Emporium. Until then, just know...

    iJazz

    :)
     
  15. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    You're probably talking about the 4 string models?

    For what it's worth (since you're asking about the American Standards) I bought a 5 string American Standard Jazz bass last month. I use to have an MIM Deluxe Active 5 string and in my very humble opinion that Am. Std. walks all over the MIM that I had in everyway, shape and form. (I'm not knocking all MIM's....I just had a bad one). The build quality of the Std is superior, the string tension is even from string to string, it sounds better and I do believe that the graphite rods within the neck are a real plus in making the whole instrument feel so rock solid. Even though I was after a 5 string I did check out some 4 string models and thought they were top notch.

    For me (YMMV) the American Standard was well worth every penny. But like any other bass, take your time to shop and compare. I looked off and on since last summer to find the one that felt just right. I knew what I wanted and wasn't going to settle for less. Glad I took my time.
     
  16. bassdog

    bassdog

    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    The RW I got off ebay had the ski jump. Don't want that and may avoid that style neck just to be sure to avoid the ski jump possibility. I don't like the idea of a crap shoot when I spend $800.00 or so. How common is it anyway?
     
  17. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I don't like the '08 American Standard's "improvements" over the previous American, which I feel are all wrongheaded marketing pandering, money wasted and certainly anti-"vintage" in any case. I've explained why in great technical detail many times (and never meaningfully refuted), so I won't again. That's what Search is for.

    With Fenders, QC is always a problem, especially in recent production. You must cherrypick, and know what flaws you're looking for. :meh:

    On the face of it, the Classic '60s is obviously a more relevant choice for you, though if you do not like the Roadworn, I don't see how you're going to be wild for the Classic. Personally, I have a hard enough time getting decent MIAs and don't feel like screwing around with even slacker MIM QC.

    I wanted a more interpretive 'burst/rosewood vintage-style Jazz.

    After my disgust with my American Standard purchase, I got a select 2011 Highway One at very long discount, profitably sold the BAII, replaced it with a true vintage-configuration bridge and polished out the body and changed the pickguard. The result was very much what I wanted (though I foolishly replaced the "vintage" 58358/9 pickup set with OVs, which controlled DI digital before/after test recordings conclusively proved to be a waste of money).

    In all ways -- materials, build and sound -- this bass is better than my American Standard, and much closer to the vintage bass, with the added convenience and more consistent tone of a modern neck. After some bench time, this is an extremely nice bass in the ways that actually matter.

    As a bonus, the HO has a vintage-profile body (which I believe is identical to the MIA RI's) and the polished nitrocellulose actually looks like a genuine vintage finish.

    This does not exactly answer your original question, but explains how I managed the same goal.

    Good luck in your quest.
     
  18. bassdog

    bassdog

    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    "though if you do not like the Roadworn, I don't see how you're going to be wild for the Classic."

    I did like the rw but the neck was messed up and now I don't really trust them or the vintage spec J necks. Too much of a gamble. I'm just a bit stumped right now.
     
  19. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Stumped?

    After sixty years, Fender suddenly can't make a neck? :eek:

    I mean, what's that all about? :confused:

    I have no answers here! That said, I prefer the graphite-reinforced neck, myself.
     
  20. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    +1

    Honestly? Play and inspect the instrument before buying. For me, I am not afraid that an instrument I purchase may have flaws, especially RW Fenders. :eek:

    Why? :eyebrow:

    Firstly, because all basses have flaws, secondly, big problems can be largely corrected to within my standards, and lastly because I am no Jaco/Jeff Berlin, and just want a good sounding, good feeling instrument I can make music with. IMHO, you are way too worried about this! Almost all Fender Bolt on necks have an upper fret hump. So what? :D
     

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