G&L JB-2 - My first classic Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by vicenzajay, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. This bass arrived from Mrcircle 3 weeks ago. It's my first classic style jazz bass as my '87 Fender Power Jazz is a P/J bass.

    O.K. - the bass is beautiful (pics below) and very light at 7.8 pounds (something that's becoming more important to me as the years go by). Tonewise, I have really enjoyed the full tone, basic attack, and clarity of this bass. It has a very strong output signal - a fact even more significant given that this bass is passive.

    I actually do hear a small, but noticeable, difference in the attack and clarity of the tone due to the maple board. This is my first bass with this type of fretboard.

    Pretty silent as far as the electronics are concerned...and the bass is like any G&L with a saddle-lock bridge - fabulous sustain and overall piano-like string response that is just as tight and defined tuned down as it is in standard tuning. There are several tunes the band does in drop-D, and as we tune down a half step to begin with, my basses have to be able to support a C# on the E string with good response and clarity.

    I did need to completely setup the bass - not surprising given the climate here in the very rainy, windy, cold and then sometimes warm Pacific NW. I tightened the truss rod a quarter turn and set the action for a medium-low action across the now almost flat board...fantastic playability and comfort. I also leveled the pickups some as they were tilted fairly dramatically.

    Enough talking, here are some pictures:





  2. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    Very nice piece -- that plain maple fretboard with the cream binding is stunning!!!

    As an aside, tell me a little about the PowerJazz (You can pm me if you like.) I've seen those around and have always wondered about how they feel/play/sound.

    Your G&L is a Nice Bass, my friend - congrats!
  3. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    awesome. i like the fretboard, also.
  4. Iotanet,

    Thanks for the nice words - I haven't forgotten my chance to "very quickly" try out the Barker basses two months ago. There will be one for me in the future! I know that I will need the ergonomics of an upright before too long.

    Anyway, about the Power Jazz...there was a series of Jazz Specials, then Power Jazz Specials made in Japan in the '80s. At the time, the Power Jazz fetched approx. $600 retail (which, doing the math, equates to a fairly high end bass today). There have a been a couple on eBay over the past year - each one has fetched north of 300 dollars, so the bass is holding it's value well.

    In any case, the bodies were made from either alder or tilia (basswood), pickups were Fender standard, the headstocks had a signature graphite layer covering that extended as a middle "layer" or lamination directly under the fretboard. My fretboard is rosewood with a graphite nut (really nice). Tonewise, the bass is a classic Fender P/J bass. In many ways, it is the most "meat and potatoes" sounding bass I've played. The guitarists and sound guy for our band actually prefer it over the others for the way it sits in the mix. It's my best "slap" bass (not that I play much slap) by far. The bass is active (thus the "power" designation), the downside is that when the battery dies, the bass dies - no bypass available. The other "negative" is that the tuners are not lightweights - so the bass can be a bit neck heavy unless a very wide strap is used. Overall, however, the bass is fairly light - about 8.5 pounds.

    Hope that helps - I've always really enjoyed the tone and playability of the Power Jazz...it has a very smooth tone, and the neck/playability of the instrument is top-notch. I string it with D'Addario half rounds, and my setup has the action medium-low. I have been very happy with the bass as it was my only instrument for 17 years...it's been played out (either at church or elsewhere) almost every weekend for a good deal of that time. Recently, I have been playing fretless 70% of the time, so it's use has tapered off a bit.

    Take care,
  5. what i really like about the JB-2 is that it doesn't have an offset waist -- it's an L series body, which is more like a P-style body. i'm not a fan of the J body shape, but i love its tone and general aesthetic.

    nice bass.

  6. I agree - it hangs almost exactly like the L-2000 as well...makes moving between the two basses pretty seemless as far as body shape/contour is concerned.

    Obviously the outputs of those two basses are VERY different. One of the big reasons I have a Raven Labs MDB-1 on the way to me as we type.