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Fender Jazz Ash or Alder?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by markjazzbassist, Jul 31, 2005.

Fender Jazz Bass Body and Fretboard?

Poll closed Aug 7, 2005.
  1. Alder Body Rosewood Fretboard

    75 vote(s)
  2. Alder Body Maple Fretboard

    50 vote(s)
  3. Ash Body Rosewood Fretboard

    45 vote(s)
  4. Ash Body Maple Fretboard

    79 vote(s)
  5. Don't Buy A Fender

    47 vote(s)
  1. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Hey I'm looking at getting an brand new Fender American Jazz but i don't know if i should get it in Alder or Ash. I play jazz-rock funky fusion type stuff and also play in the worship band at my church (which is rock). I'm leaning towards the ash since that seems to be tailored more for the funky jazz musician but I'm afriad I'll lose that low end. I want to get the maple fretboard too cause i want it to be bright and it looks cool.Can anyone shed some light on this?

    Would Alder with Maple fretboard keep the low end but give it some brightness or should i just go with Ash and Maple fretboard?
  2. I'll merely say that if you go with ash/maple, you'll have a more inherently bright tonality.

    From what I gather, I'd suggest an Ash/Rosewood.
  3. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    Ash with rosewood for a Jazz,if the bass were a P-bass,i suggest maple for the fretboard, :cool:
  4. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    why is that funky tone? just curious because down the line i want to get an american p bass as well
  5. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    rosewood make the Jazz Bass more strong sounding
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  7. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I say just go with the ash and maple because that is what you want. It's not going to sound bad.
  8. throbgod13


    Mar 26, 2005
    ash and maple are going to make that a very bright sounding JBass.. go to a shop and plug in the basses you are looking at.. try all the combos and choose that way..

    i have a JBass that's alder and rosewood, and it's a well rounded tone.. a thick JBass tone..

    IMO, ash and maple are more of a PBass tone.. bright and defined..
  9. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I'm really an alder/rosewood kinda guy but I like marcusalan's suggestion: ash/rosewood might be the ticket. The best of both worlds.

    Edit: I like the idea of the ash/rosewood combo because it should give you a tone that cuts without being too aggressive or bright.
  10. My Jazz boasts an Alder body with Maple fretboard, and it has plenty of lows. Roll off the bridge pickup and you get a nice hi-fi tone thanks to the maple fretboard. I wouldn't say it's extremely bright sounding though. I believe it would suit your style. But if you want serious bite and more growl, I'd go for Ash.
  11. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Alder with rosewood on a Fender Jazz, period. I have tried out several high end custom shop jazz basses from Fender and all of the ones that had the Ash body ( rosewood fingerboard or maple, didn't matter) sounded awful to me. Don't get me wrong, Ash and Maple or whatever fingerboard you desire sound excellent on alot of other basses. But I have not found them to work good on the Fender jazz basses that I have played.
  12. DrSmaggs


    Oct 15, 2003
    Endorsing Artist:
    I don't like Fender much.

    I have a G&L SB-2 Alder body with maple fretboard... very hot sounding. I use DR High Beams (45-105)
  13. peter G

    peter G

    Sep 28, 2004
    ohio's northcoast
    I went with ash/maple because I fell in love with the sunset orange color. I tried about 6 MIA p's & j's at the mayfield GC and between the jazzs I really couldn't tell a differance(they all had a brite tone to me)So it came down to best looks. maybe someday I'll try some flats or something but for now I'm lovin it, a great tone, and I play every sunday at church.
  14. Even though my Jazz is Alder/Rosewood, I voted for Ash/Maple cause that's what I would chose if I bought another Jazz. I'm very happy with mine now, but it's almost a little too mellow for what I'm doing with it. Still, nothing a slight mid boost from ye olde EQ won't fix!

  15. I went to Guitar Center, and being a lover of warm, fat vintage sound, went right for the Fender Jazz basses. Being a vintagey guy I thought I would hate Maple/Ash Jazzes and Maple/Ash basses in general, but I tried a Geddy Lee which is Maple/Ash I beleive, and 3 American J's, one Rosewood/Alder, one Maple/Alder, and one Maple/Ash.

    The one I thought I would hate the most ended up being my favorite, the Ash/Maple. I didn't find it to be harsh or tinny or overly bright at all, it was a more in your face warm and smooth, as the Rosewood/Alder was more mellow warm and smooth.

    So try and try out some, I say woods don't matter if you click with a bass.
  16. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
  17. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Ash/alder and maple/rosewood are just very general indications of the tone a bass will have.

    Most people think "ash + maple = bright" and "alder + rosewood = warm", but I guarantee that if you go out and play a bunch of basses, you'll find an ash + maple bass that is darker than any alder + rosewood, and you'll find some really bright sounding alder + rosewood basses.

    So honestly, decide which one you like the looks of, and then go out and find the best playing and best sounding example of your cosmetic preference.

    Or if you don't have a chance to audition a lot of basses, put aside your cosmetic preference and buy the best playing and sounding bass you can, no matter the woods used.

    I'm not disregarding the influence of woods on the final tone, but there's a difference between Mr. Fodera, say, choosing just the right alder and just the right maple stock to fine tune the sound of a bass and what just happens when one of hundreds of mass production necks is mated to one of hundreds of mass production bodies.

    In the mass production world, it's a total crapshoot, so just play a bunch and find what sounds like a winner to you.
  18. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    My jazz is ash/maple... and it's bright, but just a little roll off on the tone knob softens that.... and it's still there if you want it back. I love it... i
    'd like an alder/maple jazz too... i kinda think the Geddy Lee's are alder/maple but don't quote me.
  19. Like Fenders but a big Ditto
  20. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    At a recent outing to test drive some basses, I spotted a nice Sky Blue American Jazz with rosewood neck in the rental department and started playing it. It was very balanced with great thickness and a real vintage vibe. The thing I noticed about it was even though it had noticeably dirty and corroded strings it had really good sustain.

    The "bass guy" at the shop said that if I wanted good sustain, go for the alder, if I wanted good thump, go for the ash.

    I have a MIA Precision natural finish on ash and I thought that the reason the sustain wasn't as good as some of my other basses was because of the fender flatwounds I have on it. Now I'm beginning to think that the salesman may be on to something.

    My Precision is definitely thumpy with lots of good fundamentals in the notes and that great woody bark that Precisions are known for but it doesn't have gobs of sustain.

    I happen to like the overall balance of a rosewood neck. I too play in a worship team setting and at our volumes, I don't need to "cut thru the mix" with a brighter sound from a maple fingerboard.

    Personally, although I really love the trans orange finish on ash, I think that when I finally get my MIA Jazz, it will definitley be with an alder body.