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Fender Jazz Plus, I dont get it??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Arcy, Jul 7, 2003.


  1. Arcy

    Arcy

    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    I've found a good deal (I think) on an American Fender Jazz Plus. A local store has one that is unused (besides demo). I played it and it sounded good, better than the current American Jazz imo. I'm wondering though, why were these not very popular??? There are very few reviews on Harmony Central etc. At the time (they were made during the early 90's) I think they were Fender's top of the jazz line. They have two lace sensor pickups and a Kubicki preamp. I've also been looking at the Geddy Lee Jazz. I can get this unused Jazz Plus for probably something like $400, whereas the Geddy is like $620 new.

    So, I'm wondering if anyone has any background on the Jazz Plus. I don't understand it, it's really kind of a rare bass it seems. Secondly if anyone has heard it and the Geddy, a comparison would really be helpful (as I can't find any Geddy's in stock anywhere to try them out).

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks :)
     
  2. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    well, what I think you should do is get the jazz plus. If you don't like the sound, you can get a set of bartolini jazzes for it. Then THAT would be one helluva bass.
     
  3. They're great basses, IMO. Mine didn't sound particularly J-like, which may account for why they didn't sell well. But it was well-built, had flexible electronics, and played superbly.

    Shoot, for that price, you can just tell ME where to buy it if you don't go for it yourself!
     
  4. They're great basses, IMO. Mine didn't sound particularly J-like, which may account for why they didn't sell well. But it was well-built, had flexible electronics, and played superbly.

    Shoot, for that price, you can just tell ME where to buy it if you don't go for it yourself!
     
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Does it look anything like this? It has the Lace Sensors, Kubicki electronics, but is actually an American Jazz Deluxe V. It indeed is an excellent sounding Jazz Bass, and has the option of active or passive, with something in between, too. I recommend it.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    'nother pic.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Arcy

    Arcy

    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Well now I'm confused!!! Hehe. Yeah that's pretty much what it looked like I think. Same knobs. How can I tell what it really is? All the head says is Fender Jazz bass american etc. Is this some rare version of the Jazz Deluxe (obviously older) or something? Cause I've only heard of the lace sensors/kubicki coming on the Jazz Plus.

    Also, Jsonnenblick said it doesn't sound particularly J-like (referring to the Jazz Plus). Could you elaborate on that? And Munjibunga, does the one you have here on the other hand sound like a traditional Jazz or what?

    Yeah I guess I should figure out what it is before I but it. haha :cool:
     
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Actuall, that's a Jazz Plus V. The Jazz Deluxes (PickGuard, Control plate, large Pole Peices)replaced the Plus models.
     
  9. Arcy

    Arcy

    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking as well. Say hello to your new jazz plus, Munjibunga! hehehe
     
  10. Arcy

    Arcy

    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Hey btw, on the Jazz Plus, are the knobs supposed to keep turning without stopping? Is that normal or is it perhaps some common problem that is fixable?
     
  11. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    No, they're not supposed to turn without stopping.

    I'll have to look at my Urge when I get home (same preamp) and see if the knobs have set screws on them.

    Do the knobs have little holes on the side with a screw head visible? If so, get a little screwdriver and tighten them ever so slightly.

    The bass and treble controls do not have a center detent so you need to find the center (or flat) position all by yourself.

    Also, if you don't know about the preamp, there should be a trimpot inside the control cavity to adjust the mid boost and the bass control becomes a passive tone control in the passive mode (meaning that if you have the bass set flat in the active mode and change to passive, the now passive tone control will be at 50% and will be shunting off highs).

    Enjoy!!!!
     
  12. Arcy

    Arcy

    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    bump? sorry :(
     
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yes, it can sound like a traditional Jazz, especially on the passive setting. It sounds like a Jazz on steroids in the active setting. I usually put mine on the setting in between the two. Anyway, so it's a Jazz Plus, then. It originally listed for $1,249. Go from there.
     
  14. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Checked my Urge (and my spare preamp) and found set screws on the knobs. All you need to do is tighten them and you'll be all set.
     
  15. Arcy

    Arcy

    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it.
     
  16. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I've tried those 90's era J deluxes in 4 and 5. Maybe its just my rotten luck, but they always had dead strings, buzzing, and/or bad intonation. Likely this was due to careless shop owners. But I have to say they at least appeared to be solid built axes with good quality parts and wood (the see-thru ash bodies Js looked really nice).

    I LOVE the Geddy bass. However at $400, I say get that Jazz Plus now, man! If you want to tweak it to your taste a little later, fine. Its good quality stuff and it is a US made Fender. If its undesirable now, give it a few years and some guy in a trendy band on MTV will sport one because it was good and cheap and the next thing you'll know the value will go sky high and then fender will start re-issuing them. Case in point, any Fender made in the 70s. These were mostly SUCK axes but now they're hip. Go figure...

    r
     
  17. Arcy

    Arcy

    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Out of curiosity, would your opinion be any different if they were the exact same price? I'm not 100% sure on the Jazz Plus deal price just yet hehe
     
  18. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Id get the J Plus over the Geddy if the price was the same.
     
  19. Arcy

    Arcy

    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Any particular reason, Mike?

    I checked the Jazz Plus out again today. They do want $600 for it, so it's not quite as cheap as I thought. I believe it is new though, albeit with a few small scratches from being moved around the store but nothing major. I A/B'd it with some American Standard Jazz's, and there was certainly some difference. The single-coil "sound" wasn't quite there as much on the Jazz Plus. However the preamp seemed to be nice, and the output was real hot in active mode, and the harmonics really came out which I like. In passive mode it was similar to the standard jazz's, but not quite the same, maybe not as much of that "rawer" sound. The playability is excellent, nice small neck and action was good.

    So I dunno, it's a tough decision. I do wish I could find out why a early 90's bass is sitting in a store selling for half its original price and never has been sold; makes me thing there must be SOMETHING wrong with that model (not technical, i mean it works correctly, but sound wise). I think a lot of people maybe don't like the lace sensors, but maybe my ear isn't trained well enough to tell the difference for bass stuff yet. Give me a guitar and I can, but not with bass just yet. Oh well, gonna have to think on it a while.

    Two quick questions, #1, if one wanted to change out the pickups on the Jazz Plus, would any active pickups work with the Kubicki Preamp or would that need changing too?

    Also, if I end up going the Geddy route, how important is changing its pickups? (and which would be good ones to use)

    Geez. You bass guys. You guys talk about your pickups and preamps even more than we guitarests blab about our stupid tube amps. hehehehe
     
  20. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    you needn't use active pickups. The lace sensors are not active. They are passive, but they have quite a different design. Any pickups should work. Bartolini passives are what I reccomend. They have a real warm vintagy sound. They have a good amount of punch, also. Almost a wooly bottom end. They would probably require a competent tech to install. Unless you are comfortable with electronics.