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Fender Jazz American vs Standard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HighFive, Dec 17, 2002.


  1. HighFive

    HighFive

    Jul 27, 2002
    Hello all - I'm an upright player whos looking for a first-time fretless bass guitar. I'll play jazz, funk, and some rock with it (using a GK MB150S amp). I've narrowed my selection down to either a Fender American Jazz Fretless or the Fender Standard Jazz Fretless. The dilemma is whether to get the $400 standard version or the $1000 American version. Is it really worth the extra money to get the american version, especially since it's my first electric bass?
     
  2. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Depends on you and how much you have to spend. The standard jbass is a goodbass for the money but remember this is a standard no frills instrument. Now as for the MIA bass you will get better quality all around. Now do you want a lined fretless or a unlined bass. Another route to go is a used MIJ fretless, I bought one of these used and in is unlined and sounds fantastic. But whatever you do play all and see what feels AND sounds good to you:cool:
     
  3. JohnL

    JohnL

    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    The virtues of modding a MIM have been discussed at great length here, you may want to do a search. You could pick up an MIM and be thrilled with the playability and the sound, or you could later wish you'd spent the extra. Depends on your hands and ears. The nice thing about the MIM is the availability of upgrades for every component. My .02, I'd invest in upgrades in this order:

    1. Pro setup
    2. Good shielding job
    3. Better Hardware (pickups, bridge, tuners)
    4. J-Retro preamp

    You now have a MIM Jazz that sounds great and cost about the same as the MIA. You could also make the same upgrades to an MIA and spend lots more!:D For the record, I have played both, and I am currently playing an MIA. You might also want to look at those Essex basses, but that's another thread altogether;) .
     
  4. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Yes John what you say is true about modding the MIM bass, but suppose he decides to get rid of it for one reason or another than he is selling a modded MIM bass, meaning no recoupe for money spent. where as the MIA bass will retain agreat value and wont need all the mods.
     
  5. Would it be cheaper to just buy a Warmoth neck and body rather than an MIM as a starting point?
     
  6. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Yes IMO/IME you'd be better off buying the MIA Jazz bass.

    Its simply got better tone, better quality, and better playability. Comparing the 2 basses is like comparing apples to oranges IMO.

    Id also suggest you play the MIA Deluxe Jazz bass with active electronics. IMO/IME its got a slightly better tone than the American Series does. But YMMV on that issue.

    Another option that you could pursue is the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz, it's got the same electronics and circutry as the mia jazz deluxe does, as well as the pickups they used to use in the MIA Deluxe. Its roughly $500 cheaper than the MIA series and has a very professional tone for a bass in its price range. Much better tone than the Standard or even American Series IMO. But again YMMV
     
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I do not share cassanova's opinion that the active basses sound better than the passive ones. As a matter of fact, I personally prefer the passive Fender Jazz basses over the active ones by a wide margin.

    To restate his opinion I'd take a passive MIM over an active made in USA.

    Everybody has different desires. The best thing you can do is go to a store and play some of the basses that you're thinking about. And be open minded enough to play non-Fender Jazz basses, even ones that seem inexpensive. You may be surprised at what you find.

    Personally I've owned a MIM in the past and they're good basses, fantastic bargains. I think that the bother and cost of "upgrading" them is misplaced. If you want to have fun dinking around with your bass this is a fun pursuit. If you just want a good work-a-day player, ante up for the made in USA bass, you won't be sorry. Currently I own a bone stock 1997 passive USA Jazz V and I love it.
     
  8. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Illinoize
    I agree completely. In fact, with the $200 bucks you save by buying passive, you could buy a Sadowsky Outboard or a J-Retro which blows away the stock Fender active electronics anyday of the week. I would still lean toward American made however. Only because in the long run it will probably retain it's value more than the MIM.
     
  9. Swerve

    Swerve

    Nov 22, 2002
    Portland, Oregon
    I'd go with the American...
     
  10. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I'm also one of those passive fender kinda guys (see profile) but like cassanova said give the mia dlx a try, I have both versions and the mia dlx is definately over the top and sounds beter than alot of basses for twice the price. :)
     
  11. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Not really... Figure $200 for the neck and $300 for the body (with a finish), and you're already at $500, where a MIM costs below $400. Not to mention the fact that at this point you don't have tuning machines, a bridge, a nut, a string tree, strap buttons, and all the other things that need to be purchased to make a complete instrument.
     
  12. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I love dinking around with my bass. It's the same logic that inspires Honda Civic hot-rodders. It's just fun to tinker. :D

    I'm still entertaining a thought of a Hod-rodded Jazz Bass shootout thread, where you vote for your favorite TBer-modified Jazz. That would be keen.
     
  13. HighFive

    HighFive

    Jul 27, 2002
    Well, I've decided to give Essex a try..I just ordered the Essex quilted maple top jazz bass for $140 with D'addario flatwound strings...hoping that it will sound good out of the box, but for the price I wouldn't complain about replacing pickups, strings, etc.
     
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Cool idea! How do you think I'd do:

    [​IMG]

    1995 MIM Jazz Lake Placid Blue. Mods:
    • Vintage style knobs
    • Badass II Brigde
    • Basslines Quarter Pound pickups
    • Blue pearloid pickguard from Jeannie's Pickguards

    Only problem is I don't own it any more. I still have the original pickups and bridge though.

    I had a lot of fun dinking with that bass. :) Thing is it didn't end up any better than it was when I started. Different, yes. Better? Not really.
     
  15. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Hmm... probably pretty good. That's a neat color scheme; it kind of reminds me of mine, just reversed. Kinda. ;)

    Maybe I'll give the thread a whirl, or at least see how many are interested...
     
  16. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I like that idea.
     
  17. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin