Fender Jazz V Standard B string question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Scamp, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. Scamp


    Jul 18, 2003
    I had my mind pretty much set on this as what bass I was going to buy mainly because I love the sound of the jazz basses and because I wanted to buy a 5 string. I hadn't previously plugged into an amp with one at any of the stores but finally did before I bought the one I was trying today. When I plugged in and used the low B string the note did not really sound very solid. I don't know how to really describe it but it was kind of like a pulsating effect. It did this seemingly most of the way down the neck but diminished after the 8th fret or so but I wouldn't normally use it for much other then a closed d and e anyway. I tried a different amp and it seemed to have the same effect. I tried out a Brawley that they had and it was a clear solid note. It was a 35 inch scale as opposed to the 34 inch of the fender. Observing the actual motion of the string there did not seem to be any real difference, meaning the jazz bass didn't seem to wobble as many people describe the low b strings motion on some 5 strings. Is the sound from the amp an indication of the bass needing adjustment or is this an indication of some other problem.
  2. Darth_Linux


    Oct 12, 2002
    Spokane, WA
    could be a dead string. Try changing to a new or different brand of string, maybe thicker guage. You should also double check the intonation and truss rod adjustment just to be sure those are both set up properly.
  3. Scamp


    Jul 18, 2003
    I didn't actually buy it seeing as how it didn't seem to be working all that well. They didn't have another 5 string in stock so figured it was a sign to hold off on buying it. After playing around on the 35 inch bass and seeing that it wasn't much more of a stretch for the fingers I am somewhat tempted to go with one of the numerous asian made 35" 5 strings in that price range. I'll find a fender jazz V that is properly setup somewhere before I make up my mind. I'm glad to here it is likely the setup or just the bass and not typical behavior. I see a lot of posts saying that a 34" scale is inferior but just as many that say it just depends on the bass so just wanted reassurance that the low B string on the fenders wasn't a typical trouble spot.
  4. Some of the best B's around are on 34" basses,eg: Musicman and Pedulla Rapture, which proves that it's the bass, not the scale. I've played 35" basses that were no better than the Fender, which brings me to the point. I have had two Fender Jazz Vs, one a USA standard, and one a USA deluxe, and both had crap B strings. The only strings that seemed to work reasonably on them were La Bella SuperSteps. I've tried many, many Fender Vs out, and the only one that's any good is the Roscoe Beck, IMO.
  5. but I notice that with a 35' scale, the B has a more defined sound.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I have two Fender Jazz fives with solid B's... a MIA Jazz Deluxe 5 and an FMT.

    IME there are basses anyone can get a solid B string performance out of and there are those you have to finesse. In the minority IME are those that just don't work. I blame the results I get on setup, my technique, tonal adjustments andthe bass in question. I know it's not that hard getting a nice B sound, I see way too many players, amateur and pro, getting it and I get it myself.

    What you described sounds like it needs a tweak, maybe adjust the pickup and string height as a start. Certainly not deal-breakers but I can understand wanting to know the results before making a purchase. Buying a bass and hoping it'll work after you've played it is a risky proposition IMO.
  7. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Carlsbad, NM
    I personally own a USA Am. Std. Jazz V, and I think that the low-b sound problem might be the pickup itself more than the actual bass or length of the scale. I think perhaps maybe adding a preamp would help things out. Most good sounding B strings you hear about are all basses with preamps.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    That may be because most basses these days, especially those with more than four strings, are active. IME you can achieve the same results with a well made passive bass, tweaking at the amp if necessary. One of the most drop-dead gorgeous B's I've ever laid ears on is my semihollow Elrick NJS fretless. I also have an old Tobias that has a killer B, in active or passive mode.
  9. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    a lot of the prob with those is in the pickups, they're just not strogn enough under the B string.
  10. Mr Lurker, you are confused. The pickup does not need to be "strong' under a B string, because there is such a huge mass of metal vibrating. The Roscoe Beck is passive, has a pretty darn good B string, and this is achieved by the pickup being made deliberately weaker under the B. (this fact referenced from the Bass Player Mag interview with Roscoe Beck.)
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    This is a very interesting read,,,because I'm considering one of these as a possible purchase.

    Here's a question for Brad Johnson (& everyone else, too), does this mean that if active pickups are used,,, that it's likely,, or at least a probability that the "soft B" will be sured up?
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I completely agree.

    I own and play a Fender Jazz V standard passive and mine sounds incredible across all strings all the time. I play softly and crank the amp, and I have a big 130 B string.

    McHack, I'd say that the bass you're looking at simply needs a new set of strings and a good setup. I recommend Fender "Super Bass" nickels, they sound fantastic on my Jazz V.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I have several basses with low B's and only one has active pickups... my MTD 635. Every one has a B string that I'd rate from very good to phenomenal.

    I can't say whether or not an active pickup would cure a "soft B". If you actually meant active electronics and not pickups, the ability to dial in some bottom at the bass might help. Otherwise you could dial it in at the amp.

    Even better IME is what Philbiker already mentioned. Turn the amp up, lighten up on your touch. I play both an MIA JD5 and an FMT live and they sound very good. Always get compliments with them.

    B strings are big... I typically adjust my basses with the B slightly higher than the rest of the strings (I keep my overall action pretty low) and I adjust the pickups closer to the smaller strings and farther away from the B.
  14. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    My B string on my Fender V sounds great. It does feel a little soft but that's because I went from a longer scale bass to the fender. Also I have a Jretro pre amp but I really want to hear a passive Fender jazzV I have a passive 4 string Fender Jazz and love that tone. I have a diffent opinion on string gauge for a low B than most. For some reason I want to get my low B sounding similar tone wise to my E string so I go with a thinner guagestring. 125 or 128 sounds great to me. Lots of growl instead of thud. :meh:
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I use .125
  16. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    This is great input, as I'm in the market for a quality 5-stringer. You know, one I'll acquire & have for the foreseeable future.
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Could be a dead/faulty string.

    Could be the pickup is too close to the string.

    Could be that the intonation is way off.

    IME, B strings on music store basses tend to go dead fast. My theory is that this is because everyone who picks up a fiver starts bangin' on the B.

    I think almost all fivers of reasonably good quality (and that includes Fender) have good B strings if they're properly set up. And I'm talking about 34", 35", or longer scale length.