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Fender J Bass Deluxe/ Standard 5-String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by UnboundBassist, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. If this question has been asked, please forgive me. I did a search and came up with some J bass vs. P bass questions but nothing comparing the deluxe to the standard jazz....

    I currently play a Warwick Corvette 4-string. I want a 5 string, and I can't get the tone I'm looking for out of the Warwick. The Warwick has a really fat low end with mediocre highs and mids. I'm looking for something cleaner, but punchier. Then I put the Warwick through my Hartke amp and everything is on the low end and can get muffled etc..

    So I've decided I'm going to get a Fender. After playing around with both the Deluxe and Standard, I found that I loved the passive tone of the Standard better than what I get out of the Deluxe when it's on active. However, it seems like I have more tone control on the Deluxe, and if I want to, I have the option to kick it onto the active setting.

    Has anyone owned or played both and have any opinions on which is better? I am thinking that an extra $300 is not that much in the long run for more possibilities and playing situations....what do you think?:meh:
  2. David281189


    Jun 25, 2012
    i would buy the passive one! just because i dont like fender's preamp and their N3 pickups are average. buy the passive one and get a nice onboard preamp like sadowsky or aguilar. the passive american standard 5 strings actually have good pickups but you could put aguilar's new pickup in it or nordstrands and the bass would be absolutely great!

    i wouldn't spent the money on the active deluxe model. but you know i generally don't like humcanelling pickups, so maybe it's just the N3 pickups i don't like.

    IMO you can't go wrong with a Fender American Standard passive jazz bass, especially since 2008, their quality control and overall build quality has improved a lot!
    They're also a great starting point for mods like new pickup and preamp!
  3. Thank you for the advice. I did like the deluxe's feel in my hands better is one of the things holding me back. I can get a very similar if not identical tone out of the deluxe on the passive setting. What is it about the noise cancelling pickups that you don't like? I am going to play both again today and make a decision.

    Also, What if I was to say I can get the Deluxe model for the same exact retail price as the standard? It kind of gives me the option of staying with the passive and going to the preamp when I want to, no? Thanks a ton!:hyper:
  4. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I assume you are talking about MIA Fenders if the active one has an active/passive switch. In that case I don't think you can go wrong but since the Deluxe model has an active/passive switch and a passive tone control you should be able to get an excellent passive tone out of it when you want one and I would favor the extra flexibility of having the active mode too. Now if you really want a single coil passive sound you might have to change the pickups to get it but so many people change pickups on so many basses here on TB I don't really regard that as a detriment. It's just what TBers do! Notice that the neck is different on the Deluxe model too. It has a compound radius fingerboard and an asymmetrical profile. I've played one at a local Sam Ash store and I like, I just can't afford. :crying:

  5. drdunwoody


    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    I had an MIA Jazz for a while (passive) and then went to the new Carvin SB5000. The pickups and preamp in those are just awesome and give you a great variety of tones from classic clean to modern. Personally, I liked the SB5000 better than my Fender. I've had older Carvins and wasn't really happy with them but the current SB and B series is just awesome playing and sounding. If you can try one out, do so.
  6. Yes, sorry for not specifying MIA - This is the one I'm looking at....


    I agree that the flexibility is attractive, Khutch - hence the dilema! Otherwise, I was very happy with the standard's tone and feel. I need to play them again and see if the single coil pickup tone is really the thing holding me back on the tone... I think they're getting sick of me at GC.
  7. David281189


    Jun 25, 2012
    well i don't like humcanelling pickups because in MIO they usually don't have the same character as the single coils...but i have also liked basses with humcanelling pickups, sadowsky and fbass for example. the humcanelling pickup sound a little bit darker and lifeless to my ears, but every one is different...so just buy what you like the best!
  8. That's good advice David......I noticed the same thing. I'm leaning towards the Standard. Now I have to see who stocks it. They said they can order it and ship it to my house, but I want to play it before I buy!
  9. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Don't worry about that, swiping your credit card will cure them instantly!

  10. HAHA ain't that the truth!
  11. ShoeManiac


    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    I've been eyeing a Fender American Standard Jazz 5 string for a little while now. My main bass is a Fender Roscoe Beck 5 string, so I'm pretty accustomed to using a 5 string Jazz bass as my main gigging bass. And I've also got a Fender American Standard Precision 5 string. The P5 serves as my go-to flatwounds bass, and it sounded great on a recent session when I ran it through a vintage Ampeg B-15.

    The main reason I'm looking at the Am Std Jazz 5 string? Well, my Roscoe Beck is getting a little old, and I really love that bass. And since the RB5 got discontinued back in 2005, I'm not so keen to take mine on the road. And as the act I'm working with is on the verge what may be some serious road work, I think having a backup to the RB5 that I can keep strung with roundwounds is in order.

    The only drawback? I'd love to get one in black, but the black 5 string only features a maple fingerboard! ***?!?! It's left me thinking about trying to trade necks or bodies with someone so that I can get the black body and a neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Oh my!
  12. Hey man, interesting. I want mine in black as well and I found the exact same thing. I like the look of the maple fingerboard. Is there any major difference in the way that it plays with a rosewood vs maple neck?

    Thanks! - UB
  13. Ken is right (as always) it's a different neck from the Standard.

    As a current owner of a FDAJ V-Series, I can tell you that it's the best of both worlds. Passive is decent, and the active gives you a boost and allows you to control your EQ in a true-live situation.

    The only down-side to the active preamp on the FADJ is it's ability to pick up EVERYTHING electronic that it comes in contact with. NEVER for example, accidentally leave your iPhone in your pants pocket onstage when you have this bass on active. I did, and *BEEDEEPBEEPDEEPBEEPDITDITDEETBEEP* is apparently not considered part of good bass tone. Haha. It was a little embarassing. :meh::rollno::p:atoz::rolleyes::oops::bag:

  14. BAHAHAHAHA. I've heard that happen before. At least it didn't go SIRI on you and speak your text out for you. Imagine a wife/ gf saying "HONEY, BRING SOME ****ING MILK AND EGGS HOME WITH YOU AFTER YOUR GIG, YOU *******!" Now that would be embarassing.

    I just purchased the Deluxe model from Guitar Center. They don't stock it unfortunately in the color I want so I had to get in online, but hopefully it plays the same as the ones I played at Sam Ash. I pick it up in store on Thursday or Friday this week. I'm PUMPED UP!

  15. ShoeManiac


    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    I don't know why Fender decided to only offer maple fingerboards with the black & candy cola finishes, and rosewood with the 3TSB & olympic white finishes. Perhaps they just didn't see a high enough demand to the Am Std Jazz 5 string to offer both types of fingerboards with both finishes.

    I've had my dalliances with maple fingerboard basses. And I always find myself coming back to basses with either rosewood or pau ferro fingerboards. I just prefer them tonally, and I like the look of a darker fingerboard.