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G&L JB-2 vs Fender Jazz .... thoughts ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jimfriar, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Local store has a brand new G&L JB2 in stock - I tried it and it's really nice. I would like to compare it to a Fender - but believe it or not - there isn't a Fender Jazz to be found around here. The G&L is priced more than an American Standard Fender - more comparable in price to one of the '62 RI at about $1800 CDN. Anyone have experience with both ? Could a G&L really be that good (better than the Fender ).
  2. irvinz


    Nov 23, 2006
    has too much gas
    yeap. G&Ls that i've played are usually alot better than fender jazzs. hands down easy. the only thing is some people dislike the stock pickups. which is easily swapped for something like the nordstrands. not a big issue as most people swap out the pickups on their fender jazz anyway.

    JB-2 = good buys
  3. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    You cannot go wrong with G&L, and shopping around for a good price should prove a G&L to be even more attractive. As far as the pick-ups go, I have never played a G&L that I even thought about pulling the Pups out of! :bassist:

  4. The G&L's I've owned and played have been outstanding basses... I'd find a good used one here on TB though as it will save you a lot of coin.
  5. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    My main bass is a first year JB-2, been using it 99% of the time for the past 7 or 8 years.
    Killer bass, real workhorse, never had any problem with it except output jack fails.(common in any bass regardless of build or price)
    Construction IMO is better than Fender.
    I just swapped the PU for Lindy Fralin split J's. (wich is a matter of taste, but I think sound WAY better than the G&L PU, wich I kept)
  6. G&L all the way, hands down over Fender.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Definitely G&L. You're comparing a handmade custom shop level instrument to a cookie cutter Fender. Not even in the same league. Barely even in the same sport :)
  8. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    While I do agree with what has been said here for the most part, I will say this as well.

    I prefer the traditional Jazz Bass body verses that of the JB-2. G&L construction is top notch, I agree, however if you decide to try and sell your G&L in the future, you will lose your but. The Fender name holds the majority of its value.

    Look for a used Jb-2, they are a great value!
  9. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    my only issue with a JB2 is the size of the body. I'm 6'2" and all these "compact/modern" sized J bodies these days, leave me desiring a "full sized" J bass.

    This isn't just G&L. You can lump the high-end basses here too. I like a FULL size J body. Of course, this is a personal observation.
  10. chiplexic


    Apr 21, 2004
    Don't forget...G&L has the JB now. Traditional style body jazz bass. I played one a small shop had near me. Boy was it ever nice! Fit, ofcourse finish was beautiful, and pleked by the factory. It played great right off the shelf.
    Another thing that stuck out to me was the tone and volume pots. Smooth yet firm when turned. Good quality feel all around.
  11. irvinz


    Nov 23, 2006
    has too much gas
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Yeah I thought we were talking about the G&L JB. If not, we should be!

  13. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    that's a nice bass for sure. I think the OP was talking about the JB2 though.
  14. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I play U.S. Fender and G&L basses, and I don't think it's so clear cut in G&L's favor. The revisions to the American Standards for 2008 bring them much closer to G&L for build and finish quality, and the newer higher mass bridges are more like G&L's heavy duty saddle lock bridge. My 2008 Jazz V is every bit as nice as my 2007 SB-2. That said, G&L's finishes are still better than Fender's, and Fender doesn't even come close to matching G&L's options unless you go Custom Shop.

    In my view, G&L's biggest objective advantage is the Plek fret levelling. I have two G&L's with Plek treated #8 necks (1.5" nut, 12" radius like the JB-2), and the playability is unbelievable. My 2003 Fender Jazz plays almost as easily as my G&L's, but not quite, and it's a meaningful difference.

    Beyond that, I think it's personal preference as between JB-2 and Fender Jazz. The G&L neck has a slightly meatier rear profile, which many players prefer. The JB-2 sounds like a Jazz, but with a slight modern twist, probably from the 21 fret neck and six bolt neck joint, but maybe the pickups too. As others noted, the JB-2 doesn't have a Jazz body, so it will feel different. Some prefer the difference; some don't.

    If I were getting my first J, I'd probably custom order a new G&L JB so I could pick one of G&L's amazing finishes, get a matching painted headstock, and have that killer playability on a traditional J.
    Rodslinger likes this.
  15. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    ..just sent 2 American Standard Jazz Basses back. 1st one had issues with pickups not lining up and a sloppy neck joint. The 2nd one had faulty electronics(neck pickup dead), fret sprout and a poorly cut nut. Both were 2010's and both were NEW.
    Is FENDER loosing it's edge once again? These basses are NOTHING like what has been touted as the NEW AMSTD post 2008. These basses were JUNK!

    I see a G&L JB or JB2 in my future!
  16. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    I went on a JB-2 "binge" several years ago. When the smoke cleared, I had six of them sitting here. Three were ash body, three were alder body.

    One thing I can say, there was a huge difference in tone between the two wood types. The ash ones exhibited extraordinary snap and articulation compared to the alder ones. I credit this to the uber-sensitive (microphonic, even) stock pickups.

    Not everyone likes those pickups (just ask Chef ;)). But once tamed (flats in my case), they seperate the JB-2 from most other generic-sounding jazz basses. In a good way, IMO.

    No clue if the newer JB-2's come with the same pickups. Wouldn't be surprised if they've been changed to something less....extreme.
  17. tdoody


    Sep 5, 2008
    my main base is a jb2 with nordstrand nv4 pups. i am small and love the body size. it is a great bass and plays like butter.
  18. JohnnyB53


    Nov 1, 2009
    The JB-2 is the same body shape as is used on the L2000/L1500. I personally find this body to be more comfortable and to balance better than the traditional Jazz body. It just nestles up and balances to where all I think about is the music.

    And I'm sure there are plenty of people who have a similar relationship to the J-bass body. Although it's seldom done, I always try out a bass with a strap, standing up. There are plenty of basses that can feel fine when seated that exhibit neck dive, sharp edges, and difficult playing position when hanging from a strap.

    For any lengthy practice or gigging, you have to find a bass that physically fits you and makes it easier to make music.
    Kickdrum likes this.
  19. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    +1 I always take a strap to the store so I can audtion a bass standing up. Back in the 80's,
    I was a young dude and fell for the looks of a BC Rich Mockingbird. Beautiful Koa with dual DiMarzio P Pups, active...the whole bit. Bought it and took it to a gig that night. The WORST neck dive ever! It went right back the following day.

    I'm very interested in more G&L JB-2 feedback. I've owned L-2000's, L-1000's and L-1500 and SB-1 but never a JB-2. Do you feel that the JB-2 is a similar or different animal than the new JB? Any glaring +'s or -'s to either?
  20. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    Definitely the G&L.