Fender Jazz choices

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BaldBass, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Ok here's the deal. Not that I actually need a Fender Jazz Bass, it's just that I always wanted one. I had a mid 60's era P Bass almost 30 years ago and even then I had the droolies for the Jazz. Currently I have a Ric 4003 that I love and a couple of other lesser Basses ( an Aria and a Yamaha) both of which I will probably sell when I aquire a Jazz. So here's the question; I have been looking at a Highway 1 and a Geddy Lee, both at around the $700 mark. I have also considered a MIM at around 4 bills and putting the extra into some better p/ups and bridge and other upgrades. What's your collective opinion? Any input on this subject would be appreicated. I know some of the sharpest minds dealing with bass questions are right here at Talk Bass. So I eagerly wait your reply
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I think either way you choose will yield you a great bass. To throw a monkey wrench into your plans, however, I will say that that if you watch the TB classifieds for a used American Jazz bass, you can easily find one in your price range. Just more to think about. :D

    edit: Here's a link to a bass I pined over many a night. It still needs a good home!
  3. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    I had a Highway 1 that was incredibly good. But about 99.9 % of TB population will also tell you the Geddy Lee is a great J, and it's a fact, it is.
    Based on my own experience (which also led me to a crappy MIA J), my main advice is : go and try as many J basses as you can, then pick up the one you prefer. Don't matter whether it's MIM, MIJ, MIA etc., what will make you happy is your fingers + the bass, not the tiny sticker.
    I would also recommend not to purchase a Fender without trying it first, unless the retailer offers you a nice return policy.
    Hope this helps,
  4. i'm very happy with my geddy lee bass. mine (and other GL's i've played) play far better than most of the late model MIA jazz basses - at least to me... nice action, no buzz, good bridge and pickups - no mods needed. i prefer a rosewood fingerboard, but the GL is an excellent value.
  5. SteveD


    Feb 20, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    I like what JayAmel wrote above. Go try J basses until one speaks to you, and says, "I have been waiting for you."

    Pull down a J, and ask the salesperson for a quiet room, and say "no, I don't need an amp yet." Take the bass to the quiet room and play all up and down the neck. If you like it, if it speaks to you, take it back out and plug it in. Avoid playing all your hot licks, just play long and short notes up and down the neck. Make sure the open strings have enough definition, not too much "piano" sound. Check the usual dead spot (7th fret, g string), and make sure it's not too bad. Check the usual boomy spot (7th fret, E string, and make sure it's not too bad.

    I've owned 7 J's, have two now, a 64 and a 2001 MIM fretless. The 64 plays nicely, sounds average as far as Js go. The MIM has a great voice, and a thump that could start a stopped heart. It shocked me, and said, "take me home." So I did.