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Geddy Lee J bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Relic, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Here's a silly question for the far-more-informed-than-I, the Geddy Lee Jazz bass, obviously it's a sig model but is it based on any particular year? Is it truly a copy of Geddy's actual bass, ('75 is it?) or is it really basically a J with a cool neck, badass, and 62 RI pups?

    (Groover's thread about reissues made me think of this)
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    More the latter. And I believe it's a 72 or 73.
  3. xlows


    Oct 21, 2006
    I've heard '77. My uncle's '76 J bass is almost identical save for pearloid blocks and a rosewood fretboard (not to mention various scrapes and gouges-they add character)
  4. The original Geddy Lee Fender J was a 1972 that Geddy found in a pawnshop. He added the BAII later.
  5. Rocinante_x1

    Rocinante_x1 Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

    Aug 22, 2004
    Washington State
    Geddy Sig is a replica (sorta, he didnt let fender open his up for measurements due to De-mojonation) Of his 1972 Pawnshop J that he got from a Pawnshop in Michigan in Late 1973 for 250.00. He added the Badass I bridge back in 1981 for the recording of Moving pictures, and later added the Badass II in the early 90s.

    But yeah. The pickup spacing is different on the Geddy. the Bridge pickup is about 1/4" closer to the bridge. So the bass itself is basically as close as you can get to geddy's.. However.... Since the electronics arent the same, because Geddy didnt allow fender to open up his bass to make measurements, It'll have to make do. :)
  6. TribalEagle


    Mar 19, 2005
    Finland EU
    I hava wondered what is so special about Geddy jazz.. it is just a vintage jazz with baddass..
    many here say that it is the best signature fender makes, and one of the best jazz basses.. why is that so? how about marcus miller jazz? maple neck and vintage feel.. what makes geddys so special.? or is it just tha name....
  7. JHL


    Apr 8, 2005
    London, England
    Geddys sig. har a very special neck profile, that's mainly what draws people to it I suppose.
  8. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002


    Here is a couple of interviews with Geddy he mentions his 72 jazz. I do not think he got it as early as 73. From what I've read elsewhere, he got it around 1978. It made it first appearence on the "Permanent Waves" album.

    Rociante, The BAI bridge you mention requires the bass to be routed for it to fit. As far as I know Geddy has not used BAI bridges on his Fenders or his Ricks. He has always used the BAII. On the album sleeve for Moving Pictures Geddy is pictured with his jazz. You can see it is fitted with a BAII bridge. Where did you read that he used the BAI bridge?

    As far as the unique sound of his jazz. To me I hear a very resonant bass, that exhibits the snappy response of the maple neck, coupled with a good dark, midrangey set of vintage pickups. You can also see from closeup photos that his neck pickup is set fairly low in the body of his jazz. This also, IMO, adds to some of his unique sound from that bass.

    Try lowering you neck pickup down to around 9 or 10/64" and you will hear a marked differnce in the sound of a jazz bass.
  9. Rocinante_x1

    Rocinante_x1 Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

    Aug 22, 2004
    Washington State

    heh. Hello My uncle. These are just what I've gathered from other fellow TBers and interviews all over the place. But as you can probably see, stuff you find on the internet isn't really accurate, I guess. However, I do stand corrected.

    Nice to hear from you... or... read... from you.

    ---Tyler (nephew)
  10. bassnewf


    Nov 4, 2006
    I have one of these sig basses.... any tips on settings, etc. to try and find Geddy's sound?
  11. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    This isn't "different"... it's the same as any other '72, and is one of the primary keys to the "70's J" tone. It gives a little extra bite and growl.

    They used this pickup spacing from (I THINK) about '69 through at least '78. The earlier 70's J's like Geddy's (and the sig) have Alder bodies, whereas the later 70's (I think 75-78) had much heavier Ash. These were the J's with the most "bite", and total slap monsters (hence Marcus Miller's diggin' on them), but were also really heavy. They could be up to 13 pounds each. Not sure when exactly they moved the bridge pickup "back" to where it was before in the 60's. this fattens up the sound, but takes away that little extra bite/growl.
  12. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yeah, take lessons from Geddy and learn his exact technique. :)

    Ok, seriously tho, he favors the bridge pickup, but plays forward on the bass. That's the one thing anyone can pick up right away. The rest will just take a lot of practice and studying his stuff. That'll get you about as close as anything.

    I use this pickup/position a lot on my Geddy in the blues band and it gives incredible growl. It's about as angry as I've ever heard a J sound, and commands respect when we play. The guitar player has an awesome black Tele and when these two get together, it's magical. My Geddy is about as much fun to play as anything else I have.
  13. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I just bought one of these basses. The quality and tone are both exceptional and it is worth the asking price. The "Geddy" sound is not JUST the bass, though - he goes through a huge amount of effects and modelling equipment as well. The Geddy Lee Jazz is a very aggressive sounding instrument, very close to a Rickenbacker IMO. The volume pots don't scale evenly when turned unfortunately, and because of that finding the tones availible by damping one pickups a slight amount is troublesome, but if you roll off of the neck pickup about 2mm then put the tone at 90% treble, you get a very Geddy-esque tone.
  14. Tobby


    Jul 29, 2007
    Maybe I`m slowminded or something but I don`t know what all this MIJ and CIJ`s mean :oops: . Okey, the MIJ is "Made in Japan" and the CIJ is Crafted in Japan, am I right? If so, I wonder what`s the difference between "made" and "crafted". On my Geddy Lee Jazz Bass it say`s "Crafted in Japan".
  15. Rota


    Jun 11, 2007
    Mesa, Arizona
    It's just two different abbreviations for the same thing.
  16. the mid to late 70's j-basses had 3 bolt necks also - i think that started around 74-75??
  17. If I remember correctly, back in the mid 70's, there wasn't a BAII, there was only the BAI. I was going to get one put on my Ric back then but they only had the BAI at the time. I'm thinking more of Geddy's Ric, rather than the Jazz though.
  18. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    not just that but all the other astectics of what a good Jazz bass is all about. A good Jazz bass should sound good acoustically 1st then if you want to add other electronics,by all means do so
  19. Tobby


    Jul 29, 2007
    Yes! That`s what I thought. Kind of unnecessery to use two terms that means the same thing don`t you think?
  20. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Fender Japan used the MIJ appellation until they changed to CIJ, which is why you hear both used. You can see these letters over the serial number at the base of the back of the neck on all the Japanese fenders.

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