Fender Jazz passive or active????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassPlayerGush, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. BassPlayerGush


    Sep 23, 2001
    I deffinitly want to buy a fender american jazz bass. im not sure if i should go with the american jazz deluxe (active electronics) or the just the american jazz (passive electronics). i was told that the deluxe sounds a lot cleaner, and is better for gigs. on the other hand i was told that the american jazz has a warmer sound, and is better for recording. i am sort of leaning towards the passive american jazz, because im running already mostly analog pedals and a tube amp.
    what do you think is better for an all around bass? Ant help is greatly appreciated.
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000

    Hey, it worked perfectly for 30+ years, why shouldn't it work now?
  3. David-Adler


    Feb 28, 2001
    Bonn, Germany
    You should buy neither of them.

    Go buy a Fender American Limited Series FMT 5-String. Looks better, sounds better, plays better is better !
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
  5. If it were me, I'd go passive and use a Sadowsky outboard preamp. I have a '72 Jazz and use that configuration. IMO, the Sadowsky preamp is a much better option than the standard Fender active.

    That said, you should try both. You may find that an active Fender fits the bill very well for you. They are certainly used more than any other bass for recording - must be doing something right! ;)

  6. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    I happen to like the passive tone much better....plus if you don't like the passive tone, just get the Sadowsky like someone else said...I don't know why everyone wants an active....
  7. Cogno

    Cogno Guest

    Jun 11, 2001
    I also prefer passive. I just sold a year 2000 American Deluxe Active 4. I have an American Jazz and a MIJ reissue 75 passive. They both are warmer and have more "kick in the butt" punch. Before I made up my mind I had a fellow Bass player Jam with my ban with all the basses. Tha passive were far superior.
  8. David-Adler


    Feb 28, 2001
    Bonn, Germany
    I prefer active, I don´t know why, but having owned some passives, active basses sound more like bass to me, more low end I believe.
    Anyway, if I´d go for a Vintage-Style Bass, I´d probably go passive.

  9. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I just got through trying out what seemed like a zillion Jazz basses. I liked both the passive and active basses. What I liked better about the active ones was that I was able to "dial-in" a greater range of sounds that I liked. Both are cool though.
  10. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Ive treid both, and the active one has some Awesome tone shaping abilitys.
  11. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    I think I said this before but here goes.... I feel that Passive brings out the sound of wood more. And its cheaper. So on my fretless I like passive pu's. That's just me.

    On my fretted basses I MUST have active pu's/eq.

    Yes its true, i think passive can be limited at times in the tone dept. but for my tastes fretted instruments sound better with the active electronics, more variety in tones. U got to spend a little more....let ur ears be the judge.
  12. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I must say that I've never understood what people call "variety of tones" coming from the fact that the bass has a preamp... isn't it all just about EQ? Or could someone please explain what drastic tonal changes you can perform with an active bass, that's more than just, yeah, EQ?

    I smell buzzwords! :p
  13. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Bass Player,

    I have an American Jazz Deluxe 5 and was never very pleased with the stock Fender on board pre-amp. Recently I had a J-Retro Deluxe dropped in this bass. Problem solved. This unit gives you the best of both worlds as you can run it in active or passive mode.

    Given your situation, I would look for a used MIA Jazz Standard, since it's less expensive, then drop a J-Retro into the bass. Keep in mid that you would be limited to the J-Retro Standard, which unlike the J-Retro Deluxe, doesn't have a passive tone knob.

    Happy Hunting,
  14. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I played a few standard and deluxe jazz basses and always through the same amp. I would adjust the various knobs and see what I could get. My impression was always the same. The Deluxe tones were more varried. I don't know how to describe to you what I heard, it was my impression at the moment. I did all my testing through a Fender Bassman 25 amp, since that was what I was also planning on buying. I imagine that with the amp eq I could probably duplicate a lot of what I heard on either bass... But the ability for me to do it on the bass is worthwhile for me.