Fender jazz help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassclef216, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. I am in need of some help decideing on a bass to buy. I am looking at either a Fender Highway One Jazz in sunburst or a Fender 60's classic series in sunburst. My problem in deciding lies here:

    The Hwy 1 is American made with a great bridge but I would want to change out the pickguard, and tint the neck and headstock. It also seems to have a better control panel (knobs), and upgraded graphite neck reinforcement. It also has the medium/jumbo frets.

    The 60's model is Mexican made, has "vintage" frets, but has the pickguard and tinted neck that I like already.

    My question is this - Is the Hwy 1 that much better since it is American made and has has upgrades or is all that hype that I would never notice. Also could someone explain the "vintage" frets thing to me. Also I am new enough to playing the bass that "feel" is subjective and I could learn to like anything. One last problem - I have also been looking at the Squier CV Jazz and love the look and feel. I have gone through my "starter" bass which was not that great and either of the above will be a huge improvement. I am a little worried about the longevity of the Squier as the new bass will hopefully be the bass that I keep and play for a long time.

    I am just hoping for some honest advice as I don't want to spend extra money if it's not worth it.
  2. drden


    Nov 11, 2008
    Troy, NY
    go for a fender.
    I would be torn too, but if I had a big enough budget I would get the highway on and just replace the neck and pickguard. mostly because I love the highway one finish.

    this part is just me but I would even replace the pickups too
  3. i have a '62 reissue MIA sunburst, a blonde MIA Highway One jazz, and a MIA P-Bass Special. id have to say the highway one is my favorite, followed closely by the p-bass, and the '62 reissue as far as playability. tone-wise its the '62 reissue or the p-bass special.

    i'd say get the highway one, they're my personal favorites for a j-bass.
  4. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I'd go for the HW1 just because it's MIA. The Mexi Fender's are nice but in my experience just don't hold the resale value of the USA Fender's.

    The Squier CV Jazz is a real nice bass for the money. I own one and would have no problems gigging nightly with it. You could always mod it or swap out the hardware if it wears out. My only concern with the CV Jazz would be the tuners and the mini pots for the vol / tone but they are easily changed. The bridge is a nice heavy unit and the PU's are decent. The neck is nicely tinted. It does have the skinny vintage style frets which some players don't like but I'm OK with them.

    I did a mini review on the CV Jazz here:


    Keep Low :bassist:
  5. Thanks for the replies. Are the vintage frets skinny as in looking down on the neck from above or are they not as tall as if looking from the side? Do the smaller vintage frets have anything to do with the ease of playing or amount of effort needed to play? I read another post about the MIM 70s jazz bass that said the frets were huge which made it difficult to play. Also, do the smaller frets wear out faster? 60 bass, i think I read your review of the Squier CV bass and along with most others you gave it a great review. But is that as an it's great "for a squier" or is it a great bass in its own right?
  6. jellymax

    jellymax Don't fry any wooden fish

    Nov 29, 2006
    SF CA
    i have come to the conclusion that, for me, its all about the quality of the neck.
    the 60s classic neck is a bit disappointing, has a minor 'S' curve requires too much neck
  7. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    They are skinny in the sense that they are narrower in width and "slightly" shorter in height compared to the newer Fender basses. The ease and effort will depend on your action height, string gauge, and how heavy your touch is. I prefer medium or jumbo frets on a bass but have no problem adjusting to either.

    They "will" wear faster if you use stainless roundwounds and with regular "nightly" gigging will probably need to be dressed every year. Which is really no big deal. Anyone playing regulary will probably need a dress every year anyway regardless of fret size.

    The answer is both. It's by far the best Squier I've played with the exception of the very first MIJ ones (which are better than what Fender was putting out at the time). It is a great bass that you could take out every night and play happily just as it is. On the other hand it IS a $300 bass and as such can not be expected to hold up as well over the years as the MIA Fenders.

    The big difference is in the hardware. The Squier hardware will wear out faster with regular nightly use, but as I said that can be easily upgraded. The china mini pots WILL wear out and need to be replaced, again fairly easy to do. Body, neck, and finish should stand up decently if you keep it cleaned, adjusted, and in a good case. There are plenty of TB'ers out there using the Squire basses every night on stages everywhere so that tells us that those basses are capable of regular use but they are still import basses and need to be considered as such. Would I buy another one? Hell yes! for the price, they can't be beat. You could get both a Jazz and a P bass for the price of one MIA HW1. Now that IS something to think about.

    So in the end it comes down to a choice. Are you happy with your amp and cabinet and are not gassing for upgrades there? If so, take the money and go for the MIA HW1. They are good solid basses and will stand up to nightly use.

    If your amp/cab is not where you want to be, then consider the Squier and have some cash left over to use towards your other gear.

    Hope this helps.

    Keep Low :bassist:
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 23, 2021

Share This Page