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Geddy Lee CIJ vs. ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RyanOh, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member

    I learned to play on a '72 - '74 Fender Jazz and always liked the tight radius neck. Last summer I picked up a used Squier VM Jazz and it's similar, in fact it's really decent but I want to get something a little nicer.

    I honestly haven't paid much attention to all the Geddy Lee models over the years, but I'm finding there are different variations in neck profile, build quality, etc. I'm leaning toward an older CIJ version maybe 2000-2005? I've read that the CIJ is considered better than MIM's, and thinner neck than a US, and that older ones are considerably thinner than newer?

    My budget would be $600-700 for what I'm seeing out there, and I'd want low action and at least 9.5" radius with a thin C profile. Advice and opinions are appreciated.
  2. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I've heard more than a few members say the Japanese-made Geddy-sigs have incredibly thin (front to back) necks. I've also heard tell that the MIA Geddys have a thicker neck than their Japanese and Mexican counterparts. Sadly, I've never had the chance to try out any Geds, so I can't give a "hands-on" confirmation.

    Question for you; Does it have to be a thin neck, even if it has a vintage-style, 7.25" fretboard radius?
    Ryan6491 likes this.
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I had a MIJ Fender Geddy Lee, would love to pick up another one. While you could justify tuner upgrades they were VERY good bassed for the money, perhaps the best in their class. I'd take one over an American Standard from the same era. The construction seemed more consistant.
    andruca, TJH3113, phall2112 and 4 others like this.
  4. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    The CIJ Geddys are fantastic. The neck is possibly the thinnest front to back that Fender has offered on a Jazz bass. The sound and build quality are top notch.

    The only reason I sold mine is that I somehow ended up with two of the US Geddys.
    byoung93888 and Ryan6491 like this.
  5. Midak


    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    The CIJ Geddies are fantastic, I have one myself. The thing is, the neck on the '72-'74 would probably be quite thick, '70s U-Shape with 7.25" radius, while the CIJ Geddies share a thin C-Shape with a 9.5" radius. That is, we are talking about two vastly different necks. Definitely try the Geddy before you buy it to see if you are fine with its profile.
  6. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member

    Hmm that's interesting about the early 70's I first learned on...I bet it was 7.25" but I didn't know it at the time.

    It doesn't have to be the thinnest possible neck, I just thought that's what I should be looking for.
  7. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    The original Japanese Jaguars have a very similar neck. Fender called it a "Thin C" back when they were still available. The Jag and the Geddy were the only 2 basses with this designation I believe.
  8. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member

    Based on other comments, no it doesn't have to be a thin neck. I've heard modern US versions are thicker, but thicker than what...I assume they are still somewhat thin.

    I do remember the tight neck radius and have never owned a bass quite like that old Fender Jazz. I'll need to compare 7.25 to 9.5 radius vs. profile, not sure exactly what I prefer.
  9. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    My red MIJ FSR 75, black CIJ Geddy and natural AVRI 75 Jazz Basses.
    Very different feeling necks on each, but after just a few minutes of playing on any one of them, it feels like home.
    IMHO the AVRI sounds the best, but the Geddy is right there - a very close second, and at 1/2 the price.
    I've played the USA Geddy, and while the neck is thicker than any of mine, it also sounds phenomenal, and I plan on adding one to the herd someday.
    I think you would like any one of them, but you can't go wrong with a nice used CIJ Geddy. :thumbsup:

    moshspeggeti, 39-Bassist and Ryan6491 like this.
  10. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Then you might want to try out a Classic '70s Jazz as well. Two things worth mentioning about it…
    1. The neck is meant to capture a number of the period-correct specs (bigger headstock, bullet truss rod nut, 7.25" radius, binding and blocks), only it's a rosewood board, instead of maple.
    2. It's MIM body is the exact body used for the MIM Geddy-sigs. They both come in black and sunburst, have the '70s bridge pickup spacing, but the bridge is a standard, vintage-style one.
    Here's some pics of the one I bought a few years ago…

    For me, it's neck was one of the primary selling points. Outside of an Aerodyne, which I already have, it was the only bass that had such a neck. So, I traded a pair of Squiers towards the lovely, barely used one pictured above. Some time later, I had to purge more gear, so I sold it's body, but I made damn sure to hang on to it's neck. Currently, it's going to find a home on a Warmoth body, once I'm done staining and finishing it.

  11. Midak


    Sep 4, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    It definitely was a 7.25" radius, unless somehow modified by the shop/owner. If you can afford a higher budget, you could look for an American Vintage '74 Jazz Bass or even its predecessor, a '75 Jazz Bass. That would be the closest to your original bass.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    Ryan6491 likes this.
  12. grouse789

    grouse789 Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Westchester NY
    I've had my CIJ Geddy since June 1998. Hands down a winner. The neck is real thin front to back. Like others have mentioned it certainly rivaled the American fenders of the time. Plus it was a steal at $720.00 or $620 US.(I can't remember anymore.)

    I tried a new American Geddy, and I felt the neck was like a baseball bat. Thick. Nice bass, but I prefer my '98 CIJ all day long.
  13. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member

    Thanks. I've heard the same on the US version, and that's why I'm leaning to the CIJ. From other replies I'm learning that it's not exactly the same neck I expected (which now I know is 7.25" U) -- and that's ok...I guess I just need to acquire a few more basses and try them all. :)
    Malak the Mad and MattZilla like this.
  14. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    You are right on target as too price and quality of build and era of the bass...in fact there are a couple in the classifieds worth checking out.
  15. austin2112

    austin2112 Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2015
    Regarding the MIM v CIJ concern, I don't put too much stock into the CIJ/MIJ v. MIM debate. I've owned several from Mexico, Japan, and even had three of the USA versions. Perhaps there was a drop in quality initially while Mexico was getting things worked out, but I can't say any of them (the ones I've personally owned, a 2013 and a 2015 MIM) varied enough to make a fuss about it. Granted, individual results may vary, but my suspicion is many criticizing MIM Geddys are jumping on bandwagons.

    Just my two cents, if you can play one first, do so. But don't let some outdated MIM fears scare you out of a good deal. I've been thrilled with each Geddy I've owned.
    Malak the Mad, smtp4me and Sandman64 like this.
  16. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    LOVE my CIJ Geddy. I swapped out the pu's for Model J's, but otherwise there's nothing I'd change about that bass. The neck is a dream to play on.
    gregmon79 and Kevnn4 like this.
  17. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I agree. The “lets hate MIM basses” bandwagon should have lost its wheels years ago. I own 3 Fenders from Mexico, and all 3 are outstanding. Yes, quality was hit and miss early on, but during the past decade they have really stepped up. My only quibble is that they really should sell them with hard shell cases, not cheap gig bags, but the basses are quite nice.

    Now, I haven’t owned a CIJ GL Jazz, but I’ve played them throughout the years and the neck was certainly the thinnest that Fender offered. The MIM GL, which I do own (a 2012 model) also has a thinner neck, but not as thin as the CIJ GL, at least from what I remember. It's certainly a lot thinner than the neck on the 70' Jazz. Honestly, my MIM GL is one of the best Jazz basses I’ve owned, and I’ve owned several MIA and MIM Jazz basses over the years.
    austin2112, Sandman64 and smtp4me like this.
  18. MattB88

    MattB88 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2016
    Endorsing Artist: Alien Audio Basses, DR Strings, Warm Audio, Shaw Audio
    I loved my CIJ Geddy. The CIJ stuff has always had better QC over any MIM I've ever played or seen. A lot of the older Japanese stuff would rival many of their American models once upon a time.
    mdogs and grouse789 like this.
  19. MattB88

    MattB88 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2016
    Endorsing Artist: Alien Audio Basses, DR Strings, Warm Audio, Shaw Audio
    I will also add the newer MIM stuff has gotten much better.
    austin2112 and RBPCRC like this.
  20. bass.slinger


    Aug 15, 2015
    Santa Fe, NM
    I own one of the early CIJ Geddy Lee's as my main bass. The CIJ Geddy Lee basses are very thin at 0.77" just behind the first nut and around 0.92" (I don't remember this exact measurement) just behind the twelfth fret. I would recommend looking for a used American Special jazz bass which is close at 0.785" behind the first and 0.89" behind the twelfth if you can get one in your price range. The pros for the American Special are the graphite rods in the neck which make it quite a bit more stable than the Geddy Lee MIJ and the truss rod nut access slot. If you own a Geddy Lee MIJ (and again I do), you will be constantly adjusting the neck if you like low action (I ended up routing a slot in the body so I would not have to keep taking the neck off). I love the feel of the bass but have been thinking about getting a new American Professional jazz (same neck profile as the American Special) to have 60s pickups spacing and a rosewood neck.

    I have not played one of the MIM basses, so no opinion on them.
    andruca likes this.

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