Geddy Lee Jazz Bass Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by flewis, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. flewis

    flewis Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    It's my understanding the Geddy Lee model Jazz is a replica of his 70's Jazz, I know he shaved the neck and that neck profile is represeted in the Geddy Lee model.

    My question is, is the GL pickup spacing 70's or 60's. The GL model looks like 60's spacing to me. If this is the case, What year is Geddy's famous bass and what year did the Jazz bass start to use 70's pickup spacing.

    I apolygize in advance if this topic has already been discussed.
  2. GianGian

    GianGian Guest

    May 16, 2008
    I don't own one, but as far as I know it has 70s pick up spacing and so does his bass. It is a 74.
  3. Further question:

    What is the difference between 60's and 70's spacing? I have heard/seen this talked about before, but I have no idea. Does anyone have measurements?
  4. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn Guest

    Mar 25, 2006
    This might help

    HERE is a thread on the subject

    ;) ... This comes up all of the time
  5. ronster91


    Apr 10, 2008
    Collins NY
    Geddy's original jazz bass was a 72'.
  6. mwiles30


    Dec 31, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    The GL has 70's spacing (bridge pickup closer to the bridge). I've played a GL and a '64 RI one after another, and the GL had a lot more zing to it - a sign of the 70's bridge P-up placement.
  7. GianGian

    GianGian Guest

    May 16, 2008
    ohh that's right...I said 74 before...sorry. He bought it in 74, the bass is a 72.
  8. flewis

    flewis Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks to all who have chipped in with their response so far and for eveyone who adds their comments later.

    I know the 70's pickup spacing is approximately a 1/2 " closer to the bridge and usually lined up with the tone knob. The Fender site GL pic looks like 60's spacing, with the bridge pickup not quite lined up with the tone knob...sort of splits the tone and bridge pickup Vol knob. But I'm glad to hear the concensus is the GL is 70's pickup spacing.

    The reason I interested in this topic is because I'm putting together my own version of a 70's Jazz Bass using a GL body and a CIJ 70's Jazz neck (with block pearloid inlays not black inlays). I can't afford a 70's Jazz and I love the look of the Black n' Maple 70's Jazz Bass.

    Again, thanks for everyone's input!
  9. flewis

    flewis Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    What year did Fender start to use 70's spacing?
  10. Okay, I read through this thread, read through the link that Kenny Allyn posted, then I checked the Fender website. I looked at close up photos of the Geddy bass, the 60's J bass and the 70's J bass and it looks like the Geddy bass has 60's pickup position even though it's got the quintessential 70's jazz bass sound. Are my eyes deceiving me?

    I've also heard that Fender uses '62 re issue pickups for the Geddy bass. Does anyone know if this is true?

    Finally, I read in an interview that he found his original bass in a pawn shop for $200 (one of those great stories, he said) so did he or the previous owner shim the neck or was it made that way stock?

    Just looking for clarification. With so many J bass models, it can be least for me! Thanks in advance to anyone with any info.
  11. Grizzly700

    Grizzly700 Guest

    Mar 18, 2008
    Maryville, TN
    It's decieving you because they don't have the same bridge. The GL has a Badass II. It is bigger than regular Fender bridges.
  12. flewis

    flewis Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
  13. Thanks for the reply, Grizzly700!

    I realize that the GL Jazz has a Badass II bridge but the bridge pickup is in between the bridge pickup volume knob and the tone knob and as others have previously mentioned, the 70's pickup placement has the bridge pickup in line with the tone knob. Even with a Badass II bridge, is this still 70's placement?

    Also, anyone know if the GL jazz has '62 reissue pickups or are they something else?

    Again, thanks in advance to anyone with any information on this topic.
  14. GianGian

    GianGian Guest

    May 16, 2008
    The previous owner did it as far as I know.
  15. I read somewhere that he "re-necked" the bass. After so many years of playing the neck was shot... and he had fender make a "custom" neck for him. Geddy plays fast, and that neck is very fast (although not to my personal tastes).

    If that is true, then I don't think the neck effects the tone in case... IMHO Geddy's tone comes from Geddy's fingers. Listen to "2112", then "Grace Under Pressure", then "Hold Your Fire". You will hear Ric's, Fenders Steinbergers, and Wals. Plus he is playing through a variety of amps (Trace Elliot, Sunn, etc) with a variety of different effects. Yet, he still sounds like Geddy!

    Further proof: I play my Jbass and I sound like garbage, I play through my (new) Epi TBird... yep still sound like garbage... only I look cooler.:bassist:
  16. GianGian

    GianGian Guest

    May 16, 2008
    I saw an interview on which he talked about the neck. He took a signature bass neck and asked fender to sand it, so it is basically the same neck that the regular signature Geddy has.
  17. flewis

    flewis Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    I'm still very curious what year Fender started using 70's pickup spacing.

    Anyone knows?
  18. GianGian

    GianGian Guest

    May 16, 2008
  19. flewis

    flewis Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks for the Link / information on the Fender History Book.

    Just a followup to the GL Bass pickup location whether 60's or 70's spacing. I got the Geddy Lee body Tuesday, installed some Dimazio Model "J" pickups, measured the distance between Neck pickup poles pieces to the Bridge pickup poles pieces and it measured right at 4". This is great news for my 70's "Black n' Maple" Franken Jazz Bass Project Im working on. I really wanted the 70's pickup spacing for the bass project. I'll have my CIJ 75RI Maple Blocked and Bound Neck Friday.

    Thanks for everyone's input and I'll post pics when's she's finished!