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Fender Japan Jaguar Bass (review)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by joninjapan, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    I thought a few here might be interested in this bass, I reviewed it for another forum... but I know that not everyone visits all the great bass forums on the net..

    pictures here...

    Well I went down and did a side by side comparison of the Fender Japan Jaguar Bass and a better known Fender Japan 62 reissue with US vintage pick-ups.
    Since I live in Japan and this review was for a public forum I went through the formalities of informing the store of what I would like to do and why. After checking with the management, they we more than happy to allow me to do my thing. The store was Yamano Music, and I was being assisted by Yamada-san.
    I requested a single amp and one Jazz Bass and one Jaguar Bass, they set up a Gallien-Kruger Neo 1001/212 and brought out the two basses tuned and ready to go... cool!!! Then left me alone to fiddle..

    Here are the stats for the two as tested : (advice for you other Americans: LEARN THE METRIC SYSTEM!!) (I did)

    62 Jazz RI
    Model JB62-75US
    Body Alder
    Neck Maple Oval profile
    Nut 38mm A-neck
    Fingerboard Rosewood 184mm Radius (7 1/4 in) 20Frets
    Pick-up USA Vintage X2
    Bridge Spiral Vintage
    Controls Volume Tone front/rear
    Color Three Tone Sunburst

    Jaguar Bass
    Model JAB-90EQ
    Body Alder
    Neck Maple U-profile
    Nut 38mm A-neck
    Fingerboard Rosewood 250mm Radius (9 7/8 in) 20Frets
    Pick-up JB single X2
    Bridge Spiral Vintage
    Controls Volume, Tone, Bass, Treble
    Switches pick-up on/off, active on/off, series/parallel
    Color Three Tone Sunburst

    The Jazz Bass was what it is, a great bass. I chose the 62 reissue due to its similar price and since the Jaguar Bass is based on a great 60's guitar it seemed like a natural choice, for the "retro" in some of us.

    The Jag I tested was nice and light, as was the Jazz, very comfortable in the hands. So let me with the "hands", the natural playing position is almost identical to the Jazz. However there was a huge difference in the necks, the Jag has a "U" profile and larger radius which in my big hands gave it a thinner feeling, just the way I like it. I was very surprised how different the two necks felt when switching back and forth, the difference is not so visible, but immediately noticed when wrapping a hand around it.

    The Jag body is a bit smaller than the Jazz and navigating the switches is an interesting challenge, long ago I played a 1964 Jaguar guitar, I could never figure out the switches. On the Jag Bass I did figure them out and they are useful. The pick-ups on the Jag are spaced wider than the Jazz, 8.5cm on the Jag vs 7cm on the Jazz. The Jag also has the bridge pick-up closer to the bridge, 1.5cm closer. Battery access is on the back.

    Fit and Finish
    Both were flawless. Fender Japan puts together great instruments. Very consistent in all the instruments I have seen and owned.

    This is an objective area, to each his own. Think "Jazz Bass" but with an edge (a bit more bite maybe due to the closer placement of the bridge pick-up to bridge), and thanks to the "Active" setting you can boost everything a bit. I really liked the "boost" it was shall we say "in good taste". Some active circuits tend to change everything about the sound, the Jag was subtle but firm, holding on to the natural tone of the bass and not coloring the sound, I really like that! The boost did add to the "Slap"-ability of the bass...so if you want to go there go ahead.... I don't.
    It was very easy to mix and change sounds on the Jag Bass thanks to those switches and knobs.

    In person the Jaguar Bass is beautiful in looks and sound, I am glad I live in Tokyo as it will be easy to get one of these basses... and in CAR with matching headstock!!! The look is anything but modern, but it what Fender is? The price is excellent, listing at 95000 yen and selling at 75000 yen. It should be a flexible bass for many styles of music a lot like the Jazz Bass... but different

    I have some serious GAS now.....
  2. holy crap, serious GAS :eek:

    can you post full frontal complete with headstock?
  3. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    wow, that's sweet looking.

    How much cash is that (In USD) because I'm not familiar with yen..

  4. Keef


    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    Ditto that, please..!
  5. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Oh god I want one...

    ps: check out www.xe.com. It has conversion tables if you're willing to learn, and a currency converter if you're lazy like me.

    75000 yen = about 650 USD
  6. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    God! Just learn the darn metric system! :D
  7. wow...i really want one! where do you find that guy?!
  8. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    http://www.ishibashi-music.com has em for 72000 yen.
  9. Excellent review and very thorough. Thanks.
  10. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Also, Joninjapan, how did it sound passive? I'm not a fan of batteries, and never have been.

    And +1 on the full body + headstock shot!
  11. Paul_C

    Paul_C Builder: Arrowheadguitars Basses

    Mar 5, 2005
    Northampton, UK
  12. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    Very nice and thorough review!
    I saw that bass a couple days ago in Yokohama and did a real double-take on seeing that it was a bass! :eek:
  13. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    The passive sound was very good, similar to the Jazz but different. It is a worthy bass in the passive mode.

    The store will let me know when the Candy Apple Red with matching headstock comes in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It really is a great bass for the price, I love Tokyo!!!
  14. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Awesome! Thanks a lot for this review, man. Ever since I saw the first pic of this guy, I've been dying to know how it'd hold up. Now I'm GASing incredibly hard! Ahh, help me!
  15. macahan


    Mar 22, 2005
    Karlstad, Sweden
    i'm GASing just as much... i was planning to build my own since there was no jag-bas.. and now they freaking built one.. GAS! and in CAR.. GAS once more..
  16. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Yeah, I've been saying forever that 'man, they've got the bass VI, why not frickin make an honest-to-god jag bass?' I almost didn't believe it until this review!
  17. OblivionBass


    Jul 3, 2005
    :bawl: Why can't they sell them in US :crying:
  18. Totally. I wish the entire line was more readily available in the States.
  19. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    Is the Jag-bass full 34" scale length? When I was checking it out on one of the Japanese sites (although it was excellently translated to English), it said the bass had a 32" scale, or maybe I misread it. It's definitely a sexy bass, and I'm considering saving the cash for one if the stars all align.
  20. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    so its only $650 US??
    pretty decent? isnt it?

    how much the sh to US will be?